Some knew about this as it was going on, but most didn’t. I spoke with Chuck Grimes (CEO of Archie Entertainment) and he asked me to work up a proposal for a new Mighty Crusaders comic. I had been put in contact with him by a third party who knew of my devotion to the characters (anyone remember MightyMLJ.com? that was me). Anyway, Roland Mann (writer-The Protectors–Malibu Comics as well as some Ultraverse titles) and I worked together on some ideas based on this proposal, but we later discovered that Chuck was not interested in following up on any Mighty Crusaders books until he could “get a deal done in Hollywood” with the characters.
So, the proposal was pretty much completed, and Roland was even working on the first 6-issue story arc when we found out the project was out of luck.
For those who are interested, here is the 9-page preliminary proposal I had come up with.
You might want to print it out for easier reading.
You have full permission to put it on the MightyCrusaders.net site if you so desire, and when you do, please mention that the Mark Lester artwork was supposed to be a part of the proposal.
The Mighty Crusaders: A Proposal
Compiled by Bradley S. Cobb
September 9, 2003
Section I: Characters
The Good Guys:
Black Hood – Officer Kip Burland was framed for a jewel heist and for killing his partner by the criminal mastermind known as the Skull. Burland was knocked out and part of the gems were on his person, as well as the murder weapon. Kip was suspended and arrested for the murder. After making bail, Burland went out after the Skull on his own. He was shot and then left in the forest for dead by the Skull’s goons. An old man found him and nursed him back to health. The man gave him an old black hood and told him that for centuries men and women have fought evil by wearing the hood. Kip accepted the gift, and returned to town as the Black Hood, and brought the Skull to justice, and cleared his own name. Many on the force still remained suspicious of him, and he eventually quit to start his own private eye business. He has been invaluable to the Shield and Senator Paul Patton in finding information. He assists with the New Crusade by, along with the Web, tracking down the secret identities of most of the active super-heroes. He does not join the Crusaders as a regular member, but is available when needed.
Black Jack – Jack Jones is a good, honest cop who is nicknamed “blackjack” because he spends much of the time playing blackjack instead of working on his reports. He’s athletic, a former high school gymnast. He and his partner are set up by a third cop and betrayed to “Lucky” Lavitto, the local mob boss in Los Arenas. Jack had broken up a couple of Lucky’s rackets, and therefore got on his bad side. He and his partner are knocked out and put in a room which is then cemented over. Jack wakes up, uses the Jack of Spades to dig an air hole in the wet cement, and waits to be rescued. He took the costumed appearance of Black Jack and brought the bad guys–and the crocked cop–to justice. He joins up in the New Crusade, and is a part-time Crusader afterwards.
Bob Phantom – Walt Whitney is a newspaper columnist (perhaps a T.V. reporter instead). He is an egomaniac who routinely reports on how Bob Phantom saves the day and how the police chief and the D.A. didn’t, much to their chagrin. He appears and disappears in a cloud of smoke (smoke pellets), and is in top physical condition. No origin was ever given in the MLJ books, but one will be created at a later date if needed. He always looks to be in the spotlight, but can’t seem to get Bob Phantom’s name any national recognition. He joins up with the New Crusade as much for the notoriety it would bring as for wanting to help. He desires to join the Crusaders full-time, but only becomes a reserve member.
Boyle, Sgt. – The immediate superior of Lancelot Strong.
Captain Commando – John Grayson, now retired, was a covert commando agent. Most knew him as a pacifist in his secret identity. He is one of the “old school” heroes who fought in the First Crusade. He is currently in his mid-50s. He is brought out of a self-imposed retirement by Senator Paul Patton to help with leading the impending New Crusade. After its completion, he goes back to being retired.
