Comics · Queer

A to Z: Obsidian

ObsidianRemember that longwinded explanation of Alan Scott’s origin for the letter G? It’s relevant again! Obsidian, aka Todd Rice, was Alan Scott’s son before the New 52 reboot. His mother was the villain Thorn. He’s an often-mysterious character with shadow powers, who sometimes tips over into being a villain himself, but has thus far always pulled out of it… And that’s my favorite part about the character, that sometimes you just don’t know about that guy! Before New 52, he was loosely associated with the Justice Society of America (my favorite!) and other JSA/Alan Scott-related publications. He was shown dealing with some identity confusion/internal conflict about his sexuality, but he eventually landed in a stable, happy relationship with Damon Matthews (aka Manhunter). In the New 52 a totally different, not-related-to-Alan-Scott version has appeared, and the old version is supposed to reappear this year as part of the Convergence event.

And, er… That’s all I really know to say. I love Obsidian, but he’s not usually center-stage. He has a lot of appearances – ComicVIne says 398 issues — but he’s usually in the background, and maybe that’s why I find him so fascinating.

Recommended Reading:

  • The old Infinity Inc. series, 1984-1988. This series was sort of like Teen Titans or Young Avengers but the younger entourage of the Justice Society instead of those other teams, and it’ll get you the most Obsidian for your money.
  • The JSA series of 1999-2006 is just so awesome I could cry, and he appears regularly. This starts with JSA Vol. 1: Justice Be Done, which I also recommended on that Green Lantern post.
  • That series hops over into the Justice Society of America series of 2007-2012. Not as good as JSA, but not bad, and Obsidian officially joined the team in the interim.
  • To focus more on his relationship with Damon, look for Manhunter #18 or thereabouts, from 2006. Sadly I couldn’t find it on Comixology, but they do have about ten issues of Infinity Inc.

6 thoughts on “A to Z: Obsidian

  1. That name also helps his cool factor. Sounds like a really interesting character! Since I have JSA on my wishlist now, I’ll start there!


  2. Obsidian also has a twin sister, Jennie-Lynn Hayden (the hero Jade.) Although they were raised seperately in foster care the two reconnected as teenagers and she has been an important stabalising force in Todd’s life. I’ve always found him interesting not because of his orientation but because he deals with depression, possible even bipolar disorder which my mother suffers from.


    1. Yup. The characters from JSA tend to be more family-oriented than other hero groups, and I like seeing those family relationships explored with Obsidian, particularly since he’s not your typical perpetually-optimistic and healthy good guy. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!



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