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Eclipso is a malevolent force that possesses the bodies of humans, through his gem, using them as his vessels.
Hosts of Eclipso
Eclipso has existed for many generations, many times as a deity both worshiped and feared by ancient cultures.
In Metropolis, Superman tries to contain Professor Bryce Gordon, who's been possessed by an evil spirit after he found a strange black diamond in Africa a few days ago, that has turned him into a violent monster. Superman decides to end the fight by smashing the black diamond, shattering it to pieces. After that, the Professor gets back to normal.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Dr. Emil Hamilton's team have completed their analysis of the shattered black diamond. It seems the gem gives off a unique pattern of Alpha brainwaves that influence the mind of the one in contact with the gem. Moreover, every shard of the gem is emitting its own series of signals, which are talking to each other. Disturbingly, not every shard of the diamond is accounted for. Emil then tells them to call the C.D.C. and scramble a team back to the crime scene so they can prevent anyone else from getting infected.
On the crime scene in Metropolis, a reporter named Lombard tries to get a scoop, saying he just can't sit down and watch Clark Kent stumble onto headline after headline. Suddenly one of the shards finds its way into the skin of Lombard, immediately influencing him and saying "I am the wrath of God".
At Metropolis P.D., a possessed Lombard enters the police station saying "No spell can leave his wrath from this mortal coil" and then a group of also possessed civilians attack the surprised police officers. Sawyer and Turpin are ready to fight the intruders but they also get attacked by Gordon, who shouts along with the others "We are Eclipso".
Tess contacts Emil to inform him about the effect of Eclipso that is spreading all over the city. Emil tells her that he is already aware of the situation as possessed citizens are attacking S.T.A.R. Labs, at the same time. An overwhelmed Tess is trying to contain the mess, launching an SOS signal to all the heroes who are available, even though all of them seem to be off-line, as havoc breaks loose in Metropolis thanks to the ever-growing army of Eclipso.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Emil Hamilton and his team of scientists are hiding from the army of the civilians possessed by Eclipso, who continue the assault on the facility and also are trying to produce a synthetic version of the gem so they can "spread his wrath". Emil discuss with his fellow scientists that they should find out what an Eclipso really is, as they didn't actually find anything on the internet and they now have to search for more information in books.
All the possessed people in the facility are later taken out by Hank Henshaw.
A man possessed by Eclipso wreaks havoc on a passenger plane headed for Tokyo.
In the streets of Metropolis, a family tries to run away from the possessed people but fortunately Superboy arrive just in time to rescue them. A girl then asks him if he is also able to save them from the aforementioned falling plane. A startled Superboy, who just saw the plane coming towards them, creates a shield around him and the family hoping that it will be enough to prevent the civilians from getting hurt. Luckily, Supergirl arrives and catches the plane on midair, saving everyone.
Later, Bryce watches from above as Metropolis is set into chaos. He stands atop the Daily Planet and declares that Eclipso is eternal and his wrath will soon set upon the Earth at the setting of the sun.
Superboy and Supergirl take down the possessed Bryce Gordon atop a building.
At street level, Hank Henshaw battles another swarm of Eclipsos. The possessed civilians say that even though Hank wears the false god's symbol, he is not like him. They also tell him they can not understand what exactly he is and Hank says neither does he. Hank then utilizes probing cables that are part of his body to probe the minds of the Eclipsos and get a better idea of what they're dealing with.
When Supergirl and Superboy offer themselves to Eclipso, so he would leave the bodies of the civilians and then attempt to take him down, he makes Bryce Gordon throw up the diamond. Then all the power is centered in the diamond, which creates a huge Eclipso monster. The Eclipso monster says he is fascinated by the idea of having Superboy and Supergirl as his own Adam and Eve.
Supergirl, Superboy, and Hank Henshaw continue battling Eclipso, who has now been transformed into a big humanoid made by the Eclipso gem, after emerging from his numerous hosts throughout Metropolis. Supergirl and Superboy discover that their respective abilities aren't stopping Eclipso, and they look to Henshaw for suggestions. Henshaw says sound vibrations might just force Eclipso to condense himself even further into a single diamond, and Supergirl grabs two giant church bells and bangs them together. When she sees that it works, she tosses another bell to Superboy, who follows the same strategy. Eclipso reverts to a single diamond that Henshaw and Supergirl catch in mid-air. Then Henshaw says there's only one way to make sure the diamond never falls into human hands again.
Henshaw has decided to leave Earth with the Eclipso diamond to protect the people from its influence. In space, Hank with the help of the Green Lantern, John Stewart, soars into an unknown destination.
In the Comics
Originally, Eclipso was written as a generic villain with average superpowers, who would routinely enact an elaborate plot to fulfill his hedonistic motivations. However, the Darkness Within miniseries modified the character to be an evil and megalomaniacal entity. Eclipso's character laments the power he once had as a spirit of divine vengeance. Eclipso would frequently seek to possess beings of incredible power like to achieve his ends.
