- Thank you for musing aloud that you are a mutant, girl! Dr. Karl Lykos thanks you...and so does...Sauron!!
- -- Sauron src
As a young boy, Karl Lykos went with his father on an expedition to Tierra del Fuego near the Antarctic Circle. Along with them on the journey were a physician, Dr. Anderssen, and his daughter Tanya, who was about the same age as Karl.
At one point during the trip Tanya became lost, and Karl found her in a cave being attacked by gigantic pteranodons, a form of flying reptile from the age of dinosaurs. (In actuality, these pteranodons were from the Savage Land, the tropical region in Antarctica where prehistoric creatures still live. Apparently, the pteranodons had traveled to Tierra del Fuego through natural subterranean tunnels.) Karl drove the pteranodons off with his walking stick, but not before he was severely bitten. Traumatized by their experience, neither Karl nor Tanya remembered the pteranodons, and Dr. Andersson used his medical skills to save Karl's life. Grateful to Karl for saving Tanya's life, Dr. Anderssen allowed Karl to live with him and Tanya after Karl's father died.
In a way that has never been explained, the pteranodon bites somehow changed Karl, apparently altering his genetic structure. Karl discovered that he needed to drain life energy from other living beings to survive. His first unintentional victim was his dog Jager, whom he drained of energy simply by touching him. Karl kept his condition a secret, even after he found himself forced to drain energy from other human beings. However, he killed none of them, merely leaving them temporarily weakened.
As Karl grew older he fell in love with Tanya, but the stern Dr. Anderssen refused to let her marry Karl because of his lack of financial means. So Karl Lykos set off for medical school, vowing to become wealthy so he could marry Tanya. Lykos became a hypnotherapist, but his need for life energy increased as he became an adult. Hence, he constructed devices through which he could drain his patients' life energies into himself.
Lykos met the geneticist Professor Charles Xavier under circumstances that have yet to be revealed. Together they worked on the secret "Project Mutant." It has yet to be explained exactly what this project was, why it was secret, what results it might have had, and who, if anyone, had commissioned it if not Xavier himself. Xavier knew about Lykos' need and ability to siphon the life energy of others into himself, but he never told his protégés, the mutant hero team known as the X-Men, about it.
Following a battle between the X-Men and the robotic Sentinels, the X-Men's Havok, at that time unable to control his superhuman abilities, tried to kill himself by releasing his full power. The resulting explosion buried him in rubble, nearly killing him. Aware of the connection between Xavier and Lykos, the X-Men rushed Havok to Dr. Lykos' Manhattan office, believing he was the only physician they could trust with the knowledge that Havok was a mutant.
After treating Havok's wounds, Lykos began using his equipment to drain life energy from him. However, this was the first time that Lykos had ever siphoned energy from a superhuman mutant, with a result that he had never experienced before. The energy triggered his metamorphosis into a creature that resembled a half-humanoid pteranodon, who retained his human intelligence and ability to speak. However, the transformation distorted Lykos' personality, turning him evil. Hence, Lykos took the name Sauron, after the archvillain of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Sauron soon battled the X-Men, but fled when Havok awoke, causing him to begin to change back to human form. Soon afterwards, Lykos had an argument with Dr. Anderssen, who still refused to permit him to marry Tanya. Then Lykos drained energy from the mutant Lorna Dane, later known as Polaris, causing him to transform into Sauron again. After battling the X-Men once more, siphoning more energy from them, Sauron flew to the Anderssons' home to kill them. The Anderssens recognized Sauron's voice as that of Lykos just before the X-Men arrived and Sauron fled.
Sauron flew all the way to his father's cabin in Tierra del Fuego, and then reverted to human form, having expended the mutant energies he had absorbed. Horrified at having tried to kill Tanya, Lykos decided to starve himself to death. But several days later, Tanya arrived, followed closely behind by the X-Men. Feeling the urge to drain Tanya's life energies, Lykos instead fled, only to fall over a precipice. Tanya and the X-Men assumed he had been killed.
However, Lykos somehow survived and made his way, presumably through underground passages, to the Savage Land. There he managed to remain in human form, draining energy from animals, until many months later the X-Men arrived. Compelled to siphon energy from the X-Men's Storm, Lykos briefly reverted to Sauron once more. But when the stolen energies faded, he returned to human form and proved to be an ally to both the X-Men and the jungle lord Ka-Zar. Lykos reverted to Sauron once more sometime later and teamed up with the Savage Land Mutates against Ka-Zar, the Angel, and Spider-Man. Sauron continued to make repeated attempts to conquer the Savage Land and use its people for sustenance, but has been defeated every time. After one defeat by the X-Men, their member, the Beast, managed to create a medicine that would satiate Karl's hunger, and, with the threat of Sauron seemingly over, Karl resumed a normal life with Tanya, whom he soon married.
