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The Wizard

Created by:

Harry Shorten & Edd Ashe

Real Name:

Blain Whitney
Joined Mighty Crusaders:

In an untold story prior to Archie's Weird Mysteries #3
First Appearance:

Top-Notch Comics #1, December 1939

Origin:

Trained from youth to be a mental wizard, Blain possesses a photographic memory and supersensory perception, which allow him to tune into criminal activity. His costume also made him invulnerable.

Joined the Mighty Crusaders

History:

Ever since the founding of the United States of America, members of the Whitney family have served America and have helped the country in its hour of need. Among those members of the Whitney family who have served America include such notables as General Steven Whitney, who had helped cover General George Washington's retreat from Long Island and cleared the way to Valley Forge; Capt. Ambrose Whitney, who was a privateer commander during the War of 1812; Major Thomas Whitney, who accepted Robert E. Lee's saber at Appomattox Courthouse on behalf of Gen. Ullysses S. Grant to end the Civil War; and James Whitney, a federal agent with the Bureau of Indian Affairs who signed a treaty with several tribes of Native Americans to put an end to a series of raids against white settlers. They were among the many members of the Whitney family to serve America at her darkest hour (Top-Notch Comics #1).

But what is not known about the Whitney family is that in each generation, one member of that family emerged with mental abilities that far exceeded those of any man at that time. These great mental powers included possesing photographic memories, genius level intellegence, and most importantly; super sensory perception which is the ability to mentally picture events that are occurring at a distance. When combined with a very formidable knowledge of the science and technology of the times, this transformed any member of the Whitneys who possessed these powers into a virtual wizard. It was these abilities that led certain members of the Whitney family to adopt the identity of the Wizard and under that identity, fought any threats to the United States.

The first of the American Wizards to emerge was Blane Whitney, Sr., who during the American Revolution, fought against threats from the British (Shield-Wizard Comics #1). The next Wizard to emerge was his son, Blane Whitney, Jr who fought against the British during the War of 1812 (Shield-Wizard Comics #2). And in each suceeding generation of Whitneys, a new Wizard emerged to fight against America's enemies. Each one of them donning the red cloak and red domino mask that was to become the trademark of the Wizard. All off this cullimated in the emergence of the Wizard of the World War II era, Blane Whitney.

As a child of 14, Blane Whitney was showing signs of mental wizardry when he invented a powerful solvent that could burn through battleship steel. On the advice of President Woodrow Wilson, he chose to use his mental gifts wisely and n the service of his country. Whitney would soon graduate from both high school and college with the highest honors (and very likely a doctorate or two). During his college days, he also excelled in athletics where he developed his physique and athletic abilities to above-Olympian levels. He would also develop his scientific and engineering abilities to the maximum which allowed him to invent the ultra-sophisticated devices that he would later use as the Wizard. His mental abilities were now on the level of those of his ancestors and would eventually become even stronger.

After his graduation form college, Blane Whitney used the tremendous wealth of his family to allow him to begin his career as the Wizard. He adopted the cover image of being a shiftless socialite who would rather play polo or host a social function than do anything constructive. Only his brother Admiral Grover Whitney of Naval Intellegence knew that this was only a cover for his activities as the Wizard. Blane even took advantage of his socialite image by using the formal attire he wore to some social functions and teamed it with the red cape and domino mask worn by previous Wizards to wear as his costumed identity. His immense wealth combined with his super-scientific knowledge allowed him to create the arsenal of weapons and devices he would use in his battle against evil. And to make his physical prowless equal to that of his super-mental powers, he invented a serum that increased his strength to superhuman levels.
 

In his first recorded case, the Wizard smashed a plot by the Jatsonians to destroy the submarine base at Pearl Harbor (Top-Notch #1). In his next few cases, he fought against plots to attack America by such foriegn menaces as the Sybernians who tried to invade North America through Alaska (Top-Notch #2); the Borentals, who tried to destroy the Panama Canal (Top-Notch #3); and the Bundonians who tried to bomb the state of Texas (Top-Notch #4). In each case, he left his calling card with the defeated invaders. The calling card bore a picture of the American flag along with the phrase "Our Country right or wrong, - Our Country! (signed) The Wizard". But his greatest mission was ahead of him.

In mid 1940, the country of Mosconia plotted a series of attacks to destablize America and allow for an easy takeover of the country. They first tried to kill the Wizard in his civilian identity of Blane Whitney by planting a bomb in his house. He survived the explosion and another attempted bombing by putting the plotters' house in the path of the enemy bombs. He then prevented the destruction of the Capitol by catching a shell fired by the Mosconians in mid-air and hurling it back at them. After learning of a plot to destroy both West Point and Annapolis via his super-sensory perception; the Wizard allerted the FBI to this plot and to other threats from the Mosconians. This led to his first meeting with another newly-emerging "mystery man", the Shield.

With the Shield helping to smash any other plots by the Mosconians, the Wizard was free to smash the plots against Annapolis and West Point. ANd with the aid of Midshipman Lee Sampson (at Annapolis) and Cadet Keith Kornell (at West Point), the Wizard was able to smash both potential attacks by the Mosconians. He also managed to rescue his brother Grover from being killed with poison gas by his Mosconian captors and an attempt to bury both of them alive with cement. After getting out of that death-trap, the Wizard left the Mosconians go to try to track down their leader. Thus was the beginning of his greatest mission (Top-Notch #5).
 

