Philip Reardon is a former Vietnam War veteran and security guard who is blinded in a warehouse explosion that burns his retinas. An underworld doctor named Engstrom reconnects them to his fingers. Reardon blames Batman for his blindness. He was killed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
The First Ten-Eyed Man
Veteran Philip Reardon of the U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam had been nicknamed "Three-Eye" Reardon when a grenade fragment left an identation scar on his forehead. Taking a job as a security guard when he returned to Gotham City, Reardon convinced a gang of thieves that he had eyes in the back of his head, too, courtesy of a discreetly placed hand mirror. Disoriented by a blow to the head and suffering blurred vision, Reardon unwittingly staggered onto the scene of an impending explosion at the warehouse vault. Arriving on the scene, Batman assumed he was a thief—and Reardon believed the Dark Knight was his assailant. The explosion of the vault left both men blinded, Reardon permanently.
While Batman worked with Alfred to arrange technological tricks that would enable him to fake sight, Reardon was taken under the wing of a veteran mobster, who hoped to fan Reardon's newfound hatred of the Dark Knight into an inferno. "A rare natural phenomenon" made Phil eligible for a radical experimental surgery, one that "reconnected (his) optic nerves to the sensory cells in (his) finger-tips. In addition to the sense of touch -- (the doctor had) added sight!"
The ensuing battle between Batman and the Ten-Eyed Man quickly shifted in Reardon's favor when the Dark Knight's vision enhancements were disabled. Blinding one of his hands in the battle, Reardon lunged at Batman with his other fist, which was bagged in the crimefighter's cape at the last moment. While Batman left to summon help, Reardon regained consciousness and escaped (Batman #226).
Convinced that he could beat Batman on his "own" turf, Reardon covertly used his abilities to win a job as a civilian sky-marshall and then hijacked the plane for Vietnam when it was in the air. Demanding that Batman meet him there, the Ten-Eyed Man and the Dark Knight faced off amidst the swamps of the D.M.Z. The conflict seemed to climax when Reardon blinded his foe with a flare and moved in for the kill. Batman, however, had seen the Ten-Eyed Man hide his hands before the detonation and was prepared for the burst of light. Phil Reardon was finally taken into custody (Batman #231).
He could only be kept in a jail cell by keeping his hands locked in a special box that kept him blind all day and night, because with eyes on his fingers, "escape would be child's play for him," although precisely how this would be the case was not elaborated upon.
Martin Pasko (with artists Pablo Marcos and Ricardo Villamonte) revived the Ten-Eyed Man in 1975's Man-Bat #2. Reardon had been released into the custody of the Civil Liberties Association, an organization run by a fanatic named Lovell. Imagining that Gotham was "under siege" by "strange bat-people", Lovell wanted the Ten-Eyed Man to capture Man-Bat. With Reardon's nerve-grafts "suffering tissue rejection", his blindness was soon going to return unless the CLA could find a way to replicate Man-Bat's sonar. Setting up a flare bomb to blind the bat-creature, Reardon took the brunt of the blast himself and, disoriented, staggered off the skyscraper roof to his supposed death.
The Ten-Eyed Man was confirmed to have survived by the 1980s, and he continued to remain active, most notably in Gotham City, hiring out his services.
The Ten-Eyed Man was killed in Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 (1985). Reardon had returned during the period of cosmic chaos to take advantage of the confusion in Gotham City, only to be killed during the merging of realities by a shadow assault on the city, which also claimed the lives of Clayface II and the Bug-Eyed Bandit. His only appearance after that was in Animal Man #23, among other characters killed during the Crisis.
Reardon's existence in Post-Crisis continuity is confirmed by his appearance in "Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe XXIII." (1987).
The Second Ten-Eyed Man
The Second Ten-Eyed Man is a terrorist sent to kill Jezebel Jet by her father's enemies who hope to bring her country to its knees. He was trained by the Ten-Eyed Tribe of the Empty Quarter, who exiled him from their tribe. He wears a blindfold but has "eyes" tattooed onto his fingers, save one which has been cut off, that he uses to see. This new Ten Eyed Man captures Jezebel Jet and Bruce Wayne in a restaurant hoping to kill them both but Bruce overpowers his henchmen and throws hot oil onto his fingers, blinding him. Jezebel then realizes that Bruce is Batman.
Powers and Abilities
Ten-Eyed Man can see through optic nerves in his fingertips, giving him a complete 360 view. His enhanced vision made him a superb fighter and marksman.
In Other Media
The Ten-Eyed Man made a cameo appearance in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "A Bat Divided!" as one of the many third-rate villains at the "8 Bar", a haunt for obscure and second-stringer Batman rogues. Seated at the counter with the Cavalier, the shocked Ten-Eyed Man whirled around in his seat when an atomic counterpart of Batman crashed the bar, intent on rounding up the small fry inside. Holding up his hands to get a good look at the doppelganger, Reardon broke into a scowl as the Batman shouted that he was there for the villains, and that they could do this the easy way, or the hard way. The Ten-Eyed Man was the first to make a lunge at the Batman counterpart, and the other villains followed suit. However, he was no match for the fighting skills of this Batman, and was pummeled relentlessly with fists until he went down. The arrival of the other two Batman counterparts and the hero Firestorm doomed the villains to defeat, and the Ten-Eyed Man was left beaten senseless on the floor of the bar. He later reappears in Emperor Joker! where Batman fights him, while Bat-Mite reads about his origin. Finally in the end, Bat-Mite conjured up a cactus so Batman can throw it to Ten-Eyed Man. Ten-Eyed Man accidentally catches it with his fingers, causing his eyes to get hurt and for him to be tied up later by Batman.