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Real Name: Tar (last name, if any, unrevealed)

Identity/Class: Human magic user;
    citizen of unspecified Asian nation; active several centuries ago and modern era (and likely all eras in-between)

Occupation: Proctor of the Crimson Dawn, guardian of the Ebon Vein, sorcerer

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Archangel (Warren Worthington III), Gomurr the Ancient, Juggernaut (Cain Marko), Psylocke (Betsy Braddock), Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange), Wolverine (James "Logan" Howlett)

Enemies: Cytorrak, Kuragari, Spite;
    formerly Gomurr the Ancient, Undercloaks

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly the Crimson Dawn realm, mobile throughout Asia

First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men I#329 (February 1996)

Powers/Abilities: Tar was a powerful sorcerer who was at least several centuries old. Starting out as an initiate of the Ebon Vein, Tar quickly mastered the magics necessary to become proctor of the Crimson Dawn. In this position, Gomurr's powers were increased to an unrevealed degree. As a sign of his station, he resonated with the ruby aura of the dawn and carried "the mark of the ruler," which manifested itself as two neon pink signs on the back of his hands. With it, he was able to create and command neon minions, by snapping his fingers. Initially appearing as a human of Asian descent, his many years as proctor of the Crimson Dawn not only lengthened his life, it slowly turned his body into a scraggy, rocklike form that even altered his vocal cords.

Height: 6'3" (by approximation)
Weight: 220 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Green
Hair: Bald

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(X-Men Unlimited I#12 (fb) ) - Several centuries ago, the Asian sorcerer Tar became the apprentice of the Ebon Vein, a group of mystics worshipping and taking care of the Earth's lifeblood, the Crimson Dawn  At some point, Tar became aware of the fact a group of heretic monks were trying to harness the power of the outerdimensional deity Cyttorak. When their summoning ritual failed, it only unleashed Cyttorak's most destructive aspect on the Earth, where it destroyed the monks before proceeding to cause untold destruction. In hopes of containing the damage, Tar joined with the equally novice mage Gomurr the Impetuous. Together, through more luck than skill, they contained the elemental Cyttorak, trapping its massive destructive force in a mystical ruby. Outraged at being thwarted, the actual Cyttorak immediately cursed his ruby prison, causing anyone who touched it to become a vessel of his unearthly power, a juggernaut of destruction. In order to prevent this from happening, Gomurr and Tar figured neither one of them could be trusted to guard the ruby, so after much argument they decided to bury the gem in a nearby temple located inside a cave. Causing a rockslide, they sealed the entrance under a mountain of rock.

(Psylocke & Archangel: Crimson Dawn I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Tar and Gomurr teamed up to face Kuragari and managed to beat the demon back into the shadows, presumably forever.

(Psylocke & Archangel: Crimson Dawn I#2 (fb) - BTS) - As time went on, Tar continued to ascended through the Ebon Vein order's ranks, eventually becoming its ruler and assuming the mantle of the proctor of the Crimson Dawn. Even though Tar and Gomurr were never particularly friendly towards one another, Gomurr did learn several magical feats from him during Tar's tenure as proctor.

(Psylocke & Archangel: Crimson Dawn I#4 (fb) - BTS) - In recent years, Tar's grip upon the Ebon Throne started to ebb. Realizing he needed to pick and prepare a successor, Tar chose his old ally Gomurr. In order to prepare him for his eventual duties as the next proctor, he engaged him in various unspecified battles and conflicts.

(X-Men I#12 (fb) - BTS) - Despite their best intentions, after several hundred years and various earthquakes, the cave reopened, allowing American soldier Cain Marko (and his predecessors) to stumble upon the gem and turning into Cyttorak's avatar on Earth, the Juggernaut.

(Uncanny X-Men I#329 - BTS) - After Sabretooth left his fellow X-Man Psylocke in critical condition, Wolverine figured the best way to save Betsy Braddock's life was to expose her to the mystical Crimson Dawn. Realizing his old acquaintance Gomurr would be the best way to get in touch with the Dawn's guardian Tar, Logan decided to visit New York's Little Asia neighborhood along with Archangel. Thanks to one of his neon minions, Tar learned of all this and started to plan for their inevitable arrival.

