|First appearance||Adventure Comics #338 (November 1965)|
|Created by||Mort Weisinger
Glorith of Baaldur is a fictional villainess appearing in stories published by DC Comics. Her primary foe is the 30th century team known as the Legion of Super-Heroes, and she was a major presence in Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4). Originally a minor villain who made one appearance in the 1960s, Glorith became a central figure in DC's attempts to repair the continuity problems created when it removed the original Superboy from continuity following the Crisis on Infinite Earths miniseries.
Fictional character biography
The original Glorith of Baaldur was a nonpowered henchwoman of the Time Trapper who was sent back in time to the 30th century. She attempts to destroy the Legion by transforming them into children. However, when the pre-pubescent Legionnaires managed to defeat her, the Time Trapper de-aged her until she reverted to protoplasm.
Removal of the Time Trapper
After the Crisis on Infinite Earths miniseries, writer/artist John Byrne created The Man of Steel, a six-issue miniseries which reinterpreted the origin of Superman. In Byrne's version of the origin, which was accepted as canon by the DC editorial board, Superman did not begin his superhero career until adulthood. Thus, Kal-El (Superman) had never been Superboy, and did not serve as the primary inspiration for the Legion. It was revealed that the Time Trapper created a pocket universe from a slice of time in the distant past, and altered reality until a parallel Earth was formed, complete with a teenage Kal-El named Superboy. The Time Trapper then further manipulated the timestream so that whenever the Legion would travel into the past to visit the 20th century, and whenever Superboy visited the Legion's future, the two would be directed into each other's worlds. Thus, Superman and the Superboy who inspired the Legion were said to be two distinct individuals. When the Trapper attempts to destroy the Pocket Universe Earth, Superboy saves the planet, sacrificing his own life in the process.
Although the "Pocket Universe" plot twist allowed previous Legion continuity to be essentially preserved, DC editors later made the decision to remove Superboy from Legion continuity altogether. Writers Keith Giffen and Tom & Mary Bierbaum crafted a tale wherein Brainiac 5 learned that the Time Trapper's essence was present within Mon-El's mind (The Trapper had been presumed destroyed by the Infinite Man when a covert group of Legionnaires sought revenge for the death of Superboy). Mon-El then effectively "murdered" the Trapper in the Pocket Universe. The Time Trapper's death erased the Pocket Universe and the Superboy who inhabited it from existence, which in turn meant that the Legion was never formed. Without the Legion to hold his power in check, the sorcerer Mordru dominated much of the known universe. In the altered timeline, Glorith was Mordru's "First Wife". Another of Mordru's wives, Mysa (the Legionnaire White Witch), had visions of the previous reality and the Trapper's importance in preventing the rise of Mordru. Mysa's covert allies, Andrew Nolan (the Legionnaire Ferro Lad) and Rond Vidar, devised a plan to use Glorith to recreate the previous timeline, and end Mordru's domination. Mordru discovered the plan moments before it was enacted, but was too late to stop it.
After the restoration of the original timeline, Legion history was rebooted with Mon-El (renamed "Valor") replacing Superboy as the Legion's inspiration, 20th century member Supergirl being replaced by 30th century member Laurel Gand of Daxam, and with the Time Trapper being replaced as the master of time manipulation by Glorith. Along with the Dominators, she was the preeminent villain of the "Five Years Later" era of Legion continuity.
Glorith frequently meddled in Legion history. In the new "Glorithverse" timeline, she was responsible for the death of An Ryd (a crime for which Ultra Boy was framed), Brainiac 5's temporary loss of sanity, and the genocidal destruction of the planet Daxam (an event which replaced the death of Superboy in Legion history).
Ultra Boy began to suspect that Glorith had manipulated the timeline to replace another being (the Time Trapper) and steal his power, and that she would soon reach omnipotence. To stop her, he tricked Mordru into attacking her. Although the battle was essentially a draw, it cost her enough power to prevent her from conquering the universe. Eventually, Glorith learned of Ultra Boy's covert operations. To punish him, she sent his fiancee Phantom Girl a thousand years back in time (where she became the amnesiac Phase and joined L.E.G.I.O.N.), and made it seem that Phantom Girl had died. To maintain a counterbalance, she took a 20th-century Durlan (who was the sole friend of L.E.G.I.O.N. founder Vril Dox II) and sent him forward to the mid-30th century. After a virus permanently removed his shape-shifting powers and froze him in humanoid form, the Durlan assumed the name R. J. Brande. He would prosper in business, becoming one of the richest persons of the era and the benefactor of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Additionally, Glorith attempted to seduce Valor in the 20th century. When he ultimately rejected her, she banished him to the Bgztl Buffer Zone (the "Glorithverse" equivalent of the Phantom Zone) until he was released in the 30th century by the Legion. Ultimately, however, her continual rewriting of timelines caused the original Time Trapper to reappear, exacerbated the destabilization of the current timeline, and was a major catalyst for the events leading to Zero Hour in 1994, after which Legion continuity was completely rebooted.
Glorith did not appear in the post-Zero Hour Legion continuity, although the character of Lori Morning bore some resemblance to her.
In the Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds miniseries, Mordru calls upon "those that died by pain and torture by my hand!" Glorith is one of the three upon whom he calls. Her reanimated skeleton arises and is promptly destroyed by the Legion.
In Adventure Comics #523, a young woman from an unknown planet is shown on the Sorcerers' World, having been raised and trained by Blok, the Black Witch and other mystics. The woman is identified as Glorith, although she bears little resemblance to the original beyond her mystical nature.
Powers and abilities
Glorith has complete control over time itself. She is able to freeze it, alter it, and even separate parts of it, thereby allowing her to (paradoxically) maintain the Time Trapper's pocket dimensions. She has the ability to age or de-age living beings to a seemingly unrestricted degree. At its extreme, this power can easily end one's life. She can send individuals forward or backward in time. Unlike the Time Trapper, her powers are partially based in sorcery. Thus, she also exhibits abilities such as mind control and manipulation.
The current incarnation of Glorith has training in the use of sorcery, but is still a novice in the mystic arts. She has certain magical abilities that can be used spontaneously, but apparently requires prior preparation or the use of rituals for more significant effects.
- Adventure Comics #338 (November 1965)
- Action Comics #591 (August 1987)
- Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 3) #38 (September 1987)
- Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4) #5 (March 1990)
- Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4) #6 (April 1990)
- Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #239 (May 1978), Legion of Super-Heroes Annual (vol. 4) #1 (1990)
- Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #250-251 (April–May 1979), Legion of Super-Heroes Annual (vol. 4) #1 (1990)
- Legion of Super-Heroes Annual (vol. 4) #1 (1990)
- L.E.G.I.O.N. '89 #9 (November 1989), Legion of Super-Heroes Annual (vol. 4) #1 (1990)
- L.E.G.I.O.N. '89 #9 (November 1989); L.E.G.I.O.N. '91 #23 (January 1991)
- Secrets of the Legion of Super-Heroes #3 (March 1981); L.E.G.I.O.N. '91 #23 (January 1991)
- Legion of Super-Heroes Annual (vol. 4) #2 (1991)
- Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #2 (November 2008)
- Adventure Comics #523 (April 2011)