Mister Satan (Dudley Bradshaw)
Joined Mighty Crusaders:
Mister Satan is not a member of the Mighty Crusaders.
Zip Comics 1, February 1940
Meet Mr. Satan, the Danger Devil. His name meant to instill fear in the defilers of justice. As strange and incongruous as his chosen appellation might appear on its face, the stories bring to the fore a different interpretation. The name Satan means more than simply ‘the devil’. It additionally means ‘adversary’ and ‘to accuse’. Dudley Bradshaw uses the strange moniker Mr. Satan to act as the adversary and accuser to injustice and its champions. Far from being evil, Mr. Satan
fights it and triumphs over deviltry at every turn. Mr. Satan first appears ZIP COMICS #1 and the story gives the only clues to Mr. Satan’s origin: “Dudley Bradshaw, a wealthy young playboy who is in reality none other than Mr. Satan-international detective and soldier of fortune.”
If the stories never reveal Mr. Satan’s origin or motives, they do reveal a bit about the man. Dudley Bradshaw is a mild-mannered playboy, always playing the coward in juxtaposition to his alter ego. This helps hide his identity as Mr. Satan from those farthest and closest to him, especially to Doris O’Day*, the woman he loves. ZIP COMICS #3 introduces
Mr. Satan to Doris; a plucky, intelligent woman of means. Dudley falls in love with her, though she thinks him a contemptible coward and loves Mr. Satan instead. Doris speaks volumes of Mr. Satan when she says to him, “You call yourself devil, but you’ve been my guardian angel!” This isn’t the only time people make reference (conscious or otherwise) to the name’s incongruity, as in the same story when the man Sliro (who turns out the villain of the story) says, “Mr. Satan! Thank heavens you came!”
Mr. Satan does not sport any superpowers or special gadgets. In one story, he utilizes a bomb, though there appears nothing rare about its composition. His sedan is without apparent special design. His costume appears to offer him little advantage aside from protecting his identity and affirming to the criminals their folly when they face Mr. Satan.
His skills as a fighter and acrobat are formidable if not impossible. He has only two recurring villains; Sliro and Killer Novaki. The pair seems to be ordinary gangsters, with all the cunning that entails. They appear in just two of the stories.
Despite his mundane set of skills and equipment, Mr. Satan is an incredibly intriguing character. It is arguable that the obscurity of his origin actually increases his intrigue. Many questions surface upon attempting to delve into the mysteries of Mr. Satan. Why did he choose such an odd name? What motive, aside from being wealthy, does he have for fighting crime? The labyrinth of Mr. Satan’s past remains obscure and mysterious. Mr. Satan is an enigmatic crime fighter.
It seems appropriate his origin remains shrouded in mystery. When it comes to paying the devil his due, the criminals who faced him could make the check out to Mr. Satan, the Danger Devil!
*Presumably not a reference to the famous actress Doris Day, as became famous after than the stories.
Powers & Weapons:
An Olympic level athlete, master of hand to hand combat, superior deductive abilities.
Zip Comics #1-9
TEXT BY: Kevin Noel Olson