Time for the last character appeared this week in Constantine, another unexpected one. In A Feast of Friends, when John Constantine wants to identify the demon he’s after, he asks a friend for help: the friend is a shaman owner of an African restaurant, Nommo, portrayed by Charles Parnell. If the name itself wasn’t enough to identify the character, the show provides us another clue: to look in the past and learn about Mnemoth, Nommo and Constantine use a powerful drug the shaman calls The Mist, an obvious nod to his identity of Doctor Mist in the comics. Looks like Constantine wants to bring in a big part of the mystical characters of the DC Universe, and Mist’s appearance (his first live action one) is pretty intriguing. Waiting to see somebody else show up, let’s see together who he is in the comics.
Nommo was born more than 11.000 years ago somewhere in Africa. He was a Homo Magi, a man descendant from a powerful race of Atlantis with a natural disposition towards magic: when he came of age, the mystical Flame of Life, a natural force of great power, chose him as its guardian, expanding his power and teaching him the ways of ancient magic, making him one of the most powerful sorcerers of his time (and not only…). Nommo used the power of the Flame to found the Empire of Kor, a peaceful reign counting a hundred cities. Nommo used his magic to protect his people and to expand justice and wisdom in his dominion, and the name of the witch king became known everywhere…so that his power started attracting unwanted attentions. An evil sorcerer, Dekan Drache, who would have been known in modern times as Felix Faust, arrived to Kor with the intention of killing Nommo and claiming for himself the Flame of Life: Nommo proved to Dekan he wasn’t an easy victim for his plans, and battled the sorcerer, but the enemy proved to be too powerful for his strength alone. In a desperate attempt to protect the world from Drache’s madness, Nommo called to himself the Flame and absorbed it, releasing an immense power that banished the evil magician in another dimension…and destroyed the entire Kor in the process. Horrified by what he had done, Nommo chose the way of exile, and hid himself on a mountain carved at his resemblance far to the East. He decided he would have never used his full power ever again.
Promises are easier made than kept, of course. Over the centuries, Nommo realised that the young wizards, mages and sorcerers needed guidance and help to understand the extent of their power and the right way to use it: using the Flame, Nommo (now going by the name Doctor Mist, to bury his former self with his shame) created the Stones of Life, magical jewels whose purpose was to aid new mages in their growth. Doctor Mist kept aiding other supernatural beings from the shadows, until it became clear he wouldn’t have been able to do it anymore: when a global menace known only as The Conqueror appeared in the XX Century, Mist gathered superhuman heroes from all over the world to help Superman battle the threat; Mist himself later led the same team against Thaumar Dhai, an evil deity whose worshippers were an army of evil mages. The group soon became a real team, and Mist named them the Global Guardians, superheroes from all over the world fighting for the entire humanity. In 1957, the newborn European Economic Community founded an international police organization, which they called The Dome: wanting to aid, Nommo brought in his Global Guardians and made them the special task force for the Dome, granting supernatural help when it was needed. For decades, the Guardians helped the Dome facing threats too powerful for normal police, until the United Nations decided to close the Dome and to finance the Justice League International instead. Doctor Mist and his guardians scattered all over the world, until the team was reformed in Bialya by the evil Queen Bee, who brainwashed some of the original members to serve her and built an android Dr. Mist to lead them. The real Mist reappeared and freed his companions with the help of Jack O’Lantern and Owlwoman: realizing the necessity of the Guardians, he reformed the team, free from the governments’ influence. As always, Doctor Mist was protecting the world from the shadows.
Nommo is a wise and benevolent man, who brings within the pain of the loss of his entire people, whom he had sworn to protect. As Doctor Mist, he’s a powerful sorcerer and magician, with the unique talent of absorbing any kind of magic and to use it as it was his own, gaining new abilities and new powers in the process; his exposure to the Pillars of Life millennia ago made him immortal, and everytime his physical body is killed he shows up some time later as if nothing ever happened. With all the power of the world at his disposal, Mist has chosen to protect and serve a world he could easily conquer if he only wanted to, an experienced king who knows that real power does not lie in violence.