MARAK THE MERCILESS
Real Name: Marak
Identity/Class: Human (Pre-Cataclysm Era)
Occupation: Raider, military leader
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Egel, Jalessa
Enemies: Various farming villages
Known Relatives: Jalessa (wife)
Base of Operations: Mobile during Earth's Pre-Cataclysm Era
First Appearance: 2001: A Space Odyssey I#3 (February, 1977)
Powers/Abilities: Marak was a tactical genius by the standards of his time, a pioneer in leading armies and laying siege to villages. Originally, he wore wooden armor and wielded a stone axe but later received bronze armor, a bronze protector (shield), a bronze sword and a bronze club from his ally Egel. Marak was also quite possibly the first horse rider in the history of Earth.
Height: 6'2" (by approximation)
Weight: 200 lbs. (by approximation)
History: (2001: A Space Odyssey I#3) - Approximately around 203,000 B.C., Marak was a conquering warrior who led his armies in pre-arranged assaults on farming villages. By conquering these villages, Marak could then confiscate all of their products for his own forces. While conquering one village, Marak was attacked by Egel, an old man wielding a bronze club. When Egel's club smashed Marak's stone axe into pieces, Marak was impressed. Marak asked Egel to join his camp and share his invention; in return, Marak would shield Egel from harm. Egel doubted Marak's intentions and refused to stand down but despite his superior weapon, Marak was a better fighter and quickly disarmed Egel. Marak's men intended to kill Egel but Marak halted them, hoping that Egel could be convinced to share the secret of his invention. Egel still doubted Marak but as he realized Marak possessed a cunning brain, he finally decided to help him.
To demonstrate where his superior knowledge came from, Egel showed Marak the "Stone That Talks" (the Monolith). Fascinated by the extraterrestrial device, Marak stepped forward and placed his hand on the Monolith. Feeling a sense of "kinship" with it, Marak declared it an omen, further impressing Marak's army of his power. The Monolith showed Marak visions of the future, of starships in outer space, and an image of a beautiful woman - Jalessa. As the vision ended, Marak was now determined to conquer Jalessa's land and have Jalessa for himself. Egel agreed to help.
Mark had Egel instruct his men to construct materials from bronze, not knowing that by doing so, they were ushering in the Bronze Age. Marak instructed his forces to begin preparing for a series of smaller raids in order to acquire more materials and additional men for their army so that eventually they would be powerful enough to face Jalessa's army. Although this thought was a strange one to Marak's men, who were accustomed to always slaying their enemies, they agreed to obey his instruction.
Knowledge from the Monolith also led Marak to instruct his men in the domestication of horses so that his armies could ride upon the creatures' backs. One of Marak's own men made an attempt on his life by hurling a stone at him. Marak threw a stone at the attempted assassin but the man had a protector (shield). Seeing how the protector saved the man's life, Marak resolved that he would carry a protector then had Egel build him a suit of armor from bronze with a bronze sword. Marak's men were even more impressed than before, believing the armor had made Marak impervious to all harm. Marak asked Egel to help him find a means to transport their supplies across large distances. Instead, Egel began showing Marak the stone casks he had made to hold water. Unimpressed, Marak knocked the cask from Egel's hands, causing the lid to roll across the floor. Spying the lid's movement, Egel realized this was the solution to Marak's problem: the wheel.
(2001: A Space Odyssey I#4) - From the wheel, Egel soon invented the chariot and Marak harnessed his horses to it to lead his men into battle. With their superior technology, Marak's army inspired fear throughout the land. However, when they finally came to Jalessa's land, she rode forward herself to meet with Marak. Having seen Marak in a vision from the Monolith, Jalessa was unafraid of him. Rather than face each other in combat, they chose to form a mutual alliance and build an even greater kingdom together.
Centuries later in the year 2001, Herbert Marik was given a vision from the Monolith in which he appeared as Marak and romanced Jalessa. Eventually, Marik died; he had been intended to become one of the New Seed but the Monolith chose to leave him as a man.
