Thursday, August 11, 2016

LEGENDS OF TOMORROW Casts Lance Henriksen as Obsidian

Okay, I did not see this one coming.

Comic Book Resources has word that the CW series Legends of Tomorrow has cast veteran genre actor Lance Henriksen as Todd Rice, better known to DC Comics fans as the shadowy superhero Obsidian.  The announcement was made earlier today during the Television Critics Association's summer press tour.

Henriksen's Obsidian will be a member of the Justice Society of America, which also includes Patrick J. Adams as Hourman, Maisie Richardson-Sellers as Vixen, Matthew MacCaull as Commander Steel, and Sarah Grey as Stargirl.  Only Dr. Mid-Nite remains uncast.  Due to Henriksen's age and the show's penchant for time travel, it's possible that Obsidian will be from some point in the future, or was in his prime several decades earlier.

Henriksen, 76, is best known as the android Bishop in the films Aliens and Alien 3, and as Frank Black on the Fox series Millennium.  His numerous film appearances include The Terminator, The Right Stuff, Damien: Omen II, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Network, Dog Day Afternoon, Appaloosa, Alien vs. Predator, Scream 3, The Quick and the Dead, Pumpkinhead, and Tarzan.  Henriksen has also appeared on episodes of The X-Files, Criminal Minds, Into the Badlands, The Blacklist, The Strain, Hannibal, Tron: Uprising, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Static Shock, Harsh Realm, Tales from the Crypt, Beauty and the Beast (1989), Cagney & Lacey, and The A-Team.

Created in 1983 by Roy Thomas and Jerry Ordway, Obsidian first appeared in All-Star Squadron #25 as 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, and found out in his late teens that he had a twin sister, Jennie-Lynn Hayden, also known as Jade.  They met and discovered they both had superpowers, 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). Todd found that could merge with his own shadow and possess the shadows of others.  In his shadow form, he was stronger than in human form, could pass through solid objects, and could fly. 

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.  Obsidian also served with the Justice League for a brief time.  He apparently inherited a potential for mental illness from his mother, Thorn.  Corrupted by by the supervillain Ian Karkull, Obsidian turned evil, using his shadow powers to first steal all shadows from an entire city, then to spread darkness over the entire world.  Later, he joined the mystical villains Mordru and Eclipso to seek vengeance (unsuccessfully) on Green Lantern and the JSA.  Following his defeat, Obsidian was cured of his mental imbalance.

After being cured, Obsidan retired from being a superhero.  It was during this time that Todd came out and came to terms with his self-identity as a gay man.  He met and fell in love with Damon Matthews, an assistant district attorney who worked with Kate Spencer, who was also the vigilante known as Manhunter.  Todd's powers went dormant during most of this time, but they returned following the death of his twin sister Jade during Infinite Crisis. He then returned to being a superhero and Jade was later resurrected during the events of Blackest Night.

Legends of Tomorrow returns to The CW for Season 2 on October 13th at 8:00 p.m. EST.

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