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Comic Book / Tragg and the Sky Gods

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Not pictured: the Sky Gods.

Tragg and the Sky Gods was a comic book title published by Gold Key Comics in the mid-1970s. The series was created by writer Donald F. Glut and artist Jesse Santos. Later, artist Dan Spiegle would work on the title.

The book told of a group of advanced aliens called the Yargonians who landed on Earth in the distant past and experimented on the Neanderthals they found there. They captured a pair of young women and altered their DNA, so that there children would be an evolutionary jump: representing a new species of humanity. The Yargonians then left, resolving to check back a generation later to see what they'd wrought.

The Yargonians who returned on schedule. However, in the interim, there had been a revolution, and these Yargonians represented an expansionist, exploitive regime that sought to conquer Earth and enslave the locals with their mesmegas, i.e. hand-held mind-control devices. Fortunately the now-grown children of their experimental subjects, Tragg (the hero) and Lorn (the love interest), the first modern humans, were there to oppose their evil plans.


Tragg and the Sky Gods contains examples of:

  • 1 Million B.C.: The setting for the book, which features cavemen battling dinosaurs.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: The Yargonians. Even the initial 'benevolent' group that first visits Earth sees nothing wrong with experimenting of on sentient beings and then wiping their memories so they do not recall the experimentation. The later, more militaristic group are engaged on a galaxy-wide campaign of conquest and enslavement, and Earth is the next planet in their sights.
  • Alien Invasion: The Yargonians who return to Earth a generation after their first visit represent an expansionist, exploitive regime that seek to turn Earth into lebensraum and enslave the locals with their mesmegas, i.e., hand-held Mind Control Devices.
  • All Cavemen Were Neanderthals: Tragg's tribe are never referred to as Neanderthals in the story (the designation would mean nothing to either the tribe or the Yargonians), but they certainly look like them. They are shorter, stockier, and hairier than Tragg, who is the first modern human man.
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  • Ancient Astronauts: The alien Yargonians visited a tribe of Neanderthals and were regarded by the them as gods. A generation later, the Yargonians return, but this time as conquerors.
  • Animal Stampede: In #2, Zorek, the leader of the Yargonians, attempts to wipe out Tragg's tribe by trapping them in a basin and then stampeding a herd of dinosaurs into the basin.
  • Bears Are Bad News: In #9, Tragg and his tribe move into a new set of caves on the coast. However, the caves are already occupied by a cave bear that attacks them.
  • Beast Man: In #4, the Yargonian commander Zorek merges Tragg's rival Gorth with a sabre-toothed tiger to create a creature that is half-man/half-sabre-tooth who he names Sabre-Fang. Zorek then sends Sabre-Fang out to hunt and destroy Tragg and Lorn.
  • Beast of Battle: Tragg befriends a tribe who have learned how to train and ride triceratops, and enlists them as allies in his battle against the alien invaders.
  • Defector from Decadence: Keera, the first officer of the Yargonian invaders, keeps musing about how the men of her race have lost all nobility, and how noble the savage Tragg is.
  • Dem Bones: In #9, the Necromancer Ostellon, Master of the Living Bones reanimates the skeletons of the tribe that used to inhabit the caves that Tragg's tribe have just moved into and uses them to attack Keera.
  • The Discovery of Fire: In #5, Tragg and Lorn discover a tribe of man-apes. In saving one of the man-apes from a dinosaur, Tragg extinguishes a naturally occurring column of flame. Only after this act does he learn that the man-apes worship this flame as a god, as they lack the ability to make fire themselves. The man attempt to execute Tragg for his heresy. In escaping, Tragg reignites the lake of oil that was feeding the column of flame.
  • Duel to the Death: In #6, Tragg and Lorn are captured by a tribe whose traditions dictate that any strangers entering the valley must be put to death. While the chief is debating whether to apply the tradition (Tragg had just saved his son), Keera arrives, pretending to be a goddess. Following argument between Lorn and Keera, the chief offers them the opportunity to fight a duel, using traditional weapons, next to a pit filled with Spikes of Doom. The winner must either force their opponent into the pit, or kill them and throw their body into the pit.
  • Fossil Revival: In #9, Tragg battles a Necromancer called Ostellon, Master of the Living Bones who has been empowered by the Dark Gods. Ostellon reanimates an tyrannosaurus skeleton to attack Tragg.
  • Fur Bikini: Lorn's usual grab. The other women in the tribe wear more sack-like garments.
  • God Guise: Following the Yargonians' first visit, Tragg's tribe regard them as gods and wait for their return.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: Zorek, the commander of the Alien Invasion, sport as green Fu Manchu moustache (all Yargonians have green hair). Not helped by the fact that Yargonians look vaguely Asiatic; having golden skin and slanted eyes.
  • A Handful for an Eye: In #6, Keera is fighting a Duel to the Death against Lorn when she blinds the redhead by throwing sand in her eyes before grabbing her and attempting to toss her into the Spikes of Doom.
