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Quote1 Weak souls taste lovely. Quote2
-- Chthon

Appearing in "The Call of the Mountain Thing!"

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  • Previous Empty Modred Next (Main story and flashback)
  • Previous Empty Chthon Next (Main story and flashback)

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Synopsis for "The Call of the Mountain Thing!"

The story continues from last issue.

A quinjet hurls through the skies of Transia near Wundagore Mountain in the middle of a ferocious storm. Onboard, Captain America thanks Wonder Man for filling in on this mission while Iron-Man is on leave. The Beast is piloting and warns them they are losing control of the quinjet due to the storm. Wonder Man, who is invulnerable, volunteers to pilot the ship to ensure it doesn’t land on anyone while the rest of the team bails out. Ms. Marvel, Falcon, Cap and Wasp all jump out but the Beast refuses, insisting on landing it himself. Wonder Man yanks him out of pilot chair, straps his jet belt onto him and tosses him out the hatch. Unfortunately, the Beast has no experience using the belt and he careens out of control.

The rest of the team make it to the ground but are immediately attacked by Modred the Mystic.

Wonder Man does his best to steer the craft but it crashes deep in the woods. As he climbs out of the wrecked ship, he sees Wanda (although she doesn’t appear “onscreen.”) She snares him in a spell, paralyzing him and floating him away.

Modred takes out the Avengers, one by one: Cap, Ms. Marvel and the Falcon. But the Wasp gets the drop on him, knocking him out. Alas, she is then knocked out with a bolt of arcane energy by Wanda, who has turned ashen white after being possessed by Chthon.

Elsewhere, the Beast endures his own crash landing on the mountainside. After dusting himself off, he finds a skull wearing a helmet. The skull doesn’t look human and the perplexed Beast wonders what kind of animal wore helmets?

Sometime later, Chthon and Modred stand before the altar with their captives: Cap, Ms. Marvel, Falcon, Wasp, Wonder Man as well as Quicksilver and Django Maximoff. All of them float in midair, paralyzed.

While awaiting the proper alignment of stars to conduct a conjuring spell, Chthon “monologues” his ancient history: In primordial times, when the old gods were threatened to be replaced by newer ones, Chthon’s sister Gaea infused her spiritual essence to the Earth itself while Chthon inscribed the book of sorcery, the Darkhold, as a means to return to this plane of existence some day and fled to another dimension.

Throughout the centuries, the evil tome passed through many hands and was used for malevolent purposes. In Medieval times, the sorceress Morgan Le Fay and her cult of “Darkholders” conjured up Chthon himself, expecting to use him as their minion, only to find him too powerful. Morgan and her cult attempted to banish him, but only succeeded in binding his spirit to the mountains of Wundagore. Morgan’s repentant follower Magnus stole the Darkhold and placed it in an enchanted tower which only good and noble people could enter. Alas, the human Modred entered the chamber, hoping he could use the Darkhold for good purposes, and lost his soul to the demonic being “the Other.”

Meanwhile, Chthon lingered in Wundagore Mountain as a disembodied spirit, observing the rise of the High Evolutionary’s citadel and the Knights of Wundagore. Chthon observed the birth of Wanda and Pietro and infused the infant Wanda with magical energy. Twice in her lifetime, he caused her mutant hex power to fade, hoping she would turn to witchcraft. When finally Wanda did study witchcraft under Agatha Harkness, she became an ideal vessel for Chthon to possess.

Having finished the monologue, Chthon is about to begin a spell to return his corporeal form to Earth and thereby become an apocalyptic menace to humanity. But the ritual is interrupted by a surprise intruder -- a knight of Wundagore? Astride a flying chariot!? The Knight is actually the Beast. After deducing what the skull he was looking at was, he dug up the rest of the skeleton and found the armor and sky chariot. Using it, he snatches the Darkhold away, disturbing Chthon’s spell holding the Avengers in paralysis.

The Avengers attack Chthon but he is more than a match for all of them. On the sidelines, Django is watching the battle with dismay when he feels something stir in his coat pocket. It is the marionette of Wanda he carved. Wanda’s soul has been transferred to it once again! Django shouts the news to Pietro just before keeling over. After realizing what he’s saying, Pietro grabs the figurine and attempts to “will” Wanda’s soul back into her true body. He can’t do it himself, but all the Avengers join hands and unite their willpower. This is enough to reverse the possession spell: Wanda takes control of her body once again, while Chthon’s essence is transferred to the marionette. Pietro hurls the figure into the mountain side and Wanda uses a hex bolt to cause a massive avalanche, burying the marionette and trapping Chthon forever.

The battle hasn’t come without a toll, however. Django suffers a massive heart attack and dies.

Afterwards, Pietro and Wanda bury Django in the foothills of Wundagore. Without Chthon’s control, Modred has become as mindless as a newborn child. Bova, who was created to care for children, takes custody of him while the Avengers, with Wanda and Pietro in tow, depart.

Notes

Avengers Nights of Wundagore Vol 1 2001 Textless

Cover recreated by Greg Horn

  • The cover was once recreated by Greg Horn.
  • Plot by Gruenwald, Grant and Michelinie, script by Michelinie.
  • Taking down Modred is a nice moment for the Wasp, who was (up to this point) typically depicted as being pretty useless in combat situations.
  • Just like last issue, the extensive flashback montage connects the dots between an impressive list of past Marvel Universe stories. It also provides an explanation for the two times Wanda's powers faded away and her insistence both times that returning to her homeland would restore her abilities (circa Avengers #29 and Avengers #75) which had never previously been adequately explained.
  • The Atomic Steed that the Beast finds in this issue is put into storage in Avengers Mansion and later used by the Avenger the Black Knight.
  • This issue is reprinted in comics and books, see references for info.[1]

See Also

Recommended Reading

Footnotes

  1. This story is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's:



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