DC Database

The Tattooed Man was an enemy of Green Lantern who could turn the tattoos on his body into three dimensional manifestations of ink.

Abel Tarrant was a sailor based in Coast City who turned to burglary. During one of his heists, he was exposed to mysterious chemicals which left him with the mental ability to create actual objects from them. When he got back from the robbery, he tattooed himself using the chemicals so he would always have them near him. Some of the things his tattoos could conjure included axes, shields, cannons, and even a dragon.

The Tattooed Man originally had the upper hand against the Green Lantern because the tattoo chemicals' base was yellow (though the tattoos themselves were usually purple). The Emerald Gladiator eventually beat the Tattooed Man by making him concentrate on more than one of his tattoos.[1]

The Tattooed Man would return later, however, as a member of the Injustice Gang. While previously he had tattooed only his arms (so he could conceal the tattoos under his shirt), by this point most of his body was tattooed, including his face. Tarrant fell with the rest of the Injustice Gang when they were betrayed by Libra however, and his activities would remain mysterious for some time.

At one point, Tarrant was seemingly murdered by the "Goldface Mafia" for trying to con them.[2] Apparently surviving though, years later he would reform as a tattoo artist, but was involuntarily forced to battle Guy Gardner.[3]

Following this encounter, Tarrant spent the next several years in prison in Soledad, California. There, he met petty criminal John Oakes. Tarrant took a shine to Oakes and the two became cellmates. Soon, Abel began mentoring Oakes on the intricacies of tattoo work. What Oakes didn't realize though was that Tarrant was secretly working for a Yakuza crime boss named Mizoguchi Kenji. He was delivering Oakes as a commission to Kenji so that the Yakuza could tap into the power of the magic. Some time later, Tarrant reunited with Oakes, but now they were enemies. Oakes' ability to tap into the magic of the tattoos was more powerful than Tarrant's and he was able to defeat him.[4]

He also later appeared at Hal Jordan's funeral,[5] and still later, attending the funeral of his former Injustice Gang teammate Chronos.[6] While Clinton left him his 1965 Mustang, what Abel really wanted was Clinton's time travel equipment. He forced the secret of time travel out of Walker Gabriel, who unsuccessfully attempted to dissuade him from becoming the Tattooed Man, before Walker dragged him back to the present.

He next appeared during the "Villains United" fiasco, trying to escape from Alcatraz in the massive Society supervillain breakout, only to be stopped by Arsenal.[7]

He would again resurface as a member of the Suicide Squad,[8] saying that despite his attempts to reform, he had been unable to escape his past, and was upset that the new Tattooed Man had been accepted into the Society.

He was apparently killed by Mirror Master and Jewelee when it turned out that he betrayed the Squad to the Society.[9]


  • Body Art Animation: The Tattooed Man's body is covered with various tattoos that Abel can animate and control simply by touching the region of his body where the tattoo is located. The effects discontinue upon Tarrant's command or if he should happen to be incapacitated.


  • 1965 Mustang

  • Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.



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Green Lantern Villain(s)
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Secret Society of Super-Villains member
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