|This article is about the wizard who disguised himself as "Garrison Kreiger". For the nameless Axis leader, see General Blitz.|
Merklynn believes one thing above all else: magic is superior to technology. A powerful wizard from the planet Prysmos, Merklynn longs for the ancient days of magic, when wizards like himself were revered. To this end, Merklynn used his magic to disable all technology on the planet, as well as bequeathing magic to the knights that would become the Visionaries.
However, after Prysmos was destroyed, Merklynn made his way to Earth, where he took on the identity of Garrison "Blitz" Kreiger. Forced to rely on the technology he hated so much, "Kreiger" began a decades long plan to restore his world with the aid of the mystical artifact known as the Talisman. In his human guise, he manipulated the likes of Sgt. Savage, Centurion, Joe Colton, and others to fulfill his ultimate machination—remaking the world of Cybertron into a new Prysmos. Now, with his true identity revealed to all, Merklynn will stop at nothing to take Cybertron from the blasphemous machines he hates so much.
Age of Magic
Merklynn was once one of the most powerful magicians on the planet Prysmos, skilled in the ways of the Arcana Vast. He was a reverent believer in the myth and legends of Heskedor. He took great pride in his magical talent, viewing it as an elitist badge of pride and held extreme contempt for technology, viewing it as an imitation that degraded the Arcana Vast.
However, as science and technology overtook the world and replaced magic, Merklynn was considered an irrelevant joke from an ancient religion. Wishing to be glorified as he had been, Merklynn spent years working on a spell that ultimately resulted in the Trinary Re-Alignment, which shut down all technology and reestablished magic as the dominant force on the planet. He also formed the Visionaries, a group of knights to whom he bequeathed magic to. One incarnation of the group was eventually dispatched to deal with a group of warlocks who were menacing Valorak, but the mission ended in disaster with the evil wizards managing to use their power to inflame tensions in the Visionaries and cause them to splinter into two camps: the Spectral Knights and the Darkling Lords. Unbeknownst to all at the time, Merklynn himself had engineered this so as further consolidate his political power and take advantage of Darkstorm's fiery charisma.
Unfortunately, Merklynn hadn't spent enough time preparing the spell, and it soon gave way to the Trinary De-Alignment, a catastrophe that ultimately tore the planet apart.
Alone in the World
Somehow, Merklynn made his way to the the United States on the planet Earth shortly prior to World War II. He fashioned a disguise for himself, assuming the name "Garrison Kreiger", claiming to be the son of German immigrants who fled to the U.S. at the onset of World War I. When World War II broke out, Kreiger enlisted, driven by a desire to "prove himself" in this strange new world. Much to his annoyance however, he was not spared from a frontline posting. Nonetheless, he ascended to the rank of Second Lieutenant by 1943 and joined Sgt. Savage's Screaming Eagles, where he received the nickname "Blitz". The human sergeant's willingness to overlook Kreiger's "German" heritage opened Kreiger's eyes and convinced him of the ugly necessity of war.
While fighting in Kalistan, the group ran across mysterious robots in the employ of the Axis. Though Savage could care less about whether they were flesh or metal, Kreiger, recognized them for the alien constructs that they were and realized that other alien species had visited Earth. He would later dub the robots "IRON Troopers".
Months later, the Screaming Eagles made their way to France to join up with the French Resistance. While trekking through the ruins of the war-torn city, he and Savage found the remains of an IRON Trooper which led them to a battle between "Bumblebee" and "Shockwave". After Bumblebee triumphed, he requested Savage and Kreiger help him find the wreckage of his ship so he could die in peace. Though disgusted at the alien's mechanical physiology, Kreiger saw an opportunity to learn more about the mysterious robots and Bumblebee's reasons for being on Earth and convinced his commander to aid the alien.
The trio tracked down the Axalon to Brasnya. While Savage dispatched the IRON Troopers, Bumblebee and Kreiger entered where Bumblebee remembered he was actually named Centurion. Inside, Kreiger noticed the indent where the "Talisman" had once been, correctly deducing it that it was both a magical artifact and that it had been responsible for the IRON Troopers. All of a sudden, the corpse of Domitius Major appeared, puppeteers by the IRON Troopers. Though Savage held back, Kreiger was enthralled by the machines and moved ever closer. The residual Talisman energy within the ship activated however and teleported itself and Sgt. Savage away. In a fit of rage, Centurion tore the remains of Domitius apart before breaking down. Kreiger, however, was inspired to try and find the Talisman, somewhere on Earth, believing it held the key to restoring Prysmos. But with Savage gone, he needed an ally and reached out to Centurion...
Hunt for the Talisman
Kreiger and Centurion spent decades looking for the Talisman, managing to acquire scraps of Talisman technology that allowed Kreiger to build facsimile Talismans.He eventually recovered the bodies of Domitius Major and the false Shockwave which he had moved to the Brasnyan crater where the Axalon had once been.
