Tag: Pariah

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.

Characters I Love # 25: Harbinger

Harbinger_01
Art by George Perez

Every so often, I focus on a character from adventure fiction (film, comics & prose) that I simply adore. This week we’re talking about: Harbinger! This character was really Lyla Michaels and she was introduced in New Teen Titans Annual # 2 (July 1983), though she didn’t become Harbinger until Crisis on Infinite Earths # 1 (April 1985). As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of the characters introduced in Crisis (Pariah, Lady Quark, the female Doctor Light, etc.) and Harbinger is no exception. Rescued from certain death by the Monitor, Lyla became his assistant as he prepared to deal with the looming Crisis. Lyla was transformed into Harbinger and given the task of splitting herself into many forms so she could recruit heroes to stop the Anti-Monitor.

After the Crisis, she was responsible for cataloging the history of the new universe and helping defend it. For a while, she hung out with the New Guardians and tried to help them usher in the new stage of human evolution. She eventually forged close friendships with the other ‘survivors’ like Lady Quark and Pariah, as well as becoming something of a mentor to Supergirl upon the young Kryptonian’s arrival on Earth. She was eventually killed by the Female Furies while helping to defend Themyscira from Darkseid.

Harbinger was revived as a Black Lantern during Blackest Night but she was destroyed along with all the others at the end of the event. There has been no sign of her in the New 52.

Harbinger could have — and should have — been treated like a major new female hero in the DCU. But writers never seemed to know what to do with her and editorial found her connection to the old continuity to be a troublesome spot.

What could have been!

Here are some other artistic visions of Lyla:

harbinger-lyla-michaels-runs-the-dbzdbgt-gauntlet-10423
Art by Joe Staton
harbinger
Art by Michael Turner
Harbinger2
Art by George Perez

 

Pariah (Marvel Heroic RPG Stats)

pariahPARIAH
First Appearance: Crisis on Infinite Earths # 1.
“He has conquered all disease! His control over the weather makes our world a paradise. He is the greatest of the greats!” — Crisis on Infinite Earths #7.

Affiliations: Solo D10 Buddy D8 Team D6

Distinctions: D4 (+1PP) or D8
It’s All My Fault!
Emotionally Unstable
Flair for the Dramatic

Power Sets:
My Powers Are a Curse!
Godlike Durability D12
Godlike Resistance D12
Teleportation D12
SFX: Invulnerable: Spend 1 PP to ignore Physical Stress or Trauma unless caused by Anti-Matter Energy attacks.
Limit: Uncontrollable – Teleportation automatically takes Pariah to scenes of mass destruction. Turn the power into a complication and gain 1 PP. Activate an opportunity or remove the complication to recover the power.

Specialties:
Cosmic Master D10 or 2D8 or 3D6
Science Master D10 or 2D8 or 3D6
Tech Master D10 or 2D8 or 3D6

Character Background:

tiny1Kell Mossa (he was, at various times, called by both names — I’m assuming his proper name is Kell Mossa for the purposes of this website) was born on a planet known to comic fans as Earth-Omega. He was, without a doubt, this world’s foremost scientist. He cured world-wide disease and invented machines that regulated the weather. He was seen as a savior and a hero and he reveled in the adulation.

But not all was perfect. Mossa had grown cold and arrogant, marrying out of convenience and fathering two children whom he discribed as “emotional nuisances.” While his wife was never named, his children are known to have been named Tarran and Mart.

Mossa’s greatest work was at hand, even as his marriage was crumbling — he had discovered the existence of a multiverse. Despite legends which warned that such probings would only lead to destruction, Mossa pressed on and created an Anti-Matter Chamber which would bridge all universes.

Mossa entered the chamber, hoping to witness the origin of creation — instead, he gave life to the greatest evil the multiverse would ever know. Mossa’s experiment awakened the slumbering being known as the Anti-Monitor, who eradicated Earth-Omega and began the events known as Crisis.

“Everything was gone. And I…was suddenly very, very… alone. My first million years were spent trying to understand the enormity of what I had done… I spent another million years in the nether-void understanding what I had lost. My wife…my children…The love I had successfully ignored. And for the next million years all I wanted, all I wished for, all I begged for, was to die. But the fates were far too cruel to permit me to so easily atone for my sins.” — New Teen Titans #81.

tiny4 The Anti-Monitor’s opposite number, the Monitor, chose to use Mossa as his agent. Giving him the ability to sense disasters, the Monitor used Pariah to track the progress of the Anti-Monitor’s anti-matter attacks. Pariah believed this was punishment for his sins — something which he dealt with in Crisis and resolved to move past. However, subsequent appearances have continued to have him spouting off about how this is an atonement for his great sin. Go figure.

Nowadays, presumably, Pariah is still bouncing through time/space (and Hypertimelines?), witnessing disasters. He’s been shown once in the New 52, as a prisoner of the US government in Vibe # 1.

For the record, Pariah is invulnerable to all harm (Superman was unable to hurt him in War of the Gods #2) and teleports across the multiverse with ease (but only when summoned to a disaster).

Characters I Love # 5: Pariah

Pariah_0001Every Wednesday, 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.