Fanzing Secret Files:
The Freedom Fighters
by David R. Black
Bios and Timeline
Quality Comics: Golden Age Heroes and Heroines 101
As an infant, young Richard (Dick) Grey Jr. is the only survivor of an ambush in Mongolia. Grey's archeologist parents are among those killed. Found by a group of wild Black Condors, Grey is raised by the birds. Eventually he learns to fly - the golden age version of his origin has him learn by watching his condor "brothers," and the modern day version adds in a glowing meteor for good measure. Anyway, he somehow learns to fly, and adopts the role of the Black Condor after his friend Father Pierre is killed. Returning to America, Grey discovers that he looks exactly like recently murdered US Senator Thomas Wright. Grey adopts the deceased senator's identity and life - including the senator's girlfriend Wendy Foster.
Black Condors' golden age appearances last from Crack Comics #1 to #31. His adventure are drawn mostly by Lou Fine. Black Condor is a member of the Freedom Fighters. Aside from the power to fly, he also possesses limited mental powers (first seen in DC's Freedom Fighters series) and carries a "black ray gun" that is capable of smashing a wall or stunning an adversary. Black Condor is no relation to Black Condor II, but he did act as a quasi guardian angel for the younger super hero who bears his name. The original Condor would keep tabs on the progress of his namesake, and influence his development, through New Jersey park ranger Ned Smith. The original Black Condor appears as a blue colored ghost and has supposedly moved on to a "higher level of existence."
Debuting in Military Comics #1 in 1941, this multi-national team of aviators was created by Will Eisner and Chuck Cuidera. The team of seven aviators (eight if you count Lady Blackhawk, a later addition to the team), includes Polish born Blackhawk and Stanislaus, England's Chuck, Holland's Olaf, France's Andre, Sweden's Olaf, and China's Chop Chop. Blackhawk is the leader of the team, yet little more than a bare bones origin is all that is revealed about him during the golden age. What is known is that Blackhawk was an aviator in the Polish Air Force. When a Nazi plane bombs his family's farmhouse, killing his brother and sister, Blackhawk swears revenge. Blackhawk forms a "volunteer paramilitary organization" of pilots who only answer to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Most of the other members of the Blackhawks were basically "blank slate" characters during the golden age. Not until Howard Chaykin and Martin Pasko's two series in the 1980's is the team given much character development. Blackhawk finally gets a secret identity in Chaykin's miniseries - Major Janos Prohaska. Blackhawk's origin is also nicely expanded upon by Pasko's series.
The Blackhawks have no superpowers, but all members of the team are excellent aviators and hand to hand combatants. The Blackhawk planes were some of the most advanced aircraft of the World War II era, and the team's home base is an island in the Atlantic Ocean appropriately named Blackhawk island.
During the golden age, the Blackhawks' adventures continued in Military Comics up to issue #43. Still home to the Blackhawks, the title then changed to Modern Comics with #44, and it lasted until issue #102 in 1950. The Blackhawks had their own comic starting in 1944. Beginning with issue #9, continuing the numbering from the canceled Uncle Sam Quarterly, Blackhawk is published by Quality until issue #108 in 1956. Upon buying out Quality's characters in 1957, Blackhawk was one of four Quality comics continued by DC. The other three were GI Combat, Robin Hood Tales, and the romance title Heart Throbs. Blackhawk is canceled in 1968 with issue #243, but the numbering is continued (up to #273) when the series is revived twice - one in the mid 1970's and once in 1982. Artist Dick Dillin, known more for his work on Justice League of America, drew most of the Blackhawks early DC adventures. Howard Chaykin brought the Blackhawks back for a successful miniseries in 1988, and after a 35 issue stint in Action Comics Weekly, Blackhawk received his own title again. Written by Martin Pasko and drawn by Rick Burchett, the series lasts only sixteen issues. The 1989 annual however contains a nice history of the Blackhawks' appearances.
