- That's right, I'm an alchemist, an academic, an also-ran.
- -- Diablo
Appearing in "The Resurection of Nicholas Scratch Part 3: Threshold of Revelations"
- Nicholas Scratch
- Salem's Seven
- New York State
Synopsis for "The Resurection of Nicholas Scratch Part 3: Threshold of Revelations"
Dialo the master alchemist is wandering the halls of Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorium and finds Strange and his manservant Wong trapped within a mirror. Shattering it, he frees them from the prison that the Salem's Seven has trapped them in. Diablo explains that he was freed by Mister Fantastic to liberate Doctor Strange so that they can reverse a spell the Salem's Seven have used to unleash the demon Shuma-Gorath upon the Earth. Without a moment to spare, Strange and Diablo take off for Whisper Hill.
There, the Fantastic Four and the Salem's Seven have discovered that Nicholas Scratch -- the patriarch of the Seven -- is not dead, and has been manipulating them all to liberate Shuma-Gorath. When the Fantastic Four try to fight back against the demon, Nicholas pulls his ace in the hole. He reveals that when posing as Strange, the tea he had them drink, had a mystical potion in it that could negate their powers. Revealing this, Scratch activates the tea, rendering everyone but the Torch -- who didn't drink the tea -- powerless.
While Johnny unleashes his nova blast, it does nothing more but to knock the members of the Fantastic Four and the Salem's Seven outside. There Shuma-Gorath grabs Sue and begins draining her life energies away. Reed goes to Bruticus and convinces him that his father had manipulated them all and to help fight off their mutual foe. The Salem's Seven only agrees to fight back when Shuma also begins draining the energies of Gazelle. While the others free Sue and Gazelle and battle Shuma-Gorath, Vacuum tries to incapacitate his father. However, despite his efforts he is knocked aside by Shuma-Gorath. Shuma then demands his 11 sacrifices in exchange for Scratch's life and the island of Barbados to rule.
This finalise the betrayal in the minds of the Salem's Seven, and before the attack can renew, Doctor Strange and Diablo arrive on the scene. Doctor Strange then teleports Shuma-Gorath away to battle him elsewhere. Left with the task of dealing with Nicholas Scratch, Diablo has Bruticus restrain his father while Franklin and Valeria read the binding spell in reverse to trap Nicholas much as Shuma-Gorath was trapped before. Nicholas Scratch soon finds himself banished to a neitherworld. With the battle over, Diablo teleports everyone to Stonehenge where Doctor Strange -- badly beaten -- has succeeded in banishing Shuma-Gorath once again. Strange warns those gathered that there are more dark forces at work and that they will be coming soon.
When Reed tells Diablo to teleport them back to the States they find that he has fled the scene. This leaves the Salem's Seven without any direction and wondering what will happen to them next. While down below in Hell, Nicholas Scratch is confronted by the demon known as Mephisto who offers the sorcerer a place by his side. Without hestitation, Scratch takes Mephisto's hands and pledges allegiance to him.
- Mention is made how Agatha Harkness is dead. At the time of this story she had been recently killed by the Scarlet Witch in Avengers #503.
- The mystical threat that Doctor Strange warns about is never specified. If he was referring to an upcoming story-line for 4 (which was cancelled at issue #30) or some other threat remains unexplained.
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