February 8, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #259: Sargon The Sorcerer

A mystical DC hero isn't always a hero because magic has consequences. Also, he's mostly dead.

Sometimes I get inspired to do one of these based off some passing reference I see somewhere.  Such is the case of Sargon the Sorcerer.  He’s a DC magical hero, a guy in a turban who fought the forces of evil, but then he popped up in the last episode of the recent TV crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths.

And he was robbing a bank from the looks of things.  Why is a guy who is basically one of the good guys using his powers to distract some heroes long enough to rob a bank?

Well, there’s a possible explanation for that.

Sargon the Sorcerer was, in realty, one John Sargent.  John was a stage magician who performed under the name of Sargon the Sorcerer, first appearing in 1941’s All-American Comics #26.  Like at least one other magician hero from that period, namely Zatara, he really did have magical powers and used them to fight the forces of evil, mostly the standard spies and random crooks, but he did have an archenemy in the form of a blue-skinned woman enchantress called the Blue Lama.

Really, this seems like a fairly standard Golden Age hero.  He had powers thanks to the ruby in his turban called the Ruby of Life that gave him a wide range of magical abilities, mostly in the form of controlling anything he had physical contact with.  But what makes Sargon any more special or different than any other largely forgotten DC Golden Age hero?

Well, sometimes he wasn’t a good guy.

Yes, in the Silver Age, Sargon returned and was sometimes a villain.  Apparently, holding onto that Ruby caused him to sometimes go evil.

That seems to explain why the live action version of him was robbing a bank.

Also, Sargon died.  Yes, really.  During Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing run, John Constantine gathered a group of DC mystics to observe a war going on in Hell, and two of the gathered mystics died, namely Zatara and Sargon.

And yet, Sargon didn’t stay down.  In Hell, he led a rebellion, and as a ghost, he advised Tim Hunter to avoid magic.  The Ruby of Life would eventually find its way to his grandson David John Sargent.  But that Sargon disappeared with the New 52, where the original was referred to as one of the greats of a previous age.

And, somewhat recently, the still-dead Sargon, working with an equally dead Zatara, sent his Ruby of Life to the Justice League Dark.

But really, Sargon could be good or evil depending on the situation.

So, yeah, he can rob a bank.
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