D'Spayre as depicted in The Uncanny X-Men vol.1 #144 (April, 1980). Art by Brent Anderson
|First appearance||Marvel Team-Up #68 (April 1978)|
|Created by||Chris Claremont
|Team affiliations||Fear Lords|
|Notable aliases||D'Spayre often masquerades as persons trusted by his victims|
D'Spayre (sometimes D'spayre) is a fictional character in the Marvel Comics universe. He is a demon, and was one of the Fear Lords. He has been opposed by Spider-Man, the Scarlet Spider, Man-Thing, Cyclops, the Juggernaut, Doctor Strange, Cloak & Dagger, and the New Avengers. He first appeared in Marvel Team-Up v1 #68 (April 1978). He was created by writer Chris Claremont and penciller John Byrne.
Fictional character biography
D'Spayre is a creation of the Dweller-in-Darkness, a powerful demon who created D'Spayre to act as his agent on Earth, while the Dweller himself is banished from Earth. D'Spayre's first action is to kill the sorceress Zhered-Na, who was the one to banish his creator. To do this, D'Spayre manipulates a barbarian into killing Zhered-Na. Over the next millennia, D'Spayre repeatedly fights Zhered-Na's student, Dakimh the Enchanter.
D'Spayre tends to prey on victims who are in despair, using their fear and despair to strengthen himself. He terrorizes Scott Summers and Lee Forrester after Lee's father committed suicide, but is defeated by Summers, who resists D'Spayre's illusions and finds resolve in the memory of his dead girlfriend, Phoenix. This resolve fuels the creature known as Man-Thing who attacks D'Spayre and D'Spayre flees. He then attacks Doctor Strange when Strange is feeling distraught over separation from his girlfriend Clea, but Strange defeats D'Spayre as well, the first of many battles between the two of them. The Dweller-in-Darkness also menaces D'Spayre at this time. He later impersonated Darkimh in a vain attempt to drive Doctor Strange into despondency.
Over the years, D'Spayre has tried to bring many heroes to despair, resulting in numerous failures. In one instance, he manipulates the Fear Lords, powerful demons and gods who feed upon humanity's fears into creating the Great Fear. With their powers combined, the Fear Lords (except for the Straw Man, who opposes their plan) believe that they can plunge humanity into a permanent state of terror. Most Fear Lords are defeated by Doctor Strange, but Nightmare and D'Spayre's creator, the Dweller-in-Darkness, manage to create the Great Fear. They then discover that D'Spayre has been manipulating them, the Great Fear causes so much terror in humans that they stop fearing and start to despair, feeding D'Spayre, who becomes more powerful than the two of them. Doctor Strange manages to stop D'Spayre, while the Fear Lords flee.
D'Spayre was also revealed to have infused Cloak and Dagger with portions of his soul, called the Dark Form and Light Form, respectively. He was also revealed to be the creator of the addictive drug called dark-light or "D-Lite," and apparently was consumed by the Dark Form.
D'Spayre attempts to enhance his power by using a Cosmic Cube to enhance his powers to draw on the grief of the general public in the aftermath of Captain America's assassination, only for his use of the Cube to have an apparently unintended side-effect when it granted the 'wish' of those who wanted Captain America back by drawing the Invaders into the present. He was defeated in a confrontation with the New Avengers when Echo proved immune to his powers due to her deafness, allowing her to take the cube from him.
Powers and abilities
D'Spayre's demonic nature provides him with superhuman strength and durability and the ability to levitate himself and to travel between dimensions. D'Spayre also has the mystical ability to instill fear in human beings and to draw psychic sustenance from the fear, anguish, and despondency suffered by human beings, and other mystical abilities. He has telepathic abilities enabling D'Spayre to perceive a victim's psychological vulnerabilities and to project illusions into the victim's mind. He has a vulnerability to physical harm when weakened by lack of psychic sustenance, and his powers rely on people hearing his words, allowing the deaf Echo to defeat him.
D'Spayre created Darklight, also known as "D-Lite," an addictive drug inducing pain in its victims.
- Doctor Strange vol. 3 #32
- Marvel Team-Up #68
- Uncanny X-Men #144
- Doctor Strange Vol. 2 #32, 37
- Doctor Strange Vol. 2 #55
- Incredible Hulk #360
- Excalibur #35
- Doctor Strange Vol. 3 #31-33
- Doctor Strange vol. 3 #38-40
- Excalibur #77 (May 1994)
- Cloak and Dagger Vol. 3 #19
- Avengers/Invaders #7
- Avengers/Invaders #8