Karl Amadeus Mordo (Baron Mordo)

baronmordofilmThe second (and for now last) character we can see in the first trailer for Doctor Strange is another one who received a swap from the original comicbook version, this time a race-swap: Baron Mordo, who’ll be portrayed by Chiwetel Ejiofor (he was Caucasian in the comics). Despite being known as Doctor Strange‘s nemesis, the movie version won’t be a bad guy…at least, not immediately, and not entirely. Apparently, he’ll act more as a friend/rival to Doctor Strange, and will even help him against the yet unnamed big baddie, probably ending up falling for the dark side and setting a return as the main villain in future installments. This marks the first live action appearance of one of the most famous and powerful magicians in the Marvel Universe: let’s see who the original one is.

Karl Amadeus Mordo was born in Varf Mandra, a small town in TransylvaniaRomania, at the beginning of the XX Century. He was the son of Baron Nikolai Mordo and of his wife, Baroness Sara Krowler. When Karl was still a kid, his father was killed by his mother, in a plot conceived by his maternal grandfather, Heinrich Krowler, who became his legal tutor. Every single family member of Karl practiced the occult arts, and Heinrich was the most powerful sorcerer in the family: in his plot to restore the ancient Carpatian Kingdom with magic, Heinrich taught what he knew to his grandson, hoping to convert him to his cause. Young Karl was an enthusiast student, and learnt much…but one night, he overheard his mother and grandfather discussing about the night they killed his father: shocked and overwhelmed by anger, he swore revenge, and left his house to travel the world and look for somebody able to teach him a magic powerful enough to kill his relatives. He spent years looking for a master, and one day, already an adult, he learnt of a palace, hidden on the Himalaya Mountains, inhabited by the most powerful sorcerer on the planet, the Ancient One. Mordo reached the palace facing the frozen desert baronmordocomics1protecting it, and asked to the Ancient One to become his disciple: the old sorcerer realised that Mordo had a dark heart and a darkest ambition, and that his lust for power would have made him extremely dangerous, but he also believed in redemption, and decided to give him a try; plus, if Mordo was indeed as evil as he sensed, it was safer for everybody if he kept him close, in the palace, under check. Karl was, in fact, more interested to gain knowledge and power than to use them for the common good, and he only wanted to take from the Ancient One as much as he could; Mordo, however, understood that his master was keeping some magic hidden from him, and he convinced himself that he did that for fear of his power. When the Ancient One took in another disciple, surgeon Stephen Strange, Mordo grew envious, and feared that the new one would have had access to the knowledge forbidden to him. Before Strange could become more powerful than him, Mordo decided he would have killed the Ancient One and stolen all his knowledge.

Baron Mordo devised many plans to kill his master, but he always tried to avoid direct confrontation, knowing that the Ancient One was still far stronger than he was: he decided to use the arts in which he excelled the most, such as astral phasing (mostly to spy on him) and summoning. Once, he summoned some creatures to attack the old man, but he easily destroyed them; Strange, however, saw his fellow disciple casting the spell, and tried to warn the Ancient One, but Mordo casted a paralyzing spell on him. The Ancient One, however, was aware of Mordo’s attempts to his life, and sensing Strange’s will to protect him, he officially accepted him as a disciple, freeing him from the Baron’s spell and teaching him everything he knew, creating a formidable adversary for Mordo. The successive time Mordo tried to attack the Ancient One, he found Strange to protect him, and much to his surprise he was defeated by his fellow disciple, and exiled from the palace. Embittered and resentful, Baron Mordo continued studying on his own, and even tried to kill the Ancient One other times (for example by hypnotizing his friend, Hamir, bringing baronmordocomics2him to poison the old man), but he always found Doctor Strange to protect him: eventually, Mordo’s resentment towards his former companion surpassed his grudge against his former master, and Strange became his primary target. Mordo’s powers were inferior to Strange’s, so he always devised intricate plans and traps to destroy his rivals (usually by trying to separate his physical body from his astral form for more than twenty-four hours, killing him), but his plans always backfired, and Mordo suffered defeat after defeat. Eventually, in his seek for power and knowledge, Mordo ended up opening a portal to the Dark Dimension, and met its lord, Dormammu, an old enemy of the Ancient One who had been banished by him a century before. With their goals coinciding, Mordo allied himself with Dormammu, and became his loyal servant, borrowing his new master’s powers in our reality to destroy their common enemies. Taking advantage of his new ties to the Dark Dimension, Mordo also settled an old score by sacrificing both his mother and his grandfather to Dormammu. With all the ties to his past cut, Baron Mordo was now free to pursue his new objective, and to murder the ones separating him from absolute power.

Baron Karl Mordo is an ambitious and dangerous man, ready to do anything in order to get the knowledge and the power he’s seeking. Without any moral or compassion, Mordo considers human life as totally expendable in favour of greater goals, and usually the greater goals are the ones he’s pursuing. As one of the strongest sorcerers on the planet, he possesses a variety of mystical abilities, such as levitation, teleportation, emission of bolts of energy, creation of force fields and much more, but he excells particularly in spells of summoning, in maneuvring his own astral form, and in mesmerism and hypnotism; he’s also an expert tactician and an accomplished martial artist. Lustful for power, Baron Mordo is one of the most dangerous men in our reality…and in many others.

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6 Comments

  1. […] Karl Amadeus Mordo (Baron Mordo) […]

  2. […] Karl Amadeus Mordo (Baron Mordo) […]

  3. […] real he wanted. His greatest victory in this sense arrived when the Ancient One’s disciple, Baron Mordo, entered his service: now, he could strike down his hated enemy using the one person closest to […]

  4. […] for personal advantage. While he was still understanding his true potential, he was contacted by Baron Mordo, a powerful and ambitious sorcerer who offered to him to become one of his disciples: together with […]

  5. […] Many studied the mystic arts under the Ancient One, but among them there was also an evil man, Baron Mordo, who continuously tried to kill the Ancient One to steal his powers; luckily enough, there was […]

  6. […] Dormammu wasn’t famous for being a man of word, and when he tried to attack Earth again using Baron Mordo as a pawn, Clea warned Strange…thus earning the exile from her home […]


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