Thursday, January 16, 2014

What The Fuck Were They Thinking?: The Ten-Eyed Man


It's that time again kids! Time to go find and dust off the file on another poorly-created character that'll make you wonder just "What The Fuck Were They Thinking?"

Today's Mort Of The Month,  pic for contention, is the one and only(hopefully) Ten-Eyed Man!

Take a bow you crazy bastard.

Created by Frank Robbins, Irv Novic and Dick Giordino and first appearing in Batman#226(1970), This unlucky recipiant of one of the worst super-powers ever, was a former Vietnam Vet named Philip Reardon. Apparently he wound up on the wrong end of a grenade, and it injured his eyes enough to warrent him an honorable discharge. I don't know of it was a case of friendly fire or not, but it seems like the universe wasn't done trolling poor Mr. Reardon. Nope.

Awhile later, he got a job as a nightwatchman/security guard for a warehouse. Well one night while doing the rounds, some burglers decide to show up and rob the place. Reardon spots 'em, but gets taken down pretty easily for a guy who used to be in the Special Forces, and gets his ass tied up, while the robbers plant a bomb.

Batman shows up right before the bomb goes off, and Reardon see him after waking up. Well his vision's blurry as fuck(kinda' like that double-vision you get after a heavy night of drinking) and he thinks Batman's one of the robbers. So Reardon jumps him and they tumble around like a bunch of bi-curious college chicks until the bomb goes off, blowing up the warehouse. Reardon once again catches most of the blast right in the fucking face, further damaging his already fucked up eyes and vision.

Can this poor guy finally get disablility yet? No?

Nope, instead of qualifying and recieving disablility, a Doctor Engstrom attempts to hook our poor boy up by connecting his retinal nerves to all 10 of his fingers. Now he can effectively see out of his hands, and thus began the legend of the loser called the Ten-Eyed Man.

Not only can see out off each and every finger tip, but he now has 360 degree vision and limited perisopic vision. Huh, okay.

Naturally this guy blamed Batman for what happend to him, and every so often would go after Batman in an attempt to get revenge. What was he going to ultimately do to Batman? Make him blind so they'd have to rely on Doctor Engtsrom to allow him to see again, but out of both his hands? Sounds cray if you ask me.

So that would be the way the Ten-Eyed Man's life would go. Bust out of prison, go find Batman, get ass handed to him by Batman, go back to jail. Rense and repeat. It'd go on like until Crisis On Infinite Earths, when he'd accidently die.  Now I have the actual CRISIS trade, and I don't see in #12 where dies, as is when his death is supposed to occur. Damn, dude got killed off-panel. Fuck it just doesn't end for this poor bastard.

He never returned after the CRISIS reboot, and thus went unused or mentioned until around 2006. Sort of.
Seems only a crazy genius like Grant Morrison could love this guy enough to use him, or rather create a whole tribe of people calling themselves the Ten-Eyed Men of the Empty Quarter. Here's Reardon's wiki info on that:

In issue 30 of DC's year-long 52 limited series, an entirely new take on the Ten-Eyed Man was introduced. The Ten-Eyed Men of the Empty Quarter are a nomadic tribe that inhabit the "Empty Quarter" of an unspecified Middle Eastern desert (though "the Empty Quarter" is the name of a region in Saudi Arabia) and are dedicated to hunting demons. They wear blindfolds and loose-fitting robes with turbans, and have eyes similar to the original Ten-Eyed Man's tattooed on their fingertips. During the issue, Bruce Wayne wanders the desert in search of them, defeats one of their number in hand-to-hand combat, and asks for them to exorcise his personal demons. When Robin catches up to him, Bruce tells him that they have "cut out all the dark, fearful, paranoid urges that I've allowed to corrupt my life" and that "Batman is gone." Whether there is any connection between this tribe and the villainous Ten-Eyed Man is unknown, but it is unlikely since the original villain was removed from continuity. An exiled member of this tribe, lacking a finger, is introduced as a terrorist in Batman #675. He kidnaps Jezebel Jet, and is defeated by Bruce Wayne, who was so unstable at that point that he didn't even change to his Batman uniform. Grant Morrison referred to this character as the Nine-Eyed Man.[1]

Yep, this indeed happened.

