darklock-ajarl-8116-fullAJAR'L DARKLOCK   

Real Name: Ajar'l Darklock

Identity/Class: Extradimensional/Alternate Reality (Reality-8116) extraterrestrial (Altarixian) civilian

Occupation: Tax lawyer

Group Membership: Instrumentality (theocracy), head of "an army of clerical detective"

Affiliations: None identified beyond his family

Enemies: Bialgesuard and his associates, Taurus Killgaren

Known Relatives: Woolfor Darklock (father; see comments), Cula Darklock (mother; see comments), Syzygy Darklock (brother, deceased), Lena Darklock (wife, deceased), Ravol Darklock (son)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly an unspecified city/nation on the planet Altarix, unspecified star system, Empirical galaxy

First Appearance: "The Price," Eclipse Graphic Album Series#5 (1981) - see comments

Powers/Abilities: Ajar'l was a peaceful family man, and he was a highly skilled tax lawyer.

    He wore a Personal Defense Buckle, which provided protection against conventional threats.

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 5'10")
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 180 lbs.)
Eyes: Unrevealed (dark, presumably brown)
Hair: Light brown

History:
darklock-ajarl-8116-face("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - Ajar'l and his brother Syzygy were native to Altarix, one of the inner planets spared the conflicts seen in the outer planets in the 200 year-long war between the Instrumentality and Monarchy theocracies. Altarix was the homeworld of the Instrumentality's mystical arm, the Order of Vieltoor.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - As a child, Ajar'l Darklock had glimpses of things in shadows or in dark places, and he often thought he saw certain shapes out of the corners of his visions; but when he turned to focus on them, they were gone. He was afraid to go out at night or down in the basement; he was also certain that there were things under his bed.

    Eventually, Ajar'l's brother, Syzygy, showed him there was nothing to afraid of in the dark.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - Ajar'l's parents told him it was silly to worry about things in shadows, telling him he had to remember the courage Syzygy had given him to face the fear.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - Ajar'l's wife, Lena, died in an accident, but their son Ravol survived.

    Ravol's high spirits and innocence granted Ajar'l a level of calm, but after Ravol went off to school, Ajar'l felt terribly alone and confused.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - Secretly manipulated by the Dread Veil sorcerer Taurus Killgaren, Syzygy Darklock became a priest of the Instrumentality, rising to the position of Lord High Bishop.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - Ajar'l Darklock eventually rose to become an executive tax lawyer for the Instrumentality, the head of an army of clerical detectives, who sifted through mountains of tribute returns each year, looking for those sinners who sought to defraud the church of its "rightful" 25% of every citizen's income.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - Ajar'l knew that his profession was not popular among the general public and that the empire's stagnation during the last century of the war meant that only only war could support the economy. Nonetheless, Ajar'l rationalized his job because it paid well and because he felt the church needed the money due to the ongoing war. He also justified his actions to himself by noting that he only added up the figures, found out the reasons for discrepancies, and reported his findings: "Whatever happened after that is not my responsibility...nor any of my business."

    Ajar'l further refused to accept/believe the "wild/whispered rumors" about how the church dealt with tribute evaders. He told himself that if those were true, he'd have "seen something on the video" or in "The Daily Instrument." Additionally, he noted to himself that he was one small wheel in a very large machine and "one small wheel can't change anything...and isn't about to." He finally considered that he had worked too hard to get where he was, and as he was the only person on which his son, Ravol, could count.darklock-ajarl-8116-demon

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - Fearing normal mortal threats, Ajar'l consistently wore a personal defense buckle.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) <A year after Syzygy became a high bishop) - Lonely without Lena or Ravol, Ajar'l Darklock took the long way home from work.

("The Price") - Ajar'l was surprised to see how some neighborhoods had deteriorated in the last few years. Occasionally glimpsing things in the shadows, Ajar'l tried to convince himself it was just his childhood fears getting the best of him. He pondered his career, the Instrumentality's nature and history, and his brother's history.

