5917 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Tamerkhan the Cruel (Aquaman enemy) (DC Comics)

Tamerkhan the Cruel

Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game


  • Real Name: Unrevealed
  • Marital Status: Widowed
  • Known Relatives: Liat (Daughter), Wife (Name unrevealed; deceased)
  • Group Affiliation: Genghis Khan’s Golden Mongol Horde
  • Base Of Operations: The oceans of the Earth
  • Height: 5’10” Weight: 135lbs Age: 75 – 80 years old [Apparent]; 700 + [Actual]
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Unrevealed; presumably white.

Powers and Abilities

Tamerkhan the Cruel was the greatest scientist of the Orient, creating many ingenious devices in the service of Genghis Khan. His science has prolonged his life for centuries and allowed him to breathe and communicate underwater.

He easily created a device to negate Mera’s hard water powers and his Dragon-Ship is more than a match for the defense forces of Atlantis. He is a wily and cunning schemer.


Seven centuries ago, Tamerkhan the Cruel, the greatest scientist in the Orient, used his remarkable inventions and discoveries in service to his master, Genghis Khan. Many victories were won for the Khan but neither Tamerkhan’s scientific know-how nor the martial prowess of the four-armed Attucka could prevent the Khan’s empire from dissolving into chaos following his death.

Tamerkhan and Attucka escaped their enemies using the scientist’s fantastic submersible, the Dragon-Ship. Though the two Mongols lived well as pirates on and under the open seas, the pair wished to eventually bring the world back under the domination of the Golden Mongol Horde. To that end, Tamerkhan invented a serum, based on the biology of sea turtles, which would extend their lives for centuries.

Three centuries ago, Tamerkhan captured an Asian princess in order to conceive a child. Although Tamerkhan hoped for a son, a daughter, Liat, was born and he vowed that she would be as savage and merciless as any Mongol warrior. For the next three hundred years, Tamerkhan, Attucka, and Liat plundered the seas together.

During that time, the scientist discovered a means to allow the trio to breathe and communicate underwater. (The fate of Liat’s mother is unknown; presumably Tamerkhan did not grace her with his life extending serum.)

Eventually, Tamerkhan grew weary of his wandering existence. He learned of the undersea city-state Atlantis and decided to conquer it, intending to have Liat choose a mate from among the Atlantean population. While the Dragon-Ship silently glided toward the domed city, Tamerkhan and the others were unaware that the sub had gained a new passenger. Arthur, Jr. (then known simply as Aquababy) son of Aquaman and Mera, wandered away from his parents as they argued about his future.

Mera saw Aquababy as a brilliant scientist and a wise and generous ruler while Aquaman thought that his son should follow in his footsteps, “knocking over foes while his old man takes it easy.” Little did the royal couple realize that they would soon get a brief glimpse of the future.

Aquababy found his way into the Dragon-Ship’s laboratory and disturbed one of Tamerkhan’s experiments. A beaker broke on the floor inches from Aquababy’s swimming form and the mysterious cloud that billowed out aged the Atlantean tyke to his late teens.

Naturally, when Arthur, Jr., now Aquaboy, was discovered, Attucka threatened to kill the intruder. But Liat immediately fell in love with the handsome Aquaboy, who returned her affections, and the two young (?) people swam to Atlantis to inform Aquaman and Mera of their intent to marry. Before long, all of Atlantis was toasting Prince Aquaboy and his betrothed Liat.

At that moment, Tamerkhan’s Dragon-Ship struck. Acting under preset instructions, the sub attacked the city while Tamerkhan himself used his Dragon Talisman to ensure Aquaboy’s loyalty to his future father-in-law. With his people suffering a terrible defeat inflicted by the Dragon-Ship, Aquaman surrendered to the Mongol scientist. The Sea King was thrown into an Atlantean dungeon and Tamerkhan took the throne.

