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Papa Shorty possesses a number of magical abilities and skills, specifically in the art of voodoo, most of which are undefined. Though he possesses no legs, he can levitate. He is highly proficient with this ability, and when wearing a robe and levitating to what would be his full height, he can appear to be walking normally--"with the grace of a dancer, the stealth of a snake." He has knowledge of the occult, and he briefly possessed one of the Amulets of Damballah, enabling him to control the zombie Simon Garth, who wore its twin. In addition, he possesses the ability to raise the dead as zombies under his control, under some circumstances--possibly only while in possession of the Amulet.
He also commanded a small legion of loyal followers.
Papa Shorty was born without legs below mid-thigh. To compensate for his physical limitations, he trained in the art of voodoo. He came to head a large cult in a temple in New Orleans. One of his followers was the New Orleans crimelord Mister Six.
At one of the Papa Shorty's rituals, Mr. Six took an interest in Lois Bliss.
Under the direction of Papa Shorty, Mr. Six sent two agents, Rafe and Mitch, to obtain a magic ring from the buried corpse of Joseph Travers. Mr. Six's men failed, and he worried that "the Master" would be most displeased
Papa Shorty had Mister Six send his men to steal the Amulet of Damballah from its holder, one of the Zombie's few "friends," Phillip Bliss. Mister Six had his chauffeur, Robert, accompany him to Papa Shorty's Palace of Black Magic, hoping to interest him in joining the cult. Mister Six presented the Amulet to Papa Shorty, who celebrated with a ritual involving the beheading of a chicken and the pouring of its blood over a female cultist. Mortified, Robert fled. Fearing that Robert would go to the police, Shorty took control of the Zombie and had him kill Robert.
As sport, Shorty then reanimate Robert as a zombie and had him battle Simon Garth's zombie. During the struggle, Bliss and his friends broke into the Palace, hoping to reclaim the Amulet and free the Zombie. However, despite the fact that Garth, unlike other zombies, actually retained some emotions and memories, he was unable to resist the power of the Amulet. Papa Shorty commanded the Zombie to slaughter Bliss and his allies, and Garth smashed his former friend's skull in. Shorty burst into hysterical laughter, dropping the Amulet in the process. Freed of Shorty's control, Garth was able to take his vengeance, and he grabbed Shorty and hurled him into a stone statue, shattering his skull as well.
First Appearance: Tales of the Zombie (1973) #5
View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
Tales of the Zombie (1973)
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Mystic Arcana - The Book of Marvel Magic (2007)
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