Blue Tracer -
A British engineer, Bill Dunn ventures to Africa during World War II with a group of British soldiers and explorers. Dunn is the only survivor in a battle in Ethiopia that pits his group against supernatural entities - called the Mbujies - that are trying to conquer Africa. Dunn is hurt badly, but is nursed back to health by an Australian soldier named Boomerang Jones who finds him. Rebuilding some of the Mbujies alien equipment, Dunn builds a combination submarine/airplane/tank vehicle he calls the Blue Tracer. The Blue Tracer can fly, dive underwater like a sub, smash into stuff (which it tends to do frequently), and it also has machine guns and a cannon. The Tracer is blue with a red and white nose cone. It has wings like a plane and treads like a tank. Dunn dons a costume consisting of blue aviator pants, black shirt with a red and white star, a blue cape, and a helmet (like the kind Sgt. Rock wears). Jones becomes his sidekick, and they last for sixteen issues of Military Comics, from #1-16.
Bozo the Iron Man
A metallic blue covered robot with a cylindrical body, oval shaped head, and coiled arms and legs. Bozo is built by evil Dr. Van Thorp to help him conquer the world, but a young man named Hugh Hazzard stops him, and reprograms Bozo to do good. Hugh can control Bozo via remote control, but in most instances, Hugh opens a hollow compartment in Bozo's chest and works the robot from inside. Bozo has incredible strength, is bulletproof, and can run at speeds up to 70 miles per hour. Hugh is just a regular fellow. Bozo is considered to be the inspiration for Marvel's Iron Man.
Lance Gallant's twin brother Michael dies in an explosion, and Lance swears revenge on those responsible. Michael's ghost appears to Lance and tells him that if Lance touches the T shaped birthmark on his wrist, he will merge with his brother's ghost and gain superpowers. Lance touches the birthmark, and he and Michael merge to become Captain Triumph. As Captain Triumph, the brothers are invulnerable, super strong, can fly, and can become invisible. Captain Triumph's costume consists of white pants and a red T-shirt. He wears no mask. When Captain Triumph presses the birthmark a second time, he splits back into Lance and Michael. As a ghost, Michael can float around unseen and communicate with his brother. Captain Triumph debuted in Crack Comics #27, and his adventures continued until Crack #62, when the magazine was canceled.
The Clock is secretly Brian O'Brien, and is debatably the first masked/costumed hero to appear in comics. His debut was in Quality Comics' Funny Pages #6 in 1936. Funny Pages later became Feature Funnies, and later just Feature Comics. Feature Comics #27 was Doll Man's debut.
O'Brien is a former district attorney (sheesh, half the golden age heroes were too) who decides to go beyond the system to catch crooks that the legal system cant get. He's a former polo player, football player, and somewhat of a detective. He's assisted by his sidekicks Butch (a girl) and Pug. Butch was a tom-boy type character rescued by the Clock in Crack Comics #21,and Pug ran around in a business suit, gray bandit type mask, and a fedora.
The Clock's strip lasted about eight years, eventually ending in Crack Comics in 1944. The Clock is a public domain character today, but in the DC universe, he was revealed to be killed in 1944 by Hubert Mason in Starman #17.
Scientist Darrell Dane develops a liquid that allows its drinker to shrink to teeny tiny size. Darrell uses his newfound power to save Martha Roberts, his girlfriend, from thugs. No longer needing the liquid to shrink or return to normal size (Darrell can change sizes at will), he dubs himself Doll Man. It should be noted that Doll Man's shrinking power is not the same as the Atom's. Doll Man can only shrink to a size of about six inches, and he cannot become any smaller.
Wearing blue shorts, a sleeveless blue shirt, a red cape, and blue boots, Doll Man becomes one of Quality's more popular heroes. Doll Man debuts in Feature Comics #27 in 1939 and lasts as the main feature until the book's cancelation in 1950 with issue #139. Doll Man also had 47 issues of his own, which ran quarterly from 1941-1943 and 1946-1953. His adventures were drawn by legendary artists such as Will Eisner, Lou Fine, and Fred Guardineer. Doll Man's girlfriend Martha Roberts eventually becomes Doll Girl, and Doll Man is also assisted by his dog Elmo. In the DCU, Doll Man is a long time member of the Freedom Fighters, and his current whereabouts and status are unknown.
Rod Reilly is the son of millionaire steel tycoon "Emerald" Ed Reilly. As is typical of many other similarly wealthy golden age characters, Rod decides to become a mystery man because he is bored. His best friend/servant happens to be Slugger Dunn, an ex-heavyweight boxing champ. Dunn trains Reilly to be a skilled fighter, and the two men leave New York, seeking adventure. Wearing an all red outfit and mask (his shirt is sometimes a transparent pink color), Firebrand has thirteen adventures, spanning Police Comics #1-13. Firebrand's calling card is a flaming, Olympic style torch.
