Monday, January 19, 2015

False Prophet


Name This Marvel Villain??

Initially setting his villainous sights on Spider-Man, Jeremiah, "the Last True Prophet of the Lord," was forced to settle on the Valkyrie as the sacrifice in one of his holy rituals when the web-spinner disappeared from the streets of New York. (Other than to accommodate the unusual pairing of Dr. Strange and the Human Torch for this issue of Marvel Team-Up, I have no idea why Spidey went M.I.A.; whatever the reason, it only took thirty days for him to settle it, since he was back in the mag for the next issue.)

Jeremiah, like most cult leaders, used religion to cultivate a small following of young people to further his fanatical agenda--but their allegiance to him wasn't so much due to charisma as it was to an odd ability he had to control their minds. Which apparently included giving them an urge to dance quite a lot:

As we can see, he's also pretty adept at capturing super-heroes. But the Torch has no intention of staying captured:

Boy, if I had a nickel for every time a villain claimed, "I am power!" I could probably buy my own cult.

Of course, you'd expect a member of the Fantastic Four to rally--and so the Torch gives it one more try, this time realizing that in some way, Jeremiah is powering his unusual abilities by drawing energy from his followers:

The next time you see a standoff where the combatants' bolts of energy are meeting head-on and neither can make any headway, ask yourself why they each persist in firing at that one spot, instead of one of them just side-stepping the other's attack and dropping them, as Jeremiah does here. It really is a simple counter-move, isn't it.

Things are now looking grim for both the Torch and the Valkyrie. No one really knows what Jeremiah's plans are, once these two are killed sacrificed. Chances are he'll go after Spidey again, but what then? He'll just go on picking people he deems are not doing the "Lord's work" and repeating this ceremony over and over? Perhaps fanatics don't really think ahead. In any case, it's about to be a moot point--because Dr. Strange has arrived to deal with Jeremiah, and he provides us with the explanation of the "prophet's" origin:

Naturally, Jeremiah takes this affront about as well as you'd expect. For all the good it does him:

Once Jeremiah is thus dispatched, his followers are released to go their own way, since their only crime was that they were gullible enough to swallow Jeremiah's bill of goods and subsequently fall under his sway. As for the prophet himself, Strange has provided at least some relief to the over-burdened judicial process by taking it upon himself to act as judge, jury, and perhaps even executioner:

I don't think Jeremiah is likely to find any followers among these fellows.

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