In CBR's series spotlighting The Flash's classic gallery of Rogues, we've detailed the origins and life stories of Captain Cold, Heat Wave, Weather Wizard and both men who've called themselves The Trickster. In this latest part of our ongoing series, we'll look at the men who have worn the green and orange of the Mirror Master.
Mirror Master I
Mirror Master made his premiere in the pages of "The Flash" v.1 #105 (March of 1959) by John Broome and Carmine Infantino. Sam Scudder (sometimes called Joe Scudder) was a convicted criminal, and while at work in the prison's mirror factory, mixed the wrong chemicals and inadvertently created a mirror with special properties. Sam studied the mirror and devised a way to give other mirrors a variety of powers, from creating duplicates of himself to producing refractive energy beams. These mirrors were used to help Sam escape from prison and become the Mirror Master.
Like all The Rogues, Mirror Master decided to settle in Central City and, in short order, ran afoul of Barry Allen (The Flash II). In his time, Scudder used his growing collection of mirrors to produce an amazing array of tools, including mirrors that could access other dimensions, mirrors that could control minds, and mirrors that transport him to another mirror from any distance. Despite this wide array of fantastic abilities, at the end of any given caper, Scudder would find himself back in prison, courtesy of Barry Allen.
During 1985's Crisis on Infinite Earths event, Scudder was part of the massive collection of heroes and villains who battled the Anti-Monitor to prevent the destruction of the Multiverse. During the event, Mirror Master joined Lex Luthor and Brainiac in assembling a team to invade Earth-S, the home of Captain Marvel. When a truce was declared between the heroes and the villains, Sam journeyed to the past to prevent the Oan madman, Krona, from looking at the Dawn of Creation, the event that created the Multiverse in the first place. Scudder, along with the villains Icicle and Maaldor, reached Krona's lab in time but became caught up arguing about who would be the one destroy Krona's time viewer. Their delay proved deadly, and all three villains were incinerated.
Following the Crisis, Captain Boomerang, while a member of the Suicide Squad, disguised himself as Mirror Master so that he could commit crimes behind his government bosses' backs. This was short-lived, and Boomerang was eventually caught. The mantle of Mirror Master, however, was not to be vacant for long.
Mirror Master II
In "Animal Man" #8 (1989), Grant Morrison and Chas Troug gave the DC Universe a new Mirror Master: the Scottish mercenary Evan McCulloch. As a baby, McCulloch was left on the doorstep of an orphanage with only a picture of his parents and a note indicating first name. Evan took his surname from Mrs. McCulloch, who ran the orphanage. For a supervillain, Evan led a relatively normal childhood -- until he accidentally killed a rapist during a fight. Evan was never caught, and he left the orphanage at the age of 16. McCullough travelled to Glasgow, where he finally took up the life of a criminal. Extortion, robbery, and eventually murder led Evan to become a contract killer. A gifted assassin, McCullough moved quickly to the top tier of mercenaries in Europe.
Evan's life made a dramatic turn when he suffered an eye injury that impaired his vision. While on a planned hit, McCullogh's damaged vision led to him felling a target that he eventually recognized as the man in the old photograph - his own father. Evan tried to work up the courage to see his mother, but by the time he did, she had committed suicide. Crushed by grief, McCullough was prepared to turn himself in to the authorities when he was approached by a group that offered him the costume and weapons of the Mirror Master.
This enigmatic group represented big business concerns and more questionable departments within the U.S. government. They assigned the new Mirror Master the task of frightening Animal Man into abandoning his support for animal rights. McCullough failed in this initial outing when he was defeated by Animal Man's wife, Elle. A series of well-placed kicks and a handy set of stairs spelled defeat for the new Mirror Master. This event, coupled with the fact that Evan refused to kill Animal Man's wife and children, led to Mirror Master' firing and replacement by a second assassin, which in turn led to Mirror Master joining with Animal Man against his former benefactors, not merely out of a sense of justice, but because they had stiffed him on his pay.
After assisting Animal Man, Evan returned to the life of an assassin and mercenary before, like all The Rogues, he ended up in Flash territory.The second Mirror Master moved from the United Kingdom to Keystone City, where he ran afoul of Wally West (The Flash III). During this period, McCullough found and gained access to the "Mirror Dimension." This extra-dimensional space allowed Evan to use any reflective surface as a means of instantaneous travel, and the Mirror Master used this tool to great effect.
During the 1995 Underworld Unleashed event, the demon Neron made a deal with The Rogues to make them infamous; remembered for all time as the most diabolical villains who ever lived. Naturally, Neron double-crossed the team, stole their souls and trapped them in Hell until Wally West confronted the Demon and recovered the souls of his enemies.
Never one to learn his lesson, Mirror Master followed up his stint in the Underworld with a succession of ill-fated team-ups. He was briefly a member of Lex Luthor's Injustice Gang as well as Blacksmith's New Rogues. After the fall of the New Rogues, McCullough rejoined the original Rogues under the leadership of Captain Cold. During this period, Evan struggled with an addiction to cocaine, but he was aided in fighting his drug habit by a sound beating from Captain Cold. This tough love combined with the death of his comrade Captain Boomerang helped Evan to sober up.
In the events of One Year Later, Mirror Master was briefly recruited into the latest incarnation of the Suicide Squad before once again returning to The Rogues. In "The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive" #13 (August, 2007), The Rogues were duped by Inertia into murdering Bart Allen (The Flash IV) and were forced to go on the run. Mirror Master then briefly joined the villain Libra's Secret Society. In "Final Crisis" #1 (May, 2008), Mirror Master was partnered with Doctor Light, with whom he recovered the Mobius Chair of the New God Metron. This alliance with Libra was to be short-lived, as The Rogues eventually rejected Libra's offer of membership and planned to retire. But before the Rogues retired, they had one mission left: revenge against Inertia.
In the pages of "Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge" (July-October 2008), Mirror Master and The Rogues hunted Inertia and ran afoul of Libra and his minions, themselves seeking revenge on The Rogues for rejecting their cause. Libra outfitted a number of young criminals with The Rogues' weapons and sent the "New Rogues" on a mission to bring the originals to Libra as a sacrifice and as an example to any villains that would refuse membership. Among the New Rogues was a young hot-shot named Mirror-Man who utilized Mirror Master's weapons. McCullough turned the power of the mirrors against the young upstart, using them to blind his foe. Mirror-Man was then quickly dispatched by Axel Walker (Trickster II).
The fact that Axel and Evan are both the second Rogues to go by their respective codenames was a point observed during the battle, pointing out that while they were not James Jesse and Sam Scudder, that they were still Rogues. The series concluded with The Rogues defying Libra and killing Inertia in the same way they had killed Bart Allen. Inertia's body was turned over to the Keystone City Police Department with a note that read: "Tell The Flash we're even-- The Rogues."
Mirror Master, along with the rest of the Rogues, has survived the Final Crisis and escaped the clutches of Libra. But there is a new threat on the horizon: the return of Barry Allen (The Flash II). Evan McCullough has never faced the Flash of Central City. He has no knowledge of what it is to go up against Barry Allen, a man who, as Weather Wizard said, never gave The Rogues a break. And if he has indeed returned, it is no longer fun and games.
The fate of Mirror Master and his allies will continue in 2009 in the pages of "The Flash: Rebirth."