HERO MACHINE, MIGHTY CRUSADERS by Jim Burrows

BLACK HOOD
Created by: Cliff Campbell & Al “Camy” Camerata
Real Name: Matthew Kipling “Kip” Burland
Joined Mighty Crusaders: Adventures of the Fly #31
First Appearance: Top-Notch Comics #9, October 1940
Origin: Patrolman, Kip Burland, was attacked by the Skull, who framed him for robbing a jewelry store. Burland was discharged from the force. When Burland tried to capture the Skull on his own he was shot and thrown in the woods. A man called the Hermit rescued him and trained him to become the Black Hood. As the Black Hood, Burland was able to clear his name. He now fights crime as both a lawman and a vigilante.

 

BLACKJACK
Created by: Al “Camy” Camerata
Real Name: Jack Jones
Joined Mighty Crusaders: In an untold story prior to Archie’s Weird Mysteries #3
First Appearance: Zip Comics #20, November 1941
Origin: Jack Jones, a detective who likes to play blackjack at the police station, is captured and presumed murdered by criminals. He escapes and goes undercover as Black Jack.

 

 

 

BOB PHANTOM
Created by: Harry Shorten & Irv Novick
Real Name: Walter Whitney
Joined Mighty Crusaders: In an untold story prior to Archie’s Weird Mysteries #3
First Appearance: Blue Ribbon Comics #2, December 1939
Origin: Columnist Walter Whitney was the first citizens to take to the streets and fight crime in the name of vigilante justice. Walter’s costumed persona, Bob Phantom, haunted the world of drug dealers and organized crime using an array of mysterious abilities including teleportation and matter-transforming mists. Walter, whose aging has slowed considerably, now goes solely by Bob Phantom and serves aboard the M.L.J.’s orbital watch station.

 

CAPTAIN COMMANDO
Created by: S. M. Iger & Alex Blum
Real Name: John Grayson
Joined Mighty Crusaders: Captain Commando never joined the Mighty Crusaders.
First Appearance: Pep Comics #30, August 1942
Origin: Navy Commander John Grayson dons the uniform of Captain Commando to fight the Nazi behind enemy lines inspiring the troops as well as the civilians at home.
Origin: Navy Commander John Grayson fights the Nazi behind enemy lines as Captain Commando, with help from the Boy Soldiers. The Boy Soldiers consist of his son Billy Grayson, Gerald Sykes from England, Armand De Latour from France, Erik Jansen from Norway and Flatbush from American.

 

CAPTAIN FLAG
Created by: Joe Blair & Lin Streeter
Real Name: Tom Townsend
Joined Mighty Crusaders: In an untold story prior to Archie’s Weird Mysteries #3
First Appearance: Blue Ribbon Comics #16, September 1941
Origin: A master criminal who wants the plans for the father’s latest invention kidnaps Tom Townsend and his inventor father. Tom watches helplessly as his father is strangled to death. An eagle crashes through a window and saves Tom. The eagle nurses Tom back to health. One day the eagle returns with an American Flag in its beak and Tom takes this as an omen. He makes a costume from the flag and returns to America to fight crime as Captain Flag

 

COMET
Created by: Jack Cole
Real Name: John Dickering
Joined Mighty Crusaders: Adventures of the Fly #31
First Appearance: Pep Comics #1, January 1940
Origin: John Dickering discovered a gas that is “fifty times lighter than hydrogen.” He injects the gas into his bloodstream until he can make great leaps in the air, and when he makes his eyes cross, two powerful beams come out and disintegrate whatever he looks at.

 

 

FIREBALL
Created by: Paul Reinman
Real Name: Ted Tyler
Joined Mighty Crusaders: In an untold story prior to Archie’s Weird Mysteries #3
First Appearance: Pep Comics #12, February 1941
Origin: Ted Tyler, a fireman, is knocked unconscious by an arsonist. Inside the blazing laboratory he is coated with a chemical bath that gives him the power to absorb and control flame. Fireball devotes his life to fighting firebugs with fire.

 

 

 

FIREFLY
Created by: Harry Shorten & Warren “Bob” Wood
Real Name: Harley Hudson
Joined Mighty Crusaders: In an untold story prior to Archie’s Weird Mysteries #3
First Appearance: Top-Notch Comics #8, September 1940
Origin: Harley Hudson, a chemist/biologist/entomologist, is studying insects when he realizes that their strength and leaping ability, so much greater than their size, comes from their “wonderful muscular coordination.” So he models himself on them and soon gains the same abilities, which he puts to use in fighting crime. He has superhuman strength and leaping ability.

