Eclipso is a DC Comics supervillain. The character first appeared in House of Secrets #61 in 1963. While trying to view a solar eclipse, Dr. Bruce Gordon was wounded by a mysterious black diamond after fighting off a native sorcerer. He kept the gem, but during the eclipse, his personality became twisted. The villainous Eclipso emerged and wanted to wreak havoc on mankind. Complicating matters was that he saw the first obstacle to his rise for power as Bruce Gordon himself, making plans to kill his alter-ego. Following his initial appearance, Eclipso made several appearances in the DC universe at large.
In the early 1990s, DC revamped Eclipso in a company-wide crossover. Eclipso was not simply Bruce Gordon's dark half, but a vengeful demon who had possessed Gordon. 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.
After several storylines of the new status quo, Eclipso obtained several new hosts, including Alexander Montez, Superman, and Jean Loring, but eventually returned to possessing Bruce Gordon again. The New 52 connected him to Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld, who defeated him once more. In DC Rebirth he possessed Maxwell Lord and was able to control the Justice League with expanded powers, but was defeated and imprisoned in the diamond by the end of the storyline.
This character and series provide examples of:
- Arc Welding: Revealed in Countdown To Infinite Crisis as a creation of Darkseid.
- Artifact of Doom: The Heart of Darkness, a black crystal which allowed Eclipso to possess his host, granted them fearsome mystical powers.
- Artistic License Astronomy:
- Seems like there's an eclipse happening every other week, which is good for the plot but highly implausible note . Technically there are between four and seven eclipses in any given year, but they'll each only be visible at specific points on the planet.
- During his Crisis Crossover event, Eclipso's citadel is revealed to be on the side of the moon facing away from Earth, the dark side of the moon, to avoid his Weaksauce Weakness... which would still be in effect, since the "dark side" of the moon faces away from Earth, but not the Sun.
- Been There, Shaped History: To put into perspective how bad he is, it was Eclipso who caused the Great Flood in Biblical Stories under order from God, leaving Noah and his kin as the only survivors.
- Demonic Possession: Anyone who is unlucky enough to come into contact with Eclipso's black crystal prison will be possessed by it. The first individual known to be possessed was Bruce Gordon while the last was Jean Loring, the Atom's ex-wife. During the 90's Crisis Crossover added the rules that a person must become extremely angry and have a naturally violent personality in order to be possessed. If that person isn't violent then he/she will expel from his/her head a dark substance that will form into a demonic monster.
- Early Installment Character Design Difference: At first Eclipso looked just like Bruce, but soon gained pointed ears and a more demonic face.
- Evil Counterpart:
- To "The Spectre". He was the first God's Spirit of Wrath, but, by definition, was driven largely by anger.
- In the New 52 continuity under the Justice League Dark title, Circe explains that powers that be brought him into existence to fill the vacuum Hecate made when she sealed away her true shadow counterpart the Upside Down Man.
- Evil vs. Evil: During the Silver Age, the Comics Code meant that Eclipso could never succeed in his villainous plans. To keep him from seeming too easy to defeat, some stories would have him go up against another villain and defeat their plans before being sealed away again.
- Gender Flipped: Eclipso was recast as a female villain, after typically taking male hosts, during the run toward DC's Infinite Crisis event, taking Jean Loring as a host.
- Hyde Plays Jekyll:
- In the very first story, Eclipso fooled Gordon's friends by pretending to be him so he could escape confinement.
- Eclipso was fond of faking his hosts' identities over telephones or other communicators, gloating to his captives about it after.
- I Wished You Were Dead: During the Crisis Crossover, this was usually the level of anger needed for a person to be possessed by Eclipso. For whatever reason, Eclipso was bound to kill the target of the possessee's anger before his could continue with his own plans.
- Jekyll & Hyde: Originally Eclipso was Bruce Gordon's more devious self, often making plans to kill his alter-ego. As a side note, Mr. Hyde himself appears in The New 52's All-Star Western, and it's strongly implied that the Heart of Darkness is what created him.
- Killing Your Alternate Self:
- Eclipso often made plans to kill Bruce, not knowing or caring that they shared the same body.
- An interesting variant when Batman fought Eclipso!Joker by using a Heart of Darkness shard to allow himself to be possessed. There were now two Eclipsos who were bound to kill each other, which Eclipso himself said was impossible. The two fought until the sun rose, removing the possession (which may have been Batman's plan all along).
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Like most Silver Age scientists, Bruce Gordon studied whatever the plot required him to.
- Portmanteau: Bruce Gordon took his name from Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon.
- Powers via Possession: He allows various powers to his possessed like Flight, Super Strength, Sizeshifter, magic powers and energy manipulation.
- Sealed Evil in a Can:
- Wrath's physicality was trapped within the "Heart of Darkness", a black diamond that brought only woe and misery to anyone who came into its possession.
- The only time Eclipso was ever contained, the captor used special tattoos all over his body to turn himself into a living prison. Unfortunately, those were broken by an accidental slice from his lover Nemesis, and the freed Eclipso ended up killing both of them.
- Total Eclipse of the Plot: Eclipses happened alarmingly often in the series, especially early on. Eclipso first appeared during an eclipse, and would reappear for every subsequent eclipse.
- Villain Protagonist: In his first appearances, and occasionally in his 90s series.
- Weaksauce Weakness: He could manifest himself on Earth only at night and only when summoned by a possessor of a black diamond. This is because sunlight is Eclipso's primary weakness; it disintegrates his corporeal form on contact. Originally, any uneclipsed light would also banish him.