Johnny Sorrow was a former silent film actor who was forced into retirement by sound film and turned to a life of crime. In 1944, Sorrow battled the Justice Society of America, consisted Starman, Sandman, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, and Sandy the Golden Boy, in Opal City. Though he had been ordered by the Sandman to withdraw from the battle, Sandy fired his wirepoon at the teleportation device that Johnny Sorrow was wearing. Sorrow's body was torn apart, and his consciousness was transported to the other-dimensional "subtle realms."
Over the course of the next six months, the being known as the King of Tears recreated Sorrow into a new, horrific form. After the King of Tears returned Sorrow to Earth, the latter hunted down his wife, Andrea, and removed the mask that contained his true form. Upon seeing this form, Andrea dropped dead. Blaming Sandy for his misfortune, Sorrow found the young sidekick and abducted him, taking him to Chicago. Sorrow also slayed the superhero team the Seven Shadows, except for one of its member the Scarab who managed to escape and alert the Justice Society to Sorrow's presence. The JSA (this time consisting of Sandman, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, Green Lantern, and the Flash) joined with the Scarab in fighting Sorrow, but were outdone by the Spectre, who defeated Sorrow and transformed the King of Tears into literal tears. Though Green Lantern was able to contain the King of Tears after his transformation, Sorrow escaped, and later saved the Icicle's life after the latter was defeated by Green Lantern.
Almost 60 years later, Sorrow recruited Geomancer, Count Vertigo, Blackbriar Thorn, Killer Wasp, the second Icicle, and the new Tigress into a new Injustice Society which proceeded to attack the JSA's headquarters. Though the non-superpowered Wildcat managed to fend off the team by himself, Johnny Sorrow escaped again, this time with the King of Tears, and the rest of the team (except Blackbriar Thorn, who was shattered into wooden splinters after a several-story fall).
Soon after, the Injustice Society returned, adding Black Adam, Shiv, Rival, and the Thinker, (reconstituted as a disembodied hologram living within the JSA computer) to their ranks. A battle with Dr. Mid-Nite, Black Canary, and Sand left Killer Wasp and Geomancer defeated and the Scarab dead. Johnny Sorrow used the Scarab's body to return the King of Tears to the world, then took Sand and vanished.
Though he had been exposed to Sorrow's face, Doctor Mid-Nite survived the vision due to his blindness, and was able to defeat Sorrow by showing the latter an image of his own face. Sorrow froze, and Jay Garrick destroyed him with the help of Black Adam, who, in a startling change of heart, had recruited the new Spectre to the team's aid. Though the Spectre defeated the King of Tears in a desperate attempt to save the world, he was destroyed.
Virtue and Vice
Despite his apparent destruction, Johnny Sorrow returned alongside Despero, and attacked the wizard Shazam and the Rock of Eternity. Sorrow managed to freeze Shazam, who had been left with reduced powers due to the simultaneous use of his magic by Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, Black Adam, and CM3. While Despero took control of Lex Luthor's body, Sorrow freed the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man (Pride, Envy, Greed, Anger Sloth, Lust, Gluttony), and bound each of them to members of the JLA and JSA.
The reserves of the JSA and JLA came to the rescue, successfully freeing Batman and Captain Marvel. After Shazam's lightning was restored to him, the demons were exorcised from the heroes, the Green Lanterns captured Sorrow, and Luthor was rid of Despero's control after being exposed to Sorrow's face.
Honor Among Thieves
Once more banished from the Earthly plane, Johnny Sorrow sought another way back, and found one in the addled mind of the Wizard. At Johnny Sorrow's behest, the Wizard gathered various members of the Injustice Society to retrieve the Cosmic Key from the JSA's headquarters. After the Ragdoll was sacrificed after an attempt to betray the team and steal the Key for his own use, Sorrow was restored to Earth. Johnny then declared the Injustice Society back in business, and made it quite clear that none of its members have any choice in the matter.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Mystical Horrific Visage: Following his first trip to the abyssal planes his face was horribly (and mystically) disfigured, causing death to anyone who gazed upon it.
- Intangibility: Sorrow is intangible, but can become solid and must in order to remove his mask. Once solid, he cannot become intangible again until the mask is replaced. While tangible, he can be hurt by physical force as well as matter manipulation.
- Energy Manipulation: He was able to bend energy attacks coming at him together causing an explosion. 
- Vulnerability to Self: He also once proved vulnerable to a recorded image of his own face, which briefly solidified and paralyzed him.
- Spirits and the undead are unaffected by Johnny Sorrow's face, as they aren't actually alive. 
- Exposure caused Captain Atom to quantum leap forward in time rather than die. 
- Shazam was not killed by exposure to Sorrow's face, but was turned to stone. 
- Doctor Mid-Nite nearly died of shock, but survived due to the unusual nature of his artificially-restored and enhanced vision. 
- 17 Appearances of Johnny Sorrow (New Earth)
- 5 Images featuring Johnny Sorrow (New Earth)
- 3 Quotations by or about Johnny Sorrow (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Johnny Sorrow (New Earth)
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