Captain Flag – Tom Townsend, son of a high-class Boston businessman. His family is ‘old blood,’ one who’s wealth has been in their family for generations. His father has some questionable business partners, and they get on the wrong side of a bad guy known as “The Black Hand.” They tell the Hand that Tom’s father is the one who double-crossed him. The Black Hand and his henchmen kidnapped Tom and his father, and left tem to dies in the middle of nowhere. (the mother is not in the picture, perhaps divorced?) The dad dies from his injuries, but Tom is rescued by an enormous eagle who nurses him back to health. The eagle later appears clutching a tattered American flag. Tom had been praying for a sign as to what would happen, and he took this as the sign he was waiting for. He made his way back to civilization and created his Captain Flag persona. He thwarted the Black Hand’s efforts all over the city and had a big showdown at Townsend manor, which had been taken as the Black Hand’s new hideout, and emerges victorious. He uses his money to help those in need, and opens his house to be a home for orphaned boys. He joins was among the “old school” heroes, and remains retired after the First Crusade.
Clancey and Looney – sidekick cops for Steel Sterling stories who aren’t really all there….
Collins, Corporal – A tourist stranded in Paris, Jim Collins looks for a way to get out. Through a chain of convoluted events, he ends up joining the French Army as a means of getting back home. He forms bonds with the infantrymen, and decides to stay. He quickly rises in rank, and then retires. He moves back to the USA and serves as an advisor to 3 presidents. He is called back in to help as a tactical expert by Captain Commando in the New Crusade. The two had worked together before in France.
Comet – John Dickering is a geeky scientist who discovers a formula that allows him to fly when he drinks it. The effects only last a limited amount of time, so he drinks more. Eventually, the effects become permanent. The side effect, however, is that his eyes now fire disintegrating blasts. After the beams finally subsided, the only things left intact were some red glass tubes. He formed a visor of the same material so that he could regulate the beams. He eventually learned to control them. He created a “comet” costume to conceal his identity while doing his “joyriding” (flying). He was hypnotized by some bad guys on one of his first excursions, and robbed 4 banks, and ended up killing a couple security guards while under the hypnosis. When he finally snapped out of it, he turned in the hypnotist and his cronies, but was still considered an outlaw. He continues on as a hero to try and show he’s not a bad guy, which is a seemingly endless task. He’s always trying to “make it up” to the people for the evils he did. He jumps at the chance to join the New Crusade, and becomes a cornerstone member of the Crusaders.
“Devil’s Twins” – Tim and Tom Shane are twins in the armed forces who routinely disobey orders and somehow always end up stumbling on to something that keeps them out of trouble. Both are after the affection of the same girl. They are in the same outfit as Lancelot Strong.
Doc Strong – A popular comic book and movie character who is the subject of constant debate: Did he ever really exist? He did indeed exist, and was the first of the super-heroes. When many more burst on the scene, Doc retired and left it to the younger crowd, himself already in his 40s. He was only active for a few months, and no one really knew what his powers/abilities were. He had incredible mental abilities/powers, and came out of retirement to fight in the First Crusade. The legend of Doc Strong has grown until he is now seen as a Flash Gordon type of character. Died fighting in the First Crusade.
Dusty – Richard “Dusty” Stevens is a 14-year old whose parents die when The Vulture destroys a cruise ship after stealing millions of dollars in paintings it was transporting. Dusty is one of the few survivors, and he vows revenge against the person who caused his parent’s death. He emulates the Shield and crafts a costume that is similar to it. He ends up meeting the Shield when one of his cases brings him to town to fight the Vulture. The Shield, being impressed with what he saw from the boy, took him on as a sidekick for a while. After taking down the Vulture, The Shield convinces Dusty to join a military school. The Shield redoes Dusty’s costume with better material. Dusty is one of the “prisoners” during the New Crusade.
Fireball – Ted Tyler is a volunteer fireman who gets caught in a chemical warehouse that is on fire thanks to an arsonist. He somehow survives when the warehouse explodes, and he is covered in chemicals. Afterwards, he discovers he can increase his body heat so much that he can start fires by snapping his fingers, melt bullets upon contact, and can absorb heat from objects (perhaps even including fire itself…just thought). He’s short (5’ 6″), but stout. He is dating the Fire Chief’s daughter, and hopes to be brought on as a full-time fireman. One of his weapons is using random garbage, setting it on fire with his touch, and hurling them at the bad guys. He helps out with the New Crusade, but shows little interest in joining full time when it was offered.
