Book of the Vishanti

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Book of the Vishanti
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Strange Tales #116 (January 1964)
Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
In story information
Type Book, Mystic item/artifact
Element of stories featuring Doctor Strange

The Book of the Vishanti is a fictional grimoire appearing in Marvel Comics, most closely associated with the character of Doctor Strange.[1] It first appeared in Strange Tales #116 (January 1964) and was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. It is the greatest known source of "white" magical knowledge on the Earth of the Marvel Universe dimension. It contains many spells of defensive magic, and is itself indestructible. Its counterpart is the Darkhold which contains all the knowledge of black magic in the Marvel Universe and is likewise indestructible. Still, it is possible to destroy single pages of either book, but the balancing spell in the other book will be destroyed as well to maintain a mystical balance. Also the Vishanti, a collective of the three powerful magical beings Agamotto, Oshtur and Hoggoth, must allow the spell to be destroyed.

Even though the Book of Vishanti is a tome of benevolent magic, the spells within can still be dangerous when used improperly, as proven when a young, inexperienced Doctor Strange tried to use the Book to resurrect his dead brother Victor Strange, but the spell, known as the Vampiric Verses, would cause Victor Strange to become the vampire Baron Blood years later.

Apart from spells and mystical knowledge, the Book of Vishanti also contains information about persons and events as seen in The Book of Vishanti backstories in Doctor Strange vol. 3. It is unknown how exactly the Book is able to contain very recent information while written thousands of years ago.

History[edit]

The Book of the Vishanti was written by unknown authors, possibly the Vishanti themselves, but more likely dictated by the Vishanti to human students of the white magical arts.

The first known owner was the Atlantean sorcerer Varnae around 18,500 BC.[2] After his death Varnae was turned into a vampire by a spell from the book of the Darkhold, making him the first vampire on Marvel Earth.

The next known owner was the Babylonian god Marduk_Kurios, who may or may not be the same as Daimon Hellstrom's father Marduk Kurios.[3] Marduk set a griffin to guard the Book. The sorcerer known as the Ancient One travelled back in time to c. 4000 BC[4] and defeated the griffin and returned to the 20th century.

The Ancient One would remain the book's owner, despite a brief loss when the dark wizard Kaluu returned the Book to the Griffin, until he deemed his student, Doctor Strange worthy of taking the book.

The current owner, Doctor Strange, keeps the Book in the library of his townhouse in New York City's Greenwich Village. He briefly lost the book when he destroyed his home to prevent the alien wizard Urthona from taking his magical artifacts, but the book was saved by Agamotto himself, who transported it to his realm and returned it to Strange some time later.

Contents[edit]

Some pages in the Book of Vishanti have been 'spelled' out. For example: Page 567 of the tome contains The Gorgerell Transportation Spell (seen in The New Avengers (second series-2010) #1)

External links[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Sanderson, Peter (2007). The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City. New York City: Pocket Books. pp. 24–27. ISBN 1-4165-3141-6. 
  2. ^ Unofficial Chronology of the Marvel Universe
  3. ^ "Marduk bio at the Appendix to the Marvel Universe". Marvunapp.com. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  4. ^ Unofficial Chronology of the Marvel Universe