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Joe Simon Univere

 The Villains

SHIELD by Mark Lester

Scarlet Avenger

Created by:

Harry Shorten & Irv Novick

Real Name:

Jim Kendell
Joined Mighty Crusaders:

The Scarlet Avenger is not a member of the Mighty Crusaders.
First Appearance:

Zip Comics #1 February 1940

Origin: Jim Kendall devoted himself to wiping out gangland ever since the death of his wife and child. An airplane in which they were flying was hijacked because it was carrying a cargo of gold bullion. It crashed and all the occupants except Jim were killed. In the accident his facial muscles were paralyzed, and Jim is now the man who never smiles. Behind Kendall's stony face there is a giant scientific brain. He brings science to the aid of his crusade. He has fashioned for himself a scarlet robe, woven from steel into a super-fine, bullet-proof steel-mesh cloak. His identity is unknown even to his own aides. The flaming arrow is the emblem of the Scarlet Avenger!"

 

History: The Scarlet Avenger often leaves a handful of criminals, beaten and bruised, for the authorities to discover. Only a card depicting a flaming arrow left at the scene offers clue to the events leading to their condition. The Scarlet Avenger punishes crime, and leaves his card as a warning for evil-doers. The Scarlet Avenger's real identity is Jim Kendall. After a plane crash resulting from a failed attempt to hijack a large shipment of gold bars killed his wife and daughter, Kendall embarked on a war against crime. His face remains frozen because of injuries sustained in the wreck, and he becomes known as the man who never smiles. Even his agents (called 'operators') do not know who hides behind the Avenger's scarlet mask and bulletproof cape. It is unknown if Kendall gets the funds for his war from the gold bullion on the wrecked plane, or from other means.

Kendall, like all the agents in his army, is a scientific genius. He utilizes a variety of super-scientific weapons of his own design, though the most common choices include a paralyzing ray and a magnetic ray. The Scarlet Avenger travels in his rocket car, and his 'neutronically' propelled airship. The rocket car could easily outstrip police cars traveling at 90 miles-per-hour. The airship's abilities are never discussed in detail. It is destroyed in Zip #3, but it appears again later. His agents had a veritable air-force of planes which they use to fight the villainous Texa. The Scarlet Avenger also utilized a hypnotism machine to extract confessions out of captured criminals. The Scarlet Avenger left a card with his flaming arrow emblem (later the card included a skull with the flaming arrow) at the scene of his activities to inform criminals and police alike where responsibility lay for the villains' capture.

The Scarlet Avenger uses his 'phonviz' to keep in contact with his various agents. His agents range from tough-guys and opium den watchers, to jazz singers and inventors. Operator #12, an attractive brunette, played a large role as one of the agents in the early stories. In Zip Comics #6, Operator #1 appears. Operator #1 is Inez Courtney, another attractive brunette. (It's possible Operator #12 and Inez are the same person if the Scarlet Avenger changed her designation.) Jim has to reveal his identity to Inez to solve the case. After this revelation of identity, Inez falls in loves with The Scarlet Avenger and becomes his main operative, with all other operatives regulated to the background.

After Zip #6, only Inez is featured as an operative. the stories no longer identify The Scarlet Avenger's other operatives by name or title, and only show any of them one more time. Inez and the Scarlet Avenger are inseparable after this point. After the introduction of Inez, the stories begin to become more mundane and, aside from his bulletproof cloak, they deal less and less with The Scarlet Avenger's special equipment. In Zip #16, it appears he has favored a regular pistol over his paralyzing ray. This possible decline from the original intent may have proved the demise of the telling of The Scarlet Avenger's adventures. Zip #17 would be his last appearance.

The Scarlet Avenger had only two major, recurring enemies. One was a genius Amazonian-type woman named Texa. Texa and her mysterious 'Tribe of the Hood' flew about in a dirigible for three issues (Zip #s 3, 4, and 5) causing havoc. Texa began by attempting to steal a good deal of gold from the government. Foiled in this plan, she attempted a kidnapping on the president. In her final adventure, she attempted to release the prisoners from Alcatraz. In a battle with the Scarlet Avenger and his agents, Texa's ship is destroyed. She swears a return that never materialized.

The Scarlet Avenger's other nemesis is named Mr. Nimbus. Mr. Nimbus uses a ring to hypnotize people. He is defeated by The Scarlet Avenger twice and never resurfaces. Aside from the general types of criminals, only one other is unusual enough to mention; this is a criminal genius identified as "Peanut-head" because of the small condition of his cranium. A return of Peanut-head is promised in that issue, but it never materialized.

The-man-who-never-smiles laughs at the most heinous and ingenious crimes of the underworld. There is a man who will punish the guilty and defend the innocent, and criminals tremble in fear at the mention of his name: The Scarlet Avenger!

Powers & Weapons:

The Crimson Avenger has a brilliant scientific mind but no super powers. His weapons include a paralyzing ray and a magnetic ray, rocket car, and his 'neutronically' propelled airship.

Checklist:

MLJ Comics:
Zip Comics 1-17

TEXT BY: Kevin Noel Olson

ART BY: Irv Novick

MICRO BY: CopperAge and Rik Offenberger

AMAZING BOY

AGENT SWIFT

BLACK HOOD

BLACK HOOD II

BLACK HOOD III

BLACK HOOD IV

BLACK JACK

BLACK WITCH

BOB PHANTOM

BOBBY BELL

BOY BUDDIES

BRAIN EMPEROR

CAPTAIN COMMANDO

CAPTAIN FLAG

CAPTAIN SPROCKET

CAPTAIN VALOR

CAT GIRL

COMET

COMET II

DAN HASTINGS

DARKLING

DOC REEVES

DOC STRONG

DUSTY

FALCON

FIREBALL

FIREBALL II

FIREFLY

FIREFLY ii

FLY

FLY II

FLY GIRL

FLY GIRL II

FOX

FOX II

GHOST FOX

GREEN COBRA

GREEN FALCON

HANGMAN

HANGMAN II

HANGMAN III

HERCULES

INFERNO

JAGUAR

JAGUAR II

KALTHAR

KARDAK

LADY SHIELD

MADAM SATAN

MARVEL

MIGHTY CRUSADERS

MISTER JUSTICE

MISTER MIDNIGHT

MISTER SATAN

NEVADA JONES
NEW CRUSADERS

O VINGADOR

POW-GIRL

PRESS GUARDIAN

QUEEN OF DIAMONDS
RANG-A-TANG

RED RUBE

RED RUBE II

ROCKET

ROY

SCARLET AVENGER

SHADOW

SHE-FOX

SHE-FOX II

SHIELD

SHIELD II

SHIELD III

SHIELD IV

SHIELD V

SHIELD VI

SHIELDMASTER

SLIVER FOX

SPIDERMAN

SLIVER SPIDER

STEEL STERLING

STEEL STERLING II

TURAN

TY-GOR
WAR EAGLES

WEB

WEB II

WEB III

WIZARD

ZAMBINI

 

Created by Rik Offenberger September 18, 2003

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