Firefly – Harley Hudson was a lab assistant at a local university for world-renowned scientist William Hudsworth. He was a somewhat nonchalant assistant, but the assistant nonetheless. Hudsworth had discovered a formula that would give himself the powers of some of the insect kingdom. Criminals broke into the lab to kidnap him and hold him for ransom, but in the melee, he is shot and killed. To keep the formula out of any bad guys hands, Harley drinks it, not knowing to what extent it would work. He learned he could become blindingly bright (like a firefly), and also could jump long distances (like a grasshopper) and other powers could manifest themselves later. He’s not much of a detective, and it takes him over two years to track down the guys who killed the professor. He is easily recruited to join the New Crusade because he “has nothing better to do.” He’s currently unemployed.
Fly, the – Tommy Troy goes to live with his oddball uncle after his parents die in a car crash. After moving into his room, he finds a ring on the floor. It had a stylized fly on it. Curious, he put it on. As he did, his mind was filled with images of an odd-looking super-hero. Tommy looked in the mirror and realizes that he IS that super-hero. He hurriedly removes the ring, and changes back to his old self. Almost immediately after removing the ring, his uncle walked in and said, “Did it work?” “Tommy said, “Did what work?” “The ring,” replied the uncle, “We’ve been waiting for you, Tommy. We have been waiting for the one who could make the ring work again. It’s been in the Troy family for 17 generations, waiting for the heir who is pure enough to make it work. So, did it work? Did you become They Fly?” “uh-huh.” Tommy joined up in the New Crusade and becomes a core member of the Crusaders.
Fox, the – Paul Patton was a football player at Penn State who was injured and lost his scholarship. He finished his education, eventually gaining an academic scholarship. When he returned home, he became active in the political arena, and worked as a photographer at the local newspaper, The Globe. He saw and took pictures of companies dumping medical waste into the river, and went after the people responsible as “The Fox.” He was very socially active, and routinely exposed corporate crime. He rarely fought petty criminals, and never really had an arch-enemy, but he did have some nationally publicized adventures that included saving the president from assassination and thwarting a suicide bomber in New York City. He gave up the super-hero gig after blowing out both his knees jumping from a burning building, and went into politics full-time. He is the senior senator from Wyoming, and a very vocal lawmaker who isn’t afraid to speak his mind. He is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He is also the foremost expert on super-human activity. As a member of the S.I.C., he hears a report about something major going on. The other members of the committee dismiss the report, but Patton knows better, as the information comes from Blaine Whitney, AKA the Wizard. Knowing the history of the First Crusade, he knows how serious the report is. He is the one that sets the New Crusade into motion.
Green Falcon – ???
Hangman – Bob Dickering, older brother of John Dickering–The Comet–uses a hangman’s noose like a lasso to capture villains. He scares them into admitting their crimes and therefore becoming their own hangman. (not sure if the Hangman is a viable character name for an Archie Comics project).
Hercules – A circus strongman who takes on petty criminals in the cities his circus travels to. He befriended some of the old heroes and was part of the First Crusade. Died in the final battle.
Inferno – also called “The Fire-Breather” was a circus performer who, with the “rubber man” known as Twister and the snake-charmer known as The Rattler, robbed jewelry stores during their stops in big cities. They were captured by Steel Sterling, and put in jail. He apparently went straight while in jail. Twister and Rattler planned to escape and kill the judge that put them away, and then were going after Steel Sterling. Inferno escaped first, went to the judge’s house and warned him. Steel Sterling is called, and is there when Rattler and Twister show up. Both Sterling and the judge agree that Inferno has probably gone straight, and they allow him to go free, although he’s still considered an escaped convict. He can blow flames from his mouth which can melt steel doors, and could melt guns from a 10-foot distance. Steel Sterling trusts him completely, but many of the other heroes are not so sure. Inferno is one of the zombies of the New Crusade, which bolsters the distrust.
Jaguar – Raphael “Ralph” Hardy was a rich latin-American playboy who threw himself headfirst into any hobby he happened to become interested in at any given time. He got interested in archeology and so he financed an archeological dig in Central America where he also participated. They discover a tomb inside an old Incan temple. Ralph touches the odd belt that is on the corpse, and suddenly realizes that is has somehow appeared around his own waist. It gives him the powers to communicate with animals, as well as gives them some of their attributes (smell, tracking ability, speed, leaping). He joins the Crusade, but disappears after it is over. He fights to help the animal kingdom.
