Legion of the Lame: The Ten-Eyed Man


THE TEN-EYED MAN

Real Name: Philip Reardon
Powers: 360 degree vision
Arch-Enemy: Batman
First Appearance: Batman #226 (1970)

About The Ten-Eyed Man

Philip Reardon was a decorated member of the U.S. Special Forces who was honorably discharged after an explosion damaged his eyes. Back home as a civilian, Reardon got a job as a security guard at a warehouse. One night during a robbery, Reardon was knocked out by the thieves. Upon waking up Reardon mistakenly thought Batman (who showed up to stop the robbery) was one of the crooks and started fighting with him. This gave the thieves time to set a bomb and escape. The explosion damaged Reardon’s eyes even further and left him blind. Now this is all very tragic…a decorated soldier whose eyes get screwed up in two separate explosions? This poor guy couldn’t catch a break and seemed to attract explosions like sugar attracts ants.

So now Reardon is very bitter and who can blame him. The guy has some of the worst luck in comic book history. He hooks up with a “brilliant” doctor who had the know-how to reconnect Reardon’s optic nerves. But instead of reconnecting those optic nerves to his eyes like any normal physician would do this doctor connected Reardon’s optic nerves to his fingertips. This is a great life lesson; never visit a doctor in Gotham City because you have about a 50/50 chance of ending up being attended to by a complete nutjob who will probably experiment on you.
Now with the ability to see through his fingertips Reardon gave himself the woefully descriptive alias of The Ten-Eyed Man and set out to kill Batman who he blamed for his blindness. Why he didn’t blame the crooks who set the bomb that caused his blindness is a mystery but I am willing to give Reardon the benefit of the doubt because I think I would probably go a little loopy if some quack made me have eyeballs in my fingers.

Supposedly being able to see through your fingertips (which gives The Ten-Eyed Man the dreaded ability of 360 degree vision!!!!) coupled with Special Forces training makes you a dangerous hand-to-hand combatant. I would think it would limit you to only being able to use one hand at a time when fighting otherwise you’d blind yourself whenever you make a fist. And the prison system considers 360 degree vision to be an automatic get out of jail free card because they created a special hand binding contraption to keep him from seeing with his fingers.
Marv Wolfman, the great writer who was responsible for the 1980s Teen Titans reboot with George Perez, made it a point to kill The Ten-Eyed Man during the Crisis on Infinite Earths event just because of how awful the character was but someone at DC decided that the universe was diminished somehow by the absence of this pitiful character and brought him back to life.

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