After rescuing his brother Grover, the Wizard and Grover discussed what they knew about the spy activities of the Mosconians. He then managed to get a vision of the Mosconian invaders, only to learn that they were planning a massive series of attacks. This led to the Wizard practically waging a one-man full scale war against the Mosconians. He managed to save a city and the Army from attacks by the Mosconians. He then sent a message to Grover to have the U.S. Fleet meet up with him to smash a potential invasion of California (Top-Notch #6).

The Wizard then proceeded to the Mosconian's hidden headquarters on Washington's state border with Canada. He managed to break in to the Mosconians' headquarters and encountered the Mosconian heads, including their leader the Master-Mind. As he unmasked the Master-Mind - who turned out to be the Mosconian ambassador - the Master-Mind sprayed a corossive amonium chemical in the Wizard's eyes blinding him. Although blinded by the chemical, the Wizard still managed to destroy the Mosconian headquarters and - via his robot-piloted stratoplane - reach Cailfornia where - as Blane Whitney - he had emergency surgery to restore his sight.

Knowing that the Wizard had been blinded by the chemical, the Master-Mind and what was left of his spy ring began planning to launch their ultimate attack, to destroy the Golden Gate Bridge leaving mass transportation vunerable. Knowing that they could use acid against his eyes or could use any other means to harm him, the Wizard created a special uniform to protect him from any harm. That uniform turned out to be the now-familiar blue and red costume that he would wear for the rest of his career. With the aid of the Shield, the Wizard smashed the plot to destroy the Golden Gate Bridge and destroy the Mosconian spy ring and capture the Master-Mind puting an end to the Mosconian threat once and for all (Top-Notch #7).

 

In September of 1940, newspaper publisher John Howard was murdered by mobsters working for racketeer Benny Schultz. Blaine Whitney came upon Schultz's men as they tried to kill Howard's would-be rescuer and the only witness to the killing, a 12 year old orphan by the name of Roy Rossman. As the Wizard, Whitney fought against the killers and with Rossman's aid, apprehended them. Impressed by the boy's bravery and fighting abilities, the Wizard began training the boy to become his junior partner. He would also - as Blane Whitney - become the boy's legal guardian.

His first case with his new junior partner - Roy, the Super Boy - was to destroy Schultz's mob and also destroy the corrupt political machine of Schultz's ally, Mayor Beadle. Schultz himself would meet his untimely end when attempted to destroy the newspaper that was once owned by the late John Howard (now owned by Blane Whitney). During the climatic battle with the Wizard and Roy, Schultz fell into the presses and was crushed to death by the presses. And due to a series of articles written by Jane Barlow (Whitney's one-time fiancee who became a reporter for the paper), Mayor Beadle's polictical machine was destroyed as well and he lost the election by a landslide (Top-Notch #8).

Probably because of his new-found responsiblity to the community at large he gained through his work as newspaper publisher Blane Whitney, the Wizard began concentrating most of his efforts on smashing crime and corruption on the city and state level. But that didn't stop him and Roy from occasionally going after any threats to national security. Among those threats included a Nazi bund that was terrorizing German-American businesses (Top-Notch #22) and the Nazi saboteur Doctor Defeet (Shield-Wizard #11). And like more than a few of his contemporaries in the "mystery man" field, he encountered more than quite a few colorful adversaries such as the Jingler and the Purple Mafia. And in the meantime, Roy began teaming up frequently with the Shield's junior partner Dusty and began fighting crime as the Boy Buddies.

The Wizard's celebrated career lasted until the end of World War II. His postwar life and his fate (and that of Roy) remains unknown and has long been the subject of many rumors. These rumors were further fueled by the emergence of a magic powered super criminal calling himself the Wizard who bedeviled an earlier incarnation of the Mighty Crusaders. The rumor that this Wizard was actually the Wizard of the 1940's was started by his appearance on the scene. Fortunately the reputation of the Wizard as a great superhero remains largely intact and continues to inspire generations of heroes to the present. Considering the threats to America that have since emerged during the opening years of the 21st century, it wouldn't be too surprising to see another generation of Whitneys emerge to serve America in her hour of need. Nor would it be too surprising to see the emergence of another member of that clan to don the familiar red cloak and mask of the Wizard.

Powers & Weapons:

The Wizard has a photographic memory, a powerful mind, invulnerability, and supersensory perception. He creates such weapons as the Dynamagno-Saw ray projector secret formula F22X, and the H2-VX-0 ray.

Checklist:

MLJ Comics:

Top-Notch Comics 1-27
Shield-Wizard Comics 1-13
Special Comics 1
Pep Comics 4, 5
Miss Liberty 1
 

Red Circle & Archie Comics:
Shield: America's 1st Patriotic Comic Book Hero tpb (two very minor cameos)
Archie's Weird Mysteries 3, 14


TEXT BY: Kelso

ART BY: Edd Ashe

MICRO BY: CopperAge, Darrin Wiltshire and Rik Offenberger

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