Classification: Magical human-animal hybrid creations;
Hyborian era (circa 10,000 BC)
Location/Base of Operations: At least, an unidentified road between Zingara and Messantia, Argos;
possibly formerly Stygia
Known Members: At least two existed, both unidentified
Affiliations: Unidentified Black Ring sorcerer;
indirectly the Black Ring, Set
Enemies: Red Sonja;
indirectly Ibis, Karanthes
First Appearance: Marvel Feature II#6 (September, 1976)
Powers/Abilities: Hybrid human-jackals, the creatures presumably possessed enhanced speed, strength, and agility, and superhuman olfactory and auditory senses (as well as superhuman noctural vision). They also had sharp claws and teeth.
Traits: The jackal-men preferred to ambush unsuspecting foes and to cause distractions (such as kicking dirt into an opponent's eyes) to further catch a foe off balance.
Type: Bilaterally symmetric semi-humanoid canid bipeds
Eyes: Two (on head; red sclera, with brown iridies seen)
Fingers: Four (plus opposing thumb)
Toes: Presumably five
Skin color: Gray
Hair: Dark gray
Average height: Approximately 5'10"?
Other distinguishing features: The jackal-men have extended mandible/maxilla (jaws) and ear much like a dog or jackal
History: The jackal-men were likely agents of an unidentified sorcerer of the Black Ring cult (a guild of Stygian sorcerers worshipping the Elder God Set).
(Marvel Feature II#6 (fb) - BTS) - Learning of the Ibis-priest Karanthes' plan to enlist Red Sonja to recover the lost page from the Book of Skelos, the Black Ring sorcerer sent a pair of jackal-men to slay Red Sonja.
(Marvel Feature II#6) - A pair of jackal-men waited on mountain sides above Red Sonja while she on the road from Zingara to Argos.
Either hearing pebbles scraping under their feet or seeing a shadow moving within a shadow, Sonja evaded the jackal-man who dove at her by swinging under her horse's neck.
As that jackal-man hit the ground, Sonja continued swinging back
atop her horse, and she shoved her sword through the back of its chest,
slaying it before it could even get to its feet again.
Sonja subsequently mocked the remaining jackal-man, initially assuming him to be wearing a costume and mask; however, upon seeing the creature's flaring nostrils, the gnashing of its yellowed fangs, and the squinting of its eyes, Sonja hesitated, enabling the jackal-man to catch her off guard by kicking dirt from the trail into her eyes.
As Sonja lost her balance and fell back, the jackal-man leapt on top of her, but she swiftly recovered and kicked the creature off of her. She then threw her cloak atop her assailant and skewered him with her sword.
Checking the jackal-man's head, Sonja confirmed it was real and not a mask.
Comments: Created by Roy Thomas and Frank Thorne.
We've got four pages of the Jackal-Men.
Who were they? Inquiring minds want to know.
We subsequently saw the Black Ring sorcerer use a baby crocodile to transform a trio of his agents into crocodile men.
We also saw a man transform into a were-cat, presumably under the same sorcerer's control (although there's not evidence that the man who became the were-cat was a previous agent of the sorcerer).
So, it seems likely that the Jackal-Men were men transformed into were-jackals (and possibly by drawing on the life-force and/or magically merging them with a jackal), and it is unrevealed whether they were agents of the sorcerer prior to their transformation.
The were-cat transformed back into human after his death, but the Jackal-Men apparently did not (or it took long enough that Sonja had already moved on).
Karanthes referred to the jackal-men as "Sons of Set," but I think he is just referring to followers of Set.
The Jackal is associated with the Egyptian god Anubis,
but as far as I know, Anubis wasn't referenced in the Hyborian era.
While Set and the Egyptian/Heliopolitan god Seth are sometimes
confused, but there's not any other reason to think that the power to
cause these transformations wasn't derived from spells involving Set
(or other Hyborian era gods, demons, etc.).
Not really sure where I was going with this, but it seemed noteworthy to me due to the Stygian/Egyptian connection...Ibis was an alias of the Heliopolitan god Thoth, so there's that...
Profile by Snood.
The Jackal-Men should be distinguished from:
images: (without ads)
Marvel Feature II#6, pg. 1 (waiting in ambush);
pg. 2, panel 1 (leaping at Sonja);
panel 3 (Sonja stabbing Jackal-Man;
panel 4 (face in profile);
pg. 3, panel 5 (face and kicking dirt into Sonja's eyes)
Marvel Feature II#6 (September, 1976) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Frank Thorne (artist)
First posted: 07/08/2018
Last updated: 06/30/2023
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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