Tannarak was born over a century ago. Born in England, but living from an early age in Egypt, he and his childhood friend Dianna once stole fruity from a market stall. The fruit dealer caught up with the boy and as a punishment made him look upon the body of a corpse. From that moment onward. Tannarak was obsessed with death, and sought any means to avoid his own demise.
Tannarak's search led him to master the art of the ancient science of alchemy. He used his alchemic powers to remove the aging factor from his body and imprison it in a nearby statue. However, in order to survive, he had to steal the life essences of other people. Thus Tannarak lived on and on - a century after his beloved Dianna had died.
Tannarak became certain that Dianna had been reincarnated in the body of a young woman named Michelle, and so he sought to make her immortal by arcane means. He encountered and fought the Phantom Stranger and in the ensuing battle it appeared that Tannarak was killed by the statue containing the aging factor, which fell on top of him.
However, Tannarak's life was saved by strange beings who desired him to found a society based on evil. Since that time, Tannarak has sought power and immortality by various sinister means, but has been consistently foiled by the Phantom Stranger. For a time, Tannarak joined the organisation known as the Dark Circle, an organisation of evil mystics working for the mysterious Tala. Tannarak teamed up with the Phantom Stranger to overcome Tala when she released the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse on the Earth.
During this battle it appeared that both Tannarak and Tala were killed, but Tannarak has since resurfaced and remains an opponent of the Phantom Stranger. Tannarak makes a brief appearance in San Francisco at Club Bewitched on Haight St. Tannarak welcomes John Constantine to the club and after taunting Constantine on his failed relationship with Zatanna, Tannarak introduces Constantine to Nimue Ravensong.
Superboy: Rise of the Hollow Men
When Atlantis was still above sea level, Tannarak tried storm the kingdom with an army of Tannarak clones but these "Hollow Men" were weak drones according to the Phantom Stranger and Arion. Tannarak's forces were easily outmatched but that didn't stop Tannarak from mounting another assault against John the Viking Prince. Tannarak wanted to capture the prince because John would be a stronger candidate for the cloning process plus his abilities would serve as the prime template for Tannarak's army. However, Tannarak was met with defeat once again and his Hollow Men were burnt to ashes.
In 1871, Tannarak made his way to Smallville, Kansas which is about the same time Nate Kent and Albert Valentine became sheriff and deputy of Smallville. Tannarak saw an opportunity to build himself a new army with the help of the recently distraught town surgeon. Ebenezer Took did all he could to save his newly born son but his surgical skills were not enough. Tannarak interrupts the Tooks during their moment of grief and offers them the chance to resurrect their son. Ebenezer accepts Tannarak's proposal but Took's efforts to resurrect his son with dark ceremonies turned out to be disastrous. Tannarak comforted Took by explaining to him that pain can be overcome by the strength of familial numbers rather than the bonds between one another.
Took fell for Tannarak's silver tongue and agreed to build a clan that was mainly composed of the Took family who have long been dead. As for Ebenezer, Tannarak gave Took a goblet of his blood and Took became Tannarak's dark acolyte. When the body of a missing boy turns up with Ancient Atlantean runes carved into his skin, both Kent and Valentine take on the case immediately, Kent theorizes the possibility of a purported occultist that has come into town and Valentine doesn't disagree except for one thing: their culprit isn't an outsider. Valentine analyzed the body thoroughly and found stitching which resembled Took's pattern. Kent decides to lead a posse to the Took farm.
The mob killed several members of the Took family (both living and dead) and Valentine burnt the Took estate to ground. At the same time, Kent finds Ebenezer Took inside a broken wheat silo along with Tannarak. They were performing a ritual on a stone tablet but before they could complete it, Kent reacted quickly by throwing a lit lantern at them. The silo goes up in flames but Kent did not stay long enough to see if Took and Tannarak died in the fire. Took and Tannarak did indeed survive the mob's fiery retribution. Tannarak told Took to remain underground and continue his experimentations on the human body through necromancy until the dark mage returned.
In time, the Luthors purchased the Took estate but when Lex Luthor left Smallville, he gave up the deed to his niece's family. Eventually the Phantom Stranger comes to Smallville to warn to Superboy of the impending doom that is beneath Smallville. The Phantom Stranger takes possession of old man Lynch when he confronts Conner and Simon Valentine. At first, Conner doesn't believe the Phantom Stranger but Valentine confirms the Stranger's warning. Simon tells Conner about that night they stopped Poison Ivy. It turns out, Simon stumbled across a stone with strange markings on it but before he could analyze it any further, he was scared off by a group of bizarre looking farmers.