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Kirt Niedrigh: Wikis


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Earth-Man standing with other members of the Justice League of Earth.
Art from the cover of Action Comics #860 by Gary Frank.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance as Absorbency Boy:
Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #218 (July 1976)
as Earth-Man:
Action Comics #858 (Late December 2007)
Created by Original Concept::
Cary Bates
Mike Grell
Supervillain Reinvention:
Geoff Johns
Gary Frank
In-story information
Species Human
Place of origin Earth
Team affiliations Justice League of Earth
Legion of Super-Villains
Notable aliases Absorbency Boy, Zoras, Earth-Man
Abilities Super-power absorption and duplication

Kirt Niedrigh is a fictional character, a supervillain in the DC Comics Universe. Created by Cary Bates and Mike Grell, Niedrigh is a former hopeful for the Legion of Super-Heroes under the guise of Absorbency Boy. After being rejected from the team, years later he resurfaced as Earth-Man leading a group of supervillains calling themselves the "Justice League of Earth", which help to enforce a xenophobic agenda that Earth has adopted. He first appears in Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #218 (July 1976), and reappeared as Earth-Man in Action Comics #858 (Late December 2007), the first part of the "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes" story arc.


Fictional Character Biography

Absorbency Boy

As a teenager, Kirt Niedrigh applied for membership in the Legion of Super-Heroes. Calling himself Absorbency Boy, and possessing the ability to absorb the energy residue of any super-powered being, gaining their powers himself, he was rejected on the grounds that his powers were too limited. In the rebooted continuity of New Earth, his rejection was furtherly elaborated, explaining that while his powers had the potential to develop in time, Saturn Girl had analyzed his mind, finding a deep streak of antisocial and evil tendencies that Kirt was unwilling to keep in check, and foreshadowed his transformation in the xenophobic villain he would be in his maturity [1]

Incensed at his rejection, Niedrigh found the costume of "Zoras", a fake villain used as a final test for new Legionnaires. Attacking the Legion and defeating them, Niedrigh revealed himself, believing that he had earned his place on the team. The Legion did not see things this way, and Superboy attempted to confiscate the suit. Niedrigh used the suit to project red sun radiation, and, absorbing Superboy's powers, was able to defeat the Kryptonian. Niedrigh was then defeated by Legion applicant Tyroc, who used an ultrasonic scream to overwhelm his newly-acquired superhearing. Immediately thereafter, Tyroc is inducted into the Legion.[2]

Five Years Later

In Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4) #24 (December 1991), Kirt's name appeared on a list of Dominator test subjects. [3]


Niedrigh resurfaced in the Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes storyline.[4] Now calling himself Earth-Man, he claimed to have discovered a crystal tablet in the Arctic which proved that Superman was not an alien, but a human who was granted powers by Mother Earth to protect the Earth from alien invaders. Using this knowledge, Earth-Man was able to sow distrust and hatred of aliens among the people of Earth, resulting in its seceding from the United Planets, and all aliens on Earth being violently captured and deported. Earth-Man gathered a group of fellow Earth-born Legion rejects, (Tusker, Radiation Roy, Eyeful Ethel, Storm Boy, Golden Boy and Spider Girl) and formed the Justice League of Earth, a group purporting to uphold Superman's ideals. Earth-Man captured many Legion members, absorbing their powers for their own, and using the Legionnaire Sun Boy to turn much of the suns in the galaxy red.

In desperation, the remaining members of the Legion bring Superman to the 31st century, and together they storm the JLE's satellite headquarters. Earth-Man takes Superman on personally, almost defeating him until Brainiac 5 frees Sun Boy. With Earth's sun once again yellow, Superman is able to fight Earth-Man on equal terms. The return of Superman's powers, coupled with Earth-Man's indiscriminate attacks, convince the people of New Metropolis that they had been lied to. Earth-Man manages to hold his own against Superman, until the freed Legion members arrive, and he is defeated by their combined numbers. Earth-Man and his JLE are taken to the prison planet Takron-Galtos.

It was later revealed in that the crystal tablet Earth-Man found had been planted in the Arctic by the Time Trapper in an attempt to separate Superman from the Legion.[5]

Earth-Man and the rest of the JLE appear as members of the new Legion of Super-Villains in Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds. He states that the alliance is only temporary, since the villains all want the same thing: death to the Legion.[6]

Powers and abilities

Niedrigh had the ability to absorb the residual energy of super-powered beings, and use their powers as his own. There seems to be no upper limit to the amount of people he can absorb powers from at once, but the absorbed powers only last for twelve hours at a time.


  1. ^ Action Comics #858-863 (Late December 2007-May 2008)
  2. ^ Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #218 (July 1976).
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Action Comics #858-863
  5. ^ Action Comics #864
  6. ^ Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #2

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