Kalthar – Kalvin Tharios is a man who has the ability to increase his height to 15 feet, and can shrink back to normal size by thought. He is a new hero, only being active for a year. He has no other powers, and becomes a casualty of the New Crusade.
Marvel, the – He is a mysterious man who appeared in public once to rescue “Scoop” Cody from being gunned down by mob boss “King” Carr. The Marvel then helps Cody track the boss down and turned him in to the police. Perhaps is a second identity for a different hero? Dies during the New Crusade.
Mr. Justice – Prince James of England is killed in 1040 AD by Scottish rebels while in his castle. His spirit, however, remained in the castle and killed his attackers. His spirit is trapped and doomed to roam forever in the abandoned walls of the castle. Almost 1000 years later, an American oil man buys the castle and has it taken apart and moved to America to be rebuilt. The boat mysteriously sinks near the US coastline, but the spirit of Prince James is released. Being a ghost, his powers are almost limitless, and continuously unknown. He fights to ensure that others will not meet the same fate that he did (murdered). He has helped other heroes before, but no one knows how to get a hold of him. He involves himself in the New Crusade, but then disappears again.
Mr. Satin – (based upon character Mr. Satan, but that name is not one that should go with a heroic character) Dudley Bradshaw was a “hero for hire” with a purple costume and a yellow cape. He would advertise in the local paper, as well as on television for people needing his services. He retired after the First Crusade. Whereabouts unknown.
Press Guardian – (This character was originally the Falcon: Press Guardian). He originally fought off people trying to take over his father’s newspaper, the Daily Express, wearing a white costume with a golden feathery cape. He enjoyed the rush he got, and decided to continue fighting for those who could not defend themselves. But he got a bit more practical and switched to a green suit/fedora and a red mask. He then just went by the Falcon (which is a cooler name than the Press Guardian). He was strong in fight and willpower, which made up for his lack of size (5’ 10″, 150 lbs). He wore a bullet-proof vest under his suit. He had no reservations about writing about the bad guys he discovered in the newspaper. He would name names before the police even became involved in the investigation. He never gained notoriety outside of his local area. Now retired from heroics and is publisher of the newspaper himself. Was one of the 7 survivors of the First Crusade.
Rang-a-Tang – The Web’s Dog.
Red Rube – Rueben Reubens (yes, there is an ‘s’ at the end of it now) is a young orphan of 10 years old who has inherited powers from the ghosts of his ancestors. He can fly, has above average strength and speed, but isn’t invulnerable. His skin is tougher than normal men’s skin, but still not invulnerable. Any injuries incurred while Red Rube carries over when he changes to Rueben. He becomes Red Rube by calling out “Hey Rube!” He was actively pursued for inclusion in the Crusade, but he was almost impossible to find him (after all, you wouldn’t look for a 10-year-old to find a 20’s-ish hero). He was tracked down while he was in action, and he jumped at the chance to join the New Crusade because he idolized the super-heroes and desperately wanted to spend time with them.
Roy – the “super-boy” was a self-imposed sidekick to the Wizard. The Wizard discovered a paperboy being picked on by some bullies, so he went over and scared them off. Roy instantly took on a persona as “The Super-Boy” and seemed to show up wherever the Wizard did. The Wizard finally relented and took him on as a sidekick, no so much as to have help, but to save Roy from himself. The Shield convinced the Wizard to have Roy entered into the military school where Dusty was attending. The two teamed up as the Boy Buddies while there. A zombie of the New Crusade.
Scarlet Avenger – Jim Kendall was on a plane hijacked because of the gold bars it was transporting. There was a fight for control of the plane, and it crashed into a lake. Jim’s wife and kids died in the flight, and Jim was the only survivor. The crash caused serious muscle damage in his face, and he was nicknamed “The Man who Never Smiles” because he no longer has the ability to even grin. He is a scientific genius and creates a steel mesh cloak (bulletproof), a video portable phone, an electric car, and a hypnotizing machine. His emblem is a flaming arrow. He was one of the survivors of the First Crusade, and then retired. He was recruited to the New Crusade for his scientific knowledge.
