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Obsidian (comics)

Obsidian (comics)

Obsidian is a fictional superhero (formerly a super-villain) published by DC Comics. He first appeared in All-Star Squadron #25 (September 1983), and was created by Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway.

Fictional character biography

Obsidian is the codename of Todd Rice, the biological son of Alan Scott and Rose Canton, respectively the Golden Age superhero Green Lantern and villain Thorn. Todd was raised in an abusive adoptive home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He finds out in his late teens that he has a twin sister, Jennie-Lynn Hayden, alias Jade. They meet, discover they both have superpowers and, operating under the assumption that Green Lantern was their father (which they did not know for certain at the time but did eventually learn to be true), decide to follow in his footsteps.

As Obsidian and Jade, they were founding members of the superhero team Infinity, Inc., a group composed mainly of the children, grandchildren, and protégés of members of the Justice Society of America. The group appears in the Infinity, Inc. comic book. Obsidian also serves with the Justice League in a space-station based headquarters. He has many various adventures there, including helping the League deal with dozens of aliens who are the last members of their species. During his tenure with the League, he undergoes therapy. For a time, he also has to deal with seemingly permanent injuries to his shadow form.

Obsidian apparently inherited a potential for mental illness from his mother, Thorn. Corrupted by Ian Karkull, Obsidian turns evil, using his shadow powers to first steal all shadows from an entire city, then to spread darkness over the entire world. His father, with the aide of other JSA members, defeats him. Obsidian retreats to the Shadowlands, the otherdimensional plane from which he derives his powers. Later, he joins the mystical villains Mordru and Eclipso to seek vengeance (unsuccessfully) on Green Lantern and the JSA. Following his defeat, Obsidian is cured of his mental imbalance.

After being cured, Obsidan retires. It was during this time that Todd came out and to terms with his self-identity as gay. He meets and falls in love with Damon Matthews, an assistant district attorney who works with Kate Spencer, who is also the vigilante known as Manhunter. Todd's powers went dormant during most of this time, but they return, following the death of his twin sister Jade during Infinite Crisis. He has since then returned to being a superhero and is still dating Damon happily.

Obsidian appears during the year long "52" event. Watching a Thanksgiving Day Parade, he sees Luthor's 'Everyman' superhero team going by. Enraged that one of the members is named 'Jade', he angrily confronts the group, endangering innocent people in the process. The Everyman heroes protect the crowd and Obsidian is talked out of doing anything drastic.

Prior to Justice Society of America vol. 3 #1, Obsidian joins the team. He serves as the security guard of their New York headquarters.

Powers and abilities

  • Unlike his sister Jade, whose powers resembled their father's, Obsidian has various shadow-based powers from his father's exposure to Shadow energy after a battle with Ian Karkull. Obsidian is connected to the Shadowlands, a dimension of primordial, quasi-sentient darkness. At will, Obsidian can merge with his own shadow and possess the shadows of others. In his shadow form, he is stronger than in human form, can pass through solid objects and can fly. After being corrupted by the Shadowlands, Obsidian was able to control his shadow powers to the point that he could grow to enormous size and create objects out of shadow, in a similar way that his father and sister can create objects out of green energy.
  • Obsidian also has limited telepathic abilities and can force a person to see the evil side of their own soul, which has been known to drive people insane.

Sexuality

He has a short-lived, troubled relationship with Marcie Cooper, the third Harlequin, shortly before the disbanding of Infinity, Inc. Later, sexual confusion was shown during his tenure in the Justice League, when he told his friend Nuklon that the only two people he could ever love in the world were his sister and him. When Nuklon asked if he was gay, Obsidian did not fully answer, instead asking "Why must there be labels?" After Obsidian's redemption, JSA penciller Steven Sadowski stated that Todd's sexuality would be dealt with whenever he returned to that title.

Todd appeared in Manhunter #18 where he shares a kiss with Damon Matthews, a gay recurring character, and spoke in the fashion of a lover, confirming his sexuality. Marc Andreyko, the writer of Manhunter, goes into detail about selecting Obsidian as Damon's lover, stating that:

I didn't want to make a character gay unless it felt organic. So, the list was pretty short. Then I remembered when Obsidian was in the JLA years ago and Gerard Jones, the writer, danced around the issue. I went back and read all my Infinity, Inc.'s and although Todd dated women, it was always a mess.

Andreyko said that DC was supportive, wanting a "visible gay character" and that it was "a general void in the DCU that needed exploration". Geoff Johns, longtime writer of JSA, also stated his support for the idea.

Other versions

In the final issue of 52, a new Multiverse is revealed, originally consisting of 52 identical realities. Among the parallel realities shown is one designated "Earth-2". As a result of Mister Mind "eating" aspects of this reality, it takes on visual aspects similar to the pre-Crisis Earth-2, including Obsidian among other Justice Society of America characters. The names of the characters and the team are not mentioned in the panel in which they appear.

On the new Earth-9, a version of Obsidian that can transform himself into stone exists.

Other media

Obsidian has made brief cameo appearances in the animated television series Justice League Unlimited in which he is a member of the eponymous Justice League. As he has no speaking role in the series, it is not possible to discern origins or character, or if Green Lantern Alan Scott exists in the DC animated universe. This version recently received a figure from the Justice League Unlimited toyline.

References

External links

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