Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Insane Comics Moments, Part Seven

Sometimes, you can find some real surprises when you go back and read the classic comics of the Silver Age. For example, I'd been familiar with the X-Men villain Sauron for ages, but I'd always assumed that his name had something to do with the fact that he was a sort of weird not-quite-mutant dinosaur vampire type thing. (He was scratched by pterodactyls in the Savage Land, and that woke his latent mutant abilities...I guess...and so he became an energy-draining hypnotizing pterodactyl-man.)

(The above was not the insane bit, I promise.)

But as I say, I'd always assumed that he was named "Sauron" because he was some sort of dinosaur...or possibly, in a bit of a stretch, because his wings allowed him to soar through the air and he was a lousy speller or something. But no, when I got into "Essential Classic X-Men, Volume Three", and finally read his origin for the first time, I found the true reason for his name.

He was a huge "Lord of the Rings" fan before he was scratched, you see, and when he started to mutate, he felt himself growing more evil. "In fact," he shouts, "I am now so evil that I shall name my new self after the most evil character in all of fantasy literature...Sauron!"

No, I'm not kidding. That really happened.

The really sad part is I actually see guys like this all the time, running around in MMOs. You sign into "City of Heroes" the day after they introduce dual blades as a fighting style, and suddenly you're surrounded by guys named things like "Drizzzt" with three "Z"s. Presumably like them, Sauron's true arch-nemesis is Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Man, with his dreaded ultimate weapon, the Cease and Desist!

(And of course, TSR circa 1981 is saying, "Wait, they went after us but they missed this?")


E. Wilson said...

This only makes me like Sauron more. He's already so over-the-top crazy in the Silver Age style; let's throw in a fanboy moment into his origin, too.

magidin said...

Heh; reminds me of this great paragraph in Allen Steele's first novel, "Orbital Decay". It's all about the laborers working to build the first permanent space station, which was named "Vulcan". So there is a paragraph in an early chapter describing the original press conference the company that is financing the space station gave, explaining how they were following the tradition of naming space objects after roman gods, and how Vulcan had been the god of artifice, and how appropriate it all was... and then there is an aside saying something along the lines of "...and although all the reporters nodded in all the right places, nobody in the room missed the fact that the executives now giving all these explanations had been impressionable, pimple-faced pre-teenagers when they were watching a certian pointy-eared character in a particular TV show..."

John Seavey said...

That's odd...I don't remember anyone pointy-eared in the classic Doctor Who story, "Power of the Daleks". :)