Shield I – Joe Higgins’s father was a government scientist who makes an amazing discovery, but before he can reveal it, he was killed. Treason was suspected, and Mr. Higgins was labeled a traitor. The only thing he ever revealed of it was to Joe. He told him the acronym SHIELD. Joe devoted himself to clearing his father’s name. He dedicated himself to studying, and graduated college with honors in 3 years. He then aced the FBI entrance exam at the age of 24. He finds his father’s notes and complete’ his work, and uses the SHIELD formula and suit to fight crime and represent the values of America. The formula gave him great strength, near invulnerability, and enhanced senses. He is an unwavering patriot and becomes a good friend to Sen. Paul Patton. Patton gave advise to Higgins throughout the years. The Shield is the premiere super-hero, and leads the New Crusade. He also is the leader of the Crusaders once it is formed.
Shield II – Son of Joe Higgins —not being used at this time—
Silver Fox – a crafty police chief with a white streak down the middle of his hair (bad guys call him the skunk). He is the chief in the area in which Red Rube operates.
Steel Sterling – John Sterling is a Midwestern boy, from a small town in Iowa, back-up middle linebacker of the high school football team, the kind of guy who prefers drinking a cold glass of milk to soda. He’s the last true boy scout. One night he had a dream that he was in a big city and that he found an industrial area. He then dreamt that he dove into a vat of molten steel. When he awoke, he was back home, still in bed, but he had become completely invulnerable. He reasoned that he must have properties of steel, so he created an electromagnetic belt that can turn him into one big magnet. He freely joins the New Crusade, and then goes back to high school. He plans on either joining the military or the Crusaders upon graduation.
Strong, Lancelot – From the time he was born, he showed signs of extreme intelligence. He found a way to tap the parts of the brain that most people don’t/can’t use. He can adapt to extreme temperatures, become virtually indestructible, and fire blasts of fire from his hands. He entered the army and is under Sgt. Boyle. He dressed in a stars/stripes uniform to stop some criminals, and people confused him with the Shield, and he couldn’t shake the name anytime he went out to fight. (possibly changed to the Marvel?) He was called “the second-rate Shield” or “Shield jr.” (having more than one Shield at the same time is confusing. We need to come up with something else for him).
Swift, Rex – a secret service agent who was a master of disguises, Was a stand-in for the president on many occasions.
Web, the – John Raymond is a 17-year-old expert computer hacker, regarded as the best there is. So fluent is he at traveling through cyberspace that he is called “The Web.” He has quite a reputation on the internet. No one knows who “The Web” is, nor what he looks like, except for the Black Hood. He is brought in to help track and locate super-heroes, and later becomes the computer specialist of the Crusaders.
West Pointer –
Wizard, the – Blaine Whitney was trained as a young child to have a photographic memory, and trained himself to mental perfection. He has a powerful mind, supersensory perception (can see events happening many, many miles away), can mentally summon friends and send visions to them as well. He is tall, lanky, dark-haired, and handsome. His brother, Grover, is the chief of Naval Intelligence, and routinely sends Blaine on missions of national importance. Blaine has been around since just after the First Crusade. He is the person who alerts Sen. Paul Patton to the impending danger that results in the New Crusade. He works as publisher/editor of a newspaper, wears a tux & domino mask, and is a valuable weapon for the New Crusade. Becomes a member of the Crusaders.
There were heroes way back when, but about 30 years ago, they all seemed to disappear. There were very few “new” heroes at the time, and those who did appear didn’t last very long. In reality, however, the heroes did remain active, but all of their efforts were concentrated on keeping the Brain Emperor (just Emperor) from taking over. He had taken mental control over all the super-villains of the time, as well as some of the super-heroes. The Emperor sent them around, trying to get them to eliminate the other heroes for him. The Emperor was a patient sort. He took his time setting up the heroes and then trying to eliminate them one by one. The remaining heroes bonded together as a makeshift team to fight off the Emperor.