Circa 1984, Kreiger joined with Dr. Elliot Marsh to track down the Talisman, leading the pair to the Tomb of Amtoltec in Dashur, Egypt. However, when Marsh told Kreiger that he would be getting credit for their discovery, Kreiger killed Marsh to keep it under wraps. Three days later, the Adventure Team arrived to rescue Kreiger and Marsh, but Kreiger had already found the Talisman and activated it, spawning a new generation of IRON Troopers which menaced the Team. The Talisman's activation also got the attention of Soundwave, who had disguised himself as Marsh's tape deck. Kreiger used the IRON Troopers to overwhelm the Decepticon, and he ultimately retreated from the tomb. In the aftermath, Kreiger took custody of the genuine Talisman and was authorized to study it.
Kreiger had the Talisman moved to Brasnya where Atomic Man approached him, seeking more Talisman-derived upgrades. Though professing good intentions, Kreiger subjected Power to a series of experiments, dubbed "Project: Iceman". In 1994, Kreiger and Centurion subjected Power to another experiment which unintentionally summoned the Axalon and Sgt. Savage back to normal spacetime. The "Adventure Force" arrived however, and shut down Kreiger's experiments, arresting the man. Since his experiments had seemingly killed Power, Kreiger was dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Army. He then went on to found I.R.O.N.. to conceal his less than legal experiments. He also began to replace parts of aging body with Talisman prosthetics.
Circa 2006, Kreiger, now under Joe Colton's command was part of Project: Hot House, based in an old Decepticon base in Mt. Saint Helens to try and use the Talisman to generate anti-Cybertronian weapons. After luring Sgt. Savage there, Kreiger had Centurion throw the man at the Talisman, his contact activating it, sending him into future once again, and atomizing the Decepticon Bugly.
Following Optimus Prime's annexation of Earth into the Cybertronian Council of Worlds, Joe Colton decided to employ the Talisman to destroy the Cybertronian race, only to discover the Dire Wraiths, who promptly targeted him. Colton survived by amputating his hand and fled to Kreiger for aid. Kreiger removed the Dire Wraith bio-matter and the two discussed magic. The two realized they would have to act outside the law to exterminate the Cybertronians with Kreiger building Colton a prosthetic hand with the man soon adopting the identity of "Baron Ironblood". Kreiger saw in Colton's plan an opportunity to reach Cybertron and use the Talisman's magic to terraform the unholy world into a reborn Prysmos and become a stepping stone to return magic to the galaxy. Though ostensibly choosing Cybertron as the site of the terraforming was that he viewed the metallic planet's post-war state as a mirror to the state Prysmos had once been in and therefore a perfect place to rebuild and start again, his real reason was simply his disgust at the thought of sentient mechanical lifeforms.
Soon, Kreiger found the Predacons, stranded on Earth after Galvatron's failed invasion, and used his Talisman copies in tandem with his knowledge of Cybertronian biology to not only wipe their memories but perfect their combined form of Predaking. When Garrison Blackrock found the Talisman and stumbled onto the scheme, Kreiger was at van Rani's castle where he decided to hook the Cybertronian up to a Talisman copy to find out why the genuine article reacted to him. Before experimentation could begin, Baron Ironblood noticed Snake Eyes. Knowing that Snake Eyes would never work alone, Kreiger unleashed the Predacons before he conferred with Paoli...who turned out to be Snake Eyes, the other having been a remote-controlled robotic drone. As a result Kreiger not only lost the Predacons but Blackrock as well.
In the aftermath, Kreiger used the real Tomax as bait for the Revolutionaries, lending him Centurion. Blackrock however managed to hack I.R.O.N.'s computers and find Kreiger's lair. Within his base, Kreiger prepped Atomic Man to fight off his foes. Matt Trakker and Gloria Baker of M.A.S.K., the Revolutionaries stormed Kreiger's base in Brasnya. Kreiger was prepared, however, and used his anti-Cybertronian defences on Blackrock and Kup before unleashing his the reanimated Eukarian corpses against Action Man. Noble however managed to breach the compound and convinced Power to shut himself down. In the aftermath, the Revolutionaries took Kreiger into custody.Recruiting
Awaiting G.I. Joe at the Onyx tower in Buenos Aires, Kreiger was placed under the custody of Terrence Salmons as Sgt. Savage regaled the Action Man agent and Mayday with stories. Kreiger tried to convince Savage to stand with him to no avail. Salvation came in the form of Centurion, still loyal to his old friend who hacked the tower's air defences and shot down the G.I. Joe squad as well allowing Ironblood's cabal to teleport into the building.
When Marissa Faireborn was inducted into the Council of Worlds, Kreiger accompanied Ironblood to Cybertron within Miles Mayhem's Outlaw vehicle and defended the Talisman to the mad general. He then turned over custody of the Talisman to Shazraella who would enerchange the relic with Cybertron's core, thereby poisoning all the Energon on the planet but warned that if the Talisman was not properly enerchanged with the core, Cybertron might very well fight off the Talisman's energies. In tandem, Kreiger set Colditz after Centurion in fear that the Eukarian's unique connection to the Talisman could derail Kreiger's scheme.
