Captain Marvel, Jr. #4 (February 1943)
Outsiders vol. 3 #8
Justice League vol. 2 #21
Otto Binder (writer)
Al Carreno (artist)
Judd Winick (writer)
Tom Raney (artist)
Geoff Johns (writer)
Gary Frank (artist)
|Place of origin||Earth - Hell|
Secret Society of Super Villains
|Notable aliases||Timothy Karnes|
|Abilities||Superhuman strength, speed and endurance, durability, flight, fire-breath, fire blasts|
Sabbac is the name of two comic book supervillains appearing in Fawcett Comics and/or DC Comics. The original Sabbac debuted in Captain Marvel, Jr. #4 (February 1943), and was created by Otto Binder and Al Carreno in 1943 as an enemy of Captain Marvel, Jr., while an updated version debuted in Outsiders vol. 3 #8, and was created by Judd Winick and Tom Raney in 2004 as a nemesis for both Junior and the Outsiders superhero team. A third version was introduced in Justice League #21 in 2013 by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank as an adversary for the Shazam Family and an associate of Black Adam and the Seven Deadly Sins of Man.
Fictional character biographies
The original Sabbac is depicted as a "dark opposite" to the Marvels, similar to Captain Marvel's foe Ibac, who draws his powers from four historical villains. The dark forces of Hell gave the human Timothy Karnes (alternatively spelt as Barnes) the power to become a being with powers to rival Captain Marvel. To access this power, all Karnes has to do is say the magic word 'Sabbac' , and magic black lightning strikes up from the underworld and transforms him into a muscle-bound demon with super-strength, super-speed, flight, fire breath, and the ability to emit fire blasts from the palms of his hands. His powers match those of the Marvels. Like Captain Marvel's magic word 'Shazam' , the word Sabbac is an acronym for the six beings who empower Sabbac: the demons Satan, Aym, Belial, Beelzebub, Asmodeus and Crateis. He resembles Timothy in green robes but with a more muscular build and fangs in his pronounced overbite. Sabbac was an enemy of Captain Marvel, Jr.. Sabbac appeared in two issues of the Golden Age Captain Marvel Jr. comic book (issues #4 and #6, both from 1943), and in two issues each of World's Finest Comics and Adventure Comics during the early 1980s. When he first appears he joins Nazi agents, being promised power over America if he helps them conquer it, and tries to destroy transport lines to isolate eastern and western North America. However, as he continues to battle Jr. the various demons empowering him leave him as things grow increasingly bleak for the villain, removing his powers until Satan leaves him, allowing him to be defeated.
In 2004, Sabbac was introduced into DC continuity in Outsiders (vol. 3) #8 written by Judd Winick. The story established Timothy Karnes as Freddy Freeman's (Captain Marvel Jr.'s alter-ego), former foster brother. Freddy's parents, David and Rebecca Freeman, had taken Timothy in, but the boy was sent to live with another family when the couple were killed in a car accident. Timothy would find himself shuffled from one abusive foster home to another, and grew to hate and resent Freddy Freeman, who lived a successful and relatively peaceful life with his grandfather.
Sabbac's origin was depicted in the 2005/2006 Superman/Shazam! First Thunder miniseries, written by Winick and drawn by Joshua Middleton. Dr. Sivana, hoping to find a way to kill Captain Marvel, has the high priest of the Temple of Bagdan kidnap Timothy, whom they learn is a descendant of the Bagdan line and the heir to the demonic powers of Sabbac. During a Satanic ritual, Timothy is transformed for the first time into the demon Sabbac and challenges Superman and Captain Marvel. Marvel defeats Sabbac after tricking him into saying his name (and thus causing him to turn back into Timothy).
In Outsiders (vol. 3) #8-10, Captain Marvel, Jr. and the Outsiders team face a new, more feral version of Sabbac. This version of Sabbac, possessing amplified demonic powers and a hairy beast-like appearance with horns instead of the more humanoid original form, is the alter ego of Ishmael Gregor, a Russian immigrant who had become a New York City mob boss. Gregor lusted after the power of Sabbac and had his men find Timothy Karnes, who had been incarcerated and had his voice box removed to prevent him from speaking. Gregor initiates a demonic ritual which he states will allow Karnes to access his power without needing to speak. The ritual involves the murder of an entire New York bus full of passengers. At the end, Gregor kills Karnes and gains the power of Sabbac for himself.
