Mordru

Created by Jim Shooter and Curt Swan

Text from the Legion Help File

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NAME + ALIASES:
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FIRST APPEARANCE:
Adventure Comics #369 (June 1968)

Mordru portrait from Who's Who #2 (1990); art by Arthur Adams and Joe Rubinstein.

Mordru was born in the twentieth century as Wrynn, in the magical dimension called Gemworld. Gemworld was one of many dimensions which served as a battleground for the war of supremacy between the Lords of Order and the Lords of Chaos (Earth's dimension had been another such battleground.) Gemworld already had a Lord of Order protecting it, in the form of the human princess Amethyst. The Lords of Chaos sent an agent to inhabit a Gemworld human high in magical potential, and Mordru the Merciless, Lord of Chaos, inhabited Wrynn. Wrynn, as Mordru, began a crime spree which included the murder of his own brother, and for his crimes, Mordru was buried in the ground of Gemworld by Amethyst. (Amethyst v.4 #1-4) It was almost one thousand years before Mordru once again breathed air.

In the thirtieth century, the dimensional axis shifted, bringing Gemworld, now called Zerox, into the same dimension as Earth as a planet. Zerox became the focal point of magic in the universe, and, as its magical influence began to spread out over other planets, the bonds that held Mordru came loose. He emerged, realizing that he was in a new world, and cautiously pretended to be a student of the mystic arts. He learned how magic was practiced in the thirtieth century, and knew that he had the raw power to take over Zerox. His only equal appeared to be the young girl Mysa Nal, and he sabotaged her training by evoking in her an image of Xola Aq, a witch of Zerocian legend, through his own evil. One she was safely banished from the Sorcerers' World, he began his campaign of conquest, killing or mystically controlling the Teachers, the most powerful sorcerers on the planet, excepting him. By late 2969, he was in full control of Zerox. After absorbing as much mystical power as he could from the planet itself, and amassing a mystically-powered army, Mordru began his wars of conquest and by 2973, he was widely recognized as the single greatest threat to the United Planets.

The United Planets, though, had an ace up its sleeve: the Legion of Super-Heroes. The Legion knew they would eventually have to stop Mordru, and formulated a plan to do so. But deep down, they all knew that they wouldn't be powerful enough, and one knew it for certain: Ultra Boy. He had deduced that the Legion had been created by Glorith of Baaldur specifically to slow Mordru down, so that, after sacrificing themselves, she could destroy him and conquer the universe herself. Ultra Boy secretly prevented the Legion from attacking Mordru, and then, in disguise, convinced Mordru that Glorith was a threat to him. Mordru attacked Glorith, and the two of them battled to a draw, weakening each considerably. (Legion v.4 Annual #1) This barely slowed his army's advance, though, and in 2976, he attacked Earth. This time, though, the Legion of Super-Heroes was powerful enough to stop him, as Valor and Star Boy managed to imprison him underground in a vault, a condition that causes him to freeze up psychologically, due to the trauma of his thousand-year-long burial.

Mordru was freed in 2978, when new Legionnaire Shadow Lass unwittingly tampered with his vault. This led to a chase through time, in which Valor, Shady, Duo Damsel and Ultra Boy hid in the twentieth century. Mordru then attacked the Legion's headquarters, and the rest of the Legion would have been killed, if not for the help of the White Witch, who had been notified of the danger by her sister, Legionnaire Dream Girl, and Princess Projectra, who had made him think he succeeded. (Adventure Comics #369-370) Mordru then tracked down the Legionnaires in the twentieth century and subjected them to a trial by a jury of notorious criminals, including Dorzak, a murderer, Koldan, a traitor, Golgro, an assassin, and Thrun, a saboteur, with his own lackey, Wraithor (actually one of the Teachers who had been mind-controlled into that position, and who was killed by Mordru for attempting to aid the Legionnaires when he snapped out of it), acting as the prosecutor. He was about to kill those Legionnaires, when the force that he had amassed to throw at them proved too much for the walls of the cave they were in, and he was buried. This sapped most of his power, and he hid, attacking the Legionnaires subtly in 2980, once by trying to place a magical double of Cosmic Boy in the Legion (Superboy #173), and once by creating "blood crystals," which made anyone who saw them hate Valor and try to kill him, a trap which Chameleon Boy stumbled into. (#188) Both of these plots failed.