  • Handsome Heroic Caveman: Tragg is the first modern human male: the result of the manipulation of his mother's DNA by aliens. He is tall, muscular, handsome and clean limbed, unlike his more stooped and hirsute kinfolk, and definitely heroic, as he opposes an alien invasion that seeks to enslave humanity.
  • Hanging by the Fingers: In #6, Keera is fighting a Duel to the Death against Lorn. She lunges at Lorn, but Lorn dodges and Keera plunges into a pit lined with Spikes of Doom. She manages to grab hold of a tiny handhold on the wall and is left dangling above the spikes before Tragg and Lorn show mercy and offer to pull her up.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Lorn, Tragg's mate and true love, is a redheaded Nubile Savage. Tragg continually turns down advances from the sultry alien Keera so as to remain faithful to Lorn.
  • Jet Pack: The Yargonians have these and use them for transport.
  • Lava Adds Awesome: There are numerous active volcanoes dotted about Tragg's homeland, that occasionally serve as a setting for Tragg's battles with aliens and dinosaurs.
  • Living Dinosaurs: The presence of dinosaurs alongside cavemen is handwaved as being only an isolated pocket of ecology in the region where Tragg's tribe dwelt, and they were gone in most of the world.
  • Loincloth: The usual garb for Tragg and the other men of his tribe. Being a Handsome Heroic Caveman, Tragg looks much better in his.
  • Lost World: The presence of dinosaurs alongside cavemen is handwaved as being only an isolated pocket of ecology in the region where Tragg's tribe dwelt, and they were gone in most of the world.
  • Made a Slave: The majority of Tragg's tribe is enslaved by the Yargonians and forced to toil in the mines for them. Freeing them becomes one of Tragg's priorities.
  • Mind-Control Device: The Yargonian invaders use handheld mind control devices known as 'mesmegas' to enslave the locals.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: In #6, Keera decides that Tragg will never love her while his mate Lorn is alive, so her best course of action is to kill Lorn. She reasons that even if he does not become hers after that, she will have the satisfaction of knowing that he is suffering as she is.
  • Necromancer: In #9, the Dark Gods resurrect the dead sorcerer Ostellon and grant him the power to bestow life upon, and command, the bones of the dead.
  • Nubile Savage: Lorn, the first modern woman, is a redheaded hottie in a Fur Bikini with artfully tousled hair, perfect skin and no body hair. It seems alien manipulation of your DNA can work miracles.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: In Tragg's first appearance (in Mystery Comics Digest #3), he and Lorn battle the world's first werewolf: created when the cowardly hunter Snark drinks from a lake contaminated by the fuel tanks of a crashed alien spaceship just after a dire wolf has been flung into the water by a stegosaurus. (And that may be the most awesome sentence I have ever written.) He becomes a rampaging Wolf Man (or dire wolf man to be strictly accurate) under the full moon.
  • People of Hair Color: All of the Yargonians have green hair.
  • Quicksand Sucks: In #4, Tragg falls into a tar pit while battling the Beast Man Sabre-Fang.
  • Rival Turned Evil: Gorth was a tribesman who always resented the handsome and talented Tragg. This simmering hatred allowed Zorek to transform into the Beast Man Sabre-Fang: half-man/half-sabretooth tiger. Sabre-Tooth was turned loose with one overwhelming compulsion: to hunt and kill Tragg and Lorn.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: The Yargonians look mostly human but with golden skin, green hair, pointed ears and slanted eyes.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: In #6, Fernek shoots the lock off Keera's cell to allow her to escape.
  • Rock Beats Laser: An ongoing theme of the series, as Tragg is consistently able to best aliens armed with Ray Guns and other advanced technology with nothing more than stone age weaponry. A literal version happens in #6, when Keera draws her blaster during a Duel to the Death, only to have it knocked from her hand and smashed by a rock thrown by Lorn.
  • Spikes of Doom: In #6, Lorn and Keera fight a Duel to the Death that must end with the victor casting the loser into a pit whose bottom is lined with sacred spears.
  • Take My Hand!: In #6, Keera falls into a pit of spikes while trying to kill Lorn. She is left Hanging by the Fingers from a narrow ledge. Tragg and Lorn offer mercy to her and reach in and pull out her out, which astounds Keera.
  • Tap on the Head: In #5, Tragg and Lorn—who are established as being much tougher than normal humans—are both knocked out by rocks thrown by the man-apes.
  • Villainesses Want Heroes: Keera—the first officer of the Yargonian invaders—seriously has the hots for Handsome Heroic Caveman Targg. This drives to attempt to kill Tragg's mate Lorn, and eventually to become a Defector from Decadence.
  • Villainous Crush: Keera, the first officer of the Yargonian invaders, has the hots for Tragg, and keeps attempting to seduce him away from his true love Lorn.
  • Volcano Lair: The Yargonian invaders set up their base inside the volcano known as Fire Mountain
  • Weaponized Exhaust: In #2, Tragg uses the flames from Keera's Jet Pack to start a fire to repel a dinosaur stampede.
  • Wolf Man: Snark, the world's first werewolf, transforms into a form that is half man, half dire wolf, but maintains the upright posture of a human.
  • Wronski Feint: In #9, Tragg is attacked by a reanimated T. rex skeleton. He defeats it by tricking it into chasing him and then lures it the edge of a cliff. He jumps off and the skeleton follows him. He lands on a small ledge and the skeleton plunges into the sea.