Sardath is one of the elders of Rann and one of its chief scientists. Among his many discoveries one stands out as most important, the Zeta Beam, which he used to teleport Adam Strange to Rann. This had an effect both on the destiny of the planet as Adam Strange became its primary defender and champion, and personally as Adam married Sardath's daughter Alanna.
In the 1950s and 1960s, DC comics used the ongoing series Showcase to effectively test the market pertaining to the potential popularity of a character. Some characters such as the Flash would go on to great popularity, while others such as the Challengers of the Unknown or Rip Hunter enjoyed consistent if not noteworthy success in their own series. In issue 17 of this series, Adam Strange was introduced, as was Alanna and Sardath. Shortly thereafter there were chosen to headline the series Mystery in Space, which had been essentially a space anthology. After the Adam Strange stories were plugged into the series though, the series focused solely around them, to which Sardath played an ongoing yet secondary role.
He has been portrayed mostly as a static character throughout his character history. While developments have occurred in recent years to put Rann closer to the front of mainstream DC continuity, he has maintained more or less the same role, one who avoids combat and instead uses his intellect to solve problems.
Major Story Arcs
The majority of the golden and silver age stories containing Sardath depict him as a background character. He is generally depicted as being in charge of the Zeta Beam, but as the Beam was still in its form where it would return Adam home after a set period, it would be generally that Adam would show up for some time and then return to Earth whether he wanted to or not. He generally had a good relation with Adam, especially so that Adam became the planet's champion and husband to his daughter. The character was mostly ignored during later events such as Crisis on Infinite Earths, but he would begin to show up more around the events leading to the Rann-Thanagar War and the events leading in to Infinite Crisis as DC Comics began once again to focus more on space based adventures.
Rann-Thanagar Holy War: Countdown to Adventure
Only a select few believed Lady Styx was destroyed but it seems Lady Styx has regenerated. Lady Styx wants to exact her revenge on Earth as well as Rann so she infects a Hollywood movie star named Steven “The Champ” Hazard. Styx’s reason for infecting Hazard is because she learned that Sardath had chosen the celebrity to be Adam Strange’s replacement as the protector of Rann since Strange was beginning to fail in his duties. Sardath transported Hazard during the shooting of his latest action flick. Adam of course, wasn’t happy with Sardath’s decision but at the same time, Strange could see that Sardath was not acting like his usual self. Sardath asks Strange to counsel Hazard on what to expect from Rann. However, Hazard’s egocentric nature causes him to underestimate a Sandswarmer in the Desert of Tears and Hazard’s face ends up getting scarred.
Strange confronts Hazard for his reckless behavior and Hazard reacts like a rabid dog. Hazard threatens Strange that if he ever chastises him in front of the Rannians again then Strange will end up dead. Sardath calms Hazard and tells Strange to go home to his family since he is no longer needed. Strange decides to spy on Sardath and Hazard to figure out why they are acting out of character. Strange soon realizes that Sardath has abandoned his faith in science and has accepted Lady Styx’s philosophy as his religion.
From what he has gathered, Strange believes that Lady Styx is infecting key individuals on Rann with some sort of virus in order to bring Rann crumbling down from the inside. Strange also theorizes on how the effects of the virus differ between Sardath and Hazard. Sardath is now a devout yet still lucid follower of Lady Styx while Hazard is becoming a blood thirsty crusader for Lady Styx. Hazard instills marshal law on Rann with Sardath’s unquestioned approval. Hazard also deputizes the majority of Rann’s population who believe in Lady Styx as a savior. Strange calls out for outside assistance on Earth while Hazard’s vigilantes hunted down the supposed enemies of Lady Styx on Rann.
Strange’s out going cry for help gains the attention of a group of intergalactic healers. These healers are dedicated to cleansing of plagues that might infect the balance of the universe. The healers were on Earth at the time because they could sense a bacterial disturbance in Animal Man’s son Cliff Baker. Cliff was infected by the Lady Styx virus because Cliff had shook Hazard’s hand during the shooting of his picture. The healers could tell from their readings that Cliff’s viral infection has already begun to spread throughout his neighborhood. The healers quarantine the area with a force field and unleash a swarm of robotic nanites called sterilizers in order to wipe out the virus as well as the infected.
Starfire tries to protect Cliff from the sterilizers while trying to restrain him since the virus has made him insane. Cliff uses a kitchen knife to cut Starfire and Starfire becomes so agitated with Cliff that she uses her solar energy bolts to disarm him. Starfire’s quick thinking not only subdued Cliff but it also eradicated the virus within his body. This is the reason why Lady Styx hates Starfire above anyone else. Starfire gains her abilities by absorbing the solar rays from the sun and her powers can eradicate Styx’s viral influence rather than incubating it. Starfire uses her abilities to cure Cliff’s neighborhood before the sterilizers could complete their purpose.
Meanwhile, Adam did all he could to find out if anyone on Earth had received his message. Adam used a remote terminal to silently access one of Rann’s satellites to send his message but now he can use it to view anything taking place on Earth. Adam could see what was happening on Earth but he was interrupted by Hazard who has been monitoring Adam’s movements. Adam puts an end to Hazard by using Sardath’s zeta beam. The zeta beam teleports Hazard to the healers’ quarantine zone on Earth and the sterilizers zone in on Hazard’s location. The sterilizers practically devour Hazard from the inside thus putting an end to the pregeniator of Lady Styx’s virus.
