Torquemada is the main villain in the 2000 AD strip Nemesis the Warlock. As a child he embarked on what he thought was a 'children's crusade' to rid the galaxy of aliens, but was betrayed by the crusade's leader, sold into slavery and ended up working as a slave for an alien race for five years. After his escape and return home he hated aliens more than ever.
After working as the leader of the Tube Police on Termight (Earth in the far future), Torquemada eventually rose to be supreme ruler of the entire Termight Empire, ruling with the assistance of his quasi-religious police force, the Terminators. Torquemada's philosophy was simple: all alien life was evil and had to be destroyed in order for the 'pure' humans to inherit the universe.
Torquemada's elder brother Nostradamus used to be Grand Master. When the pair went on an expedition to the Time Wastes to discover Termight's future, Torquemada threw him off the ship and the creatures that live there tortured him, warping his body into a hideous form. Nostradamus escaped, but to avoid a scandal the family confined the depraved creature he had become to a lunatic asylum and pretended he was Torquemada's senile grandfather.
Following a bizarre teleporter accident caused by his arch-foe Nemesis the Warlock, Torquemada lost his physical form and was forced to continue his existence by possessing a series of host bodies which quickly rotted (which didn't stop him from killing Brother Behell when he tried to succeed him as Grand Master). This drove his first wife Candida insane and she was institutionalized (though she eventually recovered her sanity, whereupon Torquemada promptly murdered his second wife, Sister Sturn, in order to re-marry Candida).
Torquemada at one point seemed to be destroyed but a version of him taken from earlier in his personal timeline by Nemesis' son Thoth replaced him. The 'new' Torquemada found himself in a future where he had been dead for ten years, commemorated by a giant robot statue that crushed the 'impure' to death in its 'forgiving' embrace, and was promptly arrested for impersonating himself. The new ruler of Termight realised that Torquemada was the real McCoy but had him publicly executed as an imposter anyway, in case his reappearance disturbed the populace and their new-found reconciliation with aliens. Thoth put Torquemada in a time loop so that he burned to death again, and again, and again...
Nemesis ended up rescuing Torquemada from this grisly fate, with the help of Purity Brown and Candida, in order to lure Thoth out of hiding. Thoth escaped into the Time Wastes and Torquemada went on a mission with Nemesis, Candida, Purity and the ABC Warriors to find him. They ended up on Earth ten thousand million years in the future, when humanity had been extinct for millions of years, watching the sun, a red giant, set over a red sea.
Nemesis revealed that the human race had eventually grown tired of existence and had entered the sea and dissolved into red slime, becoming 'Primords'. They had been blissfully happy in this condition, a state of perfect contentment described by them as 'Nirvana', until Torquemada and Nostradamus had arrived from the Time Wastes. Torquemada had burnt the red slime that was the Primords to get fuel to power his engines of hate. As their bodies burnt, the agonised mental energy of the Primords had escaped into the atmosphere and been transformed into the vengeful hate-crazed Monads.
Torquemada was eventually contaminated with alien DNA by Nemesis. This meant that when his genetron bomb, designed to target aliens, exploded, he was melded with Nemesis and the Blitzspear. This three-in-one entity orbited the galaxy for a billion years. Torquemada then became separated from the Blitzspear and Nemesis, who punished him by going back in time, consuming his dead family's relics (his mother's ashes, his father's radioactive heart and his sister's blood), crucifying him and chucking him back into the timestream. He will presumably return to be punished further the next time 2000 AD wants a Nemesis the Warlock story.
Powers and abilities
AbilitiesLeadership skills; using his charisma to inspire fanatical loyalty (like Hitler).
It varies. Peak human male at best (he looks pretty ripped); decomposing corpse at worst.
EquipmentRonko purge-o-matic (instrument of torture).
Transportation'Horse de combat' (basically just a horse); gundola.
Chainsword; chain-axe; hedge trimmer.
Torquemada follows the religion/philosophy of Order. Nemesis and Deadlock both follow the antithetical/complementary religion of Khaos.
- Torquemada's catchphrase, used to control the population, was "Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!"
- Candida's pet name for Torquemada was "Tom-Tom."
- There were seven chapters of Terminators: the Inquisitors, New Druids, Dervishes, Outriders, Assassins, Dark Brethren and Berserkers.
- Torquemada has written a book called My Struggle.
- In the 2000 AD 40th Anniversary Special Torquemada had a one-page appearance which was drawn by Bryan Talbot and written by Matt Smith.
- Appearances of Torquemada
- Character Gallery: Torquemada
- Images that feature Torquemada
- Fan-Art Gallery: Torquemada
- Torquemada quotations
Discover and Discuss
- Search News for: ·