Shuma-Gorath is the archetypal Class Three demon, native to an extradimensional realm. He is one of the "Old Ones" who came to Earth untold millions of years ago, ruling it and feasting on mankind's ancestors. Though banished in the distant past by the sorcerer Sise-Neg, Shuma returned to Earth and ruled for an age in what would be Cimmeria, fed by blood sacrifice. Over 21,000 years ago, the newly risen god Crom led a shaman to three iron-bound books of magic with which the shaman imprisoned Shuma in what became Mount Crom. Around 10,000 B.C. the newly wed sorcerers Kulan Gath and Vammatar sought to release and enslave the demon, but failed after betraying each other. A century later, Shuma-Gorath was indeed unleashed by the two sorcerers and others, but the barbarian Conan used the Books to banish the demon from Earth.
In the modern era, Shuma attempted to be reborn on Earth through the mind of the Ancient One via his agents Nightmare, Sligguth, Ebora, N'Gabthoth, Dagoth, Kathulos, and Living Buddha. Unable to stop the demon, Doctor Strange instead slew the Ancient One, banishing Shuma back to his realm while allowing the Ancient One to become one with the universe. Later, Strange's near destruction of his many talismans and scrolls in battle against alien sorcerer Urthona collapsed the barriers imprisoning the Old Ones, allowing Shuma to gain a foothold on Earth. Forced to use black magic to oppose Shuma's agents - such as Erlik Khan, Ghaszaszh Nyirh, and a water elemental- Strange ultimately merged with Shuma and then impaled himself. This temporarily destroyed Shuma, but Strange suffered the consequences of his dark actions for some time. Re-forming over time as Strange purged himself of the demon's taint, Shuma continues to seek to conquer Earth and other realms, sometimes by acquisition of objects of power like the Infinity Gems.
Recently Nicholas Scratch tried to revive Shuma-Gorath. Along with the Salem Seven, Nicholas trapped Dr.Strange and his servant Wong in a dimension so he could not stop Shuma when he returned. In order to create more sacrifices he called the Fantastic Four and brought them to Wing Hill where Shuma was eventually resurrected by Nicholas. However unknown to Nicholas, Mister Fantastic freed Diablo and ordered him to free Dr.Strange and Wong. After he freed the Sorcerer Supreme, Diablo and Dr.Strange travelled to Wing Hill and joined the battle against Scratch and Shuma-Gorath. Strange then devised a plan and teleported himself and Shuma to Stonehedge where he once again banished Shuma-Gorath.