In 2981, Mordru got tired of hiding, and tried to reconquer Zerox, he was rebuffed in this new effort by the sorcerers and the Legion. His power waning, he retreated to Doom Crater, where he expected to find an obelisk with a magical eye on it that matched the magical eye on his hat had. Unfortunately for him, it was long gone, floated to space by Element Lad's flight belt during a 2976 mission. (Adventure Comics #323) The Legion thereby managed to defeat him, and buried him in a vault there. However, Mordru had enough presence of mind to project his astral form before his body was buried, and retained most of his power. After a year of searching for ways to regain his former level of power, he decided to conjure the ancient Demons Three, Abnegazar, Rath and Ghast, with the objects that they had hidden, the Bell, Jar and Wheel. He took five Legionnaires as hostages, and commanded four others to fetch the Bell and Wheel (the Jar, which had fallen to Earth upon the destruction of the satellite headquarters of the Justice League of America, was found by the Legion and hidden a dimension that they themselves were unable to reach). When they failed to do the job, Mordru tried to pull the objects out of the past, from the Justice League's satellite, but instead fetched ten super-heroes, members of the Justice League and the visiting Justice Society of America. He had them get all three objects, and conjured the demons...but the demons refused to serve him and knocked him out, and then had the Legionnaires return his astral form to his body. (Justice League of America #147-148)

Mordru was freed later that same year by the lords of the Dark Circle, who had hoped to control him. He turned the tables on them, though, and took over the Dark Circle, commanding its generals to plan an invasion of Earth. Using the surrogate armies of the Resource Raiders and the Khunds, Mordru's Dark Circle waged the bloody Earthwar which resulted in the capture of all Legionnaires and Substitute Legionnaires except for Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Valor and Karate Kid. The four of them directly confronted Mordru (who had been observing the proceedings throughout disguised as United Planets Ambassador Relnic), and freed the rest of the Legionnaires in outer space, where Element Lad managed to turn free-floating hydrogen atoms into dirt, which the Legion then surrounded Mordru with, effectively burying him. (Superboy and the Legion #241-245)

Mordru, however, was no longer too confident in his own power, and had programmed a Dark Circle teleportation device to teleport him to a previously selected planet in the event that he was rendered unconscious. He ended up on Avalon, a planet whose level of technology was approximately the same as that of Earth in the middle ages. He took over the planet for a year calling himself "Romdur" before he was discovered in late 2983 and brought down by the Legion. (Legion v.2 #276) His body was drained of its magical energy by Darkseid the following year (#290-291), but in 2985, a number of his acolytes took his body and tried to magically awaken it, using the shadow powers of Shadow Lass and her cousin, Shadow Kid. (Legion v.2 Annual #3) They failed, and the body was brought to Zerox by the Legion, where the Teachers decided, in 2986, to strip him of his magical powers and his memories. (Legion v.3 #27) The threat of Mordru seemed to be ended forever.

In 2989, Zerox was destroyed in the Magic Wars, and the Sorcerers' World was moved to Tharn, a world of lesser magical power. When the Khunds threatened to take it over, and the United Planets were powerless to help, the Teachers decided that only Mordru had enough power to keep Tharn out of Khundish hands. They restored Mordru's power and memories, and offered him the throne, hoping he would act beneficently. With this hope in mind, Mysa Nal, who had left the Legion, offered to marry him, as she had grown fond of the de-powered Mordru, and thought she could keep him on the path of good. They were all wrong. Mordru ruled tyrannically, forbade the use of magic by anyone else, and tortured his wife Mysa mercilessly. A failed rescue attempt by Rond Vidar in early 2994 resulted in his being tortured too, as well as the destruction of his Darkstar power armor. She was finally rescued (along with Rond) through shrewd diplomacy by ex-Legionnaire Rokk Krinn (formerly Cosmic Boy), but Mordru remained in charge of Tharn, biding his time, virtually unstoppable. (Legion v.4 #3, 6-7)

