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Obsidian: 8 Things To Know About The DC Comics Character Ahead Of Stargirl Season 3

Obsidian DC Comics artwork
(Image credit: DC Comics)

For the hit DC TV show’s upcoming return with its third season, Stargirl will debut its version of Obsidian - a popular, queer comic book character who is known to struggle between fighting for good and sometimes for evil. Actor Tim Gabriel - previously known for small parts on TV shows like The Bold and the Beautiful and S.W.A.T. - will play the long-awaited character in what will actually not be his first appearance in a CW series that is canon to the Arrowverse. We will touch further on that and plenty more in our following guide of all the basic facts to know about Obsidian before Stargirl Season 3 premieres, starting with a pretty valid excuse for his frequent internal conflicts. 

Alan Scott and Rose Canton from DC Comics

(Image credit: DC)

Obsidian Is The Son Of A Green Lantern And A Supervillain

Created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Jerry Ordway and making his DC Comics debut in All-Star Squadron #25 in 1983 is Obsidian, whose real name is Todd James Rice. The surname comes from his abusive adoptive parents who raised him in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but he would eventually learn that his biological father was Alan Scott - the very first superhero to fight under the Green Lantern moniker and whom Jeremy Irvine will play on HBO Max’s upcoming Green Lantern series. His mother, however, was a chronokinetic criminal named Rose Canton (otherwise known as Thorn, who bears a few similarities to Poison Ivy), who was reformed before marrying her crime-fighting beau.

Obsidian with shadow powers in DC Comics

(Image credit: DC Comics)

Obsidian Possesses The Power Of Shadows

Obsidian gets his name from his connection to a dark, primordial dimension known as the Shadowlands, which grants him various shadow-like abilities such as literally becoming a three-dimensional shadow and possessing the shadows of others, in addition to your typical superhuman powers like flight or enhanced strength. His gifts originate from when Alan Scott was fighting a villainous sorcerer named Ian Karkull and became exposed to his shadow-like abilities. So, technically, you could say that Obsidian inherited his powers from his father, but that would be more a more accurate description for his sister.

Jade and Obsidian from DC Comics

(Image credit: DC Comics)

Obsidian Fights Crime With His Twin Sister, Jade

Todd Rice had not even discovered that he had powers until after he met his long-lost twin sister, Jade - a character Stargirl fans should already recognize as Jennifer-Lynn Hayden, as played by Ysa Penarejo. Obsidian would form a superhero alliance with his sibling, who gets her name for being naturally gifted with the powers of a Green Lantern. Like most superpowered twins, Jade also shares a telepathic link with her brother that surely must come in handy when fighting crime as a duo or with a larger superhero team they helped form.

Infinity Inc. from DC Comics

(Image credit: DC Comics)

Obsidian And Jade Are Founding Members Of Infinity Inc.

Following in the footsteps of their Golden Age superhero father, Jade and Obsidian would become members of the Justice Society America at one point. They would later take that honor a step further by helping assemble a team comprised of children and succeeding members of the JSA that they called Infinity Inc. Members of the now-defunct legacy crew have also included Superman’s cousin Power Girl, Hawkman and Hawkgirl’s son, Hector Hall (then known as Silver Scarab), and a few characters from the Stargirl cast - namely Yolanda “Wildcat” Montez (Yvette Monreal) and Beth “Doctor Midnight” Chapel (Anjelika Washington).

Evil Obsidian from DC Comics

(Image credit: DC Comics)

Like His Mother, Obsidian Has Flirted With Committing Crime

Obsidian has also been known to follow in the footsteps of his mother, but, by that, I do not mean he also has the ability to control plants. As previously mentioned, before her reformation, Rose Canton used to be a supervillain - a character trait she evidently passed on to Todd. As a result, he often struggles to maintain his motivation for fighting crime while wrestling with his own temptations to commit it. This conflict would eventually reach an untimely peak under the influence of a familiar face.

Ian Karkull from DC Comics

(Image credit: DC Comics)

Corruption By Ian Karkull Turned Obsidian Purely Evil

Obsidian became morally corrupted by the man responsible for his powers in the first place: Ian Karkull, who manipulated him into using his connection to the Shadowland to, literally, cover the entire world in darkness. This came to a head after a face-off with his biological father, Alan Scott (fighting under the name Sentinel at that time), who managed to defeat his son and, eventually, cure him of the corruption that drove him to his villainous ways. Following his reform, he decided to hang up his cape for good and retire from vigilantism. 

Damon Matthews and Obsidian in DC Comics

(Image credit: DC Comics)

After Retiring, Obsidian Came Out As Gay

Abandoning life as a superhero allowed Todd Rice to focus more on being his real self and, as result, he was able to reveal his true sexuality as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and publicly reveal that he was gay. He later fell in love with Damon Matthews - a district attorney associated with a superhero named Kate Spencer (otherwise known as Manhunter), and could be described as the Commissioner James Gordon to her Batman, if you will. Todd would even continue to happily date Damon when his dormant powers re-materialized after Jade died and decide to return to fighting crime as Obsidian.

Lance Henriksen as Obsidian on Legends of Tomorrow

(Image credit: The CW)

Obsidian Was Previously Portrayed On Legends Of Tomorrow

As I touched on earlier, when Tim Gabriel debuts Obsidian on Stargirl, it will not, actually, be the Arrowverse debut of the character. That would take place on a Season 2 episode of Legends of Tomorrow, in which the character was depicted at two very different times in his life. He was portrayed as a younger man by Dan Payne (who would later appear in HBO’s Watchmen cast as Dollar Bill) and at an older age by horror icon Lance Henriksen, who is best known from his several appearances in the Alien movies and countless other sci-fi and horror projects.

It will be cool to be able to see Obsidian fight alongside his sister, Jade, when he's portrayed by Tim Gabriel on Stargirl. However, like Todd Rice in the Shadowlands, we remain in the dark about when Season 3 is set to premiere on The CW, for the time being.

Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.