The Brothers Four claim to have been created and taught their magical powers by the wizard posing as Merlin for the purposes of seeking out and destroying Modred the Mystic. Their numbers included the earth elemental Mud, the fire element known as Fire, the water element known as Hydro, and the air element Aero. They were placed in stasis within a chest that eventually ended up beneath British Parliament.[note 1] The brothers were inadvertently freed by two thieves seeking to recover stolen Nazi loot hidden in Parliment during World War II. Materializing in a cavern below Stonehenge and began capturing tourists to drain them of the energies they needed to pull Modred back in time and return him to their master. Their arrival drew the visiting heroes Spider-Woman, the Fantastic Four's Thing and the Thing's girlfriend Alicia Masters. The Thing and Spider-Woman battled the creatures until Modred -- sensing the elemental's arrival came. Modred then used his superior magics to turn each elemental against their opposite, the powers of one cancelling out the other, destroying the Four Brothers before they could complete their mission.
- ↑ As revealed in Avengers Annual #22, this was not the wizard Merlin, but the impostor also known as the Maha Yogi. As revealed in Marvel Chillers #1, the "Mad" Merlin sought to make Modred his apprentice. Instead, the young mystic fell under the influence of the demon Chthon and was placed in suspended animation until the modern age.
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