As Negative Man: My Greatest Adventure #80 (June 1963)
As Rebis: Doom Patrol (Vol. 2) #19 (February 1989)
Bob Haney, Arnold Drake, Bruno Premiani (Negative Man) Grant Morrison (Rebis)
|Alter ego||Larry Trainor / Eleanor Poole|
|Team affiliations||Doom Patrol|
|Abilities||Radioactive 'soul-self' is capable of flight, intangibility and can generate minor explosions upon contact with positive energy, temporally astral projection; Negative Spirit can grant Rebis's body with its powers for a limited time; immortal|
Rebis is a superhero from DC Comics. S/he first appeared in Doom Patrol Vol. 2 #19, though this was a progression from the character of Negative Man, who premiered in My Greatest Adventure #80.
Fictional character biographyEdit
The original Negative Man, Larry Trainor, is a founding member of the Doom Patrol, along with Elasti-Girl, Robotman, and The Chief. Like the rest of the Doom Patrol, Trainor sees himself as a victim as much as a hero, and his superpower as an infection rather than a blessing.
Trainor's career as a superhero begins when he is accidentally exposed to a radioactive field in the atmosphere while piloting a test plane. This experience leaves him radioactive himself, but also gives him a strange superpower: the ability to release a negatively-charged energy being from his body; the being, also referred to as Negative Man, or, later, as the Negative Spirit, can fly at high speed, cause solid objects to explode, and pass through solid materials. It resembles a shadowy slhouette of a human being, surrounded by a bright glow. The being is under Trainor's control and appears at first to have no mind of its own. Unfortunately, Trainor is weak and defenseless while the being is separated from his body; he can only risk sending it forth for 60 seconds at a time without risking death. After his accident, Trainor resembles the Invisible Man; he is forced to wear specially-treated bandages over his entire body to protect bystanders from his radioactivity.
How Larry Trainor survived the explosion that supposedly killed all four of the Doom Patrol's core members remains unexplained. He turned up alive, permanently separated from the radio energy being, but still radioactive, bandaged, and weak in its absence. The Negative Spirit possesses a Russian cosmonaut, Colonel Valentina Vostok, who becomes Negative Woman. Initially, Vostok could transform herself into a radio-energy form, possessing the same capabilities as Trainor's "partner." Later, as with Trainor, it would emerge from her, leaving her physically weak but in control of it, and requiring her to wear special bandages, just as Trainor had.
The Negative Spirit later leaves Vostok and returns to Trainor, where it reveals itself to be amoral, intelligent, and capable of speech. Trainor pleads with it to leave him alone, but it forcefully merges itself with both Trainor, a white man, and his physician, Dr. Eleanor Poole, a black woman. Together the three entities form Rebis, a divine hermaphrodite, who, again, must wear special bandages. Rebis has all of the memories of all three beings, and is as such a compound being, frequently using "we" when speaking of itself. Rebis has a larger range of powers than those of either Trainor or Vostok; Rebis can fly, is psychic, is extraordinarily intelligent, and, most significantly, is immortal. Rebis' unique life cycle is based on an event called the Aenigma Regis, in which it throws off its old body and gives birth to a new version of itself; in describing its paradoxical existence, Rebis often likens itself to Matruska dolls, and to an ouroboros.
Rebis temporarily leaves the Doom Patrol to mate with itself and complete the Aenigma Regis; part of this process involves working through the significant trauma and inner turmoil caused by the death of Trainor and Poole's separate identities. At some point during this absence, Rebis also has intercourse with Coagula, giving her superpowers. Rebis's old body is killed by the Candlemaker, but Rebis' new, presumably harmonized body soon returns to see the Candlemaker defeated.
Later, when Danny the Street expands to become Danny the World, Rebis elects not to return to the "Real World". Later incarnations of the Doom Patrol would reinstate Larry as Negative Man, though it is assumed Rebis still exists as a separate character.