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In human form, Mordred was in athletic condition, and he was an expert swordsman and horseman and proficient jouster.
Mordred has at times demonstrated great magical powers, perhaps derived from the Nethergods he worships.
At other times, Mordred's actual power has been limited, and he served primarily as the familiar to Morgan, his masculine spirit serving as the balance to Morgan's feminine energies.
Mordred has sometimes worn battle armor and used a sword, dagger, and/or lance. His primary weapon was "the Ebony Dagger", carved from the same meteor fragment as the Black Knight's Ebony Blade. This dagger had the power to kill the one holding the Ebony Blade, who was otherwise immune to conventional, mortal injury (perhaps this was just true of Percy).
Modred was a magician in the 6th century who had learned magic from the wizard Gervasse. Modred was engaged to Gervasse's daughter, Julia, and was set to become the apprentice of the wizard Merlin. However, Merlin had been replaced by an imposter (who would later go by the names of the Mad Merlin, the Maha Yogi, and Merlin Demonspawn), and Modred and Gervasse knew that "Merlin" needed to be stopped. In order to gain the power necessary for this feat, Modred sought out the Darkhold, the book of black magic created by the Elder God Chthon. The Other, an emissary or avatar of Chthon, offered Modred great power at the cost of his soul. Modred refused until the Other targeted Julia; in order to protect her, Modred offered himself up to Chthon. His soul was corrupted, and Gervasse placed him in suspended animation, where he lay for centuries.
Modred was awakened in the modern day by Janet Lyton and Grant Whitaker, who led him to London. There, he was shot by the police and then attacked by the Other, which he defeated. He later assisted the superheroes Spider-Woman and the Thing in battling creations of the false Merlin, who was also active in the modern day. At some point afterwards, Modred's mind and soul fell under Chthon's influence. He took the Scarlet Witch to Chthon's prison under Mount Wundagore under the pretext of revealing her origins to her, for she had been exposed to Chthon's chaos magic upon her birth at Wundagore. Upon reaching Wundagore, Modred subdued the Scarlet Witch and used her as an Earthly host for Chthon. Modred was defeated and his master was exorcised, but only at the cost of the life of the Witch's adoptive father, Django Maximoff. Modred was mentally damaged by the battle, and was left with the intellect of a child. He remained in this state during encounters with the Thing, the Puppet Master, Alicia Masters and Magneto, although he unconsciously retained a fraction of his magical power.
When his caretaker, the High Evolutionary's servant Bova, was injured, Modred wandered away, subconsciously seeking his native England. As he approached his homeland, his mind and power returned, as did his desire to defeat Merlin. Not knowing that the Merlin that he had sought to overthrow was an imposter, he instead targeted the real Merlin's servant on Earth: Captain Britain. He defeated the hero, donned his costume, and then used the costume's power in combination with his own to defeat the visiting Captain America. The two Captains defeated Modred, who was taken to the alien Otherworld by Merlin. Modred later psychically dominated Phoenix, Captain Britain's teammate in Excalibur, who freed him, but Modred and the possessed Phoenix were defeated by Excalibur and Quasar.
After the battle, Modred was exiled from the Earth's dimension, but he eventually regained his self-control and returned to Earth in order to confront Chthon and regain his soul. Back on Earth, he observed the Darkhold Redeemers, a group of normal humans and mystics who were seeking out fragments of the Darkhold. He joined them as their "leader", and defended the group from actual and potential foes, including the N'Garai demons, the Scarlet Witch and Doctor Strange. Strange bound Modred to the island of Maui during their battle, leaving him unable to protect his teammates from the Darkhold's "Demogorge" spell. The spell was used by Blade, who was transformed into the Switchblade, a killer of mystical heroes and monsters alike. Switchblade killed Modred, among others, but his victims were restored when the Darkhold Redeemer Louise Hastings cast the Demogorge's counter-spell from the Darkhold and returned Blade to normal.
