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KALI

Real Name: Kali-Ma (translates as “Mother Kali”)

Occupation: Goddess of death, destruction, life and creation, patron goddess of several Cults of Kali

Legal Status: Citizen of Nirvana (the cosmology of the Hindu Gods)

Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of the existence of Kali except as a figure in Hindu religion. She is well known to the people of India and countries which practice Hinduism..

Other Aliases: Durga, Kara-Kai, Shakti, Langsuir (Malaysian name), The Black One, "Fanged Deity," The Ferry Across the Ocean of Existence, (The name Kali also translates into English as “black.”)

Place of Birth: Unknown, allegedly somewhere in Bengal (now part of modern India)

Marital Status: Married

Known Relatives: Shiva (father/husband), Parvati (mother); Skanda, Ganehsa (brothers), Vishnu, Brahma (uncles), Lakshmi, Sarasvati (aunts), Himavat, Daksha (grandfathers), Menahka, Gaea (alias Ammavaru) (grandmothers), Kama, Padma, Dharma, Vach (cousins)

Group Affiliation: The Gods Of India (The Devas), Leader of the Dakini; mentor of Deathtoll, Raga-Shah and the Shroud

Base of Operations: Kailasa in the Nirvana Dimension

First Appearance: Amazing High Adventure #5

History: Kali is an avatar of the goddess Parvati in her most bloodthirsty form against the enemies of the Hindu Gods, especially against the Rakshasas, a race of demons who fought to conquer the Hindu Gods. She became such a powerful entity by drinking the blood of her victims that she tore apart from Parvati as a separate goddess calling herself both the daughter and the wife of the great Shiva. She joined her mother, who was now in the form of Durga, in fighting Raktabija, a Rakshasa with the ability of reproducing itself from each drop of spilled blood, but as Durga was overwhelmed by all the clones of the demon, Kali began eating the duplicates and drinking the falling blood. Despite her frightening aspect, she was viewed as a destroyer of demons and a representation of the forces that brought order. As such, a powerful mutant named En Sabah Nur impersonated her when he lived in India.

Kali was a ruthless warrior in slaying the Rakshasas and was worshipped both as a mother goddess and protector from evil. She was endowed with the Shakti, the female principle of power among the Hindu goddesses and was served by the Dakini, lesser demonic gods who served her in battle.

In the Fifth Century BC, the Arabian mystic Koura brought a statue of Kali to life from one of her temples. The living statue, infused with a fragment of Kali herself, fought the legendary Sinbad, but fell to its destruction before it could kill him.

 In the 1870s, an Indian rebel named Mahdi, seeking to destroy the British army, prayed to the Hindu gods, demanding the power to fight the British. In a vision, the Hindu gods Yama, Ratri, Agni, Maya and Kali granted him the powers and weapons to fight the British. From Yama, he gained a fiery sword and from Ratri the power of “the night's shadows.” From Agni, he received the power of sacrificial flame and from Maya the power to drive his enemies to despair with illusions. From Kali, he received the wheel of destruction. Mahdi then went to use these powers in battle against the British invaders only to discover too late that he had offended the gods by trying to command them for power. Mahdi's weapons were only illusions to teach him humility and he died in battle. In 1938, a loyal disciple named Mola Ram again called upon Kali this time from a Thuggee cult near Mayapore, India. Convinced he could overthrow all the religions of earth with her blood, he put the local royalty under his power and abducted all the local children to search for the last of three Shiva Stones. Archaeologist Indiana Jones came through this area working his way west and realized that Mola Ram had dishonorable motives in his search for the power of the three stones. Jones was able to contact Kali through the third of the stones, and she struck down Mola Ram for dishonoring her.

In modern years, Kali was present when the Asgardian god Thor came to Nirvana for a fragment of the life energies he needed from Vishnu to restore the Asgardian gods who had lost their lives to the Celestials. When Shiva turned down the request in a consensus with Vishnu and Brahma, Thor became incensed and fought her father. Just as Shiva gained the upper hand, Thor transported them both to Asgard’s rainbow bridge where he realized the passion of the thunder-god to his cause and recanted his choice. A few years later, Kali's religious zealots known as the Thuggees began terrorizing India by committing vast murders to please her. The Indian Government hired Saint Van Sant to wipe them out. Upon experiencing the taste of her dead worshippers, she became so pleased that she appeared through her statue and offered him eternal life if he continued feeding her souls. Van Sant embraced the pact and became the assassin called Deathtoll, but he was killed himself later by War Machine.

In recent years, Kali became involved with Lucifer attempting to cause the Apocalypse after he was released from Hell by two paranormal adventurers named Sam and Dean Winchester. Zeus and Odin contacted Vishnu about Kali meeting Lucifer in combat to destroy Lucifer who ended up being forced back to the underworld, merely forestalling the Apocalypse for a time.

Height: 5’5”
Weight: 200 lbs.
Eyes: Black
Hair: Black

Unusual Physical Characteristics: In her true form, Kali has black skin, six arms (each with a different weapon), a long tongue, sharp vampire-like teeth, wild black hair and only wearing a garland of skulls.

Strength Level: Kali possesses superhuman strength enabling her to lift (press) 40 tons under optimal conditions.

Known Superhuman Powers: Kali possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Hindu Gods. Like all Hindu Gods, she is immortal. She has not aged since reaching adulthood and cannot die by any known conventional means. She is immune to all known terrestrial diseases and is invulnerable to conventional injury. If wounded, her godly life force would enable him to recover with superhuman speed. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it dispersed a major portion of her bodily molecules to cause her a physical death. Even then, it might be possible for Vishnu, Brahma, Shiva or a number of gods of equal power working together to revive her. Kali does have some superhuman strength and her own Daeva metabolism gives him far greater than human endurance in all physical activities. (Daeva flesh and bone is about three times as dense as similar human tissue, contributing to the Daevas’s superhuman strength and weight).

Kali is also quicker, faster and more agile than any other Hindu God probably because of her small, acrobatic and lithe body. She can move fast enough to appear practically invisible. As a goddess of war, Kali is unparalleled in combat, being especially adept with swords. She tends to use dance-like movements as well as her accelerated agility in combat, which often takes the form of dance-like grace and liquid-like movement. Personified as fear of the unknown, Kali also possesses several mystical abilities such as the power to endow others with invulnerability or long life, to move across dimensions and to create and end fearful feelings. She also has limited polymorphic skills to change her form as she has in the past endowed herself with more arms, up to eighteen in number, to battle multiple foes. In a particular battle frenzy, she can become particularly volatile and much more powerful off the life forces of her victims through drinking their blood and adding their might and strength to her own.

Weaponry: Kali often employs several weapons at one time including swords, knives, shivs, daggers and even a decapitated head with which to beat her opponents.

Comments: Kali’s appearances here include her Marvel and DC Universe appearances, “The Golden Voyage of Sinbad,” “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and "Supernatural" (Episode: "Hammer of the Gods"), where she was played by actress Rekha Sharma.  She has also been behind the scenes of several Cults of Kali in the Marvel Universe including:

Kali is referenced in the Hyborian era, circa 10,000 BC, in the pages of Savage Sword of Conan. Like many of the gods mentioned in that era, it is uncertain whether this refers to the same Kali of the modern day Hindu religion, or some other predecessor.

Clarifications: Kali is not to be confused with:

Last updated: 08/04/13

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