Picking up where his golden age adventures left off in All Star Squadron, Reilly is revealed to have joined the Navy, and he and Slugger Dunn are stationed in Pearl Harbor. Rod is injured during the Japanese attack, and after his sister Danette gains superpowers, Rod tells her of his costumed identity. Danette Reilly becomes Firebrand II. Rod eventually recovers from his wounds and joins the Freedom Fighters, but exactly when he joins is unclear. He is not pictured in any of the post crisis World War II photographs of the Freedom Fighters, which implies that Firebrand's pre-crisis history remains largely unchanged. Pre crisis, Firebrand becomes a US secret agent working undercover within the Nazi army (similar to the Americommando and the Marksman), and some of his fellow heroes incorrectly believed him to be a traitor. He eventually joins the Freedom Fighters in the late 1970's as seen in Freedom Fighters #12. In Freedom Fighters #16 and 17, which was published as part of canceled Comics Cavalcade #2 (the FFers series was canceled with issue #15), Firebrand dies while battling the Silver Ghost. The Silver Ghost's powers overload, and both hero and villain are transformed into solid silver. Knowing no way to reverse the process, both are declared dead. It is not known exactly how, but as seen in Crisis on Infinite Earths, Firebrand's condition is eventually reversed. His current whereabouts are unknown.
Ghost of Flanders
First appeared in Hit Comics #18. Rip Graves has above average strength, but no real super powers. He fights criminals and Axis saboteurs wearing a purple pants, gloves, boots, a helmet, and a red, white, and blue T-shirt. Rip lasted about a year, until Hit Comics #30.
Great Defender - a.k.a. Stormy Foster
Known by either name, and sometimes called Stormy Foster, the Great Defender. Stormy also first appears in Hit Comics #18, and he is a mild mannered pharmacy clerk. Stormy accidentally discovers a super vitamin, which when swallowed gives him super strength. Stormy wears a blue T shirt with an enormous white start on the front, white shorts, and either wears a red cape or brown trench coat type jacket for his costume. No mask. Stormy's brown hair has a white streak to it on the sides of his head.
Joe Hercules is a circus strongman dubbed "the world's strongest mortal." Joe goes after a bunch of crooks who illegally foreclosed on his mother's house - poor mom died of a heart attack upon learning her house was being repossessed - seeking revenge. He gets tossed into jail after beating the crooks to a pulp, and while in the clink, reads a comic about the exploits of Doll Man (seriously!). Joe busts out of the jail walls and gets the crooks' leader to confess his wrongdoings. Joe decides to keep on fighting crime. Calling himself just Hercules, Joe wears blue shorts (with a golden "H" belt buckle), a blue cape with a high cowl/collar, and blue boots. No mask. Joe's only power is his super strength.
Roy Lincoln is a chemist who is assisting his father develop a super explosive called QRX-27. Wanting to steal the explosive, foreign agents break into the Lincolns' lab and kill Roy's father. Not wanting the bad guys to steal the QRX-27, Roy swallows it! Roy begins to fight the foreign agents, and he soon notices that his hands are starting to glow. It turns out that the QRX-27 concentrates its explosive powers in Roy's hands, and by touching anything, Roy can cause it to explode. Roy easily fights off his father's killers, and he designs gloves made out of fibro-wax that will contain his power. Originally, the gloves were made of asbestos, but that was changed to fibro-wax later on when the health risks of asbestos became known. Roy adds a full body white suit and helmet to his costume and dubs himself the Human Bomb.
By removing his gloves and putting his hand on an object, Roy can make it explode. In addition, Roy is immune to his own explosions and impacts caused by small size projectiles such as bullets. Debuting in Police Comics #1, the Human Bomb picks up four sidekicks. First is Hustace Throckmorton, who has explosive powers in his feet, and second is a trio of young boys who call themselves the Bombadiers. By the time his adventures come to an end in Police Comics #58, Roy has inexplicably turned in his fibro-wax costume and replaced it with a standard green business suit, green fedora, and leather gloves. The reason for this change, and an explanation for why his powers didn't cause the leather gloves to blow up, has never been given.
The Human Bomb makes his first DC appearance in Justice League of America #107, the story which introduces the traditional Freedom Fighters team. Roy's entire body, not just his hands, becomes explosive in Freedom Fighters #1 due to his moving from Earth X to Earth 1. Doll Man later developed a dampening system which allowed Roy to turn his powers on and off. In the present day DCU, Roy Lincoln is retired and living on a houseboat in Florida with fellow golden-ager Iron Munro.