So there you have it. That's the profile on the unfortunate bastard named the Ten-Eyed Man. 
Interestingly enough, there's so actual fan love for this guy. While searching for images of the guy, I've run across a very cool custom figure of Reardon by a customizer named Rabid Ewok:

Damn! I'll admit it, I'd get this guy if he were available like know, if only to make fun of him unmercifully.

Oh and here's some fan art by a guy named Bloodysamoan on

Did I also mention he appeared in an episode of Batman: The Brave and The Bold?

I'll be damned. Sum' bitch has got some fans after all;)

I gotta' say, the guy might've worked, had there been enough writers to write him properly. Of course nowadays, only someone who can appreciate weird-ass Silver Age characters, like a Geoff Johns or Grant Morrison, can truly get any decent milage out of him. And that 360 degree vision? How the hell does that not automatically make him a sniper/marksmen on the level of Deadshot or Deathstroke. It should right? Nope, it didn't and thus we all left to ask, What The Fuck Were They Thinking?

And that my friends, concludes another edition of What The Fuck Were They Thinking?


Gary said...

"Now I have the actual CRISIS trade, and I don't see in #12 where dies"

What you need, mate, is someone who's annotated the entirety of COIE and can point you to the right place just here.

Check out the notes for Pages 22 and 23 - Panel 17; page 345 in the trade. :)

Dan W said...

I have never laid eyes on this dude before! Sometimes you just got to wonder if DC issue brainstorms weren't just guys drinking beer in a circle going... "Dude, dude... you know what the next Batman foe should be called bro... The Ten Eyed Man!! He could be like this guy all covered in eyes and ... stuff."

That would be pretty cool to be part of.

Thanks for teaching an old dog new tricks Mr Morbid!

The King of Thessaly said...

Now- this guy I am only aware of from his being a Mort-O-The-Month back in the day. And just because of that- I totally geeked-out when I saw him on The Brave & The Bold!
I am shocked but also not shocked that he has a cult following, though- because of internet. That custom-figure if pretty fuckin' flawless!
I absolutely LOVE that scene of him imprisoned with his hands in the box- that's hilarious! So that's a Marvel and a DC now- next time Image? Malibu???

Dale Bagwell said...

@Gary: You da man good sir! Thanks for the tip, I'll go find it,

@Dan: No problem at all Dan. I'd love to have been there during such brainstorming sessions. Was it likte Mad Men, where they were allowed to drink as part of "lunch"? "Cause that would explain so fucking much. Hell I would't even be surprised of some weed smoke from some passerby's joint made it's way into the place, and that's when the real magic happened. I know it works for me like that sometimes;)

@King: I gotta hunt down that B&B episode. Sherman, to the YouTube machine!!!!

I love that custom figure too. Fuck, I'd so buy that shit. Could you imagine the skits I could get out him and Daredevil? Comedy gold my friend. Comedy fucking gold!

I have no idea who's next honestly. It's not like I have a checklist of characters to fill a quoata with. So maybe you'll see someone form Image, the indies, who knows. Tis' the fun of waiting.
Glad enjoyed it King.

karl said...

I cant imagine what possible use The Ten Eyed Man would be to villainy, unless it involved his eyesight being used as an assassin in some way, Apart from the SUPERB action figure, the actual character himself is pretty fucking useless...he sounds like one of those bad guys Otto Binder would've used I the old LSH comics back in the Silver Age.
Besides, if hes circumcised as well, he really should be called The Eleven Eyed Man...

Tiger OA1 said...

Well Damn??? Fans of the ten eyed man, who knew? The custom figure is so on point. Props to whoever did it, it's a serious custom job. But as far as the creation of this looser, What the Fuck were they thinking.

Dale Bagwell said...

@Karl: Eleven-Eyed huh? Maybe, maybe;)

@Tiger: I know right? Cool figure, sucky-ass powers.

Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

never heard of that character before. a custom figure? somebody out there has a lot of spare time on they're hands. a Hell of a lot more then i've had this month so far that's for goddamn sure.

Monday Memes: Hulkamania Edition

Here's some memes that really are Monday Memes , BROTHER! Finally got to watch Rob Zombie's horror flick ...