Mister Jip

While I was away, Cloak & Dagger reached a conclusion, and while we don’t have any new character introduced in the last two episodes, there’s one interesting revelation coming from showrunner Joe Pokaski regarding one of the previous episodes, and the future of the series. In episode 6, Funhouse Mirrors, Tyrone induces a nightmare in Kev in order to take his place as a delivery boy, and the vision he sees is quite different from the others: instead of a personal fear of the subject, he sees a tall, hooded figure with a white mask, looming on them both and frightfully approaching. Well, according to Pokaski that’s none others than Mister Jip, a major antagonist from the comics and the first real challenge the Divine Pairing had to face together. He’ll possibly appear as Season 2‘s big bad, but remains to be seen if the show will explore Jip’s ties to one other big shot of the Marvel Universe, and the MCU as well. Let’s see together.

Mister Jip’s origins are lost in the centuries, and even his true name is unknown. He was born somewhere in East Asia in the 15th Century, and he left his home as a young man to pursue knowledge, believing it to be his sacred destiny. During his travels, he heard of the enlightened city of Kamar Taj, and headed to Tibet in order to find it and learn as much of its lost arts as he could. As he climbed the Himalayas and reached the city’s location, however, the young man only found ruins where the walls of Kamar Taj should have been: thinking of the missed opportunity to learn so much, he knelt and cried over his frustrated ambition. He was spotted by Yao, the last surviving citizen of Kamar Taj: Yao mistook the youth’s tears for compassion over the destroyed city, and presented himself to the pilgrim, taking him in as his first student. Yao, who later became the Ancient One, taught his first disciple many of the lost magic of Kamar Taj, but realized too late that the young man was actually looking after the forbidden dark arts only to increase his own power, driven by a thirst for knowledge that had no signs of compassion nor humanity in it. Shocked by this revelation, the Ancient One cast his disciple out, and refused to teach him anything else… but the man had already learnt much, at least enough to abandon his own body and unnaturally augment his own life span possessing the body of others. As he continuously changed identity, he eventually abandoned even his true name, and became known only as Mister Jip, a now incorporeal and semi-demonic entity who exploited other people’s life force to seek the forbidden knowledge he was always after. Because of the dark nature of the magic he was using, though, he could only possess the body of evil people, and his influence only made their bodies decay at an incredible rate, always reducing him to a monstrous form, and forcing him to change body faster and faster as the centuries succeeded one another. He saved time by creating a servant, the monster Yipyap, whose sole purpose was to seek evil people for him to possess: this way, he could continue his studies without worrying about his decaying physical form.

His studies led him to learn even more forbidden arts, and to exercise himself with dangerous spells, always staying hidden from the world, waiting for the moment he would have been powerful enough to claim it as his own. Using his magic, he created two servants, the embodiment of darkness and light, whom he called, respectively, Night and Day, and used them as spies and agents in a world he couldn’t walk in for much time. The one thing Jip was looking for, now, was a body imbued with enough darkness to sustain him for an indefinite time… and Yipyap apparently found it in Cloak, a teenager superhero who was a living portal to the Darkforce, but who, as a consequence, had been increasingly corrupted by the demon lord of that dimension, the Predator. Mister Jip was ready to take possession of Cloak, but then the hero’s partner, Dagger, who was on the opposite the embodiment of light, found a way to purge the darkness from his body. Left without the perfect host, Jip however sensed the boy’s insecurity: Cloak feared that, now that he was a normal human being, Dagger wouldn’t have cared about him as much as she did when he had his powers. Wanting to exploit this, Mister Jip took possession of a middle-aged man, and opened a curiosity shop in the neighborhood, performing some of his lesser enchantments to present himself as a “miracle maker” to the people there. His fame reached the ears of Cloak, who went to his shop desperate to have his powers back. The “clerk” assured him that it was within his powers to restore his abilities, but that everything had a price… but with all the impatience and the anxiety of youth, Cloak accepted the deal without even listening to the terms, and he had his powers back by touching a black cube Jip was handing to him. This was all part of Jip’s plans, as he had read Dagger’s heart as well, and he knew that she would have left Cloak if he fell in temptation and took his powers back. The prediction was realized in detail, and Mister Jip later presented himself to an abandoned and embittered Cloak, demanding his price to be paid. Cloak accepted him as his new master, but Dagger came back just in time to stop Jip from possessing him: Night and Day intervened as well, but during the battle the Predator came out of the Darkforce and attacked Day. Jip knew that he wasn’t powerful enough to face such a demon, so he fled. He hadn’t renounced to his perfect host, though, as the payment of Cloak’s debt had just been postponed, certainly not cancelled…

The highly intelligent and just as highly ambitious Mister Jip is a malicious sorcerer, who dedicated his long existence to the pursuit of knowledge in any form, and who’s only interested in gaining power for himself. As the Usurper of Souls, he’s a powerful magician with mastery over a variety of spells, granting him many abilities ranging from mesmerism to teleportation, from energy manipulation to summoning demons and creating servants he shares a psychic bond with; his main spell is the one that allows his to prolong his life with the life force of others, separating someone’s soul from the body and absorbing the body in his own, although this process works only if the victim is unaware of Jip’s existence and true intentions, and if the new host doesn’t have any “inner light” (meaning that the victim is either evil or connected in some way to a supernatural darkness). Evil and cowardly, Mister Jip uses much of his dark magic to hide himself from his his former master, the Ancient One, and his successor Doctor Strange, and he manipulates unwilling pawns like Cloak and Dagger, the X-Men, X-Force or the Serpent Society from the shadows, exploiting the fruits of their work. Frail and rotten, Mister Jip is an ancient disease, a resilient cancer that infects history from behind the veil of perception, moving events while unseen, to achieve his ultimate goal…

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