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Merlyn has vast magical abilities and is immortal. He can create illusions, change his shape, observe other realities, raise the dead and manipulate energy. Sometimes he uses advanced technology to help him.
Merlyn was born on an alternate earth as a member of a race of immortal, powerful beings. He became the student of Necrom, his world's Sorcerer Supreme. Necrom asked Merlyn and his fellow-student Feron to assist him in a magical ritual. Feron would contact the cosmic Phoenix Force on Earth 616 and using the Phoenix an alignment would be created between parallel universes. This assignment would be marked with a tower in the same place on every Earth in the Omniverse. According to magical principles, such an alignment would create a matrix of nearly endless magical energy. Necrom desired the power of the Phoenix for himself though and he attacked Feron. Feron, his powers enhanced by the Phoenix battled his master and Merlyn used the opportunity to jump into the Matrix, taking its power for his own. Necrom wounded the Phoenix and escaped with a small part of it. The Phoenix left Feron and Feron stayed behind on Earth 616, dedicating his life to asking the Phoenix for forgiveness.
Merlyn travelled to Otherworld and established himself as Omniversal Guardian, safeguarding the total of all universes in existence. With the powers of the Matrix, Merlyn dedicated himself to protecting the universe and finding Necrom. Necrom hid and planned for the next few centuries, changing the part of the Phoenix Force that he had stolen into the Anti-Phoenix. Merlyn founded the Captain Britain Corps, a group of matrix-powered superheroes based on each Earth in the omniverse. Merlyn sent his best agent, Sir James Braddock, to Earth 616 to father a hero. James' first son, Jamie Braddock, was unsuitable for Merlyn's purposes, but the twins Elisabeth and Brian both were. Merlyn chose Brian to become Earth 616's Captain Britain and he would be pivotal to Merlyn's plans.
Over the years, Merlyn manipulated Brian to become a stronger and wiser hero. He partnered Brian with the Black Knight, another of Merlyn's champions, to teach him more about magic. Merlyn used Brian to stop Mad Jim Jaspers, a reality warper who threatened the fabric of the multiverse itself. Merlyn seemingly died in the battle between Jaspers and the Fury. Merlyn was buried and Roma took over as Omniversal Guardian.
Merlyn faked his death though and hid, even from his daughter. In secret he manipulated his daughter and Captain Britain to form Excalibur, a team of superheroes, who would become his weapon against Necrom. Excalibur would take the tower that was part of the Matrix as their base, not knowing the true meaning of this building. Necrom resurfaced and fought Excalibur. In the battle, Rachel Summers killed Necrom and Merlyn appeared to congratulate Excalibur. Excalibur was furious at Merlyn for manipulating them and endangering them all. Roma, also disappointed in her father's callous behaviour, assisted Excalibur in destroying their tower and by extension the Matrix. Merlyn left in rage at losing his source of power.
Merlyn and Roma both met occasionally on Otherworld, but Merlyn didn't retake his position as Omniversal Guardian, trusting his daughter to protect the Omniverse. He was nowhere to be seen when Mastermind took over Otherworld or during the House of M. He has recently reappeared in X-Men: Die by the Sword.
First Appearance: Young Allies Comics (1941) #11
Merlin (Marvel)(01 - Myraddin of Ruta)
View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2006)
#7 Black Knight (1990)
- 'Victor Mancha to Phantazia'
#1 Captain America (1968)
- 'The Rebirth of the Black Knight'
Captain Britain (1976)
#1#1 (classic)#1 (new version)#2 Captain Britain and MI13 (2008)
- 'From the Holocaust-- A Hero!'#12
- 'To die a superhero!'#33
- 'Even heroes bleed!'#34
- 'An odyssey of the mind!'#35
- 'That Camelot might live!'#36
- 'The Star Sceptre!'#37
- 'And the Highwayman came riding, riding...!'
#3 Captain Britain Autumn Special 92 (1992)
- 'The Guns of Avalon: Part 3'#4
- 'The Guns Of Avalon: Part 4'
#1 Captain Marvel (2000)
- 'Captain Britain Autumn Special'
#11 Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme (1988)
- 'Together Again For the First Time!'#20
- 'Mother's Day'#21
- 'Grendel's Layer'
#11 Excalibur (1988)
- 'The Hobgoblin of Little Minds'
#48 Excalibur: The Possession (1991)
- 'Irish Stew'#49
- 'Let There Be Dark'#50
- 'Winner Loses All'#125
- 'Tying the Knot'
Hulk Comic (1979)
Iron Man (1996)
#11 Journey Into Mystery (1952)
- 'Magical Mystery Tour'
Marvel Encyclopedia (2014)
Marvel Super-Heroes (1979)
Marvel Team-Up (1972)
#65 New Excalibur (2006)
- 'Introducing, Captain Britain'
#18 New Exiles (2008)
- 'To Rise Again This Day!'
Nick Fury's Howling Commandos (2005)
#2 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
- 'Creature Feature'#3#4
- 'Assault on Area 13'#5
- 'Destroy All Monsters!'#6
Spectacular Spider-Man Adventures (1995)
#215 Tales of Suspense (1959)
- 'Strange Days (Pt 2)'
The Daredevils (1983)
The Incredible Hulk (1980)
The Incredible Hulk Weekly (1980)
The Marvel Encyclopedia (2006)
HC The Mighty World of Marvel (1983)
- 'The Marvel Encyclopedia'
The Mighty World of Marvel (2009)
#9 The New Defenders (1985)
- 'Ms. Marvel Versus The Super Skrull!'
#152 Uncanny Origins (1996)
- 'The End of All Songs'
#3 X-Men (1991)
- 'The Rudiments of Wisdom, Part 3: Enter With Drag On'
#181 X-Men: Die by the Sword (2007)
- 'What Lorna Saw, Part 2: The Leper Queen'
#1 X-Men: Sword of the Braddocks (2009)
- 'The Sword Is Drawn'#3
- 'When Falls A Dream'
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