Celsius (comics)

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Celsius
Celciusdcu0.jpg
Celsius in costume from Doom Patrol vol. 2 #1, artist Steve Lightle
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Showcase #94,
(September 1977)
Created by Paul Kupperberg (writer)
Jim Aparo (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Arani Desai Caulder
Team affiliations Doom Patrol
Black Lantern Corps
Notable aliases Arani Caulder
Abilities

Elemental control of fire and ice.

Black Power Ring

Celsius is the superhero alias of Arani Desai, a fictional character in the DC Comics series, Doom Patrol. She first appeared in Showcase #94 (September 1977), and was created by Paul Kupperberg and Joe Staton. She is among the very few superheroes of South Asian heritage, and may be the first ever such hero created by DC Comics.[1]

Fictional character biography[edit]

The following account is the result of a mind probe on Arani by General Immortus (Showcase #95, October–November 1977), Arani Desai was born in India into a life of wealth and privilege. Due to the death of her mother while giving birth to Arani, her father Ashok rejected her even though she possessed an excellent intellect and athleticism. Arani ran away from home after her father went insane. Life on the streets in Calcutta made her deathly ill until she was rescued by young American Dr. Niles Caulder. He gave her immortality on their wedding and left her in the Himalayas while he tried to evade General Immortus. Arani waited and realized that the serum augmented her powerfully, so that she could control her core temperature and project quantities of heat and cold. This ability coupled with the mysticism and monastery training made her a formidable martial artist.[1]

Doom Patrol[edit]

Discovering the death of the Doom Patrol, she created her own team initially to search for her husband, whom she refused to believe perished with the rest of the original Patrol in an explosion. Cliff Steele had survived by virtue of his mechanical nature as Robotman (just enough of his body had been left intact, including his head, to keep his brain alive, and he was found by Will Magnus who built him a new form), and upon returning to Doom Patrol headquarters, found the new team holding a meeting there. They were interrupted and captured by Immortus, who momentarily restored his youth by using the mind-probe on Arani to get the immortality formula from her. As the treatment she had been given was prepared specifically for her metabolism, it soon backfired on him.[2]

Kalki from Doom Patrol vol. 2 #3, art by Steve Lightle

Kalki[edit]

During her leadership of the Doom Patrol, they discovered Larry Trainor had inexplicably also survived the explosion, as well as the loss of his radio-energy being to Soviet defector Valentina Vostok (herself a member of the new DP as Negative Woman), and was a hostage of Arani's now demonically controlled father Ashok Desai, renamed Kalki. Like the terrorist known as Kobra, Ashok believed it was his destiny to bring about the Kali Yuga. Ashok Desai had originally worked with Niles Caulder to develop the immortality serum that Caulder would later perfect and use on Arani. Ashok tested an early version of the mutagenic serum on himself. The formula triggered his metagene, and mutated his body, driving him insane. He was transformed into a living portal to a nether dimension that he believed was "hell".

He and Caulder devised a suit of armor to contain his deteriorating body and to control the dimensional portal. Kalki had set up a hidden base on the island of Jamaica from which he intended to launch a satellite designed to eliminate all life on Earth. Kalki died when Celsius damaged his armor, causing the "demons" on the other side of its portal to turn on him; they were then able to drag his body through to the other side.

Celsius was the only member left fighting against an evil Lord of Chaos, hand in hand with Power Girl. Her Arctic-cold blast exploded the superheated Metallo after he managed to control Robotman's actions to battle Superman. Arani later discovered that Niles Caulder was, as she had believed, still alive, and that Vostok had become a covert operative for the United States government.

Invasion[edit]

Main article: Invasion! (comics)

When Niles came out of hiding, he declared they were never married, although he did know her,[3] then declared that Arani was "hoplessly insane" for believing so,[4] although he would later retract that statement[citation needed]. He admitted to experimenting on her with his immortality serum. Arani was seemingly killed in a suicidal attempt to freeze a Gil'Dishpan battle cruiser from escaping the Arctic Circle during the Invasion! crossover. Celsius remained behind when she realized that the aliens were seeking to escape the surprise attack. When other Doom Patrol members begged her to get away she flatly refused, stating that "Niles knows the truth" while engulfing the rear of the ship in tons of ice. As the fusion engines erupted with power, the force blew back at her point blank. Aquaman realized that the backlash created by Celsius coupled with the bombs did indeed cripple the interstellar ship. Tragically, Celsius became the first heroic casualty in the invasion.[1] The Patrol buried her remains, but the Gene Bomb went off at her funeral.[5]

Niles Caulder later revealed that he married Arani for her own protection as a single woman in India, but that he abandoned her immediately after the ceremony.[6]

Blackest Night[edit]

Celsius is one of four Doom Patrol members reanimated as Black Lanterns whom the Doom Patrol must deal with in the Blackest Night tie-in storyline. She confronts her ex-husband and proceeds to taunt him emotionally, then super freeze and shatter his paralyzed legs.[7] She is prevented from killing Caulder by a man with a black hole for a face, and is sent away from Oolong island, along with her fellow Black Lanterns, via a warp gate.[8]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Celsius is a superior martial artist due to her monastery training. She has minor levels of ancient mysticism taught to her due to her monastery training in the Himalayas by Buddhist Monks. These same Buddhist Monks taught Arani to control and manipulate her core temperature, projecting formidable heat to a volcanic level from her left hand or intense cold and ice to an arctic level from her right hand after Niles Caulder's immortality serum triggered her metagene. Celsius was even seen to casually hold a Government helicopter aloft due to a power blast of superheated steam. Due to the secret longevity serum given to her by Niles Caulder instead of General Immortus, she was supposedly to remain young and beautiful forever as an immortal. The combination of her natural athletic prowess, intelligence, martial arts and thermal duality made Celsius one of the most formidable, dynamic martial artists in the DC Universe. She now has a Black power ring because of her resurrection and can do anything a Black lantern can do combined with her natural thermal powers.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Jimenez, Phil (2008). "Celsius". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. p. 76. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5. OCLC 213309017. 
  2. ^ Showcase #s 94, August–September 1977, and 95, October–November 1977.
  3. ^ Doom Patrol (vol. 2) #17
  4. ^ Doom Patrol (vol. 2) #25
  5. ^ Doom Patrol (vol. 2) #19; Invasion! #3
  6. ^ Doom Patrol (vol. 2) #57.
  7. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (9 September 2009). "GIFFEN Readies DOOM PATROL for BLACKEST NIGHT". Newsarama.com. Imaginova. Retrieved 9 September 2009. 
  8. ^ Doom Patrol (Vol. 5) #5

External links[edit]