Mirror Master


Also found in: Wikipedia.

Mirror Master

(pop culture)
Petty crook Sam Scudder learned a trade while in prison. As seen in The Flash vol. 1 #105 (1959), Scudder, in the pen's mirror factory, mistakenly applies the incorrect chemical to glass and inadvertently discovers a means of manipulating mirrors into tools for crime. As the high-tech purloiner the Mirror Master, wearing a green cowl and gold bodysuit designed by the tale's artist, Carmine Infantino, Scudder uses his “Image Controller”— writer John Broome's interpretation of a hologram projector—to rob a bank with a mirror-created surrogate of the bank president. The keen-minded Flash, trailing the reflective rogue, is ultimately able to whiz through Mirror Master's deceptive hall of mirrors and gauntlet of holographic grotesqueries to shatter his plans. Readers witnessed no end to Scudder's mirror- based schemes over the decades. Mirror Master shrunk the Flash to nothingness with a giant mirror, turned the speedster into a mirror-man (which he nearly obliterated into shards), gained superspeed by switching legs with the hero, and second-guessed his foe with his “future-mirror.” With each new story, the supervillain's arsenal became more outlandish. He hopped dimensions, produced facsimiles of himself, and even took to the air using mirrors, keeping Flash fans guessing as to how the Scarlet Speedster could possibly escape the Mirror Master's traps. Beginning with Flash #155 (1965) Mirror Master signed on as one of the founders of the Flash's Rogues' Gallery, an acrimonious accord that routinely ambushed the Sultan of Speed. He helped organize the Secret Society of Super-Villains in 1976, and on occasion fought the Elongated Man, the Justice League, and Batman. Despite those diversions, Mirror Master remained determined to challenge the Flash, his ardor cracked only by death: first the Flash's, then his own, in issues #8 (1985) and #10 (1986) of the landmark maxiseries Crisis on Infinite Earths. Yet the grave could not restrict the Silver Age Mirror Master from media exploitation: former teen heartthrob David Cassidy played a non-costumed Sam Scudder in episode nineteen (“Done with Mirrors,” original airdate: April 21, 1991) of CBS's liveaction series The Flash (1990–1991), and in the 2000s DC Direct merchandized the villain as an action figure and as a pocket-sized miniature. In the late 1980s, Mirror Master appeared to have returned from the dead, but it was actually fellow Flash rogue Captain Boomerang lifting his identity to commit crimes while a member of the Suicide Squad, a U.S. government–controlled strike force. A mercenary Scot named Evan McCulloch became the new Mirror Master in Animal Man #8 (1989), written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Chas Truog. An orphan whose hardship-filled youth fomented his career as a hired killer, McCulloch was traumatized after learning that one of his hits was actually his biological father. Instead of turning away from evil, he accepted the offer of a corporate/government conclave to use Scudder's original costume and weaponry as a supervillain for hire. McCulloch's troubled past and recurring bouts of substance abuse make this Mirror Master more malignant than Scudder, to the chagrin of the Fastest Man Alive's successor, the Flash III. If the price or incentive is right, the new Mirror Master will ally with others: he joined Lex Luthor's Injustice Gang in 1997, became a regular member of the Flash's Rogues' Gallery, and palled around with Killer Frost in 2005. Mirror Master was added to the burgeoning lineup of the Cartoon Network's Justice League Unlimited (2004–present) in 2005, and an action figure was released in conjunction with the show.