The Crystal Cube

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The Crystal Cube
First appearance: "Master of Magic" and
The Cobra Strikes (The College of Magic)
Created by: Lee Falk and
Phil Davis/Fred Fredericks

The Crystal Cubes were a gift of the ancient gods to the people at the College of Magic.


The first mention of the crystal ball occurs in the daily story "Master of Magic," where Mandrake keeps it secure in a safe within his house. This crystal ball contains a miniature replica of the College of Magic, and Mandrake uses it for long-distance communication. By sitting in front of it and focusing, he can mentally visit the College and converse with Theron.

When Mandrake graduated from the College of Magic, Theron gifted him the crystal ball, enabling Mandrake to contact him anywhere on Earth. Theron claimed the crystal could predate the pyramids and was the sole one of its kind globally. The College was constructed to resemble the miniature replica within the crystal ball. Legend has it that it was left behind by beings from the sky, inspiring an ancient architect to build the first Greek temple.

The second reference to this rare treasure occurs in the daily story "The Cobra Strikes." Now described as an ancient crystal cube, this mysterious object amplifies and transmits thoughts across the Earth or even to the stars. The cube is safeguarded by Theron at the College, and another exists under Mandrake's protection in Xanadu. Mandrake conceals his cube behind a hidden panel, guarded by laser beams, in his study. When Theron contacts him, a violet light illuminates outside the panel. Mandrake uses his cube to mentally connect with Theron at the College.

Theron reveals that besides being a thought transmitter, the cubes amplify mental power exponentially. The cube at the College serves as the power generator for their city and could illuminate the entire Earth. These cubes were a gift from extraterrestrial visitors when the ancient founders established the Collegium Magikos 4,000 years ago. Although the College possessed the cubes for centuries, it was only two centuries ago that Theron's father, the grand master at the time, unraveled the secret of their power.

In the daily story "Karma's Adventure," Theron explains that the cubes amplify mental power—the most potent force in the Universe—potent enough to split the Earth. Theron and Mandrake now utilize the cubes to create a mental network to locate the Cobra. In "The Rogues," the Cobra crafts a replica of the cube. He claims that with the real one, he could control or even split the Earth, move mountains, shatter the Moon, or journey to the stars.

In "The Cobra and the Cube," Mandrake reveals that Theron discovered the cubes' mental power amplification about 200 years ago. The Cobra has been developing his own version of the crystal cube, but it only amplifies mental power enough to move a feather or induce dreams and nightmares. In the subsequent story, "The Search for the Cobra," the Cobra enhances his crystal cube's power. Mandrake uses his cube to conduct a mental probe, locating the Cobra. He then employs the crystal cube's power to obliterate the Cobra's imitation model and subsequently his hideout.

In the daily story "The Thieves," when thieves infiltrate Xanadu pretending to be from an electricity company, Mandrake worries about the cube's safety. He becomes uncertain if he can responsibly manage such immense power, stating, "That's too much power for any man to control." After consulting Theron, he decides the cube would be safest in the College of Magic. Theron stores his cube in a chamber beneath a lava river with a tunnel leading to the bottom of a deep lake. Steel gates resembling dragons seal the tunnel, preventing water from flowing in. Theron assures Mandrake that if he ever needs the crystal cube, it can be sent to him using the other cube.

In the daily story "Mandrake's Wedding at Cockaigne," a slightly different narrative unfolds about the crystal cube. Its origins are ancient and unknown, functioning as a generator that amplifies mental power infinitely. It is the sole cube of its kind on Earth, capable of splitting the Earth or moving a star. According to Theron, the cube always rests on a marble altar at the College, plainly visible. However, Theron becomes deeply concerned about its safety; individuals within the College are attempting to steal it, aiming to use its power to dominate the world. This marks the first time in 408 years that Theron decides to leave the College, traveling to New York City to visit Mandrake. He brings the crystal cube with him, securing it inside a safe in Mandrake's study at Xanadu. Theron creates a mental force field around it for protection.

Later, in the story "Mountain of Mystery," two cubes reappear. Mandrake, at Xanadu, attempts to contact Theron using his cube, while Theron possesses the other cube at the College of Magic.

Notable appearances

Some of the stories where the Crystal Cube has featured most prominently are:

Year Daily/Sundays Title Comments
1963 daily "Master of Magic" The Crystal Ball
1969 daily "The Cobra Strikes (The College of Magic)"
1970 daily "Karma's Adventure"
1971 daily "The Rogues"
1973 daily "Tale of Aleena"
1974 daily "The Cobra and the Cube"
1974 daily "The Search for the Cobra"
1975 daily "The Thieves" The Crystal Cube was broght to the College of Magic
1997 daily "Mandrake's Wedding at Cockaigne" Theron brought the only Crystal Cube to Xanadu
2002 daily "Mountain of Mystery"