Sargon the Sorcerer

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Poster Sale Selection Sargon the Sorcerer is a second string mysticism|mystic, superhero and magic (paranormal)|sorcerer appearing in DC Comics during the Golden Age. The original Sargon first appeared in All-American Comics # 26, (May 1941), and was created by John B. Wentworth and Howard Purcell. The modern Sargon first appears in Helmet of Fate: Sargon # 1, (April 2007), and was created by Steve Niles and Scott Hampton.


character biography

John Sargent

Sargon debuted in All-American Comics #26, with a publication date of May, 1941. He was a stage magician, dressed like a swami complete with turban, to disguise the fact that he wielded true mystical powers, passing off such feats as illusions. As a child, he came into possession of the mystic Ruby of Life which allowed him to control anything he touches (touching the ground lets him erect a wall, for instance).

Sargon has had a checkered career, acting mostly as a hero during the Golden Age but re-emerging in the Silver Age - as a villain, at least at first. It was later explained that his villainous activities were the result of certain side effects of possessing the Ruby of Life. He was brought back for occasional guest appearances in the Silver Age and was awarded with an honorary membership in the Justice League in Justice League of America #99. Despite this, Sargon was never a major player in the DC Universe, at least in published adventures.

The original Sargon, artist Howard Purcell
The original Sargon, artist Howard Purcell

Sargon maintained contacts with several other mages in the DC Universe, notably Baron Winter, Zatara (a fellow faux stage magician), and the younger mage John Constantine. Sargon answered a summons by Constantine to participate in a ritual at the mansion of Winters in July 1985 to help deal with the effects of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, using the Swamp Thing as their portal into the war being fought in Hell. Locking hands in a circle of power, and using the psychic powers of Constantine's drunken acquaintance Mento, the group of sorcerers (which also included Zatara's daughter Zatanna) observed the events unfolding, and attempted in turn to channel their magical powers into several other mystical characters present in Hell, including Etrigan, the original Doctor Fate, and the Spectre. Their enemy, a primal form of evil (called the Great Evil Beast) that was surging upwards to obliterate everything in its path, sensed their interference and lashed out several times; its power raced around the circle, finding a weak link and incinerating it. The first to fall was Sargon. At first panicking and crying out for the others to help him, and almost pulling his hands away from the circle, Sargon was rebuked by Zatara to maintain his composure and die like a sorcerer. In a final act of will, Sargon apologized for his outburst, and calmly sat in place and burned alive without a whimper, never letting go of his colleagues' hands. This ritual also kills Zatara and leaves Mento completely deranged.

During the Books of Magic series, the Phantom Stranger and young Timothy Hunter had a brief encounter with what was apparently Sargon's soul, who attempted to warn the boy of the dangers and costs of pursuing magical power. He then disintegrated right before their eyes, leaving behind his Ruby of Life.

Sargon appears in the Day of Judgement series as a grey soul in the realm of Purgatory. He presumably joins in the fight against the guardians of Purgatory when a team of living heroes arrives to bring back the soul of Hal Jordan.

David Sargent

The Helmet of Fate miniseries featured a Sargon the Sorcerer one-shot, starring his successor David John Sargent.

After dropping out of college, having at least seven relationships, and a brief stint as the lead singer in a band, David spent the rest of his life as a drifter on the side of the road. One day two men who claimed to represent the estate of his grandfather, the original Sargon, found David and told him that he was his heir. Actually, these men were demons trying to find Sargon's Ruby of Life, but could not do so because of the protection spells he had placed on his house.

David was tricked into signing away his grandfather's estate over to the two men, who then prepared to force him to find the Ruby when the Helmet of Fate suddenly appeared. David escaped the two and was led into his grandfather's secret attic by Sargon's ghost. Searching around, he found his grandfather's old props, his suit and turban, which contained some pieces of the Ruby. Those pieces then went into David's chest, through them Sargon was able to project himself in front of his grandson. He explained to David that he needed a successor to his name to find the remaining pieces of the Ruby, which somehow shattered, and he was the only member of his bloodline still alive. He also explained that he pulled the Helmet off its course in order to provide a distraction long enough to grant David the Ruby's power.

David accepted the role of Sargon the Sorcerer, and armed with new mystical abilities, went to drive the two men from his home. At the time, the two used a piece of the Ruby they acquired to turn themselves into demons, and managed to weaken the Helmet. David then quickly disposed of the two, and sent the Helmet back on its course after placing a piece of himself into it.

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