Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Alter Ego: Duffy
Occupation: Former police officer
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Unnamed father
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Denver, CO
First Appearance: Showcase '96 #9 (October, 1996)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Strawberry blond

The Duffy Family formed a "glorious blue line," as they "proudly served the Denver citizenry for two hundred years..." That was, until the latest generation of police officer was stripped of his uniform in disgrace. Duffy was convicted of an unnamed crime by jury trial thanks to the testimony of fellow officers. Abandoned by his own family, Duffy conceived a revenge plot involving murdering the "traitorous witnesses" against him and stealing their eyeballs. Eight officers had been beaten to death and mutilated before drawing the attention of former Denver Police Detective John Jones, including his old friend Thomas Lappas. Uniformed officer Sergeant Phillips had been assigned the case, so Jones established a telepathic link with him. Jones then used his shapeshifting powers as the Martian Manhunter to assume the role of a local beat cop, hoping to serve as bait for the serial killer.

A technique Duffy employed was to play a tape recording of a "victim's" screams in an abandoned apartment to attract officers' attention, blind them temporarily with a bright light, then permanently by gouging out their eyes. This was what he used against Sergeant Phillips, who managed to defend himself despite his traumatic injury. Duffy escaped Phillips' gunfire by running up a fire escape, but dropped one of the sergeant's eyeballs while running across rooftops.

Alerted by his telepathic link, the Martian Manhunter arrived to help Phillips. Pulling a latent image from the officer's amputated eye, Jones identified Duffy. After taking Phillips to the hospital, the Manhunter confronted Duffy in his home. Duffy was unable to resist as Jones dunked his head into a fish tank of severed eyeballs he had been collecting, and was soon carted off to jail.

Powers & Weapons:
Duffy wore a Denver Police uniform while committing his crimes, and had a substantial collection of firearms. Through unknown means, Duffy came into possession of an intricate device which could remove an eyeball whole with surgical precision.

Quote: "That sniveling coward got blood on my uniform! But that's all right, father, I fixed him-- I fixed him good."

Created by Peter J. Tomasi and Eduardo Barreto


will_in_chicago said...

This is one of the creepier non powered villains in the DC Universe.

Also, I thought that this entry showed an interesting use of J'Onn's mental abilities.

Diabolu Frank said...

There's a story to this Duffy business, somewhere. Hopefully a better one...

LissBirds said...

I remember being sufficiently creeped out by this story. LIke will said, it was a creative use of J'onn's powers, though I found it a bit of a stretch to believe. (Then again, I guess it's keeping with the Silver Age Swiss army knife of powers...)

mathematicscore said...

You know, I just reread it (and accidentally read the same team a year earlier on Showcase 95 number 9) For what they were, they were pretty good. The approach they had there, in an actual series, could have been pretty good, as a counterpoint to the more cosmic adventures we saw in the Ostrander series.