They all had vowed to protect the lives of others, but that was a vow that got broken during this, the Crusade. The events pushed them to a remote area of New Mexico. The heroes had pursued what they thought was all of the bad guys to this location. Too late they realized all was not right. They had become caught in an ambush. There were only 14 heroes left in their group to fight off all of the super-villains any of them had ever seen, as well as some of the super-heroes of the day–those under the control of the Emperor.
The heroes had never actually seen the man behind the change in their allies. But what they did see was the zombie-like heroes, approaching alongside the villains in one massive wave. Then they heard a booming, ethereal voice above them, and saw the most imposing presence they had ever seen, that of the Emperor. The voice said, “Now heroes…Now you die!”
The bad guys and zombie good guys approached quickly. The fate of the country and the world was at stake. Four of the remaining heroes–those who could fly–took to the sky in an effort to take out the Emperor while the other nine stayed and fought….trying as best they could not to injure their mindless allies. Their zombie friends did not offer the same courtesy.
The villains took a beating, but seemed to get up for more at each turn. They had been given a force-field of sorts around their bodies by the Emperor. It became all too obvious a few moments later that the Emperor did not do the same for the good guys he controlled. Three of the mind-controlled heroes fell in a matter of seconds. More followed as the remaining forces for good fought to keep the world free.
The heroes watched helplessly as some of their own number fell. The flying heroes were trying in vain to get to the Emperor, but it was all for naught. The ground heroes were surrounded, and in one last gasp they exerted all the power they had to blow the enemies back. The remaining zombie good guys came at the heroes with all their might. A loud explosion from the sky stunned them all. One by one the flying heroes fell to the ground, not dead, but unable to move.
The Emperor landed on the ground. Doc Strong pushed the other heroes aside and took out his gun. He slowly loaded one last bullet and walked towards the Emperor. The Emperor, amused, stopped all of his victims from advancing any more. A couple of the heroes took the opportunity to knock out their mind-controlled companions (to keep them from doing any more damage and to keep them from having to hurt them).
Doc Strong stood eye-to-eye, toe-to-toe with the Emperor and said, “You will never control me. You will never control any of us!” (pointing to the remaining heroes). “You have failed!”
The Emperor grinned and touched Doc Strong on the head, causing Doc to scream out in pain. “I shall…I shall!” screamed the Emperor as he laughed.
Doc Strong, through the pain, forced a triumphant grin.
“Why do you smile?” demanded the Emperor.
“Because you have lost!” Doc screamed. A shot rang out, and was followed by a massive explosion. When the smoke cleared, there was a huge crater where all of the supers had been standing. The villains had all disappeared, but the heroes remained. Doc Strong’s gun and uniform were found in the center of the crater.
(Doc Strong was holding his own against the Emperor, but used the gunshot to distract him long enough to sacrifice himself to defeat him)
There were only 7 of the heroes still alive when the First Crusade ended. They all retired after that.
The Emperor was never seen again…
The New Crusade: The Present
A villain appears at a warehouse, walks in, closes the door, and then his face goes blank. The next words out of his mouth were, “Yes, Emperor, I shall obey.”
He is the first of many super-villains who become pawns of the Emperor. The super-villains seemingly vanish for a period of two months. This is the calm before the storm.
Roy and Dusty are among the first heroes to fall prey to the Emperor’s spell. Kalthar and the Marvel are also taken. The Wizard’s connection to Roy allows him to realize what is going on. By connecting his mind with Roy’s, he can see into the Emperor’s mind momentarily. The Emperor realizes what’s happening, and cuts off the Wizard’s connection with Roy. The Wizard informs the Senate Intelligence Committee about what he discovered, with only Sen. Paul Patton (Fox) believing him.
The Fox sets things in motion, and in order to keep history from repeating itself, he begins to organize the active super-heroes into somewhat of a team before it any more of them are taken over. Steel Sterling joins up, but is later taken over by the Emperor. The Emperor uses him as an unwitting spy in their midst. When the fight begins, Sterling is revealed to be one of the zombies they have to fight. The Wizard realizes it and tries to get to the Emperor through Sterling’s mind, but to no avail. The only hope is for the heroes to confront the Emperor as they did 30 years ago.
