The Confessor and Altar Boy, pictured on the cover of the Astro City: Confession collected edition. Art by Alex Ross.
|First appearance||Astro City Vol. 2 #4 (1996)|
|Created by||Kurt Busiek
|Alter ego||Jeremiah Parrish|
|Team affiliations||Roman Catholic Church|
|Abilities||Common vampiric abilities and weaknesses (including enhanced physical attributes, transformation, and hypnosis)
Extensive knowledge of hand-to-hand combat techniques
Fictional character biography
Born in the 19th century, The Confessor was originally Jeremiah Parrish, a Roman Catholic priest who fell victim to temptation during construction of the Grandenetti Cathedral in what was then Romeyn Falls. While tending to the South-Eastern European immigrants who worked on the Cathedral, he was seduced by a mysterious beautiful woman he saw around the workers' shanty town; the woman turned out to be a vampire, who bit him, causing his transformation. Hiding in the lost and forgotten halls and vaults of the Cathedral for decades, he finally came out of hiding to fight crime in Astro City as penance, eventually constructing the identity of a religious-themed costumed hero. The Confessor's first documented (to date) appearance in Astro City occurred during the early 1950s.
Possessing the regular vampiric aversion to sunlight, the Confessor stays inside the church during daytime, coming out only at night. He is almost always seen wearing an all-black costume with a large black cape, a high collar, and usually a ninja-esque mask over his face. On his chest there is a large, shining cross, which causes him sufficient pain to prevent him giving into his temptation to drink blood and remind him of the mission which drives him onward, his mission to defend justice.
Towards the climax of his career he began mentoring a sidekick, Altar Boy, who discovered his vampiric nature. The Confessor sacrificed his identity and life to expose masquerading alien invaders, but posthumously was nonetheless falsely blamed for a string of unrelated murders in the Shadow Hill district of Astro City. The mantle of The Confessor was then taken up by Altar Boy. Although the original Confessor had traditional vampiric weaknesses, and was thus defeated by traditional methods (i.e. crucifixes, holy water, and a stake), his successor Altar Boy, not being a vampire, is immune to these methods, to his great advantage when fighting enemies who mistakenly view him as a vampire.
The Confessor in Pop Culture
- In the 4th Undercover Brothers (Hardy Boys) graphic novel, Malled, Frank Hardy is seen wearing a T-shirt that pays homage to The Confessor.
- In a sequel to Alan Moore's Top 10, Top 10: Beyond the Farthest Precinct, The Confessor has a cameo as the minister at Dust Devil's mother's funeral.
- Astro City: Confession (ISBN 1-56389-550-1, collects Astro City Vol. 2 #1/2, 4-9)
- The Confessor at internationalheroes.co.uk