Dormammu

dormammufilmAnother Marvel big bad coming for casualgamer, and this time it’s really a big one: Dormammu, the demonic lord of the Dark Dimension. We don’t know yet if Dormammu will appear in the upcoming Doctor Strange or if they’re saving him for future installments, but he did appear in the 1970s’ Dr. Strange, where he acted as the master of the movie’s villain, Morgan Le Fay. During the film, he was only referred to as the Nameless One, voiced by David Hooks, and he was portrayed as a powerful demon imprisoned in the Dark Dimension but eager to conquer Earth…exactly like his comicbook counterpart. Oddly enough, the movie’s version of Dormammu looked a lot like the Mangaverse (Earth-2301) version of him…but, as usual, we’re going to look at the original one.

Dormammu was born eons ago, along with his sister Umar, both deviant members of the immortal race of the Faltines. Instead of looking like perfect copies of the Faltines’ universal father, Sinifer, Dormammu and Umar had individual appearance, and they developed a hunger for something more than the energy their brothers and sisters collected: matter. Absorbing matter, the siblings became something different, and much more powerful, than the other Faltines, and they eventually “contaminated” Sinifer himself with matter, effectively killing him. The other Faltines, shocked by this untold and unprecedented crime, banished Dormammu and Umar from their dimension, leaving them to wander between realities…until they discovered the Dark Dimension, a unique plane of existence linked to many other “pocket dimensions”. The two Faltines seduced the Dark Dimension’s ruler, King Olnar, promising him the knowledge of how to open the breaches to those pocket dimensions and to absorb them into his domain. Dormammu and Umar obtained sanctuary from the king and kept their promise, accompanying the dormammucomics1oblivious and power-hungry Olnar in a series of conquests against other realms, despite his counselors, the sorcerers Mhuruuks, didn’t trust the foreigners. Eventually, the Mhuruuks proved to be right, as Dormammu led Olnar and his forces to the dimension inhabited by the Mindless Ones, indestructible monsters who wiped out the Dark Dimension’s army, killed Olnar and invaded his realm. During the following havoc, Dormammu and Umar took advantage of the situation and killed all the Mhuruuks, then they used their magic to exile the Mindless Ones back in their realm; the Dark Dimension’s residents cheered at the two Faltines as to heroes, and elected them as regents. Dormammu enhanced his power to never before seen levels, merging his own essence with the Dark Dimension’s unique mystic energies; he became so powerful that, when Umar had a son from Orini (Olnar’s son) and went mad after it, he was able to exile her in one of the pocket dimensions, becoming the sole ruler of his reality. Umar’s husband, Orini, became a disciple of Dormammu, and so was her daughter, Clea: Dormammu’s power was unchallenged…at least in his dimension.

Dormammu’s power and taste for war and conquest attracted the attention of cosmic forces, particularly the ones of Lord Chaos, embodiment of one of the two principles of existence; Lord Chaos chose Dormammu as one of his agents, a path that brought him to clash with Master Order‘s champion, Odin, the ruler of Asgard. Dormammu and Odin squared many times over the millennia, until it became clear that a prolonged battle between the two would have led to the destruction of both Asgard and the Dark Dimension: the two rulers agreed on a truce, a mutual non-aggression agreement that saved the universe from their colliding powers. In the following millennia, Dormammu kept expanding his own dominion, defeating many powerful sorcerers and finding few powers able to resist him (most notably, the CelestialsZeus of the Olympians, the extradimensional entity Agamotto and the powerful clan of evokers The Minorus). Eventually, Dormammu set his sight on Earth, a small planet in a small dimension, incredibly rich of mystic energy. He first tried to invade that realm in 1666, and his simple presence caused the Great Fire of London: Dormammu channelled the lifeforce of the fire’s victims through Stonhenge, thus opening a portal to the Dark Dimension…but before he could claim the realm as part of his domain he was dormammucomics2challenged by Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme, the Ancient One, and he suffered his first defeat. Furthermore, the Ancient One spread his influence throughout the entire universe thanks to the power he borrowed from Agamotto, who had formed an alliance with him: now, more and more realms were protected against Dormammu, whose dimensional conquest was suddenly interrupted. Dormammu’s frustration grew, as he tried to enter Earth once again in 1692, when he was stopped by other sorcerers led by Hiram Shaw (an exorcist from Salem who competed for the title of Sorcerer Supreme), and in 1888, when he finally elaborated another tactic: unable to break the dimensional barriers, he sent one of his minions, the parasite Zaniac, to Earth to weaken the realm from the inside, the first of many pawns Dormammu would have used to do his job as he couldn’t enter the 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 him. The Ancient One would have fallen, and Earth would have soon followed.

Dormammu is rightfully considered one of the most dangerous beings in the universe: extremely intelligent and cunning, ambitious and cruel, narcissistic and simply lustful for power, he’s leading a conquest campaign against all realities, and he rules his dimension and the ones he has subjugated as a ruthless dictator. He’s one of the most powerful magic users in the universe: being a Faltine, he’s entirely composed of mystic energy, thus he’s immortal and virtually invulnerable, able to reform himself anytime his energy is somehow dispersed; he can travel at will through dimensions and planes of existence, and he’s a natural conduit for any form of magic, which he can manipulate better than anybody else; he can travel freely through time and space, and he can absorb and project any kind of energy, using it in a variety of ways (including much more “material” approaches, such as strenght enhancement or size alteration); if this wasn’t enough, he’s also a trained warrior and a genius tactician, whose plans span over eons and millennia. Rightfully called the Dread One, the Lord of Darkness, the Black One and the Eater of Souls, Dormammu is a fearful conqueror responding to a personal code of honor and a twisted morality, both of them prompting him to extend his chaotic and brutal dominion over any possible reality.

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