Fictional character biography
Merlin of Legend
|First appearance||Young Allies #11 (March 1944)|
|Created by||Dan Berry|
|Team affiliations||Court of King Arthur|
The first Merlin of the Marvel Universe is apparently the figure of Arthurian legend, hailing from 6th century A.D. Britain. He was born in Carmarthen, Wales. He was a powerful sorcerer who acted as teacher, advisor, and defender of King Arthur Pendragon of Camelot. Merlin warned King Arthur that his son, Mordred would be responsible for the end of Camelot, but before Arthur could put the baby to death, he was rescued and raised in anonymity. Merlin was responsible for teaching magic to Morgan le Fay, though she turned against him and became one of King Arthur's greatest foes.
Knowing that Britain would need a champion to face the likes of Mordred and Morgan, he sought a boy to become the first Black Knight. He had this boy, Percy, trained in all known forms of combat, and when he grew up, Sir Percy was presented with the Ebony Blade.
When Kang traveled back to the days of Camelot, Merlin was defeated and imprisoned by Kang, who planned to change history. Merlin defeated Kang, however, with the aid of time travelers the Human Torch and the Thing who the Watcher had transported back in time.
Merlin cast a spell over the dying Sir Percy so that he would have successors in future centuries.
Merlin was finally placed in suspended animation within an enchanted cave by the faerie sorceress Nimue. His spirit continued to appear in astral form and advise the original Black Knight, but he was no longer seen in his physical body.
It was later depicted how Merlin magically imprisoned Morgan le Fay within her castle.
Later was revealed further information about Merlin's alliance with the original Black Knight and imprisonment Morgan.
Powers and abilities
Merlin is empowered by the manipulation of the forces of magic. He has the ability to manipulate the forces of magic for a variety of effects including concussive bolts of mystical energy, protective shields of mystical energy, transmutation of matter, mesmerism, thought-casting, illusion-casting, astral projection, and many others. As Merlin grew elderly his physical frailty limited his stamina when manipulating great amounts of magical energy.
Merlin has a genius intellect and is extensively self-taught in mystical lore.
Merlin remains one of the most powerful and renowned sorcerers of all time, having tutored the powerful Morgan le Fay.
However, it is shown that Merlin has limits to his power, especially in his old age; for example, the Darkhold's power is so vast it took the combined strength and will of both Merlin and Brendan to contain it.[volume & issue needed]
Other beings have also claimed the name Merlin, besides the Merlin of Arthurian legend.
This being was apparently 10,000 years old, and apparently was a savage that came to possess some portion of the same Bloodgem that Ulysses Bloodstone would later possess, which gave him immortality and eternal youth. He later came to Britain during the time of Camelot, and impersonated the real Merlin while he was away. The Eternal Sersi exposed the impostor, and the real Merlin placed him in suspended animation.
The false Merlin was revived in modern times after his coffin was found, attacked Washington, D.C., and fought Thor. Thor imprisoned him back inside the coffin he was found in after pretending to be a powerful shape-shifter and ordering Merlin to go back into suspended animation. He later took the name Warlock, and fought the X-Men. He later fought the Beast, Hulk, and Iceman under the name Maha Yogi. During his encounter with the Hulk, his fragment of the Bloodgem was destroyed and he rapidly aged into helplessness.
He claimed to be a mutant, later retconned as having been altered by aliens and had the ability to control the minds of others, create illusions, project force bolts, levitate objects, teleport himself, create force fields and alter his own appearance.
Another being posing as Merlin was sent by Immortus to fight the Avengers.[volume & issue needed] This being was revealed to be a shape-changing Dire Wraith with absolutely no connection to the real Merlin.[volume & issue needed]
Merlin also appeared in the Marvel UK Doctor Who comic appearing first in "The Neutron Knights" story and later in the longer "The Tides of Time". This Merlin was one of the High Evolutionaries of the Cosmos, a group that also includes Rassilon, the founder of the Time Lords, which guarded the timestream.
It appears that this Merlin removed a shard of the Fury that had embedded itself into Merlyn, the physical amalgamations of all his interdimensional counterparts, while at the same time taking his other counterparts' madness out along with it. This allowed Merlin to take over control away from Merlyn. Merlin, who was imprisoned in a dimension used by Otherworld fairy king Oberon to keep evil at bay, was freed by Pete Wisdom during the Skrull invasion of Earth. Magically reversing the effect of the shard of the Fury, Merlin used it to resurrect Captain Britain in Captain Britain and MI: 13 #3.
In other media
- An alternate reality version of Merlin appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Spider-Verse" Pt. 3, voiced by Tom Kenny. This version resides in a medieval reality where that world's Peter Parker works as Spyder-Knight. After Spider-Man and Spyder-Knight defeated the Alchemist (that reality's version of Doctor Octopus) and his Kraken creation, they visit Merlin who uses his magic to enable Spider-Man to activate the residue of the Siege Perilous' magic so that Spider-Man can pursue Green Goblin to the next universe.
- Merlin appears in Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2. In a bonus mission narrated by Gwenpool, Merlin accompanies King Arthur to the basement of Garret Castle only for them to fight Morgan le Fay and Kree Sentry-459. Merlin can be unlocked by completing "The Sorcerer's Stone" side mission by searching all of Chronopolis for his 10 missing stones.
- Black Knight Comics #1
- Strange Tales Vol. 1 #134
- Marvel Super-Heroes #17
- as revealed in Iron Man #150
- Iron Man #209
- Doctor Strange Vol. 3 #11
- Black Knight #1-2
- Avengers Annual #10
- Journey Into Mystery #96 (September 1963)
- X-Men #30
- X-Men #47
- Doctor Strange vol.III, #27
- Doctor Who Monthly #60, January, 1982
- DWM #61-67, February–August, 1982. Tides of Time at the Comic Book DB (archived from the original)
- Mighty Week of Marvel #5, Broken Frontier, July 15, 2008}
- "Characters". IGN Database. Retrieved 13 January 2018.