Justice League Dark Reinvents a Classic Jack Kirby Character
In Justice League Dark, a classic character from Jack Kirby’s Etrigan the Demon stories is back and more powerful than ever before.
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for “The Eternal Knight: Part II” in Justice League #65 by Ram V, Sumit Kumar, Romulo Fajardo Jr. and Rob Leigh, on sale now.
The mystery of what Merlin is after has nearly been unraveled in the pages of Justice League‘s “Justice League Dark back-up. Batman and Elnara have located the mysterious guide helping Elnara through the modern world, Randhir Singh.
While that specific name may be unfamiliar, Singh is a new version of a classic Jack Kirby character that has been reimagined for the Infinite Frontier era. Randhir Singh is an updated version of Randu Singh, a character with powerful psionic abilities and deep ties to Jason Blood and the demon Etrigan. Now, that knowledge may be what connects Randhir to Merlin as he claims to be the only one who knows what the fallen wizard is after.
Little is known about Randhir Singh. But what is clear is that he is a powerful psychic, capable of speaking with Elnara across vast distances to aid her in her journey across the modern world. But this became even more impressive when it was revealed that Randhir’s mind was under constant assault the entire time they were speaking.
Having been captured by the Brothers of Ambrosius, a secret organization working with Merlin, Randhir was imprisoned within his own mind. As Batman explained, Randhir’s mind was fractured by a spell, creating multiple imaginary worlds for him to inhabit. He is essentially having multiple dreams at the same time while being unable to stop.
Yet, he was powerful enough to protect the part of himself that could discern the dreams from reality. It was this part of him that reached out to Elnara, the part that was the basis of all that Randhir was. And it was the part that Elnara plunged into the dream world to rescue. As Randhir explained, he was imprisoned because he knew the truth of Merlin’s actions.
While there will undoubtedly be more of Randhir Singh revealed in the future, the original Randu Singh first debuted in 1972’s The Demon #1 by Jack Kirby. He was the United Nations’ delegate for India and a powerful psychic in his own right. Randu actually became the first person to ever learn that Jason Blood could transform into Etrigan and from that point on became their steadfast ally. Randu also had some impressive powers of his own. He could use his psychic mastery to actually force Jason to transform into Etrigan and then back again.
If one thing has translated over from this character, it is that both are clearly highly potent psychics. Though Randu and Randhir seem to thus far be benevolent with their powers, both are clearly highly potent psychics. They understand that mental intrusion should only be used as an absolute necessity and that it does not give them the right to force their way into another’s mind.
But their connection to one another still leaves some lingering questions about how Randhir is connected to Merlin. But with the understanding of his origins come some interesting theories.
It is established that Randhir has some sort of knowledge of Merlin, perhaps even more so considering that he knows of the names Merlin went by in the past. If his friendship with Jason Blood and Etrigan has also been retained in this new imagining, then perhaps Randhir was curious about the origins of his very demonic friend and got caught up in Merlin’s schemes, becoming a threat with his ability to discern the truth and connect those who could fight it. What is clear though, is that Randhir is a powerful ally with a key role in stopping Merlin before whatever scheme he has concocted comes to fruition.
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