But I'm not. Instead I'm writing about something that happened to Eclipso, something that has happened to a LOT of other DC villains: the Mind Control Vortex. Specifically, villains that start with one schtick don't maintain it and eventually the power set just evolves toward Mind Control.
Eclipso started, as mentioned as the Hyde persona of Silver Age solar scientist Bruce Gordon after he was magically infected by the mystical Black Diamond. Billed as 'hero and villain in one man', Bruce Gordon had to constantly work to defeat his alter ego, who mostly used the black diamond's zappy powers to take potshots at people, including Batman and the Metal Men.
|Eclipso also fought a giant red robot named Roger.|
It was the Silver Age.
A lot of weirdness when down with Eclipso but the only person he ever possessed was Bruce Gordon. He was Bruce Gordon in the same way that Captain Marvel was Billy Batson. It wasn't until the early 1990s when DC decide to revamp his as a MUCH bigger threat than before, one would require all DC's heroes to confront (necessitating a giant crossover, natch). That's when it was 'revealed' that there were actually a crap-ton of Black Diamonds, which Eclipso used to take over more and more characters (including the likes of Mon-El and Superman), with mystical possession, a.k.a. ... Mind Control.
It was a far cry from his days as Queen Bee's consort:
|Queen Bee never really recovered from her realization that Killer Moth and Cavalier were more than just friends.|
The same thing, in fact, happened to bee-themed crimelord Queen Bee; when she was brought back to fight the JLA in 1999, she was using 'hypno-pollen' to enslave citizens and heroes as a form of... Mind Control.
|What's the point of being Queen Bee if you don't wear striped leggings?!|
Another femme fatale, Poison Ivy, was originally just a plant-themed villain, introduced in the Batman comics mostly as a foil for Catwoman in her desire for Batman's attention. Over the years her plant-based schtick evolved toward plant-men that she controlled and then plant-toxins that she would use to control men (often hidden in her lipstick)... another form of Mind Control.
|And sometimes non-men.|
Why, it's almost as if comic book writers have an inborn fear of women who's nature-based powers give them the power to turn men into mind-slaves. I wonder what that's about.
She's not the only Gothamite to go this route. The Mad Hatter was originally a Wonderland/hat-themed villain until the Batman'66 show gave him a "super-instant mesmerizing" hat, which he could use to stupefy victims.
|I mean, how ELSE would tiny sissy David Wayne be able to knock somebody out...?|
When he was reintroduced into comics in the early '80s, that tech became 'mental over-ride' circuit built into hats that he could use to make people into mental slaves as a form of ... Mind Control. With which he is now irretrievably associated.
So much so that, in Suicide Squad, he eventually faced off against fellow creepy short mind-controlling person, Dr Psycho.
|Gothamites do NOT play fair.|
Of course, Dr Psycho didn't start out that way, either.
|A lot of people can make human bodies, Dr Psycho. |
We call them "women".
I mean, sure, he used hypotism, like creepy Golden Age characters did, but his main shtick was the manipulation of living ectoplasm to create physical phantasms under his power. Typical weird Golden Age Wonder Woman stuff. But by the time he was brought back in the 1980s, nobody had the patience to make any sense of that, so they made him just another psychic with the power of ... Mind Control.
|"IMRA! I KNOW WHAT YOU DID!"|
Naturally, he has at one point been in conflict with one of DC's psychopaths, the Martian Manhunter.
|I'm sorry, did I say 'psychopath'? |
I mean to say "telepath". Of course.
And he's another example; the Martian Manhunter himself wasn't a telepath during the entire Silver Age. He had some mental-based powers, of course.
|I mean, how ELSE would he get an ice cream cone?|
But reading and control minds he could not do. In fact it was pretty much the ONLY THING the Martian Manhunter couldn't do. Yet, when he was brought back in the modern age, no one (again) had the patience to sort what he might or might not be able to do with his mental powers. So he became just another telepath, with mind-reading and some degree of ... Mind Control.
|That's still an awesome and extremely sad scene, though.|
The Martian Manhunter's JLI colleague Maxwell Lord had a similar evolution. Originally, he was nothing more than a rich man's Snapper Carr: an ordinary man around whom the Justice League managed to coalesce itself.
|It's less painful if you can't read what they're saying.|
But when some genius decided that having Max being manipulative wasn't enough, they gave him the power to 'push' people's minds in the direction he wanted. His power of mild mental influence escalated in no time in Ridiculous Power Levels.
|IT'S OVER 9000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!|