|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, rebuild him using robotic parts. This boosts his intelligence dramatically, but leaves 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 allows him to control Validus, the mindless monster member of the Fatal Five.
One of the Fatal Five's main attempts to defeat the Legion is 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 is revealed that the Dark Man is actually a clone of Tharok, grown from tissue removed from Tharok's body during his cyborg reconstruction. When the scheme to destroy the Legion fails, both Tharok and the Dark Man are seemingly destroyed, and the Fatal Five eventually disband.
Following the Zero Hour Legion reboot, Tharok is introduced in Legionnaires #34 (February 1996). In this version he stole a powerful solvent rather than a nuclear device, and when the police shot 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 upgrades 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 even exists at all.
Powers and abilities
In the pre-Infinite Crisis continuity, 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.
In the current continuity, Tharok's upper body is wholly humanoid, while below his waist, he has a robotic carriage on wheels.
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.
In other media
- Tharok appears in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Far From Home," 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. Tharok appears in "Man of Tomorrow", "Champions", "Sundown, Part 2", and "The Man From the Edge of Tomorrow, Part 2". In "The Man From the Edge of Tomorrow, Part 2", Tharok was partially responsible for putting Saturn Girl in a coma.
- Tharok appears the 2019 DC Universe Original Movie Justice League vs. the Fatal Five, voiced by Peter Jessop.
- Wallace, Dan (2008), "Fatal Five", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), 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)
- Couch, Aaron (January 7, 2019). "'Justice League vs. The Fatal Five' Sets Voice Cast (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.