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The Dread Dormammu, the unforgiving arch-foe of Dr. Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts, was created by Marvel Comics visionaries Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. In Strange Tales #126–#127 (1964), Dr. Strange is dispatched by the Ancient One into “The Domain of the Dread Dormammu!” to ward off an impending invasion of Earth by the lord of the Dark Dimension. Battling past “unspeakable” menaces to reach Dormammu, Dr. Strange goads him into a battle of magic, but the opponents partner to halt an onslaught from the rampaging golems, the Mindless Ones. Grudgingly indebted to the Master of the Mystic Arts for his aid, Dormammu pledges not to attack Earth, but swears, “I shall never rest until I avenge this indignity!” “Dormammu was probably the first villain we created before the fact,” Stan Lee admitted in the reprint collection Bring on the Bad Guys (1976), “Dormammu” being an unseen occult entity called upon in many of Dr. Strange's incantations. Had the Sorcerer Supreme known what vile force he was channeling, he might have sought help elsewhere. Dormammu has no face, but a head engulfed in numinous Faltinian Flame. He is an entity of mystical and cosmic energy, can expand to colossal size, and is capable of traversing dimensions and time. The autocratic Dormammu is determined to conquer myriad dimensional realms. He and his humanoid sister Umar, first seen in Strange Tales #150 (1966), were exiled from their native Faltine realm to the Dark Dimension. Dormammu ascended to overlord, with the realm's denizens slavishly worshipping him. Dr. Strange's lover, Clea, is Umar's daughter, and was enslaved by Dormammu during the Master of the Mystic Arts' first encounter with him in Strange Tales #126–#127. Dormammu has been assisted in his interdimensional conquests by Thor's arch-enemy Loki, the God of Mischief; the sorcerer Baron Mordo; and Umar, although his sister has upon occasion turned against him, eyeing his dark throne. He has been deposed upon occasion, but the near-omnipotent Dormammu has often cheated death and may be impossible to destroy. Dormammu has battled Dr. Strange's teammates the Defenders, as well as the Avengers and Hellcat. While Dormammu is not a force to be taken lightly, writers Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis and artist Kevin Maguire, best known for their humorous, late 1980s interpretation of DC's Justice League, did just that in their 2005 Defenders miniseries. This frivolous excursion aside, Dormammu remains one of the most dangerous forces in the Marvel Universe. Voiced by Ed Gilbert, Dormammu appeared in a 1996 episode of the animated series Spider-Man (1994–1998). Toy Biz produced a Dormammu action figure in 2000.
The Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.