After Modred's resurrection, the Other's servant, the Dwarf, offered him a chance to regain his own soul if he would obtain a pure soul for Chthon. Modred agreed, and found that soul in an abbey in Bath in the form of an ancient holy woman who had been blinded by age. He offered to return her youth and her lost love to her in exchange for her soul. When she agreed, he saw her now-youthful face and realized that she was his long-lost love Julia, and she could see him and realized that he was Modred. The Other appeared to take her soul, but Modred gave his own soul up to save hers, although Julia died in his arms while resisting the demon's power. Modred returned to the Darkhold Redeemers and began training Louise Hastings' son Jinx in the magical arts.
Soon afterwards, the demon-goddess Lilith, her consort Zarathos and their Lilin offspring attacked the Redeemers and the other Midnight Sons. Louise Hastings was killed in the battle by Morbius the Living Vampire, and Modred was falsely accused by his teammates of having set up the attack. Modred and Jinx rendered one another unconscious in the battle, but were able to escape from the Lilin. They led the Redeemers to the home of the Truthsayer, who revealed to Modred that Chthon was about to enter the Earthly realm. Modred was attacked by Metarchus, a relative of the Truthsayer who took on Modred's form in the battle. Modred took advantage of the confusion to kill the Truthsayer, preventing his allies from learning that his true master was about to be reborn on the Earth via the womb of another Darkhold Redeemer, Victoria Montesi. Following Louise's funeral, Modred left Jinx and the other Redeemers.
Modred next took on another disciple, Kyllian, a former apprentice of Doctor Strange who now called himself Wildpride. Modred took mental control over Morbius and the Werewolf by Night, and the four attacked Strange's foe Salome. Modred offered an alliance with her, but she rebuffed him and rendered him unconscious. He was soon abducted by the extra-dmensional Clave alongside Doctor Strange's mystical doppelganger and the Scarlet Witch, but the trio were freed by Blade, and they assisted the Clave in their departure from Earth. Afterwards, Modred sent Wildpride to attack Strange, then followed the sorcerer to his new sanctum in search of Victoria Montesi, who was still pregnant with the incarnation of Chthon. Strange defeated Modred, stripped him of his mystic power, and teleported him to Thailand. Strange later exorcised Chthon's presence from Montesi's unborn child.
Mordred's mythological nature makes him hard to pin down to any one particular continuity. In the Marvel Universe, he's most integrated with stories surrounding the Black Knight. However, while there are many Black Knights, there's not much evidence to suggest that there's more than one Mordred.
First Appearance: Black Knight (1955) #1
View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
#1 Black Knight (1955)
- 'Once an Avenger...'#2
- 'Once an Avenger... Part 2: The Call'#3
- 'Once an Avenger...Part 3: Fata Morgana'
Black Knight (1990)
#2 Black Knight (2009)
- 'In the Dread of Night'#3
- 'The Black Knight Has a Thousand Eyes'#4
- 'Knight and Day'
#1 Black Knight (2010)
- 'Comes the Darkness!'#2
- 'The Fatal Quest!'#4
- 'From the Depths!'
#1 Captain Britain (1985)
- 'Comes the Darkness!'
Hulk Comic (1979)
Marvel Preview (1975)
#22 Marvel Super-Heroes (1967)
- 'Quest of The King!'
Mystic Arcana: Black Knight (2007)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Mystic Arcana - The Book of Marvel Magic (2007)
Spider-Man Family (2005)
The Avengers (1963)
The Defenders (1972)
#11 The Marvel Encyclopedia (2006)
- 'A Dark and Stormy Knight'
HC The Marvel Tarot (2007)
- 'The Marvel Encyclopedia'
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Master Edition (1990)
The Supernaturals (1998)
#4 What If? (1977)
- 'It's The Supernaturals vs. Giant Monsters of another era!'
- 'What if... Dazzler Had Become the Herald of Galactus? / Iron Man Was Trapped in the Time of King Arthur?'
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