Nommo, wizard-king of the mighty African empire of Kor, was the guardian and chosen disciple of the mystic Flame of Life some 7,000 years ago. The musical Flame cured all illnesses and solved all problems of its people and was coveted by the sorcerer known as Felix Faust. When Faust attempted to kill Nommo, and pervert the Flame to his own ends, Nommo was forced to call the Flame into himself, absorbing it and using its power to hurl Faust into another dimension.
Though the defeat of Faust depleted most of the Flame's might, it continued to live within Nommo, bestowing upon him immortality and minor sorcerous abilities. As the years passed, Nommo realized that his loneliness could not be offset only by a mate, a sorceress as powerful as he, so in order to nurture the growth of the race of magicians known as Homo magi, Nommo created magical jewels known as the Stones of Life. Giving the stones to a group of magi, Nommo bided his time over the centuries. (Secret Origins #27)
In the 1950s Nommo, like others, took inspiration from the Justice Society and adopted the name Dr. Mist. He joined other adventurers and was afiliated with the new organization called the Dome. This European-based group was the hub for coordinated metahuman activity of countries worldwide. (Infinity, Inc. #32)
Eventually, two magical members of Homo sapiens and Homo magi met, wed and bore a female sorceress named Zatanna. Nommo, realizing that she might be the mate for whom he had been searching, began preparing for the day they might meet. He raised his visibility as Dr. Mist and, as part of the Dome, organized the super-group known as the Global Guardians. He used his magical abilities carefully, building a certain mystique, intentionally appearing much mightier than he truly was.
Over the years, as he secretly watched Zatanna in her quest for her missing father, Mist realized just how much more powerful than himself she was. Ashamed of his relative weakness and of his charades, Mist abandoned his plan to confront Zatanna, choosing to remain with the Global Guardians instead.
Eventually, the Dome lost its United Nations funding in favor of the new Justice League International. (Justice League In'tl v.1 #12) When the Global Guardians reformed in Bialya, Mist had gone his own way. He was captured by Felix Faust and, using Zatanna's consciousness as a "key" to the Mist's brain, Faust tried once more to unearth the secrets of the Flame of Life. In the process, Zatanna learned about Mist and his infatuation with her, but Mist vanished before she could question him further. (S.O. #27)
When the Queen Bee of Bialya took control of the Global Guardians, she used an android duplicate of Dr. Mist to win their trust. (JLE Annual #1) But the real Dr. Mist obviously sensed that his former comrades in Bialya needed his help. He found Owl Woman and the original Jack O' Lantern and together they escaped from Bialya. (JLQ #6) Mist then recruited Rising Sun, Tasmanian Devil and Seraph to help liberate their friends. (JLQ #7) After all the Guardians were freed from Rumaan Harjavti, Dr. Mist reformed the Global Guardians, and built a new headquarters in the Pacific. (JLQ #8)
Mist was called to another duty during the Guardians' most tragic hour, however. His old foe, Fain Y'onia, an old foe of Dr. Mist, attacked and crippled the Guardians. (JLQ #17) Meanwhile, the cosmic catastrophe known as Zero Hour created a global crisis which led him to form a new team of Leymen. The Leymen are a millennias-old group of ten men who band together in times of global imbalance to protect Earth. After Zero Hour, previous Leymen retired. Mist now going by the name Maltis called a new group together. called. While performing the ritual to summon the new group, Maltis requested that the Earth bring him not just ordinary humans, but superheroes. The Earth itself chose which heroes would become Leymen and brought Maltis five relatively unknown heroes. (Primal Force #0)
During his time with the Leymen, his daughter, Christine, was shown. Her parentage and history are unknown. Mist's health was also growing poor; he suffered a heart attack. The group was short-lived, as was Maltis. He was ultimately thrown into an acid pool by the evil Modrus. (#12) Since another Leyman (the Golem) returned to life after these events, it is entirely possible that Maltis survived as well.
Dr. Mist was inspired by a character who appeared briefly in Chapter 18 of Wisdom's Daughter by H. Rider Haggard (1923).
Because of his contact with the Flame of Life, Dr. Mist is immortal and can perform certain spells of illusion and enchantment; however, he prefers to act behind the scenes and orchestrate others to do battle for him. Mist is an above average hand-to-hand combatant.
» FEATURED APPEARANCES:
Blue Beetle #20, 21
Crisis on Infinite Earths #12
DC Comics Presents #46
H. Rider Haggard's "Wisdom's Daughter"
History of the DC Universe #2
Infinity Inc. #32, 34
JLA: Year One #12
Justice League Europe #49, 50
Justice League In'tl v.1 #8, 12
Justice League Quarterly #5-8
Secret Origins v2 #27, 33
Super Friends #12, 13, 45, 46
Teen Titans Spotlight #11
Who's Who '85 #9
Who's Who '91 #7
Who's Who Update '87 #2
Who's Who Update '88 #1
Zero Hour: Crisis In Time #4, 2
Justice League America #55
Justice League Europe #29, 30
Justice League Europe Annual #1
Primal Force, 15 issues (1994-95)