Debuting in Smash Comics #1, the Invisible Hood is called "Invisible Justice" for that issue only. The Invisible Hood's origin was never revealed during the golden age, and to my knowledge, it never has been. What is known however, is that Kent Thurston somehow obtains a hooded brown robe type garment that has been treated with a "secret chemical." Wearing the robe allows Thurston to become invisible. The Invisible Hood lasted in Smash Comics until #32, and when he turns up forty years later in All Star Squadron #32, it is revealed that he was killed defending Pearl Harbor in 1941 alongside the original Freedom Fighters.
Post crisis, in the current Starman series, the Invisible Hood is revealed to have survived Pearl Harbor. It turns out that when the navy ships that eventually find Uncle Sam and Miss America arrive, they don't realize that the Hood is still alive (or there at all) because he's invisible! The Japanese eventually find the unconscious Hood (don't ask me how!), and fish him out of the Pacific. The Hood's adventures from 1941 to 1975 are unrecorded. Coming out of retirement in 1975 to battle the Mist and the Icicle, the Hood is killed.
Chuck Lane is a rookie policeman in New York City. Dressing up in a medieval court jester costume, Lane decides to fight crime as the Jester. The Jester has no superpowers, but is a great athlete. He sometimes uses comic routines, such as throwing pies, to stop criminals. Despite the odd premise, the Jester was one of Quality's most popular back up features. His adventures lasted for eight years, from Smash Comics #22 in 1941 until Smash was canceled with issue #85 in 1949. Unlike most of his compatriots from Quality, the Jester's story has a happy ending - namely, he wasn't killed off. After one last adventure (with Starman) in 1952, the Jester retired from the mystery man business.
A boy known only as "Kid" drowns when the ship he is traveling on is sunk by a Nazi U-boat. Arriving at the golden gates of heaven, Kid is told by the gatekeeper (appropriately named "Mr. Keeper") that he was not supposed to die for another 75 years. Mr. Keeper apologizes for the mistake, and in addition to allowing Kid to return to Earth, grants him superpowers as well. By saying the word "eternity," Kid can summon any person from history to assist him in his adventures. He also can become visible/invisible/intangible at will and has limited time travel capabilities. The golden age adventures of Kid Eternity run in issues #25-65 of Hit Comics and in issues #1-18 in his own magazine. Kid Eternity wears a white turtleneck, purple trousers and a red belt/sash.
When the Kid becomes part of the DC stable of heroes, his origin is redone. In the DC version, Kid Eternity is really Christopher "Kit" Freeman, the brother of Freddy Freeman (Captain Marvel Jr.). The person who greets 'Kit" at the gates of heaven turns out to be the wizard Shazam. Shazam summons Mr. Keeper, who realizes that he made a mistake - it was Freddy who was supposed to die, not Kit. Mr. Keeper gives Kit the same set of powers as in the golden age origin, but this time Mr. Keeper (or "Keep" as Kid Eternity calls him) must be present in order for Kit's powers to work. Mr. Keeper's role is thus more formal than the mentor/guide role he held in the golden age Kid Eternity adventures. Kid Eternity is killed in 199's JSA #1. Debuting in 1942, and dying in 1999, I guess he didn't have 75 years left to live!
Richard Stanton is comics' first (and perhaps only) transvestite hero. He dresses up as an old lady to tack down the man who kidnapped his daughter. Wearing a white wig, granny glasses, brown derby, reddish brown jacket and skirt, Stanton decides to keep on fighting crime. He/she lasted for two years, and Stanton's sidekick is his parrot Hamlet. Madam Fatal has no superpowers. In JSA #1, Wildcat tells Jack Knight that nobody came to Madam Fatal's funeral when she died, except a traveling comedy troupe. She is buried in the Valhalla Cemetery, where many other fallen heroes are also buried.
Tom Dalton is a lineman for an electric company who one day is electrocuted by "ten thousand DC volts" of electricity. A goofy thinking buddy thinks that perhaps an equal current of AC voltage will shock Dalton back to life. He zaps the dead Dalton, and not only is Dalton resurrected, but he now has superpowers too! Calling himself Magno, Dalton has the power to attract or repel objects like a living magnet, melt objects if he uses enough force, and when he punches somebody they get a nice electric shock. His powers are kind of a cross between Cosmic Boy's and Black Lightning's powers. One drawback though; namely, Magno can run out of power. But not to worry, when this happens he just sticks a finger in an electric socket or grabs an exposed wire to recharge.