Years later, Lykos was confronted by the mutant known as the Toad, who hoped to recruit Sauron into his latest version of the terrorist Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. The Toad used a device of his own design to force Lykos to drain the life energy of Tanya, transforming Lykos into Sauron. (It is unclear whether or not Tanya was killed in the process.) Sauron joined the Toad's Brotherhood but were forced to lay low after a narrowly escaping a confrontation with the original mutant team X-Force.
Since Sauron's most recent reappearance, it appeared that any life energy that Sauron drained would keep him in that form, not just mutant energy. Moreover, it has been suggested that Sauron is incapable of reverting to human form, even when his energies are depleted.
Sauron's next bid for power in the Savage Land was foiled by the X-Men's Wolverine, Rogue, and Jubilee. He then had the Savage Land Mutates kidnap Havok, hoping to use his energy to satiate his hunger. When his teammates Cyclops, Phoenix, and Polaris came to the rescue, Sauron had both Summers brothers placed in a energy-transferring machine, and the mix of energy mutated Sauron even further, making him larger and stronger than ever. Phoenix tried to engage Sauron on the Astral Plane, but it was Lykos' personality who prevailed, making a suicide leap into the abyss of his own mind, taking his hated alter ego with him. As a result, Sauron's mind appeared to be stuck in an animalistic state, but after yet another encounter with Ka-Zar, his suppressed human mind slowly returned to him and reasoned out a plan, allowing Sauron to stow away on a trip Ka-Zar was planning to New York City. Upon arriving in America, Sauron sought out the X-Men but was once again defeated. He was then handed over to the espionage agency SHIELD by Wolverine.
Somehow, Sauron ended up in custody of the new Weapon X program, under the auspices of the mysterious Director, who hoped to use the program's mutants for the benefit of humankind, even if that meant performing deadly missions and interning mutant captives. Sauron was somehow experimented upon in the program, becoming less intelligent, more prone to berserk rages, and without the ability to use his hypnotic powers. One of Sauron's initial assignments was to recruit mutants for the Weapon X program, and he succeeded in capturing the mutant Jack.
Sauron served the program for many months, but later began escaping the confines of the program to stalk victims, preying on the innocent to feed his hunger for the life forces of others. He was discovered by agent Brent Jackson, who was hoping to form a group to stage a coup with the Director. Sauron agreed, and Jackson's allies joined the team Underground, led by the mutant soldier-of-fortune Cable who hoped to take down the Weapon X program. The Underground was able to infiltrate the Weapon X complex, ousting the Director and nearly crippling the program. However, before the final defeat, agent Jackson betrayed the Underground, turning Cable's psychic powers against his allies. Jackson captured the Underground members and altered their memories to erase everything they saw and learned about the program. Jackson took credit for saving the program and was named the new Director of the Weapon X program by its mysterious benefactors.
Sauron continued to serve the Weapon X program under Brent Jackson.
While Sauron can feed off of any being, it seems that mutants, especially energy manipulators give him a substantially larger amount of energy to use. He has targeted Havok on quite a few occasions.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Life-Force Absorption: In human form Karl Lykos is fairly typical, except he keeps his ability to absorb the life forces of other living things to sustain himself. This often triggers his transformation into his pterodactyl form. He also no longer needs to make physical contact to absorb energy, just be in a close proximity.
- Mutant Power Absorption: If he absorbs the life force of a mutant he will absorb a portion of their powers temporarily.
- Concussive Bursts: Due to manipulation by the Weapon X program, Sauron can expel the life force energy in concussive bursts from his hands.
- Superhuman Strength: In pterodactyl form he is superhumanly strong (able to lift approximately ten tons)
- Flight: possesses the ability to fly at a natural winged flight limit.
- Pterodactyl Natural Weapons: a lethal beak and sharp talons on his hands and feet.
- Fire Breath: ability to breathe fire, which he used to burn the second Black Widow in revenge for shooting him.
Hypnosis: He also has a powerful hypnotic ability that requires direct eye contact to complete. He frequently uses his hypnotic power to give his victims terrifying delusions that allies have become monsters.
|Power Grid |
|* Higher stats after absorption|
AbilitiesKyle Lykos is a skilled psychiatrist.
10 tons in Sauron form
Flies with wings
- Sauron took his name from the Lord of the Rings character.
- 93 Appearances of Karl Lykos (Earth-616)
- 24 Images featuring Karl Lykos (Earth-616)
- 6 Quotations by or about Karl Lykos (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Karl Lykos (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Karl Lykos (Earth-616)
- Characters killed by Sauron
- The Unofficial Handbook to the Marvel Universe
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