Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Golden Age Throwbacks: The Eye Sees!

For this installment of Golden Age Throwbacks, we are going to take a brief look at one of the more bizarre heroes now in the public domain, The Eye. Representing the symbolic embodiment of mankind's inner conscience, The Eye appeared as a giant speaking eyeball surrounded by golden light and flame floating in the sky. The Eye was all-seeing and all-knowing, and was not constrained by space and time. Its powers included omnipotence, immortality, teleportation, telekinesis and a powerful heat disintegration ray it shot from its pupil. If criminals spotted The Eye watching them engaged in illegal activity, they knew to soon expect payback for their crimes. Obsessed with dispensing justice (and sometimes vengeance) in the world, The Eye would then appear to victims wronged by the criminals it had just observed and instruct them on what to do to achieve justice, usually by having them show up to a crime scene ahead of time and setting a trap with law enforcement. The Eye would also use its powers to hinder criminals and sometimes dispense justice itself to murderers, subjecting them to the same deadly fate their victims had suffered. The Eye often partnered with Jack Barrister, a young attorney from New York City, in its quest to rid the world of injustice.

Although The Eye's two-year run in Centaur Publications comic books was relatively short-lived (after several appearances in Keen Detective Funnies, it eventually got its own title, Detective Eye, but that only lasted for two issues before being permanently cancelled), the concept of a sentient floating eye would have a lasting effect on popular culture and entertainment media. Movies like The Crawling Eye (1958), Big Trouble in Little China (1986) and Freaked (1993) feature such eyes, although more horrific and villainous. There have been other eye-themed characters in comic books like Marvel Comics' The Orb and DC Comics' Emerald Empress who possessed the Emerald Eye of Ekron. And those familiar with the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game no doubt see the similarities between The Eye's disintegration ray and the abilities of the Beholder.

While certainly too powerful for a player character, The Eye would still make for an interesting and unique NPC that the PCs can interact with in a Golden Age Supers campaign. The Eye was never really given an origin story or much in the way of background history, but there are connections that can be drawn to historical symbols such as the Egyptian Eye of Horus and the Masonic Eye of Providence that can be worked into some interesting original encounters and adventures.

Origin: Unearthly
Real Name: Unknown
First Appearance: Keen Detective Funnies vol. 2 #12 [Centaur Publications December 1939]

Prowess  6
Coordination  7
Strength  7
Intellect  10
Awareness  10
Willpower  6

Stamina  13
Determination  1

  • Aerial Combat Expert
  • Law Master
  • Immortality
  • Teleportation 9
  • Invisibility 5
  • Flight 4 - Transvection
  • Telekinesis 8
    •  Attacking
  • Blast 6 (Shooting) - Pupillary Heat/Disintegration Ray
  • Invulnerability 6
  • Supersenses 1 (X-ray vision)
Jack Barrister and The Eye
  • Identity: Physical Embodiment of Man's Inner Conscience
  • Motivation: Justice
  • Connections: Jack Barrister (young attorney)
  • Catchphrase: The Eyes Sees!
  • Space and Time Mean Nothing to The Eye
  • Weakness: Vengeance 
 Point Total: 100

The Eye first appeared in Keen Detective Funnies vol. 2 #12 (December 1939) published by Centaur Publishing and was created by Frank Thomas.

1 comment:

  1. The influence of the Eye is also present on DC's OMAC and his Brother Eye.

    Another great installment of Just Add Heroes, Joe!