Tharg the Mighty
|Tharg the Mighty|
Tharg, from 2000 AD #1700
|First appearance||2000 AD #1 (1977)|
|Created by||Pat Mills|
The Mighty Tharg is a character in British science fiction comic 2000 AD, one of only two characters to appear in nearly every issue of the comic (the other being Judge Dredd). Other than a spate of strips in the early 1980s, Tharg rarely appears in stories, but instead purports to be the comic's editor. Stories involving Tharg have been written by such notable writers as Alan Moore. (The main Tharg-free period in 2000 AD was when the men from Vector 13 staged a takeover (in prog 1014), while Tharg was away dealing with a crisis.)
Tharg is an alien from the fictional planet "Quaxxann", supposedly in orbit around the real-life star Betelgeuse (but he works in a British publisher's office), with green skin and a "rosette of Sirius" on his forehead. His favourite food is said to be polystyrene cups.
Tharg writes the comic's introduction, answers letters, and doles out prizes to readers (for artwork or story suggestions) - winners could choose payment either in pounds sterling or in "galactic groats". Tharg speaks mostly in English, but with various pithy Betelgusian aphorisms thrown in for colour.
In one episode, a Tharg suit in the comic's office was explained as a skin that Tharg had shed.
On occasion the comic runs short humorous strips featuring Tharg. The plots of these often concern:
- His conflict with "the thrill suckers", a plague of psychic pests which attempt (inevitably unsuccessfully) to steal the comic's "thrill power".
- His abuse of the "droids" (robots which reportedly write and draw the comic, depicted as mechanical caricatures of the actual staff), who work long hours for little reward, and are summarily disintegrated should Tharg become displeased with them.
- His unbridled egotism.
- Battles against The Dictators of Zrag, rulers of the dull cube-shaped planet Zrag. This trio of incompetent alien warlords hope to usurp Tharg's position and use the comic's powers to revitalise their planet. Tharg uses the Dictators as convenient scapegoats whom he can blame for printing errors and plot holes.
These appearances include:-
- Tharg the Mighty:
Tharg had various 'catchphrases', beginning with the earliest years of the comic. The following is a short list, with approximate translations:
- "Borag Thungg, Earthlet" - greetings, human.
- "Zarjaz" - excellent!
- "Florix Grabundae" - Many thanks.
- "Frognum Gruelis" - April Fool.
- "Krill Tro Thargo" - Honoured by Tharg (honour bestowed in recognition of service to 2000AD)
- "Grexnix" - a churlish person, or an ignoramus.
- "Nonscrot" - someone who doesn't read 2000 AD.
- "Quaequam Blag!" - an expression of surprise or outrage
- "Rigelian Hotshot" - a form of punishment (as in "I sent him a Rigelian Hotshot for suggesting this week's Dredd strip was less than zarjaz.")
- "Scrotnig" - good or exciting.
- "Squaxx dek Thargo" - Friends of Tharg. Often used in reference to loyal readers.
- "Splundig Vur Thrigg" - so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu.
The men behind the Rosette of Sirius
Although claiming to be an actual alien, the part has been played over the years by these editors:
- Pat Mills, #1–16 (1977)
- Kelvin Gosnell, #17–85 (1977–1978)
- Steve MacManus, #86–519 (1978–1987)
- Richard Burton, #520–872 (1987–1994)
- Alan McKenzie, #873–914 (1994)
- John Tomlinson, #915–977 (1994–1996)
- David Bishop, #978–1199 (1996–2000)
- Andy Diggle, #1200–1273 (2000–2002)
- Matt Smith, #1274–present (2002–present)
- Pat Mills at 2000ad.org
- Kelvin Gosnell at 2000ad.org
- Steve MacManus at 2000ad.org
- Richard Burton at 2000ad.org
- Alan McKenzie at 2000ad.org
- John Tomlinson at 2000ad.org
- David Bishop at 2000ad.org
- Andy Diggle at 2000ad.org
- Matt Smith at 2000ad.org
- "A brief history of Starlord" from "Watch the stars!" website