Crystal Ball (RAH)

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The name Crystal Ball refers to several versions of the same character.
For a list of the other versions, see Crystal Ball.

Crystal Ball is a Cobra character from the A Real American Hero series.
Cobra banner

Bizarre, strange and uncomfortable to be around with. These are what best describes Crystal Ball. He may not be genetically or surgically enhanced but he has managed to unsettle his Cobra cohorts by his mad behavior and tales of European mysticism. He has also many claims that seem to give credence to his "mystical" powers of hypnotizing with a minimum of effort and even appears to be able to read minds. He is reputed to be the love child of a Romanian man with psychic powers and an American woman from Bangor, Maine. The man was said to be the seventh son of his family and when Crystal Ball was born to the woman, he was the seventh son she bore in her lifetime. Coincidence or bizarre fate?



A Real American Hero continuity

Marvel Comics continuity

Crystal Ball assists Cobra in a failed attempt to kidnap the President of United States from a baseball game. His skills allow them to pass through the Joe-provided security with minimal violence. His hypnosis of various people is undone by Cover Girl. (Ladies' Day)

Devil's Due Comics continuity
In the Devil's Due G.I. Joe series, Crystal Ball spends some time masquerading as Dr. Scott Stevens, who is a therapist working with `General Philip Rey. He eventually reveals that General Rey is a clone of Serpentor, and is part of a larger conspiracy to interject General Rey into the G.I. Joe team. Crystal Ball uses post-hypnotic phrases to unlock Rey's mind and turn him into a fully functioning Cobra agent. But the plan backfires, and with Duke's help, General Rey is able to combat his initial programming and break free from Crystal Ball's control. Crystal Ball is then taken into G.I. Joe custody. (...All the King's Men)

He later appears working with the Night Creeper Leader, whose business conflicts with the ninja's efforts.(Storm Shadow 1)

Crystal Ball also appears in a dream sequence where he has captured Shipwreck, who he wants to force to reveal all of G.I. Joe's secrets, but the sailor is saved by Polly leading the P.E.T.S. (Primal Emergency Tactical Squad).(Special Missions: Manhattan)

Action Force (British) Comics continuity

Write up

Ballantine books continuity


Generation 1
Crystal Ball 1987 A Real American Hero (1987)

Crystal Ball was among the number of single-pack carded action figures for the 1987 series of A Real American Hero toys.

Appearance: black mustache and hair with white locks; red eyes; brown short-sleeved shirt with fur collar and gold bat design on chest; brown wristbands; dark grey pants with brown belt and holster; black boots

Accessories: black hypno shield with multi-colored reflective surface and arm clip. page/Filecard


  • Crystal Ball is almost universally considered the most disliked figure. Fans hate this guy.
  • Was the "pegwarmer" of the 1987 assortment, to the extent that he was still on some store shelves as late as 1990.
  • Developed at the suggestion of Stephen King's son, who was a G.I. Joe fan and wanted a magician on the team. Depending on how the story is told, either King or his son, Owen, created Crystal Ball and wrote the filecard.[1]
    • Crystal Ball's biographical information is a parody of Owen King's own history.
  • His facial features and hair vaguely resemble horror actor Vincent Price.
  • Working names for the character included Trance-Master, Prof. Id, Mesmeron and The Gazer.[2]
  • Before the figure was released as "Crystal Ball," there was another filecard for the character:
A one-time theatrical hypnotist and encyclopedia salesman, Trance Master had traveled to India to find new inspiration to spice up his act. In a remote mountain village, he was taken in by an evil band of occult priests who taught him ancient and terrible forms of hypnosis and mind control! Returning to the West, he used his new powers to subvert and take over corporations until his activities conflicted with similar Cobra operations. Realizing that Cobra was too big for him to tackle alone, Trance-Master decided to join them rather than fight them.

See also

External links

Write up


  1. In reality, the character was created the usual way: Hasbro gave Larry Hama a sketch of the character and had him create a biography. However, Hama's version was not used, so it's possible the story is true.
  2. ToyFare #145

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