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Rassmguy

Nergal/Negal

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I was wondering if anyone knows the answer to this...

 

Back in the 1940s, Nergal made his comic-book debut in More Fun Comics, as an enemy of Dr. Fate. Years later, he showed up again in Hellblazer. There are a lot of differences between the two depictions, but the name was the same. Apparently, that same character has returned in the pages of DC Comics to battle Dr. Fate again, only this time his name is Negal. Anyone know if that was done to distance him from Hellblazer's Nergal?

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My guess was that it was to continue the policy of distancing Vertigo and DC. I can't see any other reason.

 

I just did some more research, and this gets even weirder. Apparently, the original issue of More Fun Comics used the "Negal" spelling (see http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2...fate-mf67.jpg)), but it was changed to "Nergal" when the stroy was reprinted a few years ago (I double-checked my copy to be sure). Why would they changred "Negal" to "Nergal" if they wanted to reinforce the DC/Vertigo split...then go back to using "Negal' again?

 

Bizarre.

 

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Where was that story reprinted? I didn't realize it had ever been reprinted.

 

I'm pretty sure that the "Next Issue" blurb of Countdown to Mystery, when they announced that Nergal nee Negal was going to be in the issue, the solicitation text read "Nergal", but then they used "Negal" in the actual story when it was released.

Although, I'm going by memory and I might be totally wrong. The box with those comics in it is buried, and it hurts my back to move the boxes.

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Let's ask the specialist. Jessie, is Negal the summerian pronunciation for Nergal?

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I'm not at work so I don't have all my reference books, but as far as I know, 'Negal' is not attested as an ancient spelling (although spelling was pretty flexible in those days, so it may well have been). Ne-uru-gal was, though.

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And just for future reference, this is what big-deal Assyriologist Jeremy Black has to say about Nergal:

 

"The gods Nergal and Erra were originally seperate deities, but later became so closely identified as to lose their independent characters. Since Nergal was worshipped at the temple called E-meslam (Meslam House) at Kutu in Babylonia, he was also sometimes known under the name Meslamta-ea (He who comes forth from the Meslam); later he was also identified with Lugal-irra. Another cult center was Mashkan-Shapir. Nergal was associated with the underworld and was usually regarded as the husband of Ereshkigal, queen of the underworld. Their love story is related in the myth "Nergal and Ereshkigal." Other goddesses sometimes regarded as the wife of Nergal were Lats and Mamitu. Nergal was considered to be a son of Enlil and Ninlil, or else of Belet-ili.

In addition to his underworld connections, Nergal was also associated with forest fires, fevers and plagues, and sometimes had a warlike aspect . . . in Babylonian art, Nergal is represented as a god dressed in a long, open-fronted robe, often with one leg bared and advanced, his foot often placed upon a raised support or trampling a man. He usually carries a scimitar and a single- or double-headed lion-scepter. A god shown at rest in a coffin may also be Nergal. In the Parthian Period, Nergal was identified with the Greek Herakles."

 

None of this may ever be relevant, but I thought it worth posting.

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I found a new God, if I feel that Crom has left me.

 

 

 

 

 

But He will not, for shall I not fail Him.

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