It is said Onyx Adams grew up amid the gangland violence. Her reputation as a street fighter and hit woman caught the attention of the League of Assassins and was offered membership. Not much is known about Onyx’s time with the League of Assassins before she felt the need to flee from them. However, she was a member of the League alongside such members as Lady Shiva, David Cain, Merlyn and the Bronze Tiger.
She first appeared arriving at the Ashram Monastery, pursued by an unknown adversary wanting to end her life. The Ashram's Exalted Master admitted her into the enclave despite its normally all-male status. She was accepted after proving to him her physical prowess and commitment to reform from her old ways.
Onyx would leave the Sanctuary due to the death of the Master at the hands an ambitious monk named Lars. Lars sought the “Wisdom Key” that would unlock the powerful Book of Ages. Honoring the last request of the Master, Onyx went to seek out Oliver Queen, a former student of his, and return him to the fold. Together Onyx and Queen fought Lars, but were unable to stop him from seizing the “Wisdom Key” from Onyx. Unfortunately for Lars, upon opening the Book of Ages he was vaporized. Onyx returned to the Sanctuary to further her training and repair any divisions in factions caused by the incident.
Some time after, Onyx reappears to battle a villain named Barricade. Barricade is soon revealed to be none other than Lars, who was revived by his underlings. The spell that had apparently caused his demise was reversed and remained so as long as he remained in contact with the Book of Ages. The reversal would be permanent with possession of the “Wisdom Key”. In a battle with Onyx, Black Canary, and Green Arrow, Barricade meets defeat a second time and is reduced to a heap of bones.
One can assume Onyx then went into seclusion as she was not seen for quite awhile until she emerged to help Wonder Woman (amongst other heroines) battle Circe’s minions. Onyx battled the blue-skinned psi-warrior called Axis (from Dark Nemesis).
Onyx would next accept an assignment from Batman to aid Orpheus in assuming leadership of the splintered Hill Gang. When Orpheus dies at the hands of the Black Mask, Onyx takes command of the gang and now protects the Hill from the corruption that resides in Gotham. Onyx next had a confrontation with the Red Hood in which he stabbed a knife into her shoulder, but before anything else could happen Batman appeared to help.
Besides Catwoman, Onyx is the only other vigilante Batman allows to operate in Gotham. She has since been sought after by Oracle, in which to hire her services as an agent of the Birds of Prey.
Onyx was created by Joey Cavalieri and Jerome Moore, first appearing in Detective Comics #546, January 1985.
Powers and Abilities
Onyx has trained her body to that of an Olympic-class athlete. She’s a superb hand-to-hand combatant and is an expert in nearly every martial art, distinguishing herself particularly in karate, judo and tae kwon do. A fair portion of her martial arts training came from Lady Shiva during her time with the League of Assassins.
Equipment and Weapons
Over the years Onyx has employed numerous martial arts weapons in which she’s highly skilled in wielding. She’s particularly fond of the bullwhip, crossbow, shuriken, and nunchaku.