Characters I Love: Pariah

Pariah_0001Every now and then I focus on a character from adventure fiction (film, comics & prose) that I simply adore. This week we’re talking about: Pariah, the tortured DC Comics’ character first introduced in Crisis on Infinite Earths.

I really can’t describe why I love this character. On the surface, he’s almost comical. Cursed by causing the accident which released the Anti-Monitor onto the multiverse, Pariah would teleport from universe to universe, bearing witness to that reality’s demise. He would cry a lot and talk about how much he wished he could help but he knew it would do no good. Eventually, he teamed up with Harbinger and other heroes of the multiverse to stand against the Anti-Monitor. With that villain’s defeat, Pariah took to wandering the post-Crisis DC Universe, usually with survivors Lady Quark & Harbinger in tow (I also really like Harbinger). Pariah made a few appearances over the years, popping up in the Titans book during the Titans Hunt storyline, guest-starred in DC Comics Presents and eventually ended up as a Black Lantern during the Green Lantern-centric crossover, Blackest Night.

Pariah was a genius-level scientist and his powers included immortality, invulnerability and flight. I also assume he could translate any language automatically since he never seemed to encounter anyone he couldn’t understand.

I really love his crazy outfit — the funky belt, the long boots, the cloak with the hood that can be raised. I also like his guy-liner eyes!

I always had this strange desire to take this seemingly worthless character and do a whole series about him. I could make it work — I’d play up the redemption angle, having him seek out these disasters but allow him to actually intervene and save as many people as possible. It would never be enough in his own eyes to undo all the damage that his arrogance had caused, however. I think the notion of an immortal witness to disasters, both great and small, could have tremendous potential.

Pariah has popped up in DC’s New 52 Universe, as he was seen in one panel of Vibe # 1. Apparently, he’s currently a prisoner of the United States government. His current origin is unknown.

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