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(Uncanny X-Men I#330) - Gomurr eventually brought Wolverine, Archangel and the visiting Doctor Strange to an abandoned warehouse in Little Asia that contained a portal to Tar's realm. Their presence alarmed the Undercloaks guarding the entrance to the Ebon Vein dimension. Tar's warriors attacked, but couldn't prevent Gomurr and the heroes from entering the home of the Crimson Dawn. Gomurr eventually led the party to Tar who was sitting on his throne next to the Ebon Vein. Wolverine was ready to tear into Tar to get some of the liquid required to save Psylocke, but Gomurr assured him there was a proper etiquette to all this. Dropping to his knees, Gomurr pleaded with Tar for a single cup of the life essence that flows through the Earth. Moved by the sincerity of the small sorcerer's words, Tar was nonetheless tired of the fact people only visited him when they wanted something. He then seemingly killed Gomurr, causing the others to attack him and his neon minions. Eventually, Dr. Strange managed to reach the Ebon Vein and place Psylocke's soul into it, thereby restoring her physical form. Even as Tar cast out Strange, Wolverine and Archangel from his realm, they were surprised to see Tar had restored Gomurr to life as well (or perhaps not actually slain him in the first place?).

(Onslaught: X-Men I#1 - BTS) - The psionic villain known as Onslaught made himself known to the world by attacking the Juggernaut and forcibly removing the Cyttorak gem that empowered him from his body, inadvertently trapping Cain Marko inside the jewel.

(X-Men Unlimited I#12 (fb) - BTS) - Aware of Juggernaut's plight, Tar nevertheless remained on the sidelines, sending one of his neon spiders to monitor the situation, even as Gomurr prepared himself to rescue Cain Marko from his crimson prison.

(X-Men Unlimited I#12 - BTS) - Doctor Strange, alerted by his mystic senses, traveled to the Xavier family mansion in his astral form to locate the crimson gem of Cyttorak. Noticing Juggernaut was trapped inside, he didn't spot one of Tar's neon spider minions spying on him, ready to attack. Luckily, Gomurr caught the creature with his staff. Strange was surprised to see Gomurr there, and Gomurr explained the presence of the Crimson Ruby was what drew him to Westchester, claiming that the object was too powerful to simply have lying around. Announcing his intent to enter the crimson crystal and rescue Marko, Gomurr forcefully rejected Strange's offer to accompany him, asking the sorcerer supreme to stay behind and protect the crystal while he was inside. This didn't sit well with Strange, especially given Tar's involvement. Despite his misgivings, Strange allowed Gomurr to enter the ruby's internal world on his own.
    There, Gomurr encountered Juggernaut being tormented by Cyttorak's minion Spite who was feeding on Cain's misery. After Gomurr dispelled the illusions and scared off Spite, Gomurr explained that Cyttorak was evil and that as his avatar, Cain would eventually be doomed to destroy everything in his path, until -- when there was nothing left to destroy -- the power would turn on him. Spite returned, overpowering Gomurr and binding him with the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak, and then told the Juggernaut he could take over Cyttorak's powers himself and return to Earth (with her at his side) to rule over all. When Gomurr attempted to protest, Spite used the power of Cyttorak to gag him. Gomurr was powerless when Juggernaut agreed to Spite's proposition of restoring his powers and was teleported away by her to the wellspring of unimaginable power.  

(X-Men Unlimited I#12) - Moments later, Tar arrived to gloat at Gomurr's misfortune. While Spite delivered the Juggernaut to the wellspring where the recently awakened aspect of Cyttorak inhabiting the gem waited for them, Tar freed Gomurr and the two planned a strategy to deal with the situation. Juggernaut was fighting a losing battle for his life, when Gomurr and Tar arrived at the wellspring. The Cyttorak aspect was about to kill the seriously injured Cain when the two mages channeled their combined sorcerous might into one of Tar's neon minions (a scorpion) who covertly crept up to Juggernaut and, by stinging him, infused him with the power of the ruby they once used to trap Cyttorak. Instantly healed and ready for round two, Cain Marko engaged Cyttorak who recognized Tar and Gomurr's involvement and swore he deal with them next. However, Marko destroyed the aspect before that. With Cyttorak's aspect's destruction, Juggernaut was pulled back to Earth and Tar teleported himself and Gomurr away to his refuge in the Crimson Dawn.

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(Psylocke & Archangel: Crimson Dawn I#3 - BTS) - Placing Psylocke's essence into the Crimson Dawn created an imbalance that proctor Tar could not correct in time to prevent his ancient enemy Kuragari from regaining a foothold in this reality.

(Psylocke & Archangel: Crimson Dawn I#1 - BTS) - Kuragari traveled to Tar's seat of power and fought him for control over the Crimson Dawn. Mortally wounded, Tar managed to teleport away, leaving his old nemesis to take charge of the Dawn and the realm's Undercloak inhabitants, even as he started to target the X-Man Psylocke.

(Psylocke & Archangel: Crimson Dawn I#1) - Intangible and invisible, Gomurr was making his way home to New York's Chinatown during a downpour. Suddenly, he sensed a wrongness and teleported himself home, only to find the critically injured Tar waiting for him. Moments before he passed, Tar told Gomurr of Kuragari's return and that he would probably come for him next.

(Psylocke & Archangel: Crimson Dawn I#2) - Gomurr performed an ancient, mystic funeral ceremony for Tar in the China Town alley where he was murdered, calling upon the hoary hosts (of Hoggoth?) to commend Tar's eternal spirit to their beneficent embrace. As he said goodbye to his old friend, Gomurr commented to himself that Tar was a mystic in a league of his own while watching as the ritual completed itself, both recycling Tar's soul for its journey into the next life and incinerating the body at the same time. Putting on his straw hat, Gomurr grimly concluded the end of the world might well be near.

(Psylocke & Archangel: Crimson Dawn I#2 - BTS) - Kuragari ordered his Undercloaks to recruit Psylocke; though defeated, they left her with a gold ring that could bind her to Kuragari, who manipulated her dreams to convince her to slip it on. Gomurr sent Archangel to the Ebon Vein dimension while he himself stood guard over Earth.

(Psylocke & Archangel: Crimson Dawn I#4) - As the battle between Archangel and Psylocke raged within the Ebon Vein dimension, Gomurr noticed the increasingly red skies above and lamented that all was lost, despite the fact he'd been using his powers to strengthen Warren's abilities. At that moment, the spirit of Tar appeared before him to reveal that, while his body may have turned to dust, his soul would thrive on eternally, as would Gomurr's after he'd assumed his destined mantle as proctor of the Crimson Dawn. Despite the confused Gomurr's protests to the contrary, Tar explained that in recent years he'd been grooming the mage to replace him. Not taking no for an answer, Tar empowered Gomurr, who manifested both the sigils of Crimson Dawn dominance and the ruby aura of dawn, signifying his rightful rulership. As Tar vanished from sight, Gomurr accepted his new role and teleported himself to the Crimson Dawn dimension where the Undercloaks immediately recognized him as their true ruler. Making Tar proud, Gomurr took care of Kuragari with relative ease, sending back the two X-Men in the aftermath, before continuing Tar's legacy as proctor.


Comments: Created by Scott Lobdell & Jeph Loeb (writers), Joe Madureira (pencils), Tim Townsend (inks).

    The Ebon Vein is the name of the (sub)dimensional realm that contains the power source known as the Crimson Dawn (also called the lifeblood). It's never been explained if the proctor of the Crimson Dawn rules the entire Ebon Vein or if there are other factions.
    As for the Illuminated Path: also very little confirmed information, but it was the name of Gomurr's order and he was trained in their ways. Most likely similar to Margali and Jimaine Szardos and the Winding Way.  
    I'm still a little confused/ seemed to me that in the first stories, the Crimson Dawn was indeed a power source, but then later stories seemed to me as if the Crimson Dawn was a place, and the Ebon Vein the power source others could tap into...maybe I'm just crazy/senile--Snood.

   In Uncanny X-Men I#330, Wolverine mentions a trek along the Ebon Vein, which I think causes the confusion as to whether it is a place. Later in that same issue, the dimension containing the Crimson Dawn (referred to as an elixir in that issue) is referred to as Netherplace. We also see a giant, heart-like thing within this dimension that seems to contain the Crimson Dawn elixir. While Wolverine battles Tar, Dr. Strange mentions to Archangel that Wolverine was meant to distract Tar so that they could get close to THE Ebon Vein. The two then approach the heart-like thing & place a portion of Psylocke's soul into the heart, reviving her on Earth. Therefore, I think the Ebon Vein is actually the large, heart-like thing whose veins travel throughout Netherplace, which might explain why Wolverine mentioned trek along the Ebon Vein. They were to follow the Ebon Vein to its heart, where they were to retrieve the Crimson Dawn. The way I see it, and for clarity's sake, I think the dimension is Netherplace, the Ebon Vein is the heart thing and the Crimson Dawn is the elixir within the Ebon Vein.- Proto-Man

Profile by Norvo.