 

 

FLY
Created by: Joe Simon & Jack Kirby
Real Name: Thomas Troy
Joined Mighty Crusaders: Adventures of the Fly #31
First Appearance: Adventures of the Fly #1, August 1959
Origin: Young Tommy Troy sneaked into the attic of his employer, Mr. March, who was rumored to be a sorcerer. Stumbling upon an unusual ring, Tommy placed it on his finger and suddenly found himself face to face with Turan, emissary of the Fly People. Turan designated Tommy to be their champion, enabling him to wield all the powers of the lost fly race. By rubbing his magic ring, he was transformed into the mighty Fly.
History: Tommy Troy has fought crime since childhood as the Fly. As an adult, he continues the crusader to protect Captial City both as an attorney and as the masked crusader known as the Fly. He is aided in his quest for justice by his girlfriend Kim Brand, who joins him as Fly-Girl and the two were founding members of the Mighty Crusaders.

 

FLYGIRL
Created by: Robert Bernstein & John Rosenberger
Real Name: Kim Brand
Joined Mighty Crusaders: Adventures of the Fly #32
First Appearance: Adventures of the Fly #13, July 1961
Origin: Kim Brand slipped and fell out of a hotel window, and the Fly rescued her. She fell in love with the Fly. An enemy of the Fly thought to outwit the Fly by creating two crimes at the same time, assuming that the Fly could never handle both at once. Turan, Emissary of the Fly People, appeared to Kim Brand and offered her a Fly Ring and she became Fly Girl.

 

 

FOX
Created by: Joe Blair & Irwin Hasen
Real Name: Paul Patten
Joined Mighty Crusaders: The Fox never joined the Mighty Crusaders
First Appearance: Blue Ribbon Comics #4, June 1940
Origin: Paul Patten, a photographer, became the Fox so that he could be first on the scene when crime happens.

 

 

 

 

HANGMAN
Created by: Cliff Campbell & George Storm
Real Name:Robert Dickering
Joined Mighty Crusaders: The Hangman is not a member of the Mighty Crusaders.
First Appearance: Pep #17, July 1941
Origin: The Hangman is secretly Robert “Bob” Dickering, whose brother John Dickering was the hero The Comet. Bob Dickering became the Hangman after watching his brother die by the men he was trying to put behind bars. Afterward, he promised to get revenge against all criminals and took up the identity of the Hangman.

 

 

INFERNO
Created by: Joe Blair & Paul Reinman
Real Name: Frank Verrano
Joined Mighty Crusaders: In an untold story prior to Archie’s Weird Mysteries #3
First Appearance: Zip #10, January 1941
Origin: Inferno is reformed criminal and a circus fire-breather who fights crime by breathing fire from his mouth; he can burn his way through steel doors and walls and can melt bullets before they reach him. Inferno fights crime, as the circus worker, moving from town to town, and then later as a private eye.

 

 

JAGUAR
Created by: Robert Bernstein & John Rosenberger
Real Name: Ralph Hardy
Joined Mighty Crusaders: Mighty Crusaders (vol. 2) #1
First Appearance:Adventures of the Jaguar #1, September 1961
Origin: Ralph Hardy was on an archaeological dig in Peru when a giant serpent burst forth from the ground and began terrorizing the area. Hardy fled into a ruined temple and found a series of cave drawings depicting the ancient Incas battling the same monster and a mystical belt with an inscription reading “He who loves the animal kingdom may wear this belt and be transformed into a human jaguar.” Ralph Hardy put on the belt and became the Jaguar.

 

MISTER JUSTICE
Created by: Joe Blair & Sam Cooper
Real Name: Prince James of England (aka Paul Morse)
Joined Mighty Crusaders: In an untold story prior to Archie’s Weird Mysteries #3
First Appearance: Blue Ribbon Comics #9, February 1941
Origin: The hero known to many as “Mr. Justice” was born in the 11th Century as Prince James of England. Murdered in Scotland during the Rogers Rebellion, his spirit haunted the castle where he was slain. Hundreds of years later the castle was transplanted to the United States, disturbing the angry spirit within. A stranger to both the land and the time period, James’s vengeful ghost was molded by the theatrics of the new superhero era. For a time he served among the Mighty Crusaders and took the name “Mr. Justice.” After years of combating supervillains and ethereal threats, Mr. Justice was key in defeating the Brain Emperor – seemingly sacrificing himself in the process. The truth is that he had grown weary of the fleeting affairs of mortals. With his spirit calmed and tempered, he caught a glimpse of something more – the thread that binds all realities together. He set out to explore the Blue Ribbon…

 

RED RUBY
Created by: Ed Robbins
Real Name: Reuben Reuben
Joined Mighty Crusaders: Red Rube is not a member of the Mighty Crusaders.
First Appearance: Zip Comics #39, August 1943
Origin: Red Rube was given a magical gift, whenever he shouts “HEY RUBE!” he is transformed from a child into an adult Super Hero. Reuben is an orphan who ran away from the orphanage, Reuben hide in a Castle on top of the hill near his orphanage. There an old man gave him a magic elixir that put him in touch with his ancestors all of whom were also named Reuben Reubens. Each Relative gave him an aspect of their greatness, together it made him superhuman.