Glorith Reality

In his own twisted way, he loved Mysa, and wanted her back. After begging her to return failed, he conjured a mystical statue of rage among the remains of Zerox, and sent her dreams of Amethyst, to attract her to it. Mysa took the bait, and the forces inside Mordru's statue, which she mistook for Amethyst, merged with Mysa's body. The statue amplified her hatred of Mordru, and when she attacked Mordru, he used this hatred to amplify his power, and merged his body with Mysa's. The result was a more powerful Mordru than at any time since his battle with Glorith. He tried to turn back time and erase his past defeats, but a hero from the universe that would have been (had he succeeded) got the Legionnaires to concentrate on Mysa, and their friendship and love for her. This blocked Mordru's attempt to turn back time, but Mordru still had plenty of power, and brought the universe's dead bodies to life, making them into an army to take worlds by force. He concentrated specifically on the Legion, bringing to life bodies that would cause them pain to see, and used their renewed hatred of him to increase his power. He was finally stopped when, at the limits of his power, the Legionnaires attacked him on Tharn and used a spell of Queen Projectra amplified by Brainiac 5's science to separate Mysa from Mordru. Mysa was then joined by the true spirit of Amethyst, which had inhabited J’Onn J’Onzz and Kono, who increased her power and helped her focus on attacking Mordru out of love rather than hatred, which would have empowered Mordru further. Mysa thus stripped Mordru of his powers once again, and his unconscious body is in the hands of the Teachers, who are in charge of Tharn once again. (Legion v.4 #43-48)

In early 2996, Mordru was contacted by Glorith, who needed an ally to stop the Time Trapper from gaining control of time. She used magic to revitalize and free him, and he then took the Teachers by surprise, absorbing their powers and giving himself back the power and form he had before his first encounter with Amethyst. He has agreed to ally himself with Glorith, gave her an amulet to amplify her powers, and established their first goal as the destruction of the Legion of Super-Heroes. (Legion v.4 #58) Their plan commenced with the kidnapping of Rokk Krinn, whom divinations indicated to be the greatest threat to their plans. (Legionnaires #17) They then attacked the Legion's headquarters on Talus, gaining access to a time beacon through which they could summon the Infinite Man and, through a spell, split his power between the two of them. Once this was done, they joined hands and wove a spell to change the past so that they had ruled the universe for the last several decades, but Mysa Nal separated them with a mystical bolt before they could complete the spell. Glorith was soon taken down by Valor, who absorbed her power, and the two halves of infinity began to fight each other, remaining in stalemate, until the younger Brainiac 5 came up with the idea of letting Mordru have all the power. Valor did this, and Mordru took in the experience of infinity...and his claustrophobic mind recoiled at the idea of his filling all the space and time in existence. Imra Ranzz than planted the thought in his mind to teleport himself to the core of a planet, which he did — the unstable Earth of the pocket universe. But though the Legion thought they would need to stop him from arising, the danger was over once the infinite power left him...he had vanished, a result of Zero Hour. (Legion v.4 #60, Legionnaires #18, Valor #23)

Powers

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Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:

Original Legion

  • Action Comics #881-883, 887-889
  • Adventure Comics #369-370
  • Amethyst v.2 #1-4 
  • JSA #1-4, 14, 45-51, 73, 78 
  • JSA Secret Files #1-2 
  • Justice League of America #147-148 
  • Legion of Super-Heroes v.2 #276, 291, Annual #3 
  • Legion of Super-Heroes v.3 #27
  • Legion of Super-Heroes v.4 #3, 6, 7, 43-44, 46-48, 58, 60 
  • Legionnaires #17-18
  • Superboy v.1 #173, 188, 213 
  • Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes #241-245
  • Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes #315-316
  • Valor #23 

Reboot

  • Legionnaires #45-50

Retroboot

  • Adventure Comics #525
  • Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1
  • Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2-5
  • Justice League of America v.2 #60
  • Justice Society of America v.3 #34-35 

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» SEE ALSO:

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