|The Ten-Eyed Man|
The Ten-Eyed Man.
Art by Pablo Marcos and Ricardo Villamonte
|First appearance||Batman #226 (1970)|
|Created by||Frank Robbins
|Alter ego||Philip Reardon|
|Notable aliases||"Ten-Eye" Reardon|
|Abilities||360° and limited periscopic vision
Superb hand to hand combatant and marksman
Fictional character biography
Philip Reardon served as a soldier in the U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam until he was honorably discharged after a grenade fragment hit him between the eyes. He returned to civilian life as a warehouse security guard. One night, he was knocked out by thieves who planted a bomb to blow up the warehouse. When Batman arrived at the scene, Reardon recovered but his vision was blurred. Mistaking Batman as one of the thieves, Reardon battled him. When he recognized Batman, the warehouse exploded and Reardon's retinas were burned which impacted his war injury and blinded him permanently in both eyes.
A brilliant doctor named Dr. Engstrom reconnected his optic nerves to his fingertips, enabling him to see through them. He blamed Batman for what had happened and took his revenge on him under the identity of the Ten-Eyed Man. Because of his indisputably unique abilities, he was employed by persons unknown as the only villain worthy to attack Man-Bat. During this fight, Man-Bat threw a shrub at him which hurt when he caught it.
He fought Batman on two occasions and came up short both times, often being defeated by injuring his sensitive eyes/fingers by tricking him into catching or touching something. He could only be kept in a jail cell by keeping his hands locked in a special box that kept him blind all day and night because with eyes on his fingers, "escape would be child's play for him," although precisely how this would be the case was not elaborated upon.
He was accidentally killed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. It was reportedly at the specific request of Marv Wolfman, among a list of characters he wanted to kill first. His only appearance after that was in Animal Man #23 along with other characters who were wiped out by the Crisis.
Powers and abilities
Ten-Eyed Man can see through optic nerves in his fingertips, giving him a complete 360 view and limited periscopic vision. His enhanced vision augments his Special Forces training, making him a superb fighter and marksman.
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.
In other media
- Ten-Eyed Man appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold voiced by Robin Atkin Downes. In "A Bat Divided", he is seen in a bar where the villains hang out, when Firestorm and the three Batmen show up. He later appears at the beginning of "Emperor Joker" where he tries to rob a jewelry store only to fight Batman. Bat-Mite appeared during the fight while reviewing Ten-Eyed Man's history. Bat-Mite then gives Batman a cactus causing the latter to defeat Ten-Eyed Man by tricking him into catching it.
- Batman #226 (November 1970)
- Batman #231 (May 1971)
- Man-Bat #2 (March 1976)
- Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 (March 1986)
- Who's Who in the DC Universe #23 (January 1987)
- Animal Man #23 (May 1990)
- 52 #30 (November 2006)
- Batman #675 (April 2008)
- Batman #675 (April 2008)