Vertigo of the Salem's 7 (Fantastic 4 enemies)


(Salem's Seven)


Marvel Comics has several Vertigo characters, but this is the one who’s part of the Salem’s Seven sorcerous baddies clan. Who are minor enemies of the Fantastic Four.

The Salem Seven entries are very old and mostly based on their TSR stats. They have been slated for an overhaul for a long, long time. But, so far, no cigar.


  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: Agatha Harkness (grandmother), Nicholas Scratch (father), Salem’s Seven (siblings).
  • Base Of Operations: New Salem.
  • Group Affiliation: Salem’s Seven.
  • Height: 1,70m Weight: 59kg.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown


Powers and Abilities

Vertigo can project from her face an effect that causes massive nausea in her victim(s). In DC Heroes RPG terms this is modelled as the Glue Power. The nauseated victim is unable to move for physical reasons, not mystically transfixed.

Once a victim is held fast, she might continue to bombard him with her nausea effect. This has damaging and even deadly consequences (Mental blast). This bombardment can affect even those with a superhumanly hardy metabolism, like the Thing (Sharpness).


Most of Vertigo’s existence is tied with that of her father, the warlock known as Nicholas Scratch, the son of Agatha Harkness. Scratch inherited Harkness’ magical powers and became the second most powerful of the New Salem witches. However, he resented his mother’s abandonment of New Salem in favor of the outer world.

He decided to return her to New Salem to have her judged, but knew it would be a forced return. He was also aware that she had craft with the Fantastic Four (at that time, Harkness was Franklin Richard’s nanny).

Since attempting to bring her home against her will would mean a major battle, he decided to transform his children into magical, demi-human warriors who could do battle against the power of the Fantastic Four. His children thus became known as the Salem’s Seven, Vertigo among them.


A kind of magic

The Salem’s Seven were born from various women. They were originally just human occultists, just like the vast majority of New Salem’s population. However, all acquired the ability to transform themselves into inhuman warriors. Vertigo is the only one who looks human in her super-powerful form).

Scratch send the Salem’s Seven to kidnap Agatha ; they grabbed Franklin as well. Then he sent one of the powerful agents of New Salem, an Eliminator, to erase all traces of her existence, as is customary for the extremely secretive denizens of New Salem.

Both actions brought the FF in direct conflict with Scratch. He and the Seven were able to defeat the FF. But he had not planned on Franklin’s unbelievable power suddenly appearing. The New Salemites turned against him and Scratch was banished into the Dark Realm. The Salem’s Seven were mystically depowered.

Return from the Dark Realm

Scratch’s next attempt had him restore the Salem’s Seven from the Dark Realm, and take mental control of the Fantastic Four. His attempt at world conquest, however, was thwarted by Agatha. She banished him more deeply into the Dark Realm and banished the Seven to New Salem.

The Salem’s Seven were also instrumental in defeating the FF in Scratch’s next plan. It involved possessing Franklin Richards in order to lure the FF to New Salem. Once again, Scratch was banished and the Seven depowered by Harkness.

Over the following years, the Salem’s Seven laboured to turn the spells Harkness used to depower them against her. Thus, Harkness was weakened, and the Seven regained their superhuman form. They captured Harkness, declared Vertigo the sorceress queen of New Salem, and burned Harkness at the stake.

Witch queen

However, Harkness remained a powerful presence on the astral plane. She thus influenced her pupil, the Scarlet Witch, to go to New Salem. She and her husband, the synthesoid  Vision, confronted the Seven.  Minus one, as Gazelle turned against her siblings due to their excessive cruelty.

There was a magical duel between Vertigo (wielding the power of the assembled New Salemites) and the Scarlet Witch. The Witch won and leveled most of New Salem in order to prevent a catastrophe. The Seven were killed in the explosion.

However, their spirits (except for Gazelle’s) went to the plane of the god/demon Samhain and allied with him. The Vision, the Scarlet Witch and Harkness defeated them and Samhain, and entrapped them into another dimension.


see illustration.


Like the rest of the Seven, Vertigo is a heartless, methodical warrior dedicated to Nicholas Scratch. Unlike her more impulsive brethren, she is extremely calm and will generally await for the optimal moment to strike.

Her lack of strange features make her easy to underestimate while among her weird siblings.

DC Universe History

There’s no need to retcon anything. Simply have Scratch drift in the Dark Realm until he comes to the fringes of the DCU, and have him summon the Salem’s Seven to rebuild New Salem in this new dimension.

How his attempts at building a town of mystically-altered beings would interact with the DCU’s mystic community is an interesting question. Sentinel would be a nice choice for his initial arch-foe in the DCU.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Vertigo I

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 05 Motivation: Psychopath
Int: 04 Wil: 07 Min: 07 Occupation: Warrior
Inf: 06 Aur: 06 Spi: 08 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 017 HP: 040

Mental blast: 04, Glue: 16, Sharpness (Mental blast): 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Glue has an area effect (+1).
  • Glue only affects targets with a working sense of equilibrium (-1).
  • Mental blast can only be used on successfully Glued targets (-2).

Occultist: 08

Area Knowledge (New Salem).

New Salem (High).

MIA (devotion to her father).

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Helper(s): MA4 Marvel Super Heroes supplement ; Kal El el Vigilante.

Source of Character: Fantastic Four comics (Marvel Universe).