- I will retrieve my Eternity Book -- I will have my revenge on my hated brother -- and this time I will entrap him forever -- or I will destroy him!
- — Merlin src
Merlin is renowned as one of the greatest magicians of all time, famed wizard to King Arthur. Known to few as the son of the Archfiend Belial and a mortal witch from Ur, he summoned his half-brother Etrigan to save Camelot from the evil forces of Morgaine le Fey. The attempt was in vain, and with Camelot's destruction, and the Demon's imprisonment within Jason Blood, Merlin went into hiding for centuries.
Merlin did everything in his power to prevent the fall of Camelot, but could not fight destiny. Though his servant, Etrigan, fought the forces of Morgaine le Fey ferociously, Merlin called him to retreat. To stop the Eternity Book falling into the evil sorceress' hands, the wizard razed the castle himself, causing Morgaine's army to flee. Merlin decided to go into hiding, but could not allow his malevolent brother to roam unchecked. Merlin imprisoned Etrigan by binding him to a mortal soul with powerful magic, allowing himself to rest in suspended animation in a crypt secreted beneath Castle Branek until the world needed him once more.
The Modern World
After centuries of searching, Morgaine le Fey managed to draw out the host to the demon who once served her greatest enemy. Sensing the danger posed by le Fey, Merlin sent an animated statue to Jason Blood's apartment requesting the demonologist to seek out Castle Branek so the Demon could be awakened once more. Merlin, however, only spoke to Etrigan telepathically, and appeared to Jason as an astral projection. It was not until the Iron Duke and his skilled witch, Ugly Meg, forced Merlin to show himself in person. With their defeat, Merlin returned to his plane of existence.
Merlin continued his sleep cycle in his sanctuary beneath the ruins of Tintagel Castle. However, he was woken early by an unexpected visit from Jason Blood, demanding to be free of Etrigan. With regret, Merlin would not release his evil half-brother into the world, nor could he bear burdening another with the curse. What Merlin failed to foresee was Etrigan's grand scheme. Desperate, Jason played a specific musical scale to the sorcerer who became hypnotized by the sound. In a trance, Merlin followed the source outside where he came in contact with a hawthorn plant. In a cry of pain, Merlin vanished before Jason and Glenda's eyes. With Merlin banished, Etrigan was no longer under his control and the Demon escaped from Blood.
Merlin found himself a prisoner in Hell, restrained and tortured amongst hawthorn needles by the Archduke Asteroth. The fiend mocked the old man by constantly showing him the past events that lead to his downfall as well as the current events of his unfolding scheme, while he slowly bleed the wizard and drank his blood, consuming his power. Asteroth lured Etrigan, Jason, Glenda, and Randu to Hell to use them all, along with Merlin, in a five-way blood sacrifice that would empower the ambitious Archduke with the strength needed to rule the Inferno. Before Asteroth could begin the ritual, Merlin focused the last of his power through a shard of the Philosopher's Stone. He combined it with Randu's ESP and channeled the power through all of the victims to Etrigan, who broke free of his bonds and defeated Asteroth. Etrigan fled with Jason, while Merlin transported Glenda and Randu to the safety of his sanctuary before sending them home to Gotham.
After resting, Merlin attempted to find his brother, now loose in Hell, but without the aid of the Philosopher's Stone he resorted to seeking help from his father. Belial refused to help, nor would Lucifer or Beelzebub heed his warnings, but he soon sensed Jason Blood's mind reaching out to him and Merlin transported the mortal to his sanctuary, hypnotizing him into revealing Etrigan's plans. To buy time, Merlin brewed a potent stimulant that would keep Blood awake for days, containing the Demon, but Etrigan's will was too powerful and he smashed the concoction and forced his host to imbibe his mother's sleeping draught instead. Etrigan easily subdued the weakened warlock and left him bound in rock. Etrigan successfully deposed the Satanic Triumvirate and at his coronation, tortured the captive Merlin until he undid the spell that bound him to Jason Blood. Merlin gave in, or so Etrigan believed, but Merlin secretly communicated with Blood, forcing him to remember and take charge of his duty. Blood stole the Crown of Horns and recited the familiar spell to secure the bond once more, before Merlin transported Blood back home to Gotham with the Demon caged inside.
