Mark Merlin was a supernatural detective and nephew of "The Mighty Merlin," a famous stage magician who debunked the supernatural. Mark Merlin began his career by solving his uncle's murder and inheriting his mansion, magical curios and his assistant, Elsa. He continued his interest in the occult, and became a skilled magician who used a "Magic Eye" trinket to cast illusions. He, and Elsa, spent their lives dedicated to exposing fakes and battling the supernatural.
During one of his adventures, he discovered a mystical cat-headed amulet which enabled him to transfer his mind into a black cat named Memakata, whom he found in the tomb of the pharaoh of the same name. In times of danger, he would "mind hop," between Memakata's body and his own.
However, Merlin would become an even more strange-like hero in later years. When he was ambushed at home by an old enemy, the Gargoyle, he shrunk himself and then vanished into another dimensional realm known as Ra. There, Merlin met the Egyptian scientist Kranak and his daughter Rimah.
Merlin wanted to return to Earth, but Kranak told him he couldn't -- at least not as Mark Merlin. His body and soul would have to remain in the realm of Ra, otherwise he would die. However, Kranak suggested that Merlin's memories could be reincarnated as "Prince Ra-Man," a young Egyptian sun-god who died accidentally years ago. Agreeing to this, Merlin absorbed the rays of a potion provided by Kranak and he successfully returned home with the body of the Egyptian prince and the memories of Mark Merlin.
Once home, he explained his transformation to Elsa, telling her that Mark Merlin was now dead, and that he was his friend, contacted by occult means to come and save her.
Prince Ra-Man had a very short career as a supernatural hero. He fought Eclipso on a few occasions, but ultimately he sacrificed his life in battle against the Anti-Monitor's Shadow Creatures during the Crisis.
- Although Prince Ra-Man was created from the body and mind of Mark Merlin, the two of them were actually different beings.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
- 64 Appearances of Mark Merlin (New Earth)
- 13 Images featuring Mark Merlin (New Earth)
- 1 Quotations by or about Mark Merlin (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Mark Merlin (New Earth)