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Eclipso Bonus: Who the Heck is Prince Ra-Man?!?


Who the heck is Prince Ra-Man?!?

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To answer that question, we have to ask, who the heck is Mark Merlin? Or, was Mark Merlin…

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After his uncle, “The Mighty Merlin,” died, Mark Merlin spent his life solving occult mysteries. Like his uncle, he sometimes debunked pretenders, but also believed in real magic. He became engaged to Elsa Magusson, the young assistant to his uncle. The character first appeared in House of Secrets #23, cover-dated August, 1959, and was created by writer Bob Haney and artist Mort Meskin.

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That’s about all we need to know about Mark Merlin’s life. Now we learn about his death in House of Secrets #73… and the birth of Prince Ra-Man...

Mark Merlin has often risked his lift in his ceaseless battle against the unknown! But now, he is hurled into an adventure no mortal has ever experienced – where the supernatural sleuth must actually give up his life so that a new star, a new fighter, a new champion can come forth to battle the dark powers, with…

The Death of Mark Merlin

In his mansion on Mystery Hill, Mark Merlin’s old enemy, the Gargoyle, shoots a beam at him…

Mark finds himself in a different dimension and the world of Ra. He meets Kranak, the wizard that transported himself, his daughter, Rimah, and a community of Egyptians there.

Mark realizes the cat-charm he wears around his neck is the key to unlocking a secret that has created trouble for Kranak because of Gamal, who was unhappy and longed for power. Afterwards…

I feel different… changed! I feel incredible power pulsing through my brain… great knowledge… as if I knew all the riddles of the universe!

Mark uses his new powers to defeat Gamal and Kranak offers him a trip home…

He drinks a potion that will give him the body and brain of Prince Ra-Man, reputed to be a descendant of the Egyptian sun-god, Ra.

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He returns home, defeats the Gargoyle, and…

Notes

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Prince Ra-Man began his own adventures in House of Secrets #74. After two issues, he made the inevitable crossover appearance in a full-length feature with Eclipso in House of Secrets #76. You can read all about that… right here.

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Prince Ra-Man continued in House of Secrets through #80 and had two other pre-Crisis adventures: DC Comics Presents #32 (Whatever Happened to Mark Merlin & Prince Ra-Man) and Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 (Final Crisis.)

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