Tomás de Torquemada is the main villain from the comic strip Nemesis the Warlock in British comic 2000 AD, who eventually appeared in 7 episodes of spin-off adventures of his own. He is named after and inspired by the real life Tomás de Torquemada.
Originally the leader of The Tube Police, a fascist police force and quasi-religious order in the far future, he became the dictator of the entire human race from its base on Termight (planet Earth). His Empire wages a racist war against all alien species, who Torquemada regards as "impure."
Torquemada's goal is to keep the human race united by their fear and hatred of all aliens. He is described as being totally evil, and having absolutely no redeeming features whatsoever. In fact, late in the series, it was revealed (through the actions of Thoth, son of Nemesis the Warlock) that his previous incarnations have included Colonel John M. Chivington, Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins, Adolf Hitler, and his namesake, the original Torquemada.
After Nemesis caused Torquemada to have an accident in a teleporter, Torquemada lost his physical body but continued to survive as a ghostly spirit. He then began possessing the bodies of volunteer Terminators to use for himself. The bodies would rot and die after a short time and have to be replaced. This eventually contributed to his first wife's loss of her sanity.
His catchphrase is "Be pure! Be vigilant! Behave!"
Torquemada is served by an army of soldiers called Terminators, whose uniforms incorporate a capirote and antifaz (steeple hood) that bears a striking resemblance to the costumes worn by the Nazarenos (members of religious fraternities) who process through Seville during Holy Week, for whom the conical hood symbolizes repentance and grief for the crucifixion of Christ. The costume design of the Terminators suggests confusion on the part of the comic strip's creators between the costumes of Spanish Catholic religious celebrants and the Spanish Inquisition, who did not themselves wear pointed hoods, but dressed penitent heretics accordingly. Furthermore, the hoods worn by the Terminators (a racist and xenophobic organisation) evoke the robes and hoods worn by Ku Klux Klansmen. The imagery of the pointed hood worn by the villains in Nemesis the Warlock serves to create visual continuity between the Terminators of Termight, the Spanish Inquisition and the Ku Klux Klan.
Torquemada's family members have included:
Torquemada's evil reign ended when his first wife Candida mysteriously recovered from her madness. Upon hearing the news, he had his second wife, Sister Sturn murdered and made preparations for his second marriage to Candida. The wedding ceremony ended disastrously when his hated foe Nemesis appeared with Candida willingly fleeing from the temple with him.
Humiliated on live TV, his evil regime quickly crumbled but he still had one last trick. Stealing Nemesis' Blitzspear, he fled to the Hypogeum to activate a "Generation Bomb" (which would destroy all alien life on Earth). Before he could even activate it, Nemesis managed to contaminate him with alien DNA with his claws before using his remaining powers to make sure Torquemada would perish with him. When the bomb exploded, both Nemesis, his Blitzspear and Torquemada were formed together and fell into the timestream for all eternity.
As well as appearing in Nemesis the Warlock he has appeared in his own eponymous series: