Real Name: Anthony Ludgate Druid
Identity/Class: Human magic user
Occupation: Druid, formerly paranormal investigator, superhero, psychiatrist
Affiliations: Baby Icon, Hemingway, Redeyes, Scurve, Monster Hunters, Avengers, Shock Troops, Secret Defenders, Legion of the Unliving, Ancient One
temporarily pawn of Nebula / Terminatrix
Enemies: Nekra, Hellstorm
Known Relatives: Amergin (ancestor, an ancient druid)
Aliases: Anthony Droom, Anthony Druid, Dr.Droom, Dr.Druid, Midnight's Eye
Base of Operations: Mobile around the world
First Appearance: as Dr.Droom Amazing Adventures I #1 (Marvel Comics, June 1961); reprinted as Dr.Druid Weird Wonder Tales #19 (Marvel Comics); as Druid Druid #1 (Marvel Comics, 1995)
Powers/Abilities: Initially, while known as Dr. Druid, he had the powers of levitation, illusion casting, hypnosis and telepathy. He also demonstrated limited precognition. He knew many minor rituals that would allow him to control the weather, animate plants and control the primal elements of air, water, fire, earth and wood. He was also a skilled yogi and martial artist (judo) and could tighten his muscles to make himself bulletproof. He aged very slowly.
During his short stint as the last Druid, his powers were vastly enhanced, displaying effortless control of the primal elements, particularly wood, which he could animate with a mere thought. His psychic and prophetic abilities were also more acute in his last Druid phase. He seemed to be, at least partially, a plant elemental in human form and was probably immortal at that point.
History: "I stand between human and supernature, with fire at my hand and death in my smile. I walk beside horror, with red kisses from murderous gods blistering my priestly flesh. I am the Druid. Take a walk with me."
Descended from ancient druids, Anthony Ludgate was summoned to Tibet, where he encountered an aging Lama (secretly the Ancient One, sorceror and later mentor to Dr.Strange), who awoke his magical potential. Adopting the name Dr.Droom (and later Dr.Druid), Ludgate became a paranormal investigator, enjoying a lengthy career, and in later days, working alongside groups such as the Avengers. As time passed however, his magic apparently began to corrupt him, and eventually he appeared to succumb to madness, taking the name Druid and operating out of New York. He was slain by the supervillain Nekra, resurrected to slay him by Hellstorm, a lord of one of the damned realms. She shot Druid in the head, and as he lay dying, Hellstorm informed him "You're a lunatic, a religious maniac, a bad idea. You should have been stamped out at birth. And, in the end, you're a failure."
Comments: Created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, but the final run on the character was the work of Warren Ellis, which earns Druid a place in the U.K. section of this site.
The following information was kindly sent to me by Thomas Deja: "Anthony Ludgate, the star of Druid, had a long and not-particularly-distinguished career prior to the serial as a low-grade Dr. Strange rip-off called Dr. Druid. He's in fact one of the precursors to the Marvel Age of Comics, having appeared in a small number of short comic takes in the Marvel monster mags of the late 50's under the name 'Dr. Droom.' A decision was made in the 70's to revive the character in an effort to freshen up the then-dying monster reprint titles as a host character, at which point he was re-named 'Dr. Druid.' "
He goes on to say that Dr. Druid had an origin deceptively simplar to Dr. Strange's. In fact, during the 80's, a writer actually made it clear that the 'Lama' who gave him his powers was Strange's mentor The Ancient One, running a pre-test of his screening methods. He appeared here and there in the Marvel Universe throughout the 70's and 80's before finding himself in The Avengers during the tail end of Roger Stern's fairly well-received run. When Walter Simonson took over, he promptly made Druid go a little loopy and betray the Avengers to an old foe. During this period, Druid's main power was a sort of super-hypnosis....
Druid came back, revived by Roy Thomas in an issue of Avengers Spotlight and was shunted off, complete with a hideous new costume that had him sporting a ponytail and what looked like a black turtle's shell, into a mess of a book called The Secret Defenders. It was at this point that Warrn Ellis got ahold of him. Warren Ellis and Leonard Manco had a memorable run on Hellstorm, the revival of the "Son of Satan" character. When Hellstorm was cancelled, they were offered the chance to work on Druid as an ongoing series for the Marvel Edge subline. Ellis was planning a year-long story that was going to end in the character's purification. Unfortunately, the 'ongoing' was cut to six issues just before the first issue hit, which became four issues.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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