(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of irregularly-scheduled columns by Managing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with cosmic comics and their many denizens. Mr. Brewer’s opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CosmicBookNews.com. He welcomes both raves and opposing views.)
By Byron Brewer
Jim Starlin has always had a thing for The Weird. If I am not mistaken, he may have taken a part in almost every single project the writer/artist has done for DC.
And now a new version of the character is back again in the New 52 in the revamped revamp of StormWatch!
With so many reboots and retcons at DC, it is hard to say what history is canon and what is not. Let’s look at some known pre-New 52 history of The Weird and then see where he is in the DCnU, shall we?
A being of pure energy from an alternative dimension, The Weird is (or was) a member of a race known as the Zarolatts. For years, his people had been exploited as energy sources by a cruel race known as the Macrolatts. However, for some unknown reason, The Weird did not share the docile acceptance of the rest of his race. When the Macrolatts sought to bridge the dimensional gap and attack other realms, The Weird knew he had to act. Escaping through a portal to another world, The Weird found himself on (of course!) Earth.
Seeking a corporeal form to contain his energy, he possessed the body of a dead man named Walter Langley. This produced a composite form which contained both The Weird's memories and traces of Langley's. In this shape, he sought out Earth's superheroes for aid and was dubbed "The Weird" by the Blue Beetle (now appearing in Threshold’s “The Hunt”). With the heroes' assistance, he was able to repel the Macrolatt invasion.
Tragically, his victory was short-lived. The Weird soon discovered that his new body was molecularly unstable and approaching critical mass. With the help of Green Lantern Guy Gardner (of all folk), he was taken to the depths of space where he detonated, ending his brief life in the physical realm. (Welllllll …)
Starlin would later return to his creation in the pages of the 2006 limited series, Mystery in Space. For years, The Weird's spiritual essence had floated in the void until it made contact with the disembodied Captain Comet, himself robbed of life by the villainous Lady Styx. The intermingling of these spiritual bodies produced a reaction, which neither of them at this point understood, returning them both to life in regenerated bodies.
Since his return, The Weird has attempted to determine the cause of his mysterious resurrection and to seek out Comet, the "other" whose memories now mingle with his own. To this end, he has sought answers within the extraterrestrial church, The Eternal Light Corporation, though he has since discovered them to have a sinister agenda.
Having viewed the physical realm from outside of it, The Weird regards the universe with a more philosophical eye than most superhumans, always seeking to understand his own nature and purpose.
The Weird originally had the ability to alter the molecular density of his body. This allows him to become intangible and phase through walls and solid objects or to become as hard as rock, giving him increased durability and strength on par with Superman. He is also able to affect the physical density of anything he comes in contact with. The Weird is able to fly by riding magnetic currents. His Zarolatt origins also allowed him to freely manipulate any energy he had physical contact with, allowing him to perform various feats ranging from the transformation of electricity to the creation of complex illusions via the manipulation of brainwaves.
The Weird in the New 52 still seems to have the phasing abilities he enjoyed pre-reboot. Whether his other powers are intact is up for Starlin to tell us. He has seemed to become a bodyguard of sorts to the new version of Jenny Soul.
As you can tell, I am excited about this newer new StormWatch. So get to your LCSs every month and show your cosmic enthusiasm for Starlin’s book with your wallet!