|First Appearance:||52 #26 (2006)|
|Created by:||Geoff Johns|
|Affiliations:||Black Marvel Family|
|Abilities:||Generate hunger in others, presumed super strength and durability|
Immediately after the events of Infinite Crisis, criminal mastermind Thaddeus Bodog Sivana joined Chang Tzu's Science Squad and relocated to Oolong Island. He became one of the chief architects of the Four Horseman Project. Sivana took a crocodile from the Nile River and genetically altered him, transforming him into the Fourth Horseman, Yurrd the Unknown (Famine).
Yurrd escaped from the facility with little knowledge of what he truly was. For six months he lived on his own, and eventually made his way back to the Sivana family estate. There, he met and befriended Amon Tomaz, a neophyte hero known as Osiris. Osiris named the crocodile man Sobek, after the ancient Egyptian deity.
Sobek never left Osiris' side, and was present when the young hero lost control of his emotions, accidentally killing the Suicide Squad member known as the Persuader.
Several months later, Sobek's true nature revealed itself. As the avatar of Famine, Sobek's presence caused a great blight across all of Kahndaq. Even the elemental powers of Isis proved ineffective as crops continued to wither and die. A massive hunger consumed Sobek, and he gave in to his preternatural instincts. He betrayed Osiris and savagely attacked him, biting him in half with his massive jaws. Isis died soon after, one of many victims of Famine's blight.
Upon discovering the deaths of his loved ones, Black Adam flew into a rage. He attacked Sobek and hyper extended the creature's jaws, ultimately killing him. He later skinned him and turned him into a pair of boots.
But the destruction of Sobek had not destroyed the essence of Yurrd. In time, Yurrd resurfaced in Bialya, possessing the body of Taylor Reese, a Wayne Enterprises employee overseeing refugee operations in Bialya and was selling food on the black market to a local warlord. After killing Reese's employees, he was confronted by Bruce Wayne, and induced hunger into the human industrialist, but Wayne was able to control himself. Superman then arrived, but Yurrd was able to bite the Man of Steel.
Escaping, he met up with Azraeuz, who raised the dead of Bialya to serve as a work force to serve their needs. After making a mound of earth and corpses, the Four Horsemen had the dead build them bodies able to house their essences. The Justice League of America attempted to destroy them by throwing a chunk of ice at the mound, but this ignited the firepit and resurrected the Four Horsemen. Now in the form of a hyena, Yurrd claimed the kill on Superman. However, even while infected, Superman managed to hold his own against Yurrd, even breaking the beast's nose at one point. Finally, Superman took Yurrd into orbit and back again, defeating him. Denied a means to act, Yurrd abandoned his body and tried to possess Batman. However, Yurrd could not control Batman, for his desire for vengeance was greater than Yurrd's hunger was. Veronica Cale, who had overseen the Four Horsemens' rebirth, swallowed a crystal intended to house their spirits, and removed Yurrd's essence from Batman, trapping him and the Horsemen for the time being.
Powers and Abilities
- Hunger induction: Yurrd possessed the ability to generate a widespread wave of intense hunger. Oddly, this hunger seemed to affect him as well. This ability, in conjunction with that of fellow Horseman Zorrm caused a massive blight across the country of Kahndaq. In Bialya, he was able to cause hunger to point of cannibalism even when other sources of food were nearby.
- Possession: Yurrd can possess others to interact in the physical world.
In other media
- Although Sobek has never actually appeared outside of the medium of comics adapted from the comic book character, it is noteworthy that the Egyptian god of who he was named after did appear in "Black Adam's Return," an episode of The Kid Superpower Hour with Shazam!.
- He's based on Golden Age character Herkimer, an alien Crocodile-Man from the planet Punkus who first appeared in Captain Marvel Adventures #22. Herkimer was second-in-command to Golden Age Mister Mind before finally deciding that crime didn't pay, and left to join a circus sideshow at the end of the "Monster Society of Evil" serial.
- He's also possibly based on the Hissmen, a different group of crocodile-like villains from a million years into the past who originally appeared in a story from Captain Marvel Adventures #74, "The Marvel Family Battles The Hissing Horror". This, in turn, was loosely adapted into a different episode of the Shazam! cartoon, "Best Seller".