    Ajar'l kept trying to reassure himself that there was nothing to fear in the shadows, but ultimately, a tentacled creature (the demon Bialgesuard or his agent(s) (see comments) reached out from behind him in the shadows; Ajar'l's screams were heard throughout the city.

("The Price" - BTS) - Sensing Ajar'l's passing, Syzygy interrupted his meditation to seek out his brother.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - Only portions small enough to fill a small box were all that was left of Ajar'l's body to be recovered by authorities.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - The investigating police captain assumed Ajar'l's death to have been the result of some outlaw fringe religious cult, some sort of human sacrifice.

    The pathology officer felt the butchery didn't look to be the work of any human killer.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - As the security force was legally not allowed to investigate any crime involving any mystical power or element, the Papal division sent a cardinal, who examined Ajar'l's remains and ruled that no supernatural agency had anything to do with it.

("The Price" - BTS) - Syzygy learned of his brother's brutal passing, the official ruling, and the security officer's suspicions.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - Secretly sensing Killgaren's involvement in the death of Ajar'l Darklock, the Lord Papal encouraged Syzygy to investigate, hoping to see his rival eliminated

("The Price" - BTS) - Suspecting Ajar'l's murderer(s) had targeted himself and had mistakenly struck against Ajar'l, Syzygy investigated his brother's office, uncovering Bialgesuard's identity. Bialgesuard revealed his master to be Taurus Killgaren and led Syzygy to gain the power to defeat Killgaren, grotesquely mutating Syzygy in the process. After Killgaren revealed his motivations, Syzygy reluctantly accepted his destiny and sacrificed his greatest love to gain even greater power from the demon Slytis before departing Altarix.

Comments: Created by Jim Starlin.

    Dreadstar was a licensed character/title created by Jim Starlin starting way back with the Metamorphosis Odyssey in Epic Illustrated#1 in the Spring of 1980. The Metamorphosis Odyssey started around the modern era and affected Earth, but then swiftly destroyed the entire Milky Way galaxy and then moved on like a million years in the future. Dreadstar eventually got his own series under the Epic imprint, but Starlin later took the whole shebang over to First Comics. And in 1994, it was published under the imprint of Bravura, a creator-owned division of Malibu comics. He appeared sometime later in issues #5-7 of the Breed III series. And, there's been talk of a Dreadstar television show...
    Still that earlier Marvel connection allows me to place this reality in the fringes of the Marvel Megaverse.
    Peter David took over the writing around issue#31 or so, but Starlin remained the owner. At any rate, from start to finish, it is the best series I've ever read, period! I'd love to see it continued, by Starlin, David, or both!
    With this profile, I start covering the characters and events of the second part of the Metamorphosis Odyssey, the origins of Syzygy Darklock. It is noteworthy to consider that the very end of the Metamorphosis Odyssey and everything thereafter (including the Price) takes place 1 million years after Aknaton used the Infinity Horn to destroy the entire Milky Way galaxy to eliminate the threat of the Zygoteans.

    Bialgesuard is credited for slaying Ajar'l, although Bialgesuard is a feline-humanoid, while the creature that grabbed Ajar'l, while only partially seen, had tentacles. It is certainly possible that Bialgesuard is a shapeshift, but it's also quite likely that Bialgesuard had lesser demon agents or allies grab Ajar'l. Perhaps they brought him to Bialgesuard, who may or may not have been hidden within the shadows or perhaps in another realm.

    Ajar'l's parents names

The Price was originally published in black and white in Eclipse Graphic Album Series #5 (1981). It was reprinted, with colorized artwork, in Dreadstar Annual#1 (1983) by Epic (the licensed characters/stories division of Marvel)

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Ajar'l Darklock
should be distinguished from:


Cula Darklock

    Cula is the wife of Woolfor and the mother of Syzygy and Ajar'l Darklock.

