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Origin

Moondark is a mystic that placed his audience in a trance when they watched his occult magic act along Market Street in San Francisco including Jack Russel and his sister, Lissa Russel. Jack realized his sister and the entire audience was in a trance within minutes into the show when he suddenly felt overwhelmed and overpowered. Jack looked into Moondark's eyes and everything went black. Jack woke up inside Moondark's dressing room and the mystic brought out the Werewolf within. Moondark showed an image of Spider Man in his mystic mists and told the Werewolf to destroy him before he could interfere with his plans. Moondark's swirling smoke was also a portal enabling the Werewolf to instantly travel to Spider Man on the Golden Gate Bridge. The Werewolf attacked the wall-crawler but Spider Man managed to escape when Russel fell into the water. Peter Parker went inside a local diner and noticed the waitress and other patrons inside acting like mindless zombies. The Werewolf tracked down Parker and a fight ensued outside. Spider Man knocked out the Werewolf and Russel reverted back to human form. Russel told Spider Man about his encounter with Moondark and took him to his theater. Russel transformed back into the Werewolf and attacked Spider Man as Moondark watched. Spider Man knocked Moondark into his mists of passage and both men teleported above the Golden Gate Bridge. Spider Man was able to cling onto the bridge but Moondark plunged into the waters below. Moondark failed to resurface and his supernatural hold on Russel and the rest of the people in Frisco ceased.    

Creation

Moondark was created by Gerry Conway, Len Wein and Ross Andru in 1973 and first appeared in Marvel Team-Up # 12.

Story Arcs

Moondark apparently perished from the fall off the Golden Gate Bridge but was resurrected when he made a bargain with the dark beings he worshipped. Moondark made a bargain and was brought back on Earth in exchange for his soul. Moondark returned to the earthly realm and found himself near a carnival in Connecticut that needed a magician. Moondark created his soul orb so he could steal enough souls to buy back his own. Moondark started to steal souls from the carnival employees including that of Johnny Blaze who was temporarily employed. The soul of Johnny Blaze was most precious and valuable so he kept it in his ring. Blaze was under his control so Moondark used Ghost Rider as part of his act in the carnival freak show. Peter Parker and Glory Grant attended the carnival and watched the freak show inside. Moondark displayed a living, burning skeleton on stage whom he called the Blazing Skull but Parker knew it was Ghost Rider. Moondark had Parker escorted off carnival grounds for disrupting the show but he would return later that night as Spider Man. Moondark ordered Ghost Rider and his mental slaves to bring down the wall-crawler so he could take his soul. Spider Man put up a fight but he was eventually knocked out by a pipe and shackled to a wall. Moondark brought out his soul orb but Spider Man broke free from his shackles and removed the ring from the mystic's hand with his webbing before the mist engulfed the web-head. Ghost Rider regained his soul and used his hellfire to save Spider Man. The servants attacked the two heroes while Moondark cast a spell that would bring forth his dark master. The Dark Master appeared and Moondark begged for his soul in exchange of the hundreds of souls in his orb. Ghost Rider used his burning flame to destroy the soul orb and all of Moondark's slaves regained their souls. A gargantuan claw from the Dark Master grabbed Moondark and took him back to the netherworld because he failed to fulfill his bargain.   
 
Moondark reappeared years later and had mystical birds attack Ghost Rider during a bike ride in the Nevada desert. Ghost Rider destroyed one bird and followed the rest into a subterranean cave where he saw a female friend name Gina Langtree inside. Ghost Rider reverted back to Johnny Blaze and that's when Gina revealed herself to be Moondark in disguise. Moondark struck down Blaze with a mystic blast and shackled him with his bands of ectoplasmic power. Moondark fashioned a new soul orb and wished to ransom back his own soul from the demon that possessed it by offering Blaze's soul in an exchange. Moondark sensed an intruder nearby who turned out to be Hamilton Slade as the new Phantom Rider. Moondark conjured up some mystic cougars to attack Night Rider and his steed, Banshee. Night Rider and Banshee defeated the cougars and Slade prevented Moondark from stealing Blaze's soul inside the cave. Night Rider was able to distract Moondark long enough for Blaze to change into Ghost Rider. Moondark was forced to retreat when Ghost Rider used his hellfire flame to prevent him from reaching his soul orb that he dropped during the fight. 
 
Moondark appeared as a ghostly image inside a barrel of water after Ghost Rider humiliated the Water Wizard during a brief fight in Chicago. Moondark offered an alliance to the Water Wizard in hopes to destroy Ghost Rider. Water Wizard agreed to join forces and a plan was set to attack Ghost Rider at midnight, on the first night of the full moon where the lunar sphere and planets were in proper conjunction. Water Wizard would disobey Moondark and attacked Johnny Blaze before midnight. Water Wizard created two water monsters but Ghost Rider easily defeated them. Moondark's image reappeared in a puddle of water and berated Water Wizard for his incompetence. Moondark reminded the Water Wizard that they had to work together and had to attack at midnight so their powers could combine successfully. Ghost Rider was at the edge of Lake Michigan at midnight when he was caught in the grasp of a water titan. Moondark's astral duplicate increased the Water Wizard's power so the mystic decided to journey back to the earthly realm and inform Ghost Rider in person that he was the one responsible for his defeat. Moondark revealed his physical form to Ghost Rider so he could taunt his most hated enemy. Ghost Rider hit Moondark with a hellfire blast and the mystic screamed in pain. Moondark feared that his physical body would be destroyed so he retreated back to the netherworld to heal his wounds and rejuvenate his eldritch powers. The enhanced powers of the Water Wizard faded away when Moondark fled and Ghost Rider was able to defeat his water controlling foe with ease. 
 
The current whereabouts of Moondark are unknown.
 

Powers & Abilities

Moondark is a mystic that can cast various spells, place people in a trance through magic and travel great distances with his mist of passage. Moondark can create creatures like cougars and vultures out of mystic energy to attack his enemies. Moondark can cast illusions and fire bolts of eldritch energy from his hands. Moondark created his soul orb which can rip the soul from any individual and place them under Moondark's control.

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