Real Name: Dan-Ayido-Hwedo (possibly)

Occupation: African god of curses and the dead

Legal Status: Citizen of Ala

Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of Damballah’s existence except as a figure of mythological origin, although he is still a prominent figure in the Voodoo religion.

Other Aliases: Agaou Wedo, Anviewo, Baron Cemetary, Baron Cimitiere, Baron Cimiere, Dan Houeza, Dan Petro, Dan Yi, Dangbe, Danger, Danger Mina, Danh, Dumballah, the Rainbow Snake, the Snake-God, et al.

Place of Birth: Unrevealed

Marital Status: Single

Known Relatives: Lusa (father), Mawu (mother), Shango, Ogun, Gu, Maou, Loko, Zaca, Legba, Eschu, Sagbata (alias Baron Samedi) (brothers), Ayaba, Faa, Erzulie, Avlekete (sisters), Akonadi (sister-in-law), Nyambe, Orishako (uncles), Asase-Ya (aunt), Ananse, Mmoatia, Mmboro, Onini, Osebo (cousins), Obatala (grandfather), Odudua (grandmother), Buluku (great-grandfather), Gaea (great-grandmother, alias Nana),

Group Affiliations: The Loa (Gods of Voodoo)

Base of Operations: Iku, sometimes New Orleans, Louisiana

First Appearance:  (historical) The Twilight Zone, "The Jungle," (recent) Doctor Strange III #17

History: Dan-Ayido-Hwedo is one of the twelve divine twins of the Orishas, Lusa, the sun god, and Mawu, the moon-goddess. In ancient times, he was the snake-god, personified by a coiled serpent with its tail in its mouth. At some point, he seized the worshippers of the ancient Stygian god known as Damballah and convinced them that he was their former god. Assuming the name and identity of the ancient Hyborian god, he became worshipped by the tribes of what would be modern Africa and watched over the processing of the souls of who entered Iku, the African underworld ruled by Ndrianadhary.

In the Thirteenth to the Fifteenth Centuries, Europeans began invading Africa and carrying the African tribes, particularly the Yoruba, Fon, Ewe, Dahomey and Ibo tribes, to North America to use as slaves. The Africans sought solace from their ancient gods for protection and even combined elements from Catholicism and the Holy Roman Church. Compared to St. Patrick, the Catholic figure who repelled snakes out of Ireland, Damballah found more prominence in the religion of Voodoo and Santeria than he ever did in Africa. His worshippers carried his beliefs through the Caribbean islands, particularly Haiti, the southern rim of the United States and into much of Central and South Africa.

By some accounts, Damballah sought access into Mictlan, the underworld of the Ancient Aztec and Mayan gods, ruled by Ahpuch, in order to learn its secrets and possibly to rule it. Despite the fact that the Spanish conquistadors had long ago conquered his worshippers, Ahpuch managed to tie Damballah’s hands by threatening to ally with the Incan god of the dead, Vichama, and invading Iku. Uninterested in being responsible for starting another separate god war between the pantheons, Damballah backed off, but since then, both the Aztec Gods and their allies, the Incan gods, have watched with apprehension the invasion of African culture into lands once dominated by their worshippers.  

In the early Nineteenth Century, the voodooienne Marie LaVeau sought Damballah as a lover and learned many of her secrets of Voodoo from him. She became known as probably one of the most powerful practitioners of the Voodoo religion.

In modern years, Damballah and the African gods cut off direct ties with their worshippers but were eventually worshipped by both Negro and Caucasian followers. Sometimes appearing on earth as a mortal man named Dan Pedro, he became responsible for inflicting punishments on those who had offended the African gods, namely explorers who insulted African religion and took items of religious significance to place in museums. When businessman Alan Richards built a hydroelectric plant on ancestral land of the Yoruba in Africa, Damballah inflicted him with a curse that caused him to hallucinate he was still in Africa long after he had returned to New York City. Richards countered with a good luck charm, but leaving it in a bar one night, he stumbled home to the sounds of angry African drums, roaring lions and stampeding elephants. Once home, Richards was killed by a lion that had attacked his wife in their apartment. 

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 450 lbs.

Eyes: Black

Hair: Black

Strength Level: Damballah has superhuman strength enabling him to lift (press) possibly 50 tons under optimal conditions.

Known Superhuman Powers: Damballah possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Loa or African Gods. Like all the Loa, he is extremely long-lived, but he is not immortal like the gods of Olympus. He has not aged since reaching adulthood and cannot die by any known conventional means. He is immune to all known terrestrial diseases and is invulnerable to conventional injury. If wounded, his 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 his bodily molecules to cause him a physical death. Even then, it might be possible for Nyambe, Ndrianadhary or a number of gods of equal power working together to revive him. Damballah does have some superhuman strength and his own Loa metabolism gives him far greater than human endurance in all physical activities. (Loa flesh and bone is about three times as dense as similar human tissue, contributing to the Loa's superhuman strength and weight).

Damballah possesses the ability to tap into and manipulate certain undefined occult energies associated with curses and the underworld. Possibly not as powerful as known underworld gods as Hades, Hela or even Ndrianadhary, his power is mostly confined to inflicting spheres of negative psychokinetic energies or “curses” which cause bad luck to those he directs them. Mortals under his power can experience extra-ordinary bad luck and hallucinate sounds and illusions of African motif, such as the pounding of African drums and the sounds of animals. Damballah can also bestow power in his mortal followers, such as the power to control others. He is also particularly charismatic and can mesmerize virtually anyone except other gods, regardless if they are native to Ala or not, and mortals of particular will power.

Damballah is also a shape-shifter and can become a snake of extraordinary size, or a man with the hindquarters of a snake. In ancient times, he appeared almost solely as as a serpent on earth. He can also become a raven, fog or a human-sized mass of cockroaches. He can also become invisible at will.

Limitations: Damballah can be weakened by objects empowered by positive energy, such as good luck charms. There is some indication that he is powerless not only in the positive energies of these objects but also by the belief of mortals in these objects, regardless if they possess positive energies or not.

Pets: Damballah's animal totem is the serpent and he is frequently surrounded by snakes which obey his commands.

Clarifications: Damballah is not to be confused with: