Sauron II(pop culture)
It may be difficult for contemporary fans to believe, but in the late 1960s, Marvel Comics' XMen was on the cancellation block. So when Neal Adams, rival DC Comics' artistic “It Boy,” jumped ship to the House of Ideas and asked editor Stan Lee for a “sandbox” in which he could play unencumbered, X-Men landed in his lap. For just under a year, Adams and writer Roy Thomas ran wild with Marvel's mutants, reviving or revitalizing characters like Magneto and the Sentinels, and introducing one of Marvel's most unusual supervillains: the pterodactyl-man Sauron. Premiering in X-Men vol. 1 #60 (1969), Sauron is actually Karl Lykos (first seen in human form in issue #59). Young Lykos, as revealed in a flashback, is mauled by a pterodactyl from the modern-day realm of prehistoric creatures, the Savage Land, and discovers over time that the beast's bites have given him a lust for human life forces. Now an adult psychiatrist, Lykos is charged with the care of the injured X-Man Havok, from whom, in a mad rage, he scientifically siphons “power such as no man has ever known!” This infusion of Havok's mutant energy transforms Lykos into a superhumanly strong, winged, genetic amalgamation of a human being and a pterodactyl. Inspired by “the dark lord who personified evil” from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, Lykos takes that character's name—Sauron—and like a winged parasite attempts to feast upon the X-Men's life forces. Sauron has on occasion reverted back to Lykos, but fate always returns him to his reptilian form; during one instance Lykos was mutated into Sauron by the X-Men's enemy the Toad, who recruited him into the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Sauron generally resides in the Savage Land, where he has battled the X-Men, Ka-Zar, and Spider- Man. He took a band of superheroes hostage in New Avengers #5 (2005), being wounded in the process, but recovered after absorbing Wolverine's healing capacity. With his winged ferocity and ability to hypnotize his enemies, Sauron is one of the Savage Land's greatest dangers. Robert Bockstael voiced Sauron in the 1994 “Mojovision” episode of the animated X-Men series (1992–1997). Sauron and X-Man Angel were produced as an action-figure two-pack by Toy Biz in 1997.
The Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.