No. 72 – Torquemada

Grand Master of Termight, Torquemada[1], in his first appearance in prog 167’s (1980) Comic Rock: The Terror Tube [itself inspired by The Jam’s Going Underground (Polydor, 1980)], written by Pat Mills and drawn by Kevin O’NeillTomás de Torquemada (1420–1492), Spanish Dominican monk and first Inquisitor-General of Spain (artist unknown)

Scholars disagree on the number of people put to death by Torquemada [the earlier one], which is said to have been 2,000. The secretary to Isabella I of Castile (1451–1504), however, noted that 2,000 executions took place during her reign (1474–1504), which extended well beyond Torquemada’s death.  So, you know, he may not have been as bad as all that.

The conical-shaped headgear worn by Torquemada and his Terminators is based on the costumes worn by Ku Klux Klan, themselves reminiscent of – and entirely unaffiliated with – Spanish Catholic Easter penitents; apartheid, racism and Catholic religious zealotry and hypocrisy appearing frequently as themes in Mills’ work.

Torquemada also features in HoH No. 218 – The Yellow Peril.

Notes:

  1. In retrospect this entry technically fails to qualify as an homage as a much later 2000 AD story – seven years later, to be precise – reveals that one Torquemada is in fact the reincarnation of the other

Be pure! Be vigilant! Behave!

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