Magno's adventures last from Smash Comics #13 to Smash #21. His costume consists of a red short sleeve shirt with a "U" shaped magnet design on it, blue shorts, a blue cape, and red wristbands. No mask. Magno died fighting alongside the Freedom Fighters in All Star Squadron #32. His death on December 7, 1941 is consistent both pre and post crisis.
Dan Richards was the first mystery man to call himself Manhunter, beating out the debut of DC's Paul Kirk-Manhunter version by one month. Dan debuts in Police Comics #8 in 1942 and has an astonishing eight year run, ending in 1950's Police #101. Plastic Man and Doll man were the only Quality Comics' superheroes still being published when Manhunter ended. A rookie policeman, Dan has no superpowers, and his sidekick is his dog Thor. Manhunter wears a spandex blue bodysuit and blue mask, and Thor is a brown colored mutt.
In the golden age, Dan becomes Manhunter to clear the name of a fellow police officer who has been framed for a crime he did not commit. During Millennium in 1988, Dan's origin is messed with. Supposedly in 1941, Dan is transported to the evil Manhunters lair by the Grandmaster, and the Grandmaster presents Dan with his costume and Thor. Thor turns out to be a robot disguised as a dog that will allow the evil Manhunters to keep tabs on Dan's activities as Manhunter. I think the ret-conned origin was unnecessary and just plain dumb. Leave the hero be, don't tie him up into that mess that was Millennium! Anyway, Dan's adventures after 1950 are unrecorded, and in Infinity Inc. #46 and #47, a much older Dan sponsors his granddaughter Marcie Cooper for admission to the team. Marcie becomes Harlequin II and betrays the team. Dan Richards present whereabouts are unknown, and he is presumed retired.
Baron Povalsky is a Polish noble who decides to fight back against the Nazis who have invaded his country. He infiltrates the German army as "Major Hurtz" and when the time is right, sabotages the Nazis' plans. The Marksman uses a bow and arrow (a Green Arrow type character) as his only weapon and wears a red, hooded robe for a costume. He ran for three years in Smash Comics, beginning with #33.
Merlin and Tor
Both men are magicians that use their magic to fight crime. Merlin's adventures last from National Comics #1 to #45. Tor's first appearance is in Smash Comics #14. Both magicians are killed by Stalker in their first and only DC appearance in 1999's All Star Comics #1. In that issue, both Merlin and Tor use their magic by saying spells backwards, like Zatara and Zatanna do. This was not the case in their golden age appearances.
Dave Clark is a radio announcer at New York radio station "UXAM." Usually a news announcer, Clark fills in one night for a radio voice actor, doing the voice for a character called Midnight. On his way home, Clark witnesses a building collapse and helps rescue the survivors. Clark soon discovers that the building was shoddily constructed, and he decides to bring the crooked owner of the construction company to justice for causing the deaths of twenty people in the building's collapse. Clark adds a blue mask and blue fedora to his standard blue business suit, and he becomes the masked man known as Midnight. Midnight has no superpowers, but is an extremely athletic, former bare knuckles boxer. Midnight's supporting cast includes Doc Wackey, a former villain turned scientist, and a talking monkey named Gabby.
Created by Jack Cole and debuting in Smash Comics #18, Midnight eventually becomes the lead feature in Smash Comics. His adventure come to an end in Smash #85, when the comic is canceled and its title is changed to Lady Luck. In All Star Squadron, Midnight and Doll Man try to join the Freedom Fighters on their trip to stop Pearl Harbor, but luckily for them, they arrive too late. Stepping into the remnants of Uncle Sam's vortex, Midnight and Doll Man find themselves transported to Nazi controlled France. The two heroes become resistance fighters while in France, and Midnight saves Doll Man's life in a confrontation with Baron Blitzkrieg's troops. Both men return to the USA two months later, and Midnight becomes a part time member of the Freedom Fighters. His current whereabouts are unknown, but Midnight would be very, very old if he is still alive. Midnight also bears an uncanny resemblance to the Spirit, a Will Eisner owned character.