In the end, the Marvel and Kalthar die. There is a long, drawn-out battle similar to the one that occurred 30 years ago. The Wizard fights the Emperor in battle of wills and of minds. It’s a standoff, but then Mr. Justice appears. The Emperor fires an unexpected force blast at the Wizard, who is knocked out. Then he says, “Ah…Prince James…remember me?”
Justice grimaced. He knew that the rebels that killed him almost a millenia ago had seemed like zombies, but now he realized that it was the Emperor that had control over them. Why he hadn’t tried to take over the world back then, only he knew, but he was, after all, a very patient sort.
Mr. Justice raised himself to meet the Emperor in the air. The fight continued on the ground between friends and enemies. The Emperor smiled and said, “I look forward to the challenge of killing you again!” Mr. Justice simply looked at him and said, “Today is not the day of my defeat. It is the day of yours!”
He reached out and touched the Emperor’s head with his index finger. There was a loud crack and a bright flash of light and then the loud thud when the Emperor’s body hit the ground. Mr. Justice landed on the ground, and then stood in a sad silence, seeing the dead heroes on the ground. “I’m sorry” was all he could say, and then his disappeared in a mist of smoke.
The Emperor was not dead, but was little more than a vegetable.
(Brain) Emperor, the – A seemingly ageless villain who has been around since at least the 11th century. A former wizard himself, he gave himself untold powers of the mind. He can fly – but mostly just hovers – can send mental force blasts without even flinching, and can control people’s thoughts and actions. He was seemingly defeated during the First Crusade, but reappeared 30 years later.
Black Hand, The – a rather imposing figure, the Black Hand is a former championship boxer who has taken over the crime syndicate in his city. He and his gang worked hard at blackmailing some of the rich and elite of the Boston area, worked a protection racket, and beat up those who stood in his way. (See Captain Flag entry). Fought against the heroes in the First Crusade.
Hun, the – a Nazi-era super-powered villain. He was thought dead, but somehow reappeared during the First Crusade. He was a nemesis to any and all American heroes. He was not seen or heard from after the conclusion of the First Crusade.
Lavitto, “Lucky” – The major mob boss of Los Arenas. He also went by the name “The Glowing Man” at one point in time. He runs the most lucrative casino in town after its previous owner mysteriously died. He is constantly annoyed by Black Jack getting in his way (See Black Jack entry). Has a robotic suit that emits great heat, lazer blasts, and allows him to hover high in the air.
Rattler, The – A circus snake charmer. He was the criminal partner of Twister and Inferno (see individual entries) for a time. Defeated by Steel Sterling, the Rattler has vowed to do anything possible to hurt him; including poisoning those who are friendly with Steel. He uses charmed snakes to commit some of his crimes, such as stealing jewels and coins.
Skull, The – The villain who framed the Kip Burland (see Black Hood entry). He had a evil-looking green skull face. It is unsure if this was a mask or somehow his actual face. He seemed to have a way of making others do his will, but it’s also unsure if this was a power, or if he was just a convincing sort… Tried many times to kill the Black Hood, but never achieved his goals. Still remains a thorn in Kip’s side to this day. Fought the heroes in the New Crusade.
Sting – A flying villain who had an “electric touch.” He had wings (like the Impact version of the Fly) as well as claw-tipped gloves. He was a frequent foe of the Black Hood, but also fought other heroes. Fought against the heroes in the New Crusade.
Twister – A circus “rubber man” who can contort his body into unthinkable positions to get into tight places. He is a small-time crook who was a former cohort of Inferno (see Inferno entry), and is now one of his arch-enemies.
Vulture – A “high-class” thief, or so he claims. He has a gang of cronies who obey his every word, and they are compensated well for it. He focuses his efforts on attaining rare paintings, coins, and illegal furs and pelts. He once destroyed a cruise ship after liberating the precious cargo from it (see Dusty entry). He is notorious for letting his henchmen do the dirty work, and then he comes in at the last moment to go for the kill. Fought against the heroes in the New Crusade.