Jericho (comics)

Jericho (comics)


Art by George Perez
real_name=Joseph William Wilson
publisher=DC Comics
debut="Tales of the Teen Titans" #42 (May 1984)
creators=Marv Wolfman
George Pérez
alliances=Teen Titans Wildebeest Society
powers=He has the metahuman ability to take mental control of the motor responses of another human body, after making direct eye contact with them.
Soul-self (Titans Hunt storyline)|

Jericho (Joseph William Wilson) is a fictional character, a superhero who was a member of the Teen Titans in the acclaimed 1980s period of "New Teen Titans" by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, published by DC Comics.

Fictional character biography


Joseph was the younger son of Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke the Terminator. When he was a child, he was held hostage by Jackal, a terrorist who was after his father. Deathstroke refused to give Jackal the information he wanted because it went against his professional code of ethics. Deathstroke managed to rescue his son, but not before one of Jackal's men had started to cut his throat. As a result, he was rendered mute.

As a result of that incident, and the fact that Slade had lied to her, Joseph's mother Adeline divorced Slade (after attempting to kill him by shooting him, but only succeeding in blinding him in one of his eyes), and took her two sons (Joseph and his older brother Grant) with her. At some point, Joseph learned to communicate through sign language (identified in "Action Comics" #584 as American Sign Language) to compensate for his lost voice.

His metahuman power is a result of the biological experimentation done on his father years before, and appeared in his late teens when he tried saving his mother from an assassin. He had the power to take possession of any humanoid being he can make eye contact with. Once inside, Jericho takes possession of his target's voluntary motor functions for his own use but is unable to control the voice and mind of the target. In addition, if the host is unconscious while Jericho is in control, he can speak through the host's body--but only with that person's accent and vocabulary--and easily control the body physically. Jericho's body changes into an astral form seconds before possession. He sometimes uses the American Sign Language symbol for the letter "J" as a subtle signal to his allies that he has taken possession of a person.


Sometime later (in a storyline called "The Judas Contract"), Adeline and Joseph discover that Deathstroke has accepted a contract on the Teen Titans. They approach Dick Grayson to help him rescue the Titans and Joseph adopts the identity of Jericho. The rescue mission is a success but the Titans are initially wary of him because of his relationship to Deathstroke and the betrayal of Terra. Jericho did become a member and was a loyal Titan for many years. Shortly after joining the Titans another new member, Kole, joined. Jericho immediately developed a bond with her. Sadly, this did not last long: when Jericho along with a few other Titans went on a mission to space, Kole was killed during the "Crisis on Infinite Earths". After returning and discovering the tragic news, Jericho then began to feel a sad quality within Raven and sought to ease her troubled spirit.


Unfortunately, some months later, Jericho was possessed by the souls of Azarath, now tainted by the essence of the demon Trigon, Raven's father. Unable to possess Raven herself, the souls entered Jericho. They were weak at first, but gained strength with time and eventually merged with him.

The souls now needed individual vessels to survive and Jericho sought to acquire superhuman ones for them, taking over the Wildebeest Society and using them to abduct current and former Titans to act as vessels. Jericho also got new powers: a powerful lion soul-self and a healing ability that repaired his throat and allowed him to speak again.

In the Titans Hunt storyline, Nightwing and Troia, accompanied by some new allies, found and confronted him. During the battle, the real Jericho resurfaced and begged his father to kill him. There was no help for him and, to spare his son any more suffering, Deathstroke killed him. A statue of Jericho was later erected in the Titans Tower memorial in San Francisco.