Joan Dale is a reporter who falls asleep while visiting the Statue of Liberty on Bedloe Island. Joan has a dream in which the statue comes alive and grants her superpowers to use for the benefit of America. Waking up, Joan discovers that she does indeed have powers. She can alter, shrink, or create matter out of thin air, fire bolts of energy from her hands, and in one adventure displays the power to shrink to a tiny size a la Doll Man. Joan's costume initially consists of a red short sleeved blouse, a red and white striped short skirt, blue cape and blue boots. Near the end of her seven issue run in Military Comics (#1-7 were her only golden age appearances), the red and white stripes move from the skirt to her blouse, and her skirt is now blue with a fringe of yellow stars along the bottom. Debuting six months before Wonder Woman, Miss America's costume near the end of her run looked awfully similar to a certain newly debuted Amazon's costume.
In All Star Squadron, Miss America joins the original Freedom Fighters team that tries to prevent Pearl Harbor. Pre-crisis, Miss America is killed when a Japanese kamikaze pilot slams into the Red Torpedo's vessel, but post-crisis she is revealed to have survived. Found comatose and floating in the pacific Ocean by a Navy ship, Miss America is taken to Project M in New York. Miss America eventually reawakens from her coma, joins the Justice Society, and her powers are revealed to have been given to her through an experiment at Project M. Originally intended to be a post crisis replacement in the Justice Society for the no longer in existence golden age Wonder Woman, Miss America's team status has been clouded by the recent revelation that Hippolyta traveled back in time to the 1940's to assume the mantle of Wonder Woman and serve with the Justice Society. I'm not going to even try to explain the Miss America - golden age Fury - modern age Fury relationship situation, which is even more muddled.
Bill Perkins is a district attorney who adopts the identity of the Mouthpiece when he thinks the justice system has failed (sounds awfully familiar to other characters). He wears the standard blue business suit, black mask, and blue fedora. The Mouthpiece's weapons include a revolver, mini handcuffs, and a chain. He's pretty ruthless, and actually fires a harpoon into a crook in one issue. He only lasted for 13 issues of Police Comics. He has no superpowers.
Neon The Unknown
Tom Corbet is a foreign legionnaire stationed in Africa. Corbet's group is ordered to cross a desert to check on a tribe of restless natives, but the legionnaires get lost and one by one they all die of dehydration. All except Corbet. Finding a glowing oasis filled with phosphorescent water, Tom drinks heartily, and instantly his legionnaire uniform is replaced by a colorful costume. The costume consists of blue pants, a loose fitting long sleeved blue shirt, vest, red belt, and a red bandana with two long red strands. To go along with the nifty change of clothes, Corbet also discovers he can fly and shoot neonic energy bolts from his hands. '
Neon debuts in Hit Comics #1, lasts until #17, and also makes an appearance with a group of Quality heroes in Uncle Sam Quarterly #2. Neon was created by Jerry Iger of Eisner-Iger art studios. Neon is part of the unfortunate original team of Freedom Fighters killed in All Star Squadron #32, but interestingly, Neon, Black Condor, and the Ray (three Quality heroes) are the first heroes to attack the villainous Dynaman in the conclusion to The Golden Age (an Elseworlds).
Sandra Knight is the daughter of US Senator Henry Knight. In her origin story at Quality, while she is waiting for her father on the steps of the US Capitol building, two kidnappers attack her father. Sandra fends them off with a newspaper (really!), and disappears into the shadows before her father realized who saved him. The story is similar at DC, but she uses her fists instead of a newspaper. Anyway, Sandra liked her brief outing as a mystery-woman, and one day she discovers a black light ray emitter developed by a man named Professor Davis. The blackout ray projects darkness, and when she turns the ray on herself, Sandra becomes invisible. Calling herself Phantom Lady, she fights crime wearing a revealing yellow bathing suit, a green cape, and green goggles.
Phantom Lady's golden age adventures last from Police Comics #1-23 and also include three adventures in Feature Comics (issues #69-71). Phantom Lady was one of the founding members of the second Freedom Fighters team, and she is also the cousin of Starman Ted Knight. As revealed in the series Damage, in the 1960's Phantom Lady is recruited for the spy agency Argent, a branch of the O.S.S. Phantom Lady is teamed with Iron Munro, and the two partake in several missions to stop the schemes of Baron Blitzkrieg, who is now working for the Soviets. Phantom Lady and Munro become lovers and eventually have a child that is kidnapped by Blitzkrieg. Her marriage to Munro doesn't last, and she leaves him. Munro is left to believe that Sandra was killed in action.
