Hello and welcome to another installment of Marvel Snapshot! In this week’s character spotlight, we’ll be focusing on one of Dr. Strange’s biggest foes in Baron Mordo! He’s been a thorn in the side of the Doc since the very beginning, and it will probably be that way until the end of time. Baron Mordo was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko back in 1963 (Strange Tales #111).
Originally born in Transylvania, Karl Mordo was born into wealth, but didn’t care for being pampered very much. He leaves home to study with the Ancient One, in the Himalayas. He becomes the apprentice of the old but powerful sorcerer supreme. After a while, the Ancient One realizes that Mordo is not the one who will succeed him as sorcerer supreme, because he has learned that Mordo is secretly planning to overthrow him. Stephen Strange had also come to the monastery to learn from the Ancient One, and then learns of Mordo’s treachery. He attempts to alert the Ancient One of this, but Mordo, who is more experienced than Strange, restrains him. The Ancient One knows of all this, and tricks Mordo into thinking that he isn’t powerful enough to stop him. He shows him differently, and then Mordo becomes a full time servant of Dormammu. Mordo then becomes an emissary of the fiery demon himself.
Later, Mordo aligns himself with Mephisto and Satannish to get a power boost to defeat Doctor Strange. It doesn’t work, and Mordo ends up being imprisoned. He is subsequently freed by Sara Wolfe, and then begins a quest to stop Dormammu from entering their dimension. He isn’t able to defeat Mordo, so he pretends to be his slave of sorts. Someone else catches Mordo’s eye – Umar. She and Mordo then together defeat Dormammu. Both of them are eventually banished by Clea, but that doesn’t stop anything, really. Mordo then contracts cancer (terminal), and dies. He returns later on, and starts a group of supervillains called the “Offenders.” The group includes of Tiger Shark, Terrax, and Red Hulk. Doctor Strange then enlists the original Defenders to thwart their plans. Recently, Mordo kidnapped Monet St. Croix’s father in an attempt to draw her out and trap her. His whereabouts are currently unknown.
As usual, check out my recommended reading list below and some of the Baron’s best covers from over the years. See you next week!
Essential Dr. Strange vol. 1, 3, 4 – Tpb
Doctor Strange: The Oath – Tpb
X-Factor vol. 9, 10, 11 – Tpb