Powers and Abilities
- Magic: Merlin is renowned as one of the greatest sorcerers of all time.
- Immortality: Merlin preserved his life by allowing his body to be entombed in a form of suspended animation or stasis for centuries.
- Astral Projection: While alive or in suspended animation, Merlin could still project his spirit to communicate with the living, even from across the globe.
- Telepathy/Mind Control: Originally, Merlin controlled the Demon. Etrigan spoke of how he could hear Randu's voice inside his head, just like Merlin's.
- Hypnosis: Merlin was able to elicit information from Jason Blood by making eye contact.
- Levitation: Merlin has demonstrated magical flight.
- Teleportation:Merlin is able to teleport himself, and others to various locations and dimensions, such as; Hell, Earth, and the Beyond Region.
- Transformation: Merlin can transform himself and others. He gave the Iron Duke's horse wings.
- Summoning: Merlin summoned the wolf Nero to defend him.
- Aerokinesis: Merlin can create wind.
- Occultism: Merlin had access to the arcane knowledge of the universe within the pages of the Eternity Book. He is also proficient in concocting potions.
- Power Limitation: Merlin required rest to restore his strength after using powerful magic. He went into suspended animation for centuries after the fall of Camelot. Much of Merlin's greatness was due to his possession of the Eternity Book.
- Power Loss: Merlin lost nearly all of his power after his beard and hair was burned off.
- Mortality Fumes: Ugly Meg's vapors of mortality reduced Merlin to a normal old man.
- Vulnerability to Music: A pentatonic scale played backwards in C in an allegro tempo will put Merlin into a hypnotic trance. He will follow the source mindlessly.
- Vulnerability to Hawthorn: According to Asteroth, the hawthorn plant is a, "Strong, strong magic-bane." It's unknown exactly how it affected Merlin when he entered it, only that he disappeared from Earth's plane and was then held captive in Hell.
- Eternity Book (Formerly): Given to Merlin by his father.
- Philosopher's Stone (Formerly): Inadvertently created by Belial at the time of Merlin's conception.
- Crystal Ball of Merlin: Permits the user to communicate with persons in other dimensions. Merlin gave it to the Justice League of America after they helped save Magic-Land.
- This character is an adaptation of Merlin, a character in traditional stories. These include, but may not be limited to religious texts, myth, and/or folk lore. More information on the original can be found at Wikipedia.org.
- In the pre-Crisis Multiverse, Earth-Two, Earth-S and Earth-One each had a separate and distinct Merlin. On the post-Crisis New Earth, those three Merlins were combined into one being.
- In Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #53, Jimmy Olsen discovers (while time-traveling to the days of King Arthur) that the Earth-One Merlin was actually an imp from the 5th Dimension (like Mr. Mxyzptlk). This does not seem to be compatible with many of Merlin's other Earth-One stories. Perhaps Olsen encountered an imp impersonating the real Merlin.
- While the DC Comics version of Merlin was created by Rafael Astarita for New Comics Vol 1, he was refined and redesigned by Jack Kirby. Portrayals of Merlin outside The Demon mythos may differ greatly in appearance, history and behavior.
- Merlin has had many titles over his career which include the Sorcerer, the Enchanter, the Power and the Prince of Lies.
- 145 Appearances of Merlin (New Earth)
- 13 Images featuring Merlin (New Earth)
- 11 Quotations by or about Merlin (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Merlin (New Earth)
- Batman #36
- The Demon #1
- The Demon (Volume 3) #0
- The Demon #2
- The Demon #5
- The Demon (Volume 2) #4
- Action Comics #638
- The Demon (Volume 3) #2
- The Demon (Volume 3) #1
- The Demon (Volume 3) #3
- The Demon (Volume 3) #5
- The Demon (Volume 3) #6
- The Demon (Volume 3) #7
- The Demon #4
- The Demon (Volume 3) #38
- The Demon (Volume 3) #35
- The Demon (Volume 3) #51
- The Demon (Volume 3) #39
- The Demon (Volume 2) #3
- The Demon (Volume 3) #19
- Justice League of America #2
|The Demon supporting cast|
This character has been an ally or antagonist to either The Demon Etrigan or his counterpart Jason Blood in any of their various incarnations.