Seeking an opportunity to deprive Tamerkhan of either the ring capable of turning her water control powers against her or the Dragon Talisman that controlled her son, Mera convinced the Mongol to arrange a duel between Aquaman and his minion Attucka. During the battle, Mera was able to seize the Talisman and toss it to Aquaman who succeeded in destroying it before being hit from behind by Attucka. Aquaboy, once more himself, sped to his father’s defense but in the ensuing struggle Attucka gained the upper hand.

Threatening Aquaboy’s life, Attucka forced Aquaman to surrender a second time. Tamerkhan hastily arranged the marriage of Liat to Aquaboy, now much against the Prince’s will. Just as the ceremony reached its climax, the serum that had aged Aquababy wore off and he reverted to infanthood. When Tamerkhan moved to inject Aquababy with a booster shot of the aging serum, the tyke grabbed the ring from his hand and swallowed it [Hey! I don’t write them!].

Deprived of this ring, Tamerkhan was no longer able to prevent Mera from using her hard water powers. The queen of Atlantis smashed the chains that held her and Aquaman fast and the Sea King battled Attucka while Tamerkhan and Liat fled to the Dragon-Ship.

Attucka was accidentally killed during his brief struggle with Aquaman but the Sea King did not have long to reflect on this example of divine justice. Tamerkhan, having reached the Dragon-Ship intended to attack Atlantis. Mera quickly encased the sub in a hard water shell as it fired its weapons on the city. When Aquaman and Mera entered the ship they discovered that Mera’s hard water shell had somehow interacted with the Dragon-Ship’s energy blasters to destroy Tamerkhan and his daughter’s near immortality.

They aged so quickly only their empty clothes were left behind as proof of their existence. Aquaman consigned the Dragon-Ship and its deceased creator to the Dungeon Depths, a deep trench in the ocean floor from which nothing ever rises.


Tamerkhan the Cruel is the very image of the wizened Asian mastermind with fiendishly arched eyebrows and a long white mustache and beard. He wears a long, red mandarin-style robe with white sleeve cuffs over plain black leggings. His tan shoes curve at the toes. Upon his head rests a strange, crown-like, golden helmet that covers his hair.

Tamerkhan wears his Dragon Talisman on a chain around his neck. It is made of silvery metal and decorated with a scowling dragon’s face on the front. It is the size of a large coin. His left index finger bears his Water Control Ring, a metallic piece of jewelry with a tiny antenna.

The Dragon-Ship, also illustrated, is approximately the height, width, and length of a train engine. It is golden in color and styled to look like a short muzzled oriental dragon. The body of the ship is segmented allowing it to ’slither‘ through the water like a serpent. Circular viewing ports line either side of the craft and a serrated ridge runs its length.

Its ’eyes’ are forward viewing windows and its energy beams emerge from nostril-like holes that rest atop a fearsome looking but apparently nonfunctional pair of jaws. The three claw arms are deployed from a hatch near the top of the ship’s ’head‘. Four stubby fins protrude from the craft, two on the starboard side, two on the port. The interior of the Dragon-Ship is like something out of Jules Verne; two parts mad scientist laboratory to one part Victorian siting room.


Tamerkhan the Cruel is the stereotypical Asian super-criminal full of guile and treachery. Although professing a weariness that prompts his desire to cease wandering, he takes to the challenge of conquering Atlantis with an evil glee. He isn’t too weary to notice the beautiful Mera, either.

He loves his daughter Liat and treats Attucka as an inferior fit only to follow orders.


“Excellent! Atlantis is falling into my hands like a ripe fruit ! Now, it is time to squeeze the juice from my triumph !”

DC Universe History

Though Tamerkhan the Cruel has not resurfaced in the post-Crisis DC Universe, it is not impossible for his attempted takeover of Atlantis to have occurred much as it was first presented. While apparently killed at the end of his only recorded appearance, it is quite possible that Tamerkhan the Cruel faked the deaths of he and his daughter in order to escape Aquaman.

Alternately, he may have been returned to life by his Invulnerability Power once the Sea King had consigned the Dragon-Ship to the Dungeon Depths. Once a reason for Tamerkhan’s return has been established, he could very easily be integrated into any seagoing campaign having established an underwater Mongol empire. He might even pop up in his role as pirate, sinking ships and stealing cargo.


Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Tamerkhan the Cruel

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Power Lust
Int: 07 Wil: 07 Min: 06 Occupation: Evil Scientist / Pirate
Inf: 06 Aur: 06 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 010
Init: 014 HP: 050

Powers: Invulnerability: 04, Telepathy: 04, Water Freedom: 03

Bonuses and Limitations: Power Restriction: Telepathy only allows Tamerkhan to communicate with other sea-dwelling people. He cannot use it to initiate mental combat.

Skills: Gadgetry: 11, Scientist: 09, Vehicles (Sea): 05, Weaponry (Exotic, Heavy): 06

Advantages: Genius

Connections: Attucka (High)

Drawbacks: Age (Old)


  • The Dragon Talisman [Body: 02, Control: 06, R#: 02, HP Cost: 56]
  • WATER CONTROL RING [Body: 02, Water Control: 12, R#: 02, HP Cost: 65. Limitation: Power Restriction: The ring’s Water Control Power only allows the wielder to gain control of ’hard water‘ objects, in other words, objects brought into existence by Mera’s Force Manipulation Power.
    In its only recorded appearance, the ring is used to dissolve one of Mera’s ’hard water‘ creations. This is a Dice Action with APs of Water Control as AV / EV and APs of Force Manipulation / Body of the object created as OV / RV. If RAPs equal or exceed the Body of the ’hard water‘ construct it immediately dissolves (-1). Note: The Water Control Ring is not named in the story]
  • THE DRAGON – SHIP [Str: 11, Bod: 13, Int: 02, Wil: 01, Energy Blast: 10, Extra Limb [x3]: 10, Magnetic Control: 08, Sealed Systems: 15, Stretching: 03, Swimming: 05, Water Freedom: 05, Vehicles (Sea): 04, Weaponry (Heavy, Exotic): 05, Hardened Defenses, R#: 02, HP Cost: 790.
    • Limitation: The Dragon-Ship’s Stretching Power can only be used in conjunction with its Extra Limb Power. It grants no benefit other than extending the reach of these three claw arms. (-1)
    • Limitation: The Dragon-Ship’s Water Freedom Power does not grant its pilot or passengers the ability to breathe underwater. (-1)
    • Advantage: The Dragon-Ship can be programmed to follow preset instructions. When operating in this fashion, it uses its Weaponry Skill as the AV of any Attack made with its weapon systems (Energy Blast, Magnetic Control, or Extra Limb) and its Vehicles Skill as the AV / OV should it need to evade counter-attacks. (+50)
    • Advantage: The Dragon-Ship has a 10 AP Laboratory onboard. (+48)
    • Note: Since the experiment that successfully allowed Tamerkhan and his two companions to breathe underwater, the Dragon-Ship’s Sealed Systems have not been in use. Instead, the ship is kept flooded with sea water. Presumably, Tamerkhan can reactivate the Sealed Systems should the need arise]

Invulnerability and Extended Lifespan

Tamerkhan the Cruel has been granted a level of Invulnerability in accordance with a rule proposed by Dr. Sean MacDonald that relates a character’s APs of Invulnerability to his / her BODY APs to determine the approximate length of said character’s extended lifespan. In Doc’s own words:

“Twice BODY (or more) APs of Invulnerability means the character is truly immortal and will never die of old age. More than BODY (but less than twice BODY) APs of Invulnerability cause the character to be nearly immortal. Such a character might live for millennia, but will eventually die. BODY or less APs of Invulnerability means that the character has an extended lifespan, but not to such large degrees. For example, 1 AP of Invulnerability might add 25 years to the character’s lifespan. A character with BODY APs might live for centuries.”

Tamerkhan’s Invulnerability: 04, slightly higher than his BODY: 03, accounts for his near millennia of life.

By Vincent Paul Bartilucci

Source of Character: Aquaman #25 [First Series] published by DC Comics.

Helper(s): Dr. Sean MacDonald.

Writeups.org is a non-commercial, community site

We chat and work at the DC Heroes Yahoo! group .