Tar should not be confused with

Neon Minions of the Crimson Dawn

    As proctor of the Crimson Dawn, Tar (and later Gomurr) could generate an undisclosed number of minions that manifested themselves as tiny, neon energy creatures often taking the form of either a spider of a scorpion. The neon minions were totally subservient to the absolute ruler of the Crimson Dawn realm, obeying his or her orders to the letter. Gifted with a limited amount of sentience, the minions could be used to gather intelligence, retrieve artifacts or act as a conduit for mystical forces directed through them. Tar likened them to his children and was distraught to find the neon critters eventually turned on him, obeying the Crimson Dawn's temporary usurper Kuragari who used them to mortally wound their former master.

--Uncanny X-Men I#329, (330, X-Men Unlimited I#12, Crimson Dawn I#1 through 4

Crimson Dawn Undercloaks

    The Undercloaks were a group of ninja-like beings native to the Crimson Dawn dimension, under the command of the ruler (proctor) of the realm (Tar in recent years, followed by Gomurr the Ancient). Described as loyal shadow servants dedicated to the preservation of the darkling discipline of the Crimson Dawn, the Undercloaks were renowned for being fierce, bloodthirsty warriors who never stopped until they got their prey. Whenever a mortal life essence is mixed with the Dawn's revitalizing aspect, a soul is always claimed as payment (which usually means forced membership into the Undercloaks). In modern times, they appeared while defending the entrance to the Ebon Realm against Archangel, Gomurr, Doctor Strange and Wolverine who were determined to obtain a pint of the Crimson Dawn to help save the X-Man Psylocke. Later, as an unwitting potential Undercloak member, Psylocked faced off against a squad of Undercloaks, defeating them before her lover Archangel became aware of the ninjas' presence. Later still, Kuragari sent a number of Undercloaks to collect Psylocke, ordering them to force her to join their ranks, giving them a ring they were to present to her as a symbol for her allegiance. The Undercloaks interrupted their "sweet shadow sister's" training routine, claiming she was about to become one of them. They later faced off against Archangel, before falling in line with the Ebon Vein's new proctor Gomurr.

--Uncanny X-Men I#330 (X-Men I#61, Crimson Dawn I#2, 3, 4

images: (without ads)
Uncanny X-Men I#330, p10, pan1 (main image)
X-Men Unlimited I#12, p31, pan1 (as a young man)
Uncanny X-Men I#330, p11, pan3 (closeup) Psylocke & Archangel Crimson Dawn I#4, p24, pan1 (Neon Minions)
Psylocke & Archangel Crimson Dawn I#4, p7, pan1 (Undercloaks)

Uncanny X-Men I#329 (February 1996) - Scott Lobdell & Jeph Loeb (writers), Joe Madureira (pencils), Tim Townsend (inks)
Uncanny X-Men I#330 (March 1996) - Scott Lobdell & Jeph Loeb (writers), Joe Madureira (pencils), Tim Townsend (inks)
X-Men Unlimited I#12 (September 1996 - John Francis Moore (writer), Steve Epting (pencils), Ariel Olivetti (inks), Kelly Corvese (editor)
Psylocke & Archangel: Crimson Dawn I#1 (August 1997) - Ben Raab (writer), Salvador Larroca (pencils), Art Thibert (inks), Matt Idelson (editor)
Psylocke & Archangel: Crimson Dawn I#2 (September 1997) - Ben Raab (writer), Salvador Larroca (pencils), Art Thibert (inks), Matt Idelson (editor)
Psylocke & Archangel: Crimson Dawn I#3 (October 1997) - Ben Raab (writer), Salvador Larroca (pencils), Art Thibert (inks), Matt Idelson (editor)
Psylocke & Archangel: Crimson Dawn I#4 (November 1997) - Ben Raab (writer), Salvador Larroca (pencils), Art Thibert (inks), Matt Idelson (editor)

Last updated: 02/20/14

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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