|A.K.A.:||Theseus, Prince of Athens;
|Relatives:||Buck Le Sabre (uncle)
"I Love Lizzie:35th Anniversary Reunion" as Giancarlo Mazetti, the famous Italian Movie Actor
|First Appearance:||FURY OF FIRESTORM No. 24|
You almost have to feel sorry for Wayne Tarrant. He is the kind of guy who has lived his entire life in the shadows of great men all the while struggling to overcome his own mediocrity. Wayne had been living in the 14th minute of his fifteen minutes of fame for years and when "Blue Devil" came around, he thought he would regain some of his fame. And maybe he did. I don't know. To tell the truth, the acting part of Wayne's story never really interested me very much. His relationship with the other players in the series and the development of his character over the 31 issues of Blue Devil are the reasons I enjoy reading about the man so darn much. But nevertheless, I realize that all you Wayne Tarrant freaks out there (and believe me, there are lots more than you'd think!) will no doubt want me to discuss his history a bit, so here it is.
Wayne started his performing career in his late teens as a singer calling himself Theseus, Prince of Athens. During that time, no one could touch him. His single "Pagan Love" was a runaway hit earning him a double platinum record, loads of cash, and a legion of adoring fans. His fan base consisted mainly of impressionable teenage girls who would do anything and everything for him. And don't think Wayne didn't take advantage. For the most part, there was no harm done aside from some hurt feelings (see BLUE DEVIL No. 10) but that does not by any means excuse his behavior. But as is so often the case with these kinds of things, Wayne's popularity as a singer waned as quickly as it waxed and soon the young man was looking for a new career.
Luckily for Wayne, he was a very handsome young man and handsome young men are exactly what Hollywood looks for. Of course, most of his films were in fact B-movies about alien doctors from outerspace and other such nonsense. But the simple fact remained, he was working and you can't argue with that. As you might expect, during the time he was working the B-movie circuit, Wayne engaged in many scandalous affairs, the likes of which one reads in the gossip columns every day. And after all that time making crummy movies and making a fool out of himself, it became hard for anyone in Hollywood to take him seriously anymore. But as I said, "Blue Devil" was to change all that.
Wayne Tarrant's entire life up until the beginning of the Blue Devil series was an endless show of immaturity and gross irresponsibility. And while maintaining a bit of those child-like qualities, I think we saw the man grow as a person and an actor through his relationships with friends like Dan Cassidy and Marla Bloom. Towards the end it actually looked like he might have attained some semblance of maturity when he achieved steady employment as an actor on a soap opera filmed in Metropolis. Not only that, but he might just have found himself a woman with whom he could be happy, whom he could even love! Her name was Valerie and she was a writer for his show. Things were working out for Wayne Tarrant at long last and it was almost heart warming to experience.
But the truly fun part was watching the events that led up to all this. I mean, there's no doubt in anyone's mind that Wayne is a cronic dork, but he's a lovable dork at that. He never really sets out to hurt anybody but he has a very sensitive nature which sometimes brings out the worst of him through jealousy. Wayne's real problem, however--at least as I saw it--was always shame in himself and though he never really spoke about it, I think he would have liked to return to the carefree days of his youth when all he needed was a pretty face and a winning smile and happiness would come rolling through his doorway.
When the comic book took place, Wayne had to work for his money and nothing came easily. At one point he was even doing commercials for his uncle's used car lot. (see BLUE DEVIL #21) Needless to say, it was not the career path Wayne imagined himself embarking upon, but it was the path he found himself forced to take, nonetheless. As I saw it, facing frustration and unemployment taught Wayne a valuable lesson about life and through this lesson, he very subtly became a better man. And as I also mentioned way above, it was having good friends standing by him in the hard times that helped him pull himself up by his bootstraps and become serious about his career.
It's funny. I'm sitting here waxing philosophical about a fictional character who for all intents and purposes was created to be unlikable, and yet I cannot help but like him. Whether Gary Cohn and Dan Mishkin even intended the character development I described is rather doubtful, but I think it exists just the same.
More to come...(perhaps)
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