Unfortunately, the healers will not allow anyone to leave the quarantine zone until they are convinced of the virus’ destruction on Earth which means Starfire can’t help Strange in eradicating the virus on Rann. Strange decides to contact Captain Comet because Blake's telepathic abilities might be able to disrupt Styx's direct influence over Rann. As Strange tries to make contact with Hardcore Station, Hawkman arrives on Rann with some disturbing news. It seems Deacon Dark has risen once again and he has established a new Eternal Light Corporation on Thanagar.
The deacon preaches to the Thanagarians to ignore their frail peace agreement with Rann and to unleash their fury in the name of Synnar. The Thanagarians are moved by the deacon’s words because Dark presents Synnar as a deity who is worth their worship as compared to Onimar Synn. Hawkman informs Adam that the deacon has convinced a squadron of Thanagarians to pillage the mineral fields in the Valley of Cries on Rann. Both men know this act must be prevented before it sparks another war between Rann and Thanagar. Adam & Hawkman manage to defeat the Thanagarians before any major damage could be recorded.
Unfortunately, they come under attack by a t-rex. This prehistoric creature appeared out of nowhere and began to consume the Thanagarian prisoners until the Weird blew the dinosaur's head off from the inside. The t-rex appeared on Rann because the deacon has been conducting temporal alterations on Hardcore Station when he is not on Thanagar. This unexpected occurrence would explain the random appearances of extinct creatures on planet Rann. The deacon's reason behind this temporal interference is because the deacon intends to pinpoint the exact moment Synnar supposedly died on Hardcore Station. The t-rex and the sudden appearance of a Shaggy Man on Rann are nothing more than byproducts that were created during the trial runs of the deacon's temporal manipulator.
Even though Sardath is concerned about Hazard’s recent disappearance, he allows Strange to return to active duty and Strange asks Sardath figure out the location of the deacon’s temporal manipulator. Sardath agrees to help but he can only triangulate the machine’s temporal energy signature when the deacon uses it again. The deacon eventually perfects the manipulator and he is successful in plucking Synnar from the past but his success also gives away his position. The temporal manipulator caused a volcano to suddenly erupt on Rann which to Rannians, is considered unprecedented. Adam along with his other comrades head to Hardcore Station only to find Chief Justice Max crucified upside down on an Eternal Light Corporation monument. Adam brings Max down from the monument and Captain Comet arrives on the scene. Blake was unable to get in contact with Strange because the deacon had sent a devoted follower/ suicide bomber to kill Blake.
Deacon Dark appears and greets the heroes with his taunts but he is easily dispatched by Captain Comet's telepathic pulse. Deacon Dark sheds his synthetic disguise in order to meet up with Synnar in a different location. Deacon Dark informs Synnar that he was brought to this exact moment because Synnar's presence is necessary for the second coming of the Nameless which will take place on the planet Rann. Deacon Dark heads to Thanagar to rally the Grand Mor’s forces in order to launch another assault on Rann. Afterwards, Deacon Dark leads Synnar to a ziggurat within Rann’s Desert of Tears. Deacon Dark begins to invoke an incantation which will transfer the essence of the Nameless into Synnar thus giving the Nameless a physical body.
Meanwhile, Sardath learns of the Grand Mor’s impending invasion and decides to meet the Grand Mor head on then destroy Thanagar in Lady Styx’s name. Adam Strange asks Captain Comet to use his telepathic abilities to echo his voice during the battle between Rann and Thanagar. Comet’s telepathic voice makes both sides believe that their almighty creator is speaking to them. Comet tells both sides to disembark their battle and both sides heed Comet’s demand by retreating.
After learning of Synnar’s merger with the Nameless, Adam Strange decides he must divide his resources to conquer Lady Styx and Synnar. Strange knows Starfire’s powers are the only thing that can put an end to Lady Styx’s occupation on Throneworld. Starfire is accompanied by the Weird while Strange and Comet head to Hardcore Station because they have just been informed by Chief Justice Max that there have been some undisclosed developments on the station’s satellite. Strange and Comet discover the deacon’s latest plot to spread the word of the Nameless. The deacon has been kidnapping telepaths who pass through Hardcore Station and placing them in individual cells within the satellite in order to siphon their powers. With a collective of telepaths hooked to a satellite, Synnar’s word will spread throughout the universe like a brushfire and his will be just as equally difficult to dislodge since the universe can’t afford to lose the revenues that Hardcore Station brings in. Strange decides to make a tough decision which is begin the immediate destruction of Rann in order to put an end to Synnar. Strange is afraid to ask the Weird to use his siphoning abilities in order to trigger a planetary self destruct sequence but the Weird accepts the responsibility because it is not only an heroic act but it is the right thing to do.
Strange leads the Weird to the newly built section of Hardcore Station’s satellite thereby draining the telepathic energy from the satellite and redirecting it toward Synnar. The Weird uses a technique similar to revification called teleportational bonding which will disincorporate Synnar.
Death of Hawkman
Sardath was believed to have been killed by Thanagarian assassins at the start of the Death of Hawkman mini-series. In reality this was an illusion created by Despero to start an interplanetary war between Rann and Thanagar. After Despero was defeated by Hawkman and Adam Strange, Sardath returned to Rann and was reunited with Alanna.
Power and Abilities
Rannians are generally considered equal to humans in physiology, and thus Sardath is considered in average shape for a man at his age. His major advantage is his intellect and the inventions which he can create with it. Although he is generally regarded as creating things with more of an engineering or physical component, it has been shown that he also has a degree of knowledge in the life sciences field (having for instance successfully cloned the eyes of his granddaughter to replace the blinded eyes of Adam Strange.)