 

RED RUBY
Created by: Jim Burrows
Real Name: Rachel “Ruby” Reuben
Joined Mighty Crusaders: Not a member of the Mighty Crusaders
First Appearance: Agent Shield #67, April 2019
Origin: Rachel “Ruby” Reuben is Reuben Reuben’s little sister. They ended up in different orphanages. One day, she happened upon the scene as a bunch of bad guys were sneaking up on Red Rube in an alley, where he’d just defeated one of their number.
Thinking to warn him, Ruby called out to him, “Hey, Rube!” Since she shared his genetic heritage, the Reuben ancestors’ gift worked for her, and she transformed into an adult form, clad in his costume.
She was young enough that she hadn’t yet developed much of a self-consciousness about being topless, and dove into the fray, much to the surprise and disadvantage of the bad guys altogether.
Once the bad guys were defeated, Rube asked who she was and why she was wearing his costume. She explained that age wasn’t wearing it on purpose, she’d just called out to him, “Hey, Rube”—as soon as she repeated that call in her explanation, she transformed back. Recognizing his sister, Rube transformed back himself and explained what must have happened.
The next time she transformed, she was prepared and donned a short-sleeved top which became incorporated into her costume.

 

SHIELD
Created by: Irv Novick & Harry Shorten
Real Name: Joe Higgins
Joined Mighty Crusaders: In an untold story prior to Mighty Crusaders (vol. 2) #1
First Appearance: Pep Comics #1, January 1940
Origin: Joe was the son of Thomas Higgins, a government biochemist and member of the Burning Hand – a secret society formed to protect America. Thomas was attempting to recreate the powers of the legendary Shield when he was killed by Axis-allied spies.
Joe completed his father’s research and applied it to himself, becoming the Shield. After WWII he became an F.B.I. investigator, using his intel and super-powers to combat organized crime.
As more super-humans arose, Shield helped to found the Mighty Crusaders and their government liaison program M.L.J. Years later, when the Brain Emperor struck at the mostly retired heroes, Shield rallied the next generation to form the New Crusaders.
In the final battle with his long-time nemesis, the elite assassin Eraser, Shield was severely and irrevocably injured. With the return of the original Shield, Joe opted to finally step down from command and lead the M.L.J.

 

SHIELD
Created by: Joe Simon & Jack Kirby
Real Name: Lancelot Strong (Adopted Name) Roger Flemming (Birth Name)
Joined Mighty Crusaders: In an untold story prior to Mighty Crusaders (vol. 2) #1, March 1983
First Appearance: The Double Life of Private Strong #1, June 1959
Origin: Dr. Malcolm Flemming raised his son Roger to use the untapped portions of the human brain, thus making him a superhuman. After Communist spies kill Dr. Flemming; the Strong’s, a farm couple, raise Roger. Once he hit his teens, he discovered the truth of his background and his powers. His father had created a patriotic costume for him, and he started off as the new superhero, the Shield. He soon joined the Army, with only life as a soldier and a man with a double life as a superhero the Shield.
Powers & Weapons: The Shield has super strength, flight, near-invulnerability, vision powers, the ability to generate lightning.

 

STEEL STERLING
Created by: Abner Sundell & Charles Biro
Real Name: Johnathan “Jack” Sterling
Joined Mighty Crusaders: In an untold story prior to Archie’s Weird Mysteries #3
First Appearance: Zip Comics #1 February 1940
Origin: John was enjoying life as a career bodybuilder and movie star when he agreed to help a friend with a “little debt problem.” What his friend failed to mention was that he was indebted to the mob for a few million. John was thrown in molten steel at an industrial metalwork facility to send a message.
Miraculously, John survived, his body tempered into something super-human. Using his stage name, Steel Sterling joined the Mighty Crusaders to combat all forms of villainy.
After many years of service, he retired as mayor of the small town of Red Circle to raise a family. However, he and the other veteran heroes were ambushed by the Brain Emperor and sent to a strange pocket dimension.
John and the others were eventually rescued by the New Crusaders. John returned to find his family slain and his town destroyed. With nothing left, he rejoined the Mighty Crusaders to continue the fight for peace.

 

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.
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. Ulysses 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. 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.