    It is not specified whether she is native to Altarix, but her children were born there.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - Wanting Ajar'l to be a man, his parents told him it was silly to worry about things in shadows, telling him he had to remember the courage Syzygy had given him to face the fear.

("The Price" - BTS) - As a demon reached from the shadows to kill him, Ajar'l considered that his parents had been wrong.

--"The Price" (see comments)

Note: Syzygy Darklock's profile in Dreadstar and Company#4 named his parents as Woolfor (father) and Cula (mother), and while Ajar'l and Lena are noted as deceased, Woolfor and Cula are not...

Cula has not been pictured, at least as of "The Price"

Lena Darklock

    Lena was the wife of Ajar'l and the mother of Ravol.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - Lena, died in an accident, but her and Ajar'l's son Ravol survived.

("The Price" - BTS) - With Ravol having gone off to school, a lonely Ajar'l Darklock took the long way home from work; en route, he was slain by demons (see comments).


--"The Price" (see comments)

 
Note: Lena has not been pictured, at least as of "The Price"


darklock-ajarl-8116-ravolRavol Darklock

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - Ravol survived the accident that slew his mother, Lena.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - Ravol's high spirits and innocence granted Ajar'l a level of calm.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - Ravol never knew his uncle Syzygy (a lord high bishop in the Instrumentality's mystical Order of Vieltoor) as anything more than a dark stranger.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - After Ravol went off to school, Ajar'l felt terribly alone and confused.

("The Price" - BTS) - A lonely Ajar'l Darklock took the long way home from work; en route, he was slain by demons (see comments).

("The Price") - Before departing Altarix to seek out his destiny, the mutated and scarred Syzygy bade Ravol farewell.

--"The Price" (see comments)


Woolfor Darklock


    Woolfor is the husband of Cula and the father of Syzygy and Ajar'l Darklock.

    It is not specified whether he is native to Altarix, but his children were born there.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - Wanting Ajar'l to be a man, his parents told him it was silly to worry about things in shadows, telling him he had to remember the courage Syzygy had given him to face the fear.

("The Price" - BTS) - As a demon reached from the shadows to kill him, Ajar'l considered that his parents had been wrong.

--"The Price" (see comments)

Note: Syzygy Darklock's profile in Dreadstar and Company#4 named his parents as Woolfor (father) and Cula (mother), and while Ajar'l and Lena are noted as deceased, Woolfor and Cula are not...

Woolfor has not been pictured, at least as of "The Price"



Personal Defense Buckledarklock-ajarl-8116-belt

Personal Defense Buckles (PDB) were worn by the people of Altarix to protect them from mortal threats ("that which could be seen").

("The Price" (fb) - BTS) - Fearing normal mortal threats, Ajar'l consistently wore a personal defense buckle. He believed that being an adult protected him from the unseen (meaning adults could realize that shadowy nightmare things were not real).

("The Price") - Ajar' wore his PDB on his way home from work, but it was no defense for the demon(s) that reached out from the shadows and slew him (see comments)

--"The Price" (see comments)

Note: Although it was not specified, the PDB presumably acted as a force field, protecting one from trauma,...or perhaps it was just a hoax/sham...

images: (without ads)
"The Price," story pg. 2, image panel (main/full);
       pg. 4, panel 5 (Personal Defense Buckle);
       pg. 5, panel 2 (face);
          panel 6 (confronted by demon);
    pg. 43, panel 1 (Syzygy bidding Ravol farewell)
       


Appearances:
"The Price," Eclipse Graphic Album Series#5 (1981) - Jim Starlin (writer/artist); I don't know who edited it; reprinted in Epic's Dreadstar Annual#1 (1983) it credited Jo Duffy (associate editor) and Archie Goodwin (editor)
Dreadstar and Company#4 (October, 1985) - Jim Starlin (writer/artist), Jo Duffy (associate editor) and Archie Goodwin (editor); specifically the text profile on Syzygy Darklock at the end - I am not positive who wrote that


First posted: 06/07/2020
Last updated: 07/24/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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