Over seven thousand years ago, Nommo, the immortal ruler of a destroyed civilization grew lonely. He created several artifacts of power, one of which was called the Ruby of Life. Nommo hoped that through the generations, the owners of these gems might evolve into beings capable of interbreeding with a species of homo sapiens that utilized magic and would then be his new subjects. Over the millennia, the Ruby of Life was broken into several smaller pieces, one of which was discovered by an archaeologist in Egypt. Giving it to his wife, she wore it as a pendant. It was the first thing that their newborn child, John, saw and touched. Bonding with him in that manner allowed John to tap into the mystical energies controlled by the Ruby.
At a young age, he was given the Ruby by his mother and began developing a flair for the stage and performing magical illusions. Using the Ruby as part of his stage costume ( as the centerpiece for a turban he wore ), Sargent began touring the vaudeville circuit as Sargon the Sorcerer, Master of Illusions. He soon found out that the Ruby of Life allowed him to completely control inanimate objects, even defying the laws of nature in his requests. He maintained the illusion of only creating sleight-of-hand, but he used his magical abilities to fight crime during the 1940s. He joined the wartime gathering of heroes known as the All-Star Squadron, where he met several other magicians, such as Zatara, Tor, and Merlin along with other mystical characters such as Doctor Fate and The Spectre which opened up his eyes to his potential.
As the 1940's drew to a close, and vaudeville entertainment died, Sargon delved into the mysteries of the Ruby of Life, discovering that it had been fragmented, and spent the next several decades searching out the pieces.
Finding several other pieces, he found that they were tainted with the previous owners' souls, some of which were evil. Using one of the evil tainted stones, he fought Flash. Aiding the Justice League of America several years ago against the galactic vampire called Starslayer, he had the League track down several more Ruby of Life fragments.
Crisis on Infinite Earths
Sargon fought alongside other mystical heroes in the Crisis on Infinite Earths and then again when the great Shadow Creature threatened heaven itself. Sargon died heroically as the creature's power incinerated his body. The Ruby of Life then went missing.
After dropping out of college, having at least seven relationships, and a brief stint as the lead singer in a band, David spent the rest of his life as a drifter on the side of the road. One day two men who claimed to represent the estate of his grandfather, the original Sargon, found David and told him that he was his heir. Actually, these men were demons trying to find Sargon's Ruby of Life, but could not do so because of the protection spells he had placed on his house.
David was tricked into signing away his grandfather's estate over to the two men, who then prepared to force him to find the Ruby when the Helmet of Fate suddenly appeared. David escaped the two and was led into his grandfather's secret attic by Sargon's ghost. Searching around, he found his grandfather's old props, his suit and turban, which contained some pieces of the Ruby of Life. Those pieces then went into David's chest, through them Sargon was able to project himself in front of his grandson. He explained to David that he needed a successor to his name to find the remaining pieces of the Ruby, which somehow shattered, and he was the only member of his bloodline still alive. He also explained that he pulled the Helmet off its course in order to provide a distraction long enough to grant David the Ruby's power.
David accepted the role of Sargon the Sorcerer, and armed with new mystical abilities, went to drive the two men from his home. At the time, the two used a piece of the Ruby they acquired to turn themselves into demons, and managed to weaken the Helmet. David then quickly disposed of the two, and sent the Helmet back on its course after placing a piece of himself into it.
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