Currently, Phantom Lady is a teacher and headmistress at the University Notre Dame des ombres (Our Lady of the Shadows), a spy training school. Dee Tyler, one of Knight's students at the university, debuted as Phantom Lady II in Action Comics #636 in 1988.
He's probably Quality's most popular hero. Created by Jack Cole, Plastic Man debuted in Police Comics #1 in 1941. His adventures in Police Comics would continue until the magazine was canceled with issue #102 in 1950. Plastic Man also received his own title in 1943, and it lasted 52 issues until 1955. Each issue of Plastic Man has three of Plas' adventures and one solo story featuring Woozy Winks, Plas' sidekick. By 1953, Plastic man was the only non DC golden age superhero still being published.
In terms of his origin, Plastic Man is really small time crook Eel O'Brien. While robbing the Crawford Chemical Works with his gang, Eel is shot by a guard and falls into a vat of acid. Nonetheless, Eel manages to escape, and while wandering about, he is taken to a monastery by a monk where he is healed. Eel discovers that because of the acid, his skin has become rubbery , and he can stretch into any shape he desires. Eel reforms and becomes the goofy hero Plastic Man. His sidekick Woozy Winks has powers which protect him from being harmed by any form of nature. Some readers have theorized that this is why Woozy and Plas have not aged over time. Aging is a natural process, and since Woozy is immune to all harmful processes of nature...
Plastic Man makes his DC debut in House of Mystery #160 in 1966. Interestingly, when Robby Reed (in the "Dial H for Hero" feature) uses his H-dial to become a hero, he becomes Plastic Man! The issue sold well, and later in 1966 Plastic Man received his own title, which lasted for ten issues. In 1976, the series returned for ten more issues, which are numbered 11 through 20. Plas became part of the All Star Squadron in the early 1980's, but his adventures with the team are most likely out of DC continuity. He also appeared in a few Brave and the Bold team-ups with Batman in the 1970's and had a short lived run in Adventure Comics during the early 80's. Plastic Man's on again off again popularity was rewarded with a miniseries in 1989, and most recently he has joined the JLA in the team's most recent incarnation.
Quality's super-speed hero was never given an origin or secret identity. Debuting in National Comics #5, Quicksilver is the third comic character with super-speed powers - Flash/Jay Garrick being the first, and Ace Periodicals' Lightning being the second. Quicksilver operates out of a secret laboratory, and is an avid comic book reader (really!). The introduction to his adventures is: "Swift as the night wind, silent as the shadow of the hawk, ruthless as the killer shark against the cruel minions of crime..That's Quicksilver, former acrobat turned crimefighter!" Drawn by golden age talents such as Jack Cole, Fred Guardineer, and Paul Gustavson, Quicksilver runs out of steam in National Comics #73 in 1949.
Quicksilver is pictured in two Freedom Fighters team photos, but has never appeared in any of their recorded adventures. Brought out of limbo in the "Return of Barry Allen" story line in Flash, Quicksilver is dubbed "Max Mercury." This was most likely done because in 1963, Marvel created a certain X-Man speedster also known as Quicksilver. Max has played a key role as a member of the Flash's supporting cast, and he currently has the unenviable task of mentoring Impulse.
Debuting in Smash Comics #14 in 1942, reporter Happy Terrill is assigned to cover the launch of a high altitude hot air balloon. Happy goes along for a ride in the balloon, and an electrical storm develops as the balloon enters the upper stratosphere. The inventor of the balloon, Dr. Styne, realizes that the balloon's outer air lock is not sealed properly, which could lead to disaster. Happy volunteers to leave the safety of the balloon's cabin and venture outside to seal the airlock. While doing so, Happy is struck by an intense burst of electrical energy and radiation. The accident endows him with the power to absorb and fire blasts of light, heat, and various forms of energy. The Ray can also fly and actually become light, but the intensity of his powers depends on the amount of light present. If the Ray is in a dark room, his powers will still work, but once his stored reserves of energy are depleted, he will be powerless.
