This article is about the original incarnation of Mark Merlin. For his reincarnation, who is a distinct entity in his own right, see Prince Ra-Man.
The nephew of the famous magician and skeptic The Mighty Merlin, the young Mark Merlin grew up surrounded by magic and the skeptical investigation of supernatural claims. Following his uncle's death, Mark investigated the supposed demon attack and was able to reveal that it had been murder at the hands of a gang of magicians whom the Mighty Merlin had uncovered. Following this successful investigation, and out of respect for his uncle, Mark became a paranormal investigator determined to uncover hoaxes with the help of his girlfriend Elsa.
Mark Merlin was created by Jack Miller and Mort Meskin. He made his first appearance in House of Secrets #23.
Initially introduced in the Silver Age, most of his history and powers were established in this Age. His death during this Age, and reincarnation as Prince Ra-Man, were considered permanent.
During the Bronze Age small elements of his death and resurrection were retconned.
Without explanation, Mark was returned to life during this Age. The mechanism by which this occurred is unknown, considering that his physical body and soul were destroyed. He appears to have aged in relatively real time.
Major Story Arcs
House of Secrets
Working with Elsa, Mark investigates mysterious and unusual occurrences around the world. Often they encounter hoaxers, along with the occasional true supernatural event. They also frequently encounter aliens.
Whatever Happened to Mark Merlin and Prince Ra-Man?
Attacked by the Gargoyle, Mark Merlin becomes entrapped in an alternate dimension. Unable to fully escape this dimension but desperate to return to the endangered Elsa, he sacrifices his body and soul, and is partially reincarnated in the body of Prince Ra-Man.
Some time following Prince Ra-Man's death, an elderly Mark Merlin apparently returns to life in his original physical body. Living in a nursing home, he is contacted by the Penguin in an effort to communicate with an apparent spirit who is haunting him. He later explains this meeting to Batman.
Working for some time as a stagehand in order to learn about magic, he rescues Zatara from the Parasite and asks for help to find the missing Prince Ra-Man.
Powers and Abilities
Mark has no known superhuman powers or abilities. He is a skilled and knowledgeable occultist who has developed a great deal of true magical skill, as well as being well versed in stage magic and fakery. He has extensive experience with investigation, particularly of the paranormal.
Weapons and Equipment
Mark possesses a Magic Eye, which allows him to project illusions. He also carries a cat charm, with which he can project his soul into his cat, Memakata.