Comments: Created by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer.
Marak is unlikely to reappear in the Marvel Universe as MGM's ownership of the 2001 brand has no doubt made the publisher lawyer-shy. We're lucky Marvel got to keep Machine Man! Since the Monolith has been tied into the Celestials (X-51 I#12), there's always a back door should someone want to yank him fully into the Marvel Universe.
Marak's story is said to occur 200,000 years before the founding of Athens. That would make it 203,000 B.C. or earlier.
This story sure was a Bronze Age comic book, huh? Ha! Ha! Ha! I'll show myself out.
Thanks to Ron Fredricks for the cleaned up main image.
This profile was completed 7/14/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.
Profile by Prime Eternal.
Marak should not be confused with:
Egel the "Thing-Maker" was an aged scientist who discovered the Monolith. Dubbing it the "Stone That Talks," Egel received knowledge from contact with the Monolith, enabling him to learn how to fashion a club from bronze. When Egel's village was assaulted by Marak, Marak was impressed by Egel's bronze club and spared his life in return for learning how he had crafted it. With the knowledge of the Monolith and orders from Marak, Egel invented bronze protectors (shields), bronze armor, bronze swords, stone water casks and the wheel. In turn, with the wheel, Egel invented the chariot to help transport Marak's armies.
--2001: A Space Odyssey I#3
Jalessa was the beautiful queen of a land in the Pre-Cataclysmic Era. Her society was a matriarchy and she was the most recent in a long line of women who ruled their land. After seeing her face in a vision from the Monolith, Marak became obsessed with raising an army to conquer Jalessa's kingdom and have her be his bride. When Jalessa learned of Marak's growing army, Jalessa went to her Spirit Chamber, where she met with the Monolith. With knowledge given to her by the Monolith, Jalessa chose to face Marak unarmed. Jalessa and Marak decided together to form an alliance, joining their forces together.
Centuries later in the year 2001, Herbert Marik was given a vision from the Monolith in which he appeared as Marak and romanced Jalessa, eventually becoming one of the New Seed.
--2001: A Space Odyssey I#3 (4
In 2001, Liberty I was the wheel-shaped NASA space station where Herbert Marik worked in the orbit over Mars. When Liberty I was struck by a meteor shower, Marik ordered all personnel to abandon the station. Marik remained aboard Liberty I alone until he saw the Monolith outside of the station. Investigating it, Marik was drawn inside the Monolith. The ultimate fate of Liberty I is unrevealed.
--2001: A Space Odyssey I#4
In 2001, Herbert Marik was the NASA commander of Liberty I above Mars and he was virtually identical in appearance to the Pre-Cataclysmic Marak. As a meteor shower approached Liberty I, Marik ordered all of his personnel to evacuate the station but he chose to remain behind, unable to abandon his post and feeling that it would be an exciting end to his life. However, before the meteors arrived, Marik saw the Monolith floating outside the station. Donning a spacesuit, Marik went to investigate and was drawn inside the Monolith. He found himself in a reality created within the Monolith in which, like a vision, he had become Marak and was accompanied by the beautiful Jalessa. Marik lived out his years inside the Monolith. At the time of his death, he was supposed to become one of the New Seed but the Monolith ultimately chose to leave his body alone; he had lived as a man, he would remain a man in death.
images: (without ads)
2001: A Space Odyssey I#3, page 1 (main)
2001: A Space Odyssey I#3, page 6, panel 4 (unmasked)
2001: A Space Odyssey I#4, page 2 (bronze armor)
2001: A Space Odyssey I#3, page 10, panel 2 (Egel)
2001: A Space Odyssey I#4, page 9, panel 4 (Jalessa)
2001: A Space Odyssey I#4, page 10, panel 4 (Liberty I)
2001: A Space Odyssey I#4, page 11, panel 5 (Marik)
2001: A Space Odyssey I#3-4 (February-March, 1977) - Jack Kirby (writer/pencils/editor), Mike Royer (inks)
First posted: 09/14/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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