Several years later, it was revealed that Jericho's spirit had survived by jumping inside his father right before he was killed. He had lain dormant until hearing that his friend Donna Troy had been killed in battle. Taking control of his father's body, he sought out the latest group of Titans; hoping to convince them that children shouldn't be superheroes, as they could easily be killed like he was, and wanting to spare them his fate. He also killed his father's closest friend, Wintergreen, and mounted the man's head on a wall. [Teen Titans, Vol. 3, issues #1-#6 "A Kid's Game", September 2003 - February 2004]

Further demonstrating his mental instability, while in Deathstroke's body he viciously attacked his former friends, and even shot Impulse in the knee. [Teen Titans, Vol. 3, issues #4 "A Kid's Game", December 2003] During the combat, he jumped from body to body until Raven absorbed him. During a battle with Brother Blood, she repelled him when she unintentionally absorbed her teammates, Deathstroke and Rose into her soul-self. Jericho managed to use the bodies of Wonder Girl and Superboy against the team, but when he tried to enter Cyborg, Cyborg used his cybernetic eye to transfer Jericho's spirit to a computer file, now stored in Titans Tower. Beast Boy says that they check on Jericho every day. [Teen Titans, Vol. 3, issue #12, "Family Lost", August 2004]

After the "One Year Later" jump following the events of "Infinite Crisis", Raven takes the disk with Jericho's essence and, using the same ritual the Church of Brother Blood previously employed to raise her from the dead, resurrects Jericho in an undamaged body now missing the throat scars from his childhood injury. [Teen Titans, Vol. 3 issue #40 "Titans Around the World, Part 3", December 2006] Jericho joins this latest incarnation of the team, taking the opportunity to bond with his half-sister Rose, who is the new Ravager. [Teen Titans, Vol. 3 issue #41 "Titans Around the World, Part 4", January 2007] After possessing the body of Superboy's dangerous clone Match, Jericho moves to S.T.A.R. Labs to reside there until they can find a way to control Match. [Teen Titans, Vol. 3, issue #46 "Titans East, Part 4", June 2007]

Solicitations for an upcoming Final Crisis tie-in and its cover art show Slade with Jericho.

Match and Jericho are slated to return in the new "Titans" series, having been fused together to the point where Jericho can not break-free of Match's body.

Powers and Abilities

Jericho can possess a person after making eye contact with them; his body turns insubstantial and enters the subject. While he is possessing, Jericho has access to all of that host's powers including physical, mental, and magical. Jericho's victim stay conscious and may even express themselves vocally, but they are not able to control the actions directed by Jericho. However, this power is most effective on human bodies; when Jericho once possessed Superman when the hero's mind was briefly transferred into the body of a crippled, angry scientist, he was unable to maintain control for long, although it was still long enough to allow the Titans to reverse the transfer.

Jericho's power depends on eye contact with living beings; if he is blinded, or the being he attempts to possess is not a natural creature, his power fails (in this way, he was tricked by his teammate Cyborg during a training exercise, when the latter closed his natural eye and Jericho failed to take possession by attempting to contact his artificial eye).

In other media

Jericho appeared in the "Calling All Titans" episode of the animated "Teen Titans" series. He meets Beast Boy and becomes an honorary Titan and has to fight off both Fang and Private H.I.V.E.. In the next episode, "Titans Together," he is one of four heroes who endured an attack from the Brotherhood of Evil and rallied under Beast Boy to launch a final assault against the Brotherhood.

Like his early comic persona, Jericho in the animated series can possess any being he can make eye contact with. He is mute on the show as he is in the comic books. However, while in Cinderblock's body, he was able to speak (though this may be because Cinderblock has a mind in only the most basic sense). However, his power was useless when Gizmo put a bag over his head, unable to make eye contact with anyone. He was saved when reinforcements arrived with Cyborg, Starfire, and Raven. His relationship to Slade Wilson wasn't mentioned.


When Marv Wolfman and George Pérez were creating the character, the idea of making Joseph gay was toyed around with. Perez had this to say: "While Marv and I did discuss the possibility of Joseph Wilson being gay, Marv decided that it was too much of a stereotype to have the sensitive, artistic, and wide-eyed character with arguably effeminate features be also homosexual." [ [ Gay League - Jericho ] ]


External links

* [ "Titans Tower" Biography]

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