|First appearance||Adventure Comics #352 (January 1967)|
|Created by||Jim Shooter|
|Alter ego||Sheldon Calden|
|Team affiliations||Fatal Five
Legion of Super-Villains
|Abilities||Left side of Tharok's body is mechanical, providing him with enhanced strength and intelligence|
Tharok is a DC Comics supervillain and an enemy of the Legion of Super-Heroes. He is the leader of the Fatal Five. Tharok and the Fatal Five were introduced in Adventure Comics #352 (January 1967), and were created by Jim Shooter.
Fictional character biography
Tharok is a small-time crook, who tries to impress his bosses by stealing a small nuclear device. It detonates unexpectedly when the local police fire on him, vaporizing one-half of his body. The people of his world, holding life sacred, rebuilt him using robotic parts. This boosted his intelligence dramatically, but left his evil tendencies unchecked. In his early appearances he wore clothing that only covered the organic half of his body. Tharok's cyborg brain also allowed him to control Validus, the mindless monster member of the Fatal Five.
One of the Fatal Five's main attempts to defeat the Legion was masterminded by the Dark Man, the being who organized several teenage refugees from the planet Dryad into the League of Super-Assassins. During this time period, it was revealed that the Dark Man was actually a clone of Tharok, grown from tissue removed from Tharok's body during his cyborg reconstruction.When the scheme to destroy the Legion failed, both Tharok and the Dark Man were seemingly destroyed, and the Fatal Five eventually disbanded.
Following the Zero Hour Legion reboot, Tharok was introduced in Legionnaires #34 (February 1996). In this version he stole a powerful solvent rather than a nuclear device, and when the police shoot at him the container was punctured. The solvent severed every molecular bond on the left hand side of his body. A brilliant surgeon rebuilt him as a cyborg and an ungrateful Tharok then killed him. Tharok later upgraded his robot half, giving it more built in weaponry.
In the aftermath of the Infinite Crisis miniseries, most of the Legion's original continuity has been restored. Tharok (alongside the other Fatal Five members) was among the supervillains in participating in a massive assault on the Legion by Superboy-Prime and the Legion of Super-Villains. Thus, it is unclear if Tharok has encountered the Dark Man in current DC continuity, or if the Dark Man exists at all.
Powers and abilities
The entire left-hand-side of Tharok's body is mechanical. It possesses great strength and durability, and the arm can be configured into various weapon forms. It also has a cybernetic brain that is connected to Tharok's own, giving him genius-level intelligence.
However, in the latest editions of LSH, Tharok has been shown in a new semi-robotic form ... that of his upper half wholly humanoid, while below his waist, he has a robotic carriage on wheels.
In other media
- Tharok appears in "Far From Home", an episode of the animated television series Justice League Unlimited along with the other members of the Fatal Five. He was voiced by Tomas Arana.
- Tharok appears in several episodes of the animated television series Legion of Super Heroes voiced by David Lodge. He is seen once again as a member of the Fatal Five, but Emerald Empress is the leader. He appears in "Man of Tomorrow", "Champions", "Sundown, Part 2", and "Man From The Edge of Tomorrow, Part Two." In "Man of Tomorrow" Pt. 2, Tharok was partially responsible for putting Saturn Girl in a coma.
- In issue #7 of the Marvel Comics Star Wars comic series, Han Solo and Chewbacca help to bury a deceased cyborg who is a dead ringer for Tharok. This issue was scripted by Roy Thomas, who had also written the Legion of Super-Heroes comic series.
- Tharok also appears in The Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century comic book, the spin-off of the animated television series. These stories are not part of DC Comics continuity.
- Wallace, Dan (2008), "Fatal Five", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 119, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
- The Legion (and the Legion of Substitute Heroes) first encountered the League of Super-Assassins in Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #253-254 (July–August 1979).
- Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 2) #269-271 (November 1980-January 1981)
- The restoration of the original continuity was confirmed in the "Lightning Saga" and "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes" story arcs.
- Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds (August 2008-September 2009)