As the group descended deeper and deeper into Metroplex's sub-levels, Kreiger had them install sound dampeners to prevent Soundwave from detecting them before he commented that Shazraella would inevitably betray them all prompting the woman to briefly activate Metroplex's internal defences as a show of power stating she demanded respect. As Colton paused to set up traps for Scarlett, the constant delays allowed Metroplex to locate the villains who transformed his internals in an attempt to crush the villains only for Shazraella to physically impair the transformation. The group then proceeded to the last point of Metroplex where Colton shot Sunstreaker into stasis lock, leaving the villains no further obstacles as they proceeded into Cybertron's underground. When the Revolutionaries had tracked down Centurion and Colditz, Kreiger used his magic to remotely activate the Talisman energy within the Eukarian to try and force the Revolutionaries to kill him. 500 meters from the core, Cybertron began unleashing lightning as a defense causing Kreiger to lose his footing. He would have perished were it not for Colton grabbing him. The Iron Ring then fought past the Insecticon swarm...only to find Optimus Prime and Scarlett's team had beaten them to the core.
In the ensuing battle, Kreiger engaged Matt Trakker and Gloria Baker before the Council of Worlds arrived to arrest everyone. Realizing he would never reach the core, Kreiger ran towards the Talisman and erected a forcefield. Activating the Talisman with a magical chant, Kreiger took control of the Cybertron's energon supply and transformed a portion of the planet's underground into New Prysmos as well as revealing his true identity as Merklynn. Proclaiming that New Prysmos would be the staging ground from which magic was returned to the galaxy, Merklynn insulted Colton's intelligence before teleporting all combatants back to Iacon.
A New Age
After the creation of New Prysmos, Merklynn was arrested, as he was considered a war criminal by the Cybertronians. Despite this, he was still able to meet with the Visionaries to discuss how to navigate diplomacy with the Transformers. Merklynn warned that if they were to secure the future of their people, they must be careful. In his confinement, Merklynn used his magic to set into motion his own plan to take over Cybertron.
Confident that Virulina could take the hint, Merklynn used his magic to slay the two Cybertronians guarding him before she and Cindarr marched in with Kup's withered hear, shocking Leoric with his condoning genocide. Merklynn brushed off these inconvenient concerns saying the survival of the Prysmosians was priority and that the Cybertronians had deserved it for not treating their guests with proper respect. After Virulina had sent her troops to destroy the energy pylons keeping the Prysmosians trapped, she and Merklynn watched their destruction before Leoric arrived to slay them both. Leoric and Virulina clashed via their animal avatars with the latter emerging triumphant. In spite of this, Leoric threw himself at Merklynn only to be effortlessly subdued by a magically charged strike. After Leoric quietly promised the situation was not over, Merklynn agreed. There was still much to do.
After the Spectral Knights had joined forces with the Cybertronians and conspired to sneak back into New Prysmos to assassinate Virulina, Arzon pointed out the looming danger of Merklynn. Leoric scoffed at that, believing the ancient sage would shift allegiances the instant things would stop going his way.
Merklynn had Arzon brought directly to him where the elder mage recounted the story of Heskedor before showing the young man an image of a dead and bloodied Virulina in his scrying pool. Merklynn explained that the Darkling Lords were like fast burning torches, they served to light the fires of change but ultimately burned too quickly to be of any practical use. To properly unite the Visionaries once again and cement Prysmos's power over the galaxy, the Visionaries needed a leader who could heal the rift between Darkling Lords and Spectral Knights. Someone...just like Arzon. His words won over the Knight who donned Darkling armor and led a team to destroy the anti-Talisman bomb that the Cybertronians had built.
When Leoric inevitably returned, right on schedule, to duel Virulina again, the sorceress casted a life-draining spell on her foe only for Merklynn to cast the same spell on her, both having outlived their usefulness to his plan. As he gloated however, Galadria unleashed a healing spell deep underground, just as Wheeljack's anti-Talisman bomb went off, which raised New Prysmos to the surface of Cybertron and threw a rather large wrench in Merklynn's plans.
Merklynn was subsequently re-imprisoned with most of his magic stripped away from him. Though Cindarr attempted to rally him into action, Merklynn had lost his will to fight. He had seen the future and knew that the end was near.
- Merklynn's alter ego of Garrison Kreiger is based on the character of "General Blitz" from the original Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles subline of the G.I. Joe franchise. Prior to this, a General Blitz was mentioned in G.I. Joe vol. 4 #7 to have existed as an Axis leader during World War II which the Screaming Eagles fought against. However, due to Kreiger/Merklynn's history and the fact that General Blitz is never named as "Garrison Kreiger" (or vice-versa), the two have to be separate characters.
- In his Hasbro Heroes Sourcebook artwork, Kreiger’s uniform is colored red, as it was on his original toy, rather than the green actually used in his fictional appearances.
- While the name "Merklynn" may sound like it is a play of "Merlin", the character's name and original likeness were actually based on that of Hasbro sculptor Bill Merklein, who worked as a sculptor for both Visionaries and G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
- Even outside of his human disguise, Merklynn's association with the Iron Ring is fitting considering that his 1987 counterpart lived on top of the Iron Mountain.