The second Sabbac opens a portal in the backyard of a very specific California home. This brings a host of demons into the world. He is challenged by the Outsiders and Captain Marvel Jr. and flees when his demons are defeated.
The Secret Society of Super-Villains sends Deathstroke the Terminator to Las Vegas, where Sabbac is taking over the local Mafia. Deathstroke kills Sabbac's personal entourage and convinces him that the Society has much to offer.
Sabbac also works with the Fearsome Five to attack Alcatraz in San Francisco, now a supervillain prison. They are there for the seemingly minor purpose of freeing the FF member Mammoth. During the attack, the magical Rock of Eternity explodes over Gotham City. Sabbac's preparations allow him to absorb the sentient power of the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man. He also grows much larger. He uses 'Lust' to bring down the Five, the Alcatraz prisoners, and a majority of the guards. He uses the other sins in combat against the Outsiders. Donna Troy appears and the heroes use Katana's magic Soultaker sword to imprison the demon. From inside the Soultaker, Sabbac admits that the Society had enlisted him to kidnap Captain Marvel Jr. and bring him to Lex Luthor.
One Year Later
When the Outsiders were out of options, Katana summoned forth Ishmael from the Soultaker to destroy Dr. Sivana's base.
In the 52 maxi-series, Captain Marvel, on the brink of insanity due to the Sins' voices, mentioned that Sabbac had tried an assault on the Rock of Eternity. Later in the series, Sabbac attacked Boston on Halloween, with the intention of kidnapping children and sacrificing their souls to the demon-lord Neron, causing a new age of blood. Sabbac is now several stories tall, and is only stopped through the efforts of both the Marvel Family and the Black Marvel Family, who strike him with their lightning and knock him out. The Black Marvels then move him to an unknown location, and their popularity is increased.
The New 52
After DC's 2011 "New 52" reboot, a new version of Sabbac was introduced in Geoff Johns & Gary Frank's Shazam! reboot. This version of Sabbac was a physical manifestation of the Seven Deadly Sins of Man, who can simultaneously possess a wicked person (in this case, Mr. Bryer, a rich man who bullies Billy Batson along with his sons) and transform them into a fifty-foot demon who breathes fire. Sabbac then attacks downtown Philadelphia under the command of Black Adam, who is intent on having the demon destroy the world so Adam can remake it in his own image. The Shazam Family unites to save the city from Sabbac as Shazam himself takes on Black Adam. Bryer is then sent to the hospital after Sabbac left his body.
Powers and abilities
Sabbac has superhuman strength, agility and endurance. He is able to fly at incredible speeds and project fire from his mouth and hands. He is now several stories high. This is accomplished by saying Sabbac, which will also undo the change.
In other media
- Sabbac is mentioned in the Young Justice episode "Misplaced". Cat Grant is reading a news report that states he and Ibac had been defeated by Captain Marvel earlier in the day.
- Ishmael Gregor appears in the fifth season of Arrow, portrayed by David Meunier. He is a character featured in flashbacks, where he serves as the Pakhan of the Solntsevskaya Bratva. He doesn't approve of Oliver being inducted into the Bratva ranks and is eventually revealed to be working for Konstantin Kovar, the leader of a criminal group that are rivals to the Bratva. Oliver outs Gregor, causing a civil war within the Bratva ranks and eventually leading to Gregor's death and Anatoly being inaugurated as Pakhan in his place.
- Outsiders #29 (December 2005)
- Greenberger, Robert (2008), "Fearsome Five", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 120, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
- Outsiders #30 (January 2006)
- 52 #12 (July 26, 2006)
- 52 #25 (October 25, 2006)
- Justice League (Vol. 2) #21 (August 2013)
- Justice League (Vol. 2) #14 (November 2012)
- Justice League (Vol. 2) #21 (August 2013)
- Petski, Denise (August 30, 2016). "'Arrow': David Meunier Cast As Ishmael Gregor In Season 5". Deadline.
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