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Golden Age Origin
In 1940, while unhappily contemplating his waning fortunes, playboy Jock Kellog is contacted by a messenger who tells him his eccentric, wealthy uncle is ill and might be dying. Kellog races to the scene in rural England, hoping his financial troubles will be ameliorated by a great inheritance. Instead of the palatial residence he expected, Jock arrives at a modest cottage. Upon entering, he discovers it is filled with numerous antiques of Arthurian vintage. Kellog's uncle is indeed dying, and he tells the young playboy that he is the last of a line of men who can trace their descent directly from Merlin . Before dying, the old man gives Kellog a green hooded cloak and tells him that, while wearing it, he will inherit all the powers of Merlin himself.
At first, Kellog disbelieves his uncle's story. However, while wearing the cloak, Kellog instinctively uses magic to save a woman falling from a building and comes to accept his uncle's story as true. He thereafter resolves to use his newfound abilities to aid mankind. Kellog assumes the name of his magical ancestor, Merlin, and goes about roaming the world, fighting Axis forces wherever he encounters them. His more mystical enemies include Mars/Ares (who he fought twice, with Ares aided the second time by Wotan), Dr. Morbidd, and Agor the Spider.
Merlin possesses somewhat ill-defined but reputedly powerful magical abilities. He was shown as being able to produce virtually any effect that he could conceive. He could battle minor gods single-handedly, instantaneously teleport anywhere in the world, or summon mythological creatures to do his bidding. Later in his career he began casting spells by speaking backwards, much like Zatara and Tor.
Golden Age Appearances
- National Comics #1-26 (1940-1942)