|First appearance||Abel Tarrant: Green Lantern v2, #23 (September 1963)
John Oakes: Skin Graft: The Adventures of a Tattooed Man #1 (July 1993)
Mark Richards: Green Lantern (4th series) #9 (2006).
|Created by||Gardner Fox and Gil Kane|
The Tattooed Man is the name of two of Green Lantern's enemies, as well as of one related character.
The first Tattooed Man, Abel Tarrant, debuted in Green Lantern v2, #23 (September 1963). Abel Tarrant was a sailor based in Coast City who turned to burglary. During one of his heists, he was exposed to some mysterious chemicals which left him with the mental ability to create actual objects from the chemicals. When he got back from the robbery, he tattooed himself using the chemicals so he would always have the chemicals near him. Some of the shapes he was able to conjure from his tattoos were an axe, shield, cannon, and dragon.
The second Tattooed Man was John Oakes, the main character of the Vertigo series Skin Graft: The Adventures of a Tattooed Man by Jerry Prosser and Warren Pleece. Oakes first appeared in Skin Graft #1 (July 1993). A cellmate of Abel Tarrant, John Oakes learned the art of tattoo - with a supernatural edge - from his fellow prisoner. After being released from jail, Oakes learned that his strange tattoos were a curse as well as a blessing as his tattoos now opened arcane 'doors' and could involuntarily trap people as 'tattoos' on his own body. Further studying for the Irezumi master Kobo in Kyoto, Oakes learned to control his strange abilities, and finally defeated both Tarrant and the 'tattoo killer' Mizoguchi Kenji by absorbing them. However, Oakes' beloved Yuko died in the battle as well, which prompted him to make her part of his own self.
The third Tattooed Man first appeared in Green Lantern Vol. 4 #9. Mark Richards was a former U.S. Marine who went missing after a helicopter crash. He was presumed dead until he showed up in Gotham City as a hit man. He claimed that the tattoos covering his body were the sins of men he had killed, and that by the art of "sin-grafting", which he had learned from the nation of Modora, in which he takes the sins of others and puts them on himself, he claimed to be redeeming the men and women he killed. All his victims had tattoos of their sins. He was eventually stopped by Green Lantern and Batman. In DC's Brightest Day event, Mark appears as a member of Deathstroke's new team of Titans He is convinced to join by Deathstroke who offers to help him track down Slipknot, the person responsible for murdering his son. After a breakout at Arkham Asylum, Richards was about to leave his team until Deathstroke reveals that he has captured Slipknot for him. Deathstroke allows the two to fight to the death, with Richards winning after he beheads Slipknot. After this act, Richards quits Deathstroke's team, declaring that he is done with killing. When Richards returns to Liberty Hill, he discovers his old neighborhood is afraid of him and the gangbangers have forced citizens and even the police themselves to clean up the area. His former assistant explains to him that they have taken control of the community and made a fortune for themselves through crime. Richards was then confronted by Vixen who believed that he was responsible for the acts of violence committed by his former thugs. Vixen rescinds her offer of Justice League membership and attacks Richards. After a brutal fight, Vixen willingly surrenders and Richards agrees to leave her and take care of his neighborhood in his own way. Richards later rejoins Deathstroke's Titans. Upon returning to the labyrinth, Deathstroke reveals to them that the items the Titans collected were used to form a healing machine called the "Methuselah Device," intended to restore his dying son, Jericho. After healing Jericho, Deathstroke declares that the machine can also resurrect the dead, including Richards' son. Richards initially accepts but after Cinder declares the Methuselah Device a curse, he joins her and Arsenal in fighting the other Titans to destroy the it. After Cinder sacrifices herself to destroy the Methuselah Device, Richards returns home .
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