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Personal information

Real Name: Todd Rice

Residence: Milwaukee, later Los Angeles
Occupation:  Adventurer,
First Appearance (Post-Golden Age): All-Star Squadron #25 (September 1983)

Character History

Todd Rice spent his earliest years in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,  the adopted son of James Rice.  The elder Rice was an abusive alcoholic and Todd's childhood was miserable and lonely.  As he matured, he began to manifest the ability to manipulate shadows, including forming himself into one.  He also found himself mentally connected to someone that he would later realize was his twin sister, Jennie-Lynn Hayden. Looking into records that revealed that he was adopted, he began to try to contact his sibling.

At the same time, Hayden's powers had also begun to manifest and feeling the same mental connection, she traveled to downtown Milwaukee and began to actively try to connect her brother.  Once a connection was made, she followed it to a run-down section of Milwaukee and in a dark room, Rice manifested themselves.  Comparing notes, the  two decided to adopt identity as heroics adventurers and suspecting some connection to Green Lantern, they would attempt to join the Justice Society.  The spent several weeks training each other in the use of their abilities and crafting the costumed identities. Hayden took the code-name Jade and Rice the code-name Obsidian (Infinity Inc. #4).

The two traveled to the Justice Society Headquarters, arriving just as a collection of other scions and menteess of JSA members were being rebuffed for membership.  They suggested to Green Lantern that he was there for father, to which he denied all knowledge.  The departed with the other heroes to consider their next move (Infinity Inc #1).

While they pondered, they were caught up by the Ultra-Humanite and pulled into the past to the 1940's to confront the All-Star Squadron, with whom they were eventually allied once the Humanite's influence had been removed.  They joined the JSA and the All-Stars to defeat the Ultra-Humanite, his 1940's era henchmen and the Secret Society of Super-Villains from the 1980's who had been pulled back in time from their imprisonment in Limbo.  Once the Ultra-Humanite was defeated, the young heroes returned to their normal time (All-Star Squadron #25-26, Annual #2).

Returning to their own time, the new heroes were not finished with the Ultra-Humanite, who in their present time had drowned several JSA members in Koehaha, the "Stream of Ruthlessness" which drugged them into indulging their most wicked desires.  Jade and Obsidian confronted Green Lantern but were defeated by him but managed to break off his assault on a series of communication satellites.  They gave chase to the Humanite's hideaway and by switching adversaries managed to overcome the JSA.  The last minute intervention of the Brain Wave defeated the Humanite and freed the JSA completely (Infinity Inc #5-10). The super-criminal got one last laugh however, revealing the identities of the children the JSA to the press.  At a public introduction of their new group, Infinity Inc., the young heroes elected to abandoned their private identities and Obsidian revealed himself as the son of James Rice, much to the latter's surprise (Infinity Inc #12).

From the point forward, Obsidian was a full member of Infinity Inc and participated in all known cases of the team.  In 1985, the return of the super-power criminal, the Thorn, led to the revelation that she had fallen in love with Green Lantern in the 1960's and that after a brief one-night marriage, become pregnant with twins who who grow up to be Jade and Obsidian.  The Thorn was deeply schizophrenic and her gentler persona, Rose, fearing for lives of her children, committed suicide to end the life of the Thorn.   While the twins would never know their mother, the confirmation of Green Lantern's paternity gave them closure on the knowledge of their heritage and the three became a family (Infinity Inc. Annual #2).

When the Crisis on Infinite Earths began to tear at the fabric of reality, Obsidian was among the first to get involved and join heroes across the multiverse to battle the Anti-Monitor (Crisis on Infinite Earths LS).  After Earth-Two was lost from view, the history of Obsidian was likewise unrecorded.  He is known to have become a member of Justice Society Infinity in the 21st century (Justice Society of America Vol. 2 Annual #1) but his other activities on Earth-Two are unknown.

Powers and Abilities

Obsidian has the intrinsic ability to manipulate the absence of light.  This can include becoming a shadow, projecting shadows, intangibility and intermingling with the shadows of others.  In shadow form, he has a higher levels of strength, speed and resilience than a normal human, the limits of which are not defined. He has some degree of telepathic abilities included a potentially strong connection with his twin sister and the ability to perceive the  intentions of individuals into whose shadows he has merged.  The nature of these abilities are not clear.