The Ray wears a full body length, entirely yellow costume. His golden age adventures ended in Smash Comics #40. The Ray made his DC debut in Justice League of America #107 in 1974, and he has been an important member of the Freedom Fighters ever since. In 1992's Ray: In A Blaze of Power, Happy Terrill fakes his death, and his son Raymond Terrill, having inherited his father's powers, becomes Ray II. Raymond eventually learns that his father is still alive, and as depicted in the thirty one issue Ray series in the mid 90's, their father-son relationship is very dysfunctional.
Debuting in Hit Comics #1, Rick Raleigh is an assistant district attorney in Superior City. In the Bee's debut, he captures gangster boss "Boss" Storm, whose gang has been terrorizing the city. The Red Bee is a superb athlete, and has no superpowers except for an uncanny ability to train/control bees. The Bee's costume consists of a red mask, red and yellow striped tights, a red shirt with long flesh colored sleeves, and red wristbands. The Red Bee's golden age adventures last until Hit Comics #24.
Joining the All Star Squadron in early 1942, the Red Bee joins the task force (which later becomes the second Freedom Fighters team) that travels to Santa Barbara, California to stop a planned Japanese invasion. Pre crisis, this invasion happens on Earth X, but post crisis, it is said to have happened as well. The Freedom Fighters succeed in stopping the invasion, but all except the Red Bee are captured by Baron Blitzkrieg. Blitzkrieg threatens to kill the Freedom Fighters one by one if Hourman refuses to give him the Miraclo formula. The Red Bee comes to the rescue just as Blitzkrieg is about to kill Phantom Lady. The Red Bee valiantly charges the vastly more powerful Baron Blitzkrieg with a two-by-four as his only weapon. He suffers a broken back and is killed in the ensuing fight, but his sacrifice allows the others enough time to escape and defeat Blitzkrieg.
Jim Lockhart is a Navy captain who retires to build a submarine he calls the Torpedo. The Torpedo is small sized sub that has two front mounted energy beam emitting type weapons and, it is capable of flight as well. It is colored red with yellow fins, a yellow tail, and has yellow "bubble eyes" type windows (like Blue Beetle's bug). Lockhart dubs himself the Red Torpedo and becomes the "Robin Hood of the deep." Lockhart's costume consists of red sailor's pants, a red sleeveless shirt, and a red mask. Lockhart has no superpowers, but when he leaves the submerged Torpedo - wearing only his costume and equipment to help him breath underwater - he is able to survive to crushing pressures of the ocean depths.
The Red Torpedo's arch enemy is the villainous Black Shark, whom he battles in a majority of his twenty adventures in Crack Comics. He also discovers a sub-sea humanoid civilization called Merrezonia in Crack #7, which predates the creation of Aquaman's Atlantis. The Red Torpedo is killed in action in the infamous All Star Squadron #32. His death still remains in continuity post crisis.
Daniel Dyce goes to jail for a crime he didn't commit because he looks like the actual criminal. Dyce tries to convince the authorities, but when the actual criminal is killed in a car accident, Dyce is thrown into jail for good. He's given the "lucky number 711." Eventually, Dyce burrows out of his cell and decides to bring criminals to justice as the masked hero #711. Wearing purple tights, a cape, gloves, boots, and even a purple fedora (what a sight!), Dyce returns to his cell every night after escaping so he can catch crooks. #711 has no superpowers, but really nifty calling cards that have a small mirror with cell bars painted on them so a criminal can see their fate. #711 is killed in action after 15 adventures in Police Comics.
Tom Hallaway has no superpowers, but is an accomplished archer. Wearing blue shorts, a yellow long sleeved shirt, blue boots, and a blue quiver full of arrows on his back, Tom adopts the identity of the Spider to fight crime. The Spider debuts in Crack Comics #1, the strip is called "Alias the Spider," and his last golden age appearance is in Crack Comics #30. Tom has a sidekick named Chuck, who drives Tom around in his specialized car - the Black Widow. The Spider carries assorted trick arrows, and a round shaped "spider seal," which when fired from his bow, digs into an opponent's flesh. The Spider is extremely ruthless, and often kills criminals that dare oppose him. For a character in the 1940's, this was unusual.
The Spider makes a few one panel appearances in All Star Squadron, but is used as the villain in DC's 1995 miniseries The Shade. The Spider becomes Keystone City's resident hero after the Flash retires in the early 1950's, but quickly becomes corrupt. This character change seems realistic, given that as a hero the Spider had no qualms about murdering his opponents. The hero turned villain is killed by the Shade.
