Get to Know a Villain: Kaecilius

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c. Marvel Comics
c. Marvel Comics

Name: Kaecilius (no really, that’s his name)

Aliases: The Zealot

Affiliations: Baron Mordo, Masters of the Mystic Arts, The Zealots

Abilities: Magic user

Creators: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

First AppearanceStrange Tales #130 (1965)

c. Marvel Comics
c. Marvel Comics


There isn’t actually much to tell, which makes this dude a really interesting choice as a franchise MCU villain.

Kaecilius was a disciple of Baron Mordo, Doctor Strange’s reoccurring nemesis. He acted as a field agent and messenger for the not-so-good Baron, assisting in his master’s attempts to destroy the Sorcerer Supreme. He was in on the plot to kidnap the Ancient One that convinced Strange to learn magic in the first place, so I suppose you could call him a co-catalyst of sorts.

Kaecilius’ main function after the initial confrontation seems to have been primarily that of metaphysical errand boy, cavorting about the world looking for Strange or hiring mercenaries and evil smugglers to do so. Mordo did, at one point, possess Kaecillius’ body to enable him to better utilize the powers lent Mordo by the Dread Dormammu, which I imagine was rather an unpleasant experience.

Doctor Strange: Prelude, a comic that serves as a sort of prologue to the upcoming Doctor Strange film (Three. More. Days), has expanded Kaecillius’ backstory to include a deceased family and a quest to understand the “why” of the world’s evils. Mordo promised Kaecillius resolution and peace at the feet of the Ancient One but when the Ancient One fails to deliver in timely fashion (as mystical masters so often do), Kaecillius, having gathered disciples of his own, goes digging. I’m pretty sure the burned eyes are meant to indicate a steep price for that knowledge.

c. Marvel Entertainment
c. Marvel Entertainment

I’m really very curious to see how this all plays out in the film. Marvel has taken a risk in recruiting a very, very minor character to play a major role at the start of a new franchise. Were it another company, I might be concerned but between the generally decent writing we’ve seen thus far (I said “generally,” keep your Ultron-hating shorts on) and the casting (when is Mads Mikkelsen not amazing), I think we’re going to get something good. Choosing Kaecellius over a hoary host of other options gives Marvel a lot more room to play, both with the story, and with Mordo’s role. Perhaps it’s that very lack of history that made Kaecillius attractive; less baggage to sift through, process, sort, and retcon; hard to fan-rage at a character who doesn’t yet have many fans.

We’ll find out.

In three. More. Days.


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