|Tom Marion Douglas|
|Real Name||Thomas Marion Douglas|
|Wild Card Traits||Illusion generation, enhanced strength, endurance and reflexes|
|Citizenship||Citizen of the United States, deceased|
|Occupation||Musician, singer, activist|
|First Appearance||Wild Cards|
|Final Appearance||Wild Cards|
Tom Marion Douglas, also known as the Lizard King, is a fictional character from the Wild Cards series of books.
Douglas was the lead singer of Destiny, a group known for dark, brooding music that whipped even the most placid of audiences into a screaming, hysterical frenzy.
Concerts got even more frenzied when Douglas assumed his Lizard King persona. He would seem to grow larger than life, and replace his face with the features of a giant king cobra, complete with flaring hood, flickering black and menacingly. A dark aura would wash over the audience with an elusive, variant effect that touched each listener differently. Some onlookers were lifted to the pinnacle of ecstasy, other fell into the pit of despair. Some saw what they most desired, others stared straight at their darkest hidden fears.
The pivotal moment of the Lizard King's career as an ace came during the Summer of Love when a confrontation between Douglas and his fans against the National Guard exploded into violence. Amid the chaos the Lizard King was confronted by the first Hardhat, a fiercely conservative ace immigrant, and would have been badly injured, possibly even killed, if it were not for the intervention of the Radical. Joining forces, Douglas and the Radical led the youthful protesters to victory over their armed opponents and then held court over the orgiastic celebration that followed well into the night. But the Radical disappeared soon after and Douglas eventually burned out on the rock-star existence.
He took Tachyon's experimental cure, and was one of the lucky 20% on whom it worked. He retired as a star and an ace, but his health deteriorated rapidly. His overuse of drugs and alcohol had achieved such heroic proportions that only his ace endurance had kept him alive, and without it he was dead within six months. He died of pneumonia in a seedy Parisian hotel in the fall of 1971.
Wild Card Traits Edit
Douglas was seen to have high strength and endurance to the point where he was able to tear a machine gun from its mount and bend the barrel to the point of uselessness. This physical power was also accompanied by extraordinarily high reflexes.
When he was fully shifted into his Lizard King persona he would routinely create illusions, projecting a dark aura while his head seemly became that of a cobra, its hood flared wide. Those witnessing the effect were whipped into ecstatic frenzy or deep despair. The effects of this power varied from one individual to the next – each would experience it differently.
Douglas had a wide face and was described as bearded and moderately good looking. Using his power, he would seem to grow larger than life, replacing his face with the features of a giant king cobra, complete with flaring hood.
Tom was a hedonistic liberal. Although he genuinely cared about his fans, he had a far more self absorbed outlook on life and saw no shame in indulging excessively in all manner of vices, from LSD to alcohol.
- Douglas is a fictional analog of real-life musician, Jim Morrison of The Doors.
- Digger Downs refers to the Lizard King as one of the Holy Trinity in the pages of Suicide Kings, along with Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.
Selected Reading Edit
- Wild Cards Volume I: Wild Cards - "Transfigurations"