Eclipso's early comics debut is tied to his first modern host, Bruce Gordon. During this period, Eclipso was portrayed as a conventional villain, possessing super strength, partial invulnerability, and eye blasts (aided by his black diamond). It was later retconned that any type of eclipse could summon Eclipso: lunar, solar, or even an object blocking out a light source.
Retconned again, Eclipso's soul had originally been bound inside a giant black diamond called the "Heart of Darkness" in Africa. A treasure hunter found it in the late nineteenth century and brought it to London in 1891, where he had a jeweler cut it into one thousand shards. This weakened the binding spell, allowing Eclipso to possess anyone who became angry while in contact with one of the shards. He was no longer limited to possessing Gordon during an eclipse, but pretended otherwise so that Gordon would not know the truth about the black diamonds. Over the next century, the Eclipso entity gathered the diamond shards with the intention of destroying them all, freeing his true power. When Lar Gand discovered Eclipso's palace on the moon and wandered inside, it inspired Eclipso to possess all of Earth's heroes and use them towards his ultimate goal, the conquest of Earth and revenge against God for imprisoning him inside the Heart of Darkness. Eclipso claimed he had spent the last several years "posing as a B-level villain" in order to remain undetected by Earth's heroes and had limited himself to targeting Gordon for the purpose of quashing Gordon's research into solar science. In the climax of the story, several of Earth's heroes were possessed by Eclipso and transported to the moon during an eclipse. He then absorbed these heroes into his own body, gaining their mass and also their inherent powers. Gordon led a group of heroes armed with solar weapons to the moon in an attempt to defeat Eclipso once and for all. The absorbed heroes were freed in the end.
In the Countdown to Mystery series, Eclipso puts a new plan into motion, corrupting the heroes Plastic Man, Creeper, and Dove, at the same time tasking a group of magi to recover and recombine the pieces of the heart of darkness.
Eclipso returns after several years' absence in the Princes of Darkness storyline in JSA as an ally of the other villains Mordru and Obsidian. Alexander Montez vows revenge on Eclipso for his cousin, Yolanda's death. To this end, he gathers the 1,000 black diamonds, liquefies them and injects them into himself; all save one, which he keeps to evoke Eclipso. Exactly how Eclipso's diamonds had returned was unknown. Montez covers his body in tribal tattoos he claims he had learned about on Diablo Island. With these tattoos, Montez can summon all the powers of Eclipso by triggering the diamond with his anger, while remaining in control of himself and keeping Eclipso trapped within. As the new Eclipso, he joins the short-lived team of loose-cannon heroes assembled by Black Adam.
During Adam's reign in Kahndaq, Alex becomes romantically involved with his teammate Soseh Mykros, the female Nemesis. However, during a battle, one of Alex's binding glyphs (which keeps Eclipso in control) is broken via a shoulder wound. Eclipso soon kills Nemesis. Alex commits suicide in order to prevent Eclipso from controlling him further. This story was significant as it meant that Eclipso no longer had a limitless number of black diamonds waiting out in the world for him to utilize.
Interestingly, this incarnation of Eclipso was never shown using any power but his eye blasts.
In Countdown to Mystery #4, Alex's body is acquired by Eclipso's followers for an as-yet-unknown magic ritual. Later, all of the black diamond fragments in his body are recombined into their original form.
Despite the loss of the other black diamonds, the disembodied Eclipso then tries to possess Superman by antagonizing him through many deaths. He eventually possesses Superman by upsetting him via his possession of Lois Lane. At this point, the wizard Shazam steps in by sending Captain Marvel to fight the possessed Eclipso-Superman. Thanks to Superman's weakness to magic, Captain Marvel is able to do a significant amount of damage to Eclipso. A prominent method of attack he uses is to continuously trigger his transformations in close proximity to Superman, resulting in the lightning striking Eclipso.
Eventually, Shazam himself removes Eclipso from Superman by calling upon the hostless Spectre himself to do it. The Spectre forces Eclipso back into a lone black diamond. The Spectre then warns Shazam that he has made an enemy of Eclipso and that the currently-hostless Spectre will no longer be able to defend him as he lacks the coherence necessary to effectively recall anything beyond his 'mission'. At the end of this series, the black diamond is seen appearing in Jean Loring's cell in Arkham Asylum.
In the Day of Vengeance miniseries, Jean Loring, ex-wife of Ray Palmer and murderer of Sue Dibny as seen in the Identity Crisis miniseries, discovered the last black diamond in her prison cell, became the new Eclipso and tricks Spectre into attacking magic-based heroes as her revenge against Shazam, who was eventually slain while fighting the Spectre. After fending off multiple attacks upon herself, Eclipso-Loring was eventually teleported to a non-decaying orbit around the sun by Nightshade.