Weaknesses and Limitations

Outside of his shadow form, Todd Rice is a normal mortal who could be injured or killed as such.  In his shadow form, he is particular sensitive to light-based injuries (lasers etc.) and intense light exposure that dispels shadows limits his ability to use his powers. 

Multiversity Villains



The Pre-Crisis history of the Obsidian of Earth-0 is thought to be largely similar to the Earth-Two version.  In this timeline it is known that his adopted mother was Shirley Rice and he had a brother, natural born to the Rices, named Jeremy.  Shirley and Jeremy abandoned Todd and his father when he was a young teen.  Their whereabouts and later activities are unknown and whether this is also true of the Earth-Two version is also unrevealed.

He remained a member of Infinity Inc.until the group disbanded.(Infinity Inc #53).  After being at lose ends for sometime time, he joined the Justice League in the mid-1990's (Justice League America #93-113).  Struggling with his sexuality, tormented by the darkness he had witnessed and afflicted with his mother's unstable mind, Obsidian fell under the sway of Ian Karkull, who had been dwelling in a realm called the Shadow lands since his defeat by the Justice Society in 1941.  Suffering a psychotic break, Obsidian turned against his friends and family, attacked his adopted father in Milwaukee and attracting the attention of the Justice Society as through him, the Shadowlands threatened to flood the Earth.  He was ultimately defeated and driven back into the Shadowlands by his father (JSA #7-9).


Obsidian was later approached in the Shadowlands by Mordru and Eclipso, each seeking vengeance on the Justice Society for their own reasons.  The three forged an unholy alliance and once more waged battled against the JSA but this time, in defeat, Obsidian was cured of his madness and restored to normalcy (JSA #46-50).   His powers faded over time and he used that time to find a sense of peace in his private life. When his sister Jade was killed during the Infinite Crisis (Rann-Thanagar War Infinite Crisis Special #1), his powers re-emerged and he joined the Justice Society as an active member (Justice Society of America Vol. 3 #1).  He remained with them up until the Flashpoint event and his activities in this time since  that point are unknown.


The backstory of the Todd Rice of Earth-2 is largely unknown.  A Black man and criminal of unknown record, he was kept in stasis at Arkham when he was released by the Earth-0 John Constantine in an effort to get back to home Earth (Earth-2 World's End #8-10).   He re-emerged and joined the fight against Darkseid but was believed killed when Earth-2 was destroyed (Earth-2; World's End #26).


The history of the Earth-22 Obsidian is thought to largely resemble the Earth-0 counterpart's. By the early 21st century is a mature hero and remains active as part of Batman's Silent Calvary movement.  He joins the battle at the metahuman prison in Kansas and is killed when the United Nations detonates a nuclear bomb over the site to stop the violence (Kingdom Come LS).




Reprinted in

All-Star Squadron #25-27

First Appearance, vs the Ultra-Humanite and the Secret Society of Super-Villains

 Infinity Inc.: The Generations Saga

All-Star Squadron Annual #2

With the All-Star Squadron, vs the Ultra-Humanite and the Secret Society of Super-Villains

  Infinity Inc.: The Generations Saga

America vs. the Justice Society #1,3,4

Cameo appearances

America vs. the Justice Society TPB

Crisis on Infinite Earths #1, 2, 4 and 9-11

During Crisis on Infinite Earths

Crisis on Infinite Earths HC, Crisis on Infinite Earths TPB, Absolute Crisis on Infinite Earths HC, Absolute Crisis on Infinite Earths HC

Infinity Inc. #1-4

Forms Infinity Inc

 Infinity Inc.: The Generations Saga

Infinity Inc. #5-12

Vs. the Ultra-Humanite and the JSA, identities revealed


Infinity Inc. #14

Vs. Chroma

DC Through the ‘80’s: The Experiments

Infinity Inc. #15-17



Infinity Inc. #18, 21-24

During the Crisis on Infinite Earths

Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion Deluxe Edition Vol. 2

Infinity Inc. #26-30



Infinity Inc. Annual #1


Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion Deluxe Edition Vol. 2