Hey everybody, welcome to another great character spotlight, right here in Marvel Snapshot! This week, I’ll be checking out one of Dr. Strange’s more obscure enemies in Ian McNee! If you didn’t catch his first appearance in Marvel Fanfare #6, then you missed a good one! His subsequent appearances were sparse, but were also pretty good. Let’s get right to the action! Ian was created by Roger Stern and Charles Vess (Marvel Fanfare #6 - 1983).
In his first appearance, Ian had already been studying magic for a decade, and it was at this time he thought he was ready to challenge Dr. Strange for the title of Sorcerer Supreme. Dr. Strange already knew he was coming, so he was ready to teach this boy a lesson. He invites Ian inside, then tells him that they’ll have a magical duel in a certain room. Ian blinks his eyes, and Strange is gone. Once in the room, the two seemingly duel magically, and Ian actually kills Strange! After realizing how powerful magic can be, Strange reveals that he never actually fought and killed him.
Next up was The Marvel Tarot and Mystic Arcana. Tarot was a one-shot, and Mystic Arcana was a four issue limited series that spotlighted four different characters with magical backgrounds. First was a book about Illyana Rasputin, but Ian was in the backup story. He had a nightmare about meeting Oshtur, after almost drowning. He then meets a girl on the subway that he finds out is actually Ammut (an ancient Egyptian demon). She shows him the way to begin his quest to obtain four ancient relics – the Sword of Bone is the first on the list. He must solve a riddle from Ammut, though, and she has now turned into a half-crocodile/half-lion beast, that will eat him alive if he answers wrong! He solves the riddle, then realizes his next task will put him face to face with Morgan Le Fey!
In that second book, the Black Knight is the main character in the story, but once again, Ian is put to a test. This time Morgan Le Fey actually helps Ian in his quest for the Ebon Rose. She tells him what he wants to know after he admits that he used a spell to alter his voice to sound like Merlin’s. She then bequeaths the item to him, but warns him that the next item he seeks is guarded by a sea serpent! The third book has a main story that features the Scarlett Witch. Ian, however, must contend with a serpent, and find the Serpent Crown! As Ian makes his way deep into the ocean (he uses a spell to breathe under water), he encounters the lair and the beast that Morgan was talking about. He also meets the new master of the Serpent Crown, Nagala. He then uses guile to pit the two against each other, while he steals the crown.
The last issue has a little used character in the forefront named Sister Grimm, or Nico Minoru. She’s an interesting character, and for more on her check out this link. Ian, however, has his own problems. He must now contend with trying to obtain the Darkhold. Marie Leveau pays him a visit, and gives him a page of the dreaded book. He is then visited by Oshtur once more. She tells him that he’s done well, and that all is complete. In reality, it’s Chthon posing as Oshtur. At this point, Ian, along with Ashake, use their magic and the four elements that Ian acquired to banish Chthon!
As usual, check out my recommended reading list and some of the great issues I just talked about! See you next time!
Marvel Fanfare #6 (1983)
Mystic Arcana – HC (2007)
Heroic Age Heroes #1 (one-shot – 2010)