In the pages of Infinite Crisis, it was revealed by Alexander Luthor, Jr. that he had sent Superboy-Prime to recover the black diamond and that the Psycho-Pirate delivered it to Loring on Alex's orders and manipulated Eclipso into manipulating the Spectre. This was all done in the interests of breaking magic down into raw magical energy, which Alexander could use for his own ends.
The Spectre, desiring revenge on Eclipso for his manipulations of him during the Infinite Crisis but rendered incapable of taking it owing to his present lack of a host, orders Dibny to punish Eclipso in return for his wife's life. Dibny, realizing that this meant punishing Jean Loring, his wife's murderer and temporarily granted the power of the Spectre, takes Eclipso back to the point at which she (as Jean Loring) murdered his wife and, restoring Jean's sanity, ruthlessly intends to trap her in a permanent time loop and force her to watch herself murder Sue Dibny over and over for all eternity. Her sanity restored and Eclipso purged out of her, a terrified Loring tearfully begs for forgiveness, screaming that she was crazy when she murdered Sue and that it 'wasn't me!'. Dibny, affected by her pleas, his sense of compassion and his own feelings on watching his wife's death, finds himself incapable of such ruthlessness and refuses to complete his pact with the Spectre, returning Eclipso to her orbit around the sun.
Having come to the conclusion that her hosts' corrupted souls are a cause of her failures, she tries to possess a baby with great magical potential and a pure, uncorrupted soul. She is foiled in this attempt by Blue Beetle and Traci Thirteen. She even manages to take control of Blue Beetle and grants him his "supreme desire of power", intending to use the corrupted Beetle to kill the defenders of the baby. To her utter mortification, this means Beetle's supreme wish, to become a dentist, is fulfilled, and is easily swatted aside. It was revealed in Countdown To Mystery that all of Eclipso's black diamonds were mined on Apokolips millennia ago and that Eclipso was created by Darkseid.
Eclipso is seen in Countdown #38 watching Mary Marvel and plotting to make Mary into her minion. Increasing her anger and suspicions around the other magical being around her, she manages to warp the sunny and cheery disposition of Mary into sheer anger and distrust and then offer herself as friend and confidante. After attempting to make her Darkseid's concubine, however, Mary rebels and attempts to kill her. In Countdown To Mystery, Eclipso corrupts more heroes, first Plastic Man and then setting her sights on the Creeper. Mary discovers Eclipso's manipulation of her and in Countdown #17 she sacrifices her abilities and attacks Eclipso with all her power, leaving Mary and Jean freefalling to the oceans surrounding Themyscira. Loring is last seen sinking into the ocean with a shark approaching and Eclipso returns to inhabit Bruce Gordon, declaring her lost.
In the New 52, five years in the past, Alex is depicted as a doctor from Arkham Asylum who was working a new formula set to rehabilitate prisoners on a prison called "The Float". After the prisoners rebel, he helps Team 7 take back control. However this is revealed to be a ruse as Montez was controlled by Eclipso in order to crash the Float into Sentinel Island, where the Black Diamond is kept, and retrieve it is. In the present, Alex recovers the Black Diamond, becoming Eclipso's new host.
Eclipso is depicted as god of vengeance and once again trapped in the Heart of Darkness. However a criminal organization working for Kaizen Gamorra tries to steal the item with Team 7 trying to stop them. During the fight Slade Wilson is briefly possessed by Eclipso. With the help of Essence the other heroes manage to trap him again in the black diamond, which is then sent to somewhere safe. Five years later, Catwoman is hired to steal the diamond, now kept in one of A.R.G.U.S secret rooms, she succeeds although she is affected by the item's magic.
Eclipso is subsequently revealed to be an inhabitant of Gemworld with the powers of House Onyx and House Diamond. He was trapped in the diamond by the then Princess of House Amethyst centuries ago. Now possessing Alex Montez, he is sent back to Gemworld by John Constantine, where he seizes control of the two Houses he's connected to. Seeking revenge on House Amethyst, he is defeated by Princess Amaya and again trapped in the diamond.
Later, the black diamond is delivered to scientist Gordon Jacobs, who has fallen from grace. Using Gordon's rage, Eclipso from inside the gem manipulated him into cutting himself with the gem so he can posses him. After taking his body Eclipso murders Jonah Bennet, Gordon's partner and father of his fiancee, Mona, who has come to visit Gordon but after that Gordon realizes that he was out of control and he must destroy the gem but Eclipso tells him that if he does he will also kill himself because they are one and the same now. Eclipso also manipulates and convinces Gordon not to throw away the gem using Mona as an excuse.
- Eclipso is one of the main antagonists of Chaos.