Oberon

Created by Jack Kirby

NAME + ALIASES:
Real name unknown, alias "Tom Thumb", alias Oberon

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Vera Little (née Christine Connors, wife, deceased), Christine Little (daughter), unnamed parents

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Justice League International

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Mister Miracle v.1 #1 (Apr. 1971)

+ History

Oberon is the feisty but hard-working partner of Mister Miracle. He is not a New God, but born on Earth, so he maintains an obstinate skepticism about the fantastic people he meets and the predicaments that occur on a regular basis.

The character was a cornerstone in the 1988 Justice League relaunch, serving as the organization's second-in-command (in the administrative capacity). In the League, Oberon reached his fullest potential and independent of his friend, Scott Free.

His origins were briefly covered and some revelations made in his profile from Who's Who #7 (Feb. 1991). These were ignored in favor of a fuller story revealed in Jack Kirby's Fourth World #12 (Feb. 1998).

Tom Thumb meets Vera Little in the circus. From Jack Kirby's Fourth World #12 (1998); art by John Byrne.
Oberon reunites with Ted Brown, son his old friend, the original Mister Miracle. From Mister Miracle #10 (1972); art by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer.
Oberon gets sidekicky. From Mister Miracle #11 (1972); art by Kirby and Royer.
Nimble as his pal. From Mister Miracle #14 (1973); art by Kirby and Royer.
Oberon and Shilo Norman are left on Earth after the gods depart, witness Darkseid. From Mister Miracle #18 (1974); art by Kirby and Royer.

The man known as Oberon was born to two circus dwarves but he craved something other than carny life. He ran away at age 16 and drifted for years, but he couldn't escape the big top world. A circus owner renamed him Tom Thumb and passed the boy off as the grandson of P.T. Barnum's famous performer of the same name. There he became involved with another little person, Vera Little (born Christine Connors, but "Vera" since age 12). Theirs was not a storybook romance but their bosses encouraged the stars to marry. Vera wanted to start a family but Tom was resistant to the idea of bringing another little person into the world. He loved Vera but ran away. He returned before long and she became pregnant, but the stress drove him away again.

He never returned to Vera but wrote to her and sent money until she died. As fate would have it Vera bore a normal sized daughter, Christine Little, who grew up in the circus and never met her father. Vera wrote letters to Tom but never mailed them. Christine believed that this was her mother's way of punishing him. (Jack Kirby's Fourth World #12) Notes: Prior to this story, the only revelation of Oberon's origin was from Who's Who #7 (1991). It contradicts the tale from above, asserting that Oberon was orphaned at an early age when his parents were killed in an apartment fire. Oberon also once remarked that he was Jewish. (Mister Miracle v.2 #3)

Tom Thumb left the circus for good and met Thaddeus Brown, a.k.a. Mister Miracle, super escape artist. He changed his name to Oberon and threw himself into the role of Brown's assistant, and later manager. Oberon was in charge of refining and promoting the show. He attributed his prematurely gray hair to the constant worrying about Brown's safety. (Who's Who v.2 #7)

Oberon stayed with Mister Miracle for decades until one day they were approached by a drifter named Scott Free. Brown began mentoring Scott, who used alien gadgetry to escape from fantastic bonds. One day while Brown was practicing a new escape, members of Inter-Gang converged upon them. A hit had been ordered their boss, the Steel Hand. Scott helped fight them off but Brown was shot by a sniper and died. Scott hunted down the Hand and exacted vengeance. (Mister Miracle v.1 #1)

Scott Free became Mister Miracle II and Oberon remained his manager. Free employed odd technology like the Mother Box, which he showed to Oberon. It protected him and helped engineer his escapes. (#2)

Soon Scott was joined by his friend from Apokolips, the warrior called Big Barda. She took up residence with Scott and Oberon and helped fight off the constant succession of bounty hunters from their home world. But Scott and Barda dreamed only of a quiet life on Earth. (#4)

When Scott decided to return to Apokolips and win his freedom, (#8-9) Oberon maintained the house in the suburbs of Metropolis. Just as Scott and Barda returned (with the Female Furies), Ted Brown — the son of Thaddeus Brown —  also came back to his father's home. (#10)

Ted took Mister Miracle's act to a new level, and Oberon even donned a costume resembling Scott's. Ted filmed an act that involved all the Furies, each of whom took turn adding to the spectacle. (#11)

Scott and Oberon stumbled upon Satan's Lair, a place filled with power-hungry zealots. Madame Evil Eyes put the whammy on them and Oberon proved as nimble as his partner in escaping her house of horror. (#14)

Scott took on his own young protege, Shilo Norman, who came to live with them and began training in the escapist's arts. (Mister Miracle v.1 #15) Scott and Barda were hastily married and forced to return to New Genesis to avoid further attacks from Apokolips. Oberon and Shilo were left behind and witnessed a great tornado approaching. It was Darkseid, ruler of Apokolips, who arrived too late. (#18)

Earth-17

Oberon implores the gods of New Genesis for help. From Mister Miracle #22 (1978); art by Marshall Rogers and Rick Bryant.

The events from the 1977 revival of Mister Miracle are not considered part of normal pre- or post-Crisis continuity.

Mister Miracle always returned to his life on Earth, and reconnecting with Oberon was always a priority. Scott reappeared on the search for his kidnapped wife. (Mister Miracle v.1 #19) Oberon was not intimidated by the New Gods, least of all Scott's father, Highfather. When Scott accepted an invitation from Darkseid to go to Apokolips, Oberon sent a video message to New Genesis asking for help. Highfather declined. (#22)

Scott emerged from his gauntlet greatly changed. He fought with Highfather, who forbade him from returning to Earth. Scott responded by relinquishing his citizenship to New Genesis and returned to his suburban home with Barda. The new Mister Miracle was restless and reckless. Oberon was crushed when Scott sold Thaddeus Brown's house and enlisted Ted Brown to take his act on the road again. En route to Los Angeles, they stopped in Las Vegas for a performance at the Hoover Dam. (#24) Darkseid and Granny Goodness attacked again in California, where Scott had already purchased a new home. (#25)

Justice League International

New ventures for Mister Miracle and Oberon. From Justice League #1 (1987); art by Kevin Maguire and Terry Austin.
Darkseid claims to have no interest in Scott. Manga Khan's Cluster ship departs from Apokolips. From Justice League International #21 (1988); art by Ty Templeton and Joe Rubenstein.
Oberon meets Darkseid. From Justice League International #21 (1988); art by Ty Templeton and Joe Rubenstein.
Oberon takes on a band of Khunds that have been shrunk by an Imskian ray. From Justice League International #22 (1988); art by Kevin Maguire and Joe Rubenstein.
Oberon teaches a lesson in fathering to Scott's father. From Mister Miracle v.2 #4 (1989); art by Ian Gibson.
Oberon flirting with Fire. From Justice League International #27 (1989); art by Ty Templeton and Joe Rubenstein.

After Earth's super-heroes put down a plot by Darkseid, (Legends #1-6) Oberon urged Mister Miracle to join the new Justice League in hopes of raising the profile of his act. Scott bristled at some of his teammates' personalities but Oberon became an integral part of the League's day-to-day operations in New York. The League became the extended family Oberon never had, despite the razzing he endured by Guy Gardner. The ladies took to Oberon. Black Canary defended Oberon against Guy, (Justice League #1) and new recruit Fire flirted with him often, giving him the nickname "Obie." Note: In the "Elseworlds" tale from Justice League America Annual #5 (1991), a future vision showed Oberon marrying Fire.

Soon an charismatic entrepreneur named Maxwell Lord succeeded in taking the League to an international scale and Oberon's responsibilities increased. (Justice League International v.1 #7)

When Scott was accidentally abducted into space by Manga Khan, Barda joined the JLI's rescue mission. (Justice League International v.1#15-16) Oberon worried for him while serving League monitor duty (and bearing insults from Captain Atom). (#17) Barda called the entire League to Apokolips for assistance, and Oberon fell into a hole and emerged within the quarters of Darkseid himself! Darkseid put an end to the fighting and ordered Manga Khan and the Justice League all to depart. (#21)

Oberon tended to the New York headquarters when the JLI was off fighting an alien invasion. The embassy was invaded by alien Khunds who'd been shrunk by an Imskian shrink ray. "Giant" Oberon used a the Blue Beetle's flash gun to take them down. (#22)

Mister Miracle v.2

Once Scott had settled into the new status quo, he and Barda decided to resettle from Mt. Kisco to quiet Baily, New Hampshire. Oberon couldn't understand their quest for "normalcy" and though he was part of their family, he chafed when Scott introduced him as his uncle to the neighbors. Scott took over a local repair shop and resisted Oberon's constant appeals to mount a new show. Naturally evil things followed them to Bailey. Scott was accosted by ghosts in his shop while Barda and Oberon went to a dinner party that was crashed by the evil Doctor Bedlam. (Mister Miracle v.2 #1) Bedlam turned Oberon and all the locals into animals until Highfather intervened and changed them back. (#2)

Oberon had always taken the stature of the "gods" in stride, and didn't hesitate to speak directly with them. He never cared for Highfather, who had settled in for an extended stay. (#3) Oberon counseled Highfather about his son, warning that Scott harbored unresolved anger about being given to Darkseid as an infant. (#4)

Oberon was seriously injured when the Dark attacked Scott. He was found and taken to safety by the returning Ted Brown (#5) and the two went on a bender. (#7-8)

Bailey's very own mob visited Scott's Fixit Shop intent on receiving "payment." Oberon took matters into his own hands and called the Justice League for help. This angered Scott and Barda, who wanted Mister Miracle's life to remain separate from Bailey. The League sent the bumbling Green Lantern G'nort who, as it turned out, proved surprisingly effective in the matter. (#6)

Oberon was seriously injured when the Blue Beetle was possessed by the Queen Bee, (Justice League America #26) but that didn't deter him from recommitting himself fully and tending to Beetle after he was saved. (#29)

Mister Miracle in Space

Oberon gets entrepreneurial after discovering the new "Miracle Mister." From Mister Miracle v.2 #10 (1989); art by Joe Phillips and Bruce Patterson.
Never afraid to get scrappy. From Mister Miracle v.2 #12 (1990); art by Joe Phillips and Art Nichols.
Deep space hijinx with Lobo and Funky Flashman. From Mister Miracle v.2 #14 (1990); art by Joe Phillips and Bruce Patterson.
Never a dull moment in quiet suburbia. From Mister Miracle v.2 #20 (1990); art by Ian Gibson.

Ted Brown and Oberon relentlessly prodded Scott to pick up his act, but to no effect. Meanwhile Oberon noticed a discarded chemical invention from the shop. It performed spectacularly as an all-purpose cleaner and Oberon set his mind to exploit it. (#9) A customer witnessed the cleaner's power and returned to the shop with others, which only strengthened his resolve. (#10) Soon a mob descended demanding to buy the cleaner. Scott was incensed to learn that Oberon had asked for investment capital from Maxwell Lord. Lord in turn hired an old irritant, Funky Flashman, to promote the spray. Funky named it the Miracle Mister, but Scott refused to share its chemical makeup. While Flashman's people tried to isolate the compounds, Funky was approached by a strange visitor — Mister Miracle's old foe, the Head. (#11)

Funky had hired the Head to decode the chemical and presented Scott with a contract to sign. A melee ensued wherein the block around Scott's shop was destroyed. He was wracked with guilt but hadn't the money to make things right — unless he went on the tour. (Mister Miracle v.2 #12)

Oberon accompanied Mister Miracle (and got a goodbye kiss from Fire). The first show at Madison Square Garden was interrupted by Manga Khan. The Head had been an agent of Khan, and Funky had in fact signed a contract for a galactic tour to promote the Miracle Misters. Oberon, Scott, and Flashman were transported to Khan's ship and reluctantly agreed to the deal. An android duplicate of Mister Miracle was sent back to Earth to replace Scott in the Justice League. (Justice League International Special #1)

On Earth, the Martian Manhunter told the Justice League that Oberon was pursuing Funky Flashman over some fraud. In reality, Oberon was keeping things together while Mister Miracle fought Lobo. (Mister Miracle v.2 #13-14) Things took a wrong turn when Darkseid lured Manga's cluster ship to Apokolips. Scott was captured and Oberon escaped into the Armagetto where he gave the Lowlies a demonstration of the Miracle Mister. (#17) Oberon soon managed to help Scott escape from Granny Goodness and Darkseid chose to let them go... again. (#18)

Just before Scott and Oberon returned to Earth, Mister Miracle's robot duplicate was destroyed in a battle with Despero. Everyone believed that Scott had died. (Justice League America #39-40)

Khan escorted them from his cluster ship back to the Justice League and offered some explanation to Scott's friends. Ice in particular was angry about the deception, as she'd been concerned for Oberon's well being. Mange Khan also made an exchange with the JLA: his assistant L-Ron for the captive Despero. (#42) L-Ron assumed Oberon's role in the Justice League after this. Oberon took a leave of absence when Scott resigned. Max was sad to see him go, saying that Oberon was "the heart of the group." (#45)

Scott and Oberon returned to Bailey to discover that Barda had been arrested for social disobedience. It was part of a larger scheme from Apokolips involving animal experimentation and Oberon cured the animals with some Miracle Mister. (Mister Miracle v.2 #19)

Like all families, the Frees were prone to argue with their sometimes gruff and obnoxious "uncle." When Oberon insulted Barda's cooking, he stormed off in a huff and was drawn to a spooky hotel. After a frightening series of misunderstandings Oberon and Barda reconciled. (#20)

Life in Bailey became a lost cause and Scott moved the family again, to Manhattan. He reconnected with young Shilo Norman, who was now in college, and decided to train Norman to become the new Mister Miracle. Oberon didn't love the idea. (#22)

During a training exercise, Norman was abducted by the Blue Beetle and taken back to the Justice League embassy. Scott and Oberon followed and were reunited with their friends. They stayed around for a time in order for Shilo to observe. He was deemed unready for membership. (Justice League America #47-50)

Oberon focused his newfound free time on helping Barda begin a new career as a wrestler. (Mister Miracle v.2 #25)

Mr. and Mrs. Free ultimately left Earth again in order for Scott to discover his birthright — his god power. As before, Oberon and Shilo were left to their own devices. (#28)

Oberon decided to return to the Justice League along with Maxwell Lord, to help rebuild it after a massive breakdown. The new League was a much tighter ship under their guidance, plus the leadership of Superman. (Justice League America #60-61) Oberon remained with the League through a series of tragedies, finally falling off after the death of Ice, and the events of Zero Hour. (#90)

Bittersweet Reunions

Oberon's daughter Christine leaves him with no happy memories. From Jack Kirby's Fourth World #12 (1998); art by John Byrne.

When next Scott returned, he had been banished from New Genesis for betraying his birthright and abusing his god power. Oberon was now running a community organization called Workers, Inc. to help people in need. Scott accepted his offer to work with him. (Mister Miracle v.3 #5-6)

Oberon's past finally caught up to him when his long-lost daughter, Christine Little, arrived to see him. (Jack Kirby's Fourth World #3) Christine found him on the road with Shilo and Ted Brown (#5) and had no love for her father. She told Oberon's friends that he had abandoned his wife and child. Her mother spoke rarely of him and gave Christine the impression that he had died. When she died she found their wedding photo and put the pieces together. (#6, 10)

Oberon admitted his failings but it wasn't enough to reconcile him with Christine. She departed and gave Oberon a stack of letters that her mother wrote to him but never mailed. She believed that keeping Oberon in the dark all those years was Vera's way of punishing him. (#12)

Death of the New Gods

It is not known whether Oberon was aware of the deaths of the New Gods, or if he played any part in humanity's fight to survive Darkseid's return.

A mysterious "god killer" began striking down the gods of the Fourth World. Both Lightray and Barda were early casualties. Metron learned that the Source itself was culling the New Gods as part of a plan to "start over" and create the Fifth World. (Death of the New Gods #5) The Source needed the power of the Anti-Life Equation within Scott Free to destroy the original Source Wall and recombine with its dark half. (#6) Scott played into the Source's scheme and seeing his world thus destroyed, asked for death, and it was granted. (#7)

Darkseid rose again (Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle #1) and his grand machinations nearly destroyed the multiverse until Superman used a version of a Mother Box, powered by Metron's Mobius Chair, to right things once again. In the reordered multiverse, the gods of New Genesis were recreated in the universe of Earth-51, where they were now the guardians of that world. This included Scott and Barda. (Final Crisis #6)

New 52

Oberon has not appeared in the post-New 52 DC Universe.

+ Powers

Oberon's days as a carny made him quick-thinking and quick-witted. He possesses no super-powers, but will not hesitate to get down-and-dirty in a fight.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:

  • Action Comics #593
  • Brave and the Bold #112, 128
  • Captain Atom #25
  • DC Comics Presents #12
  • Doctor Fate v.2 #14-15
  • Doom Patrol #3-4 v.5 #7-9
  • Extreme Justice #1, 3, 4
  • Flash v.2 #21
  • Fury of Firestorm #63
  • Guy Gardner: Warrior #29
  • Hawkman v.3 #4
  • Identity Crisis #1
  • Invasion! #2-3
  • Jack Kirby's Fourth World #10, 12
  • JLA #38
  • Justice League Europe #1, 4, 5, 11, 12, 36
  • Justice League of America #183-185
  • Justice League Quarterly #1-3
  • Justice League Spectacular #1
  • Millennium #1
  • Mister Miracle Special #1
  • New Gods v.3 #13-15
  • Orion #5, 13
  • Power of the Atom #5
  • Secret Origins v.2 #33, 35
  • Superman: The Man of Steel #18, 20
  • Superman / Doomsday: Hunter/Prey #1

» SERIES:

  • Mister Miracle v.1, 25 issues (1971-74)
  • Justice League / Justice League International v.1 / Justice League America #1-50, 60-75, 79, 80, 83, 86, Annual #2, 3, 4, Special #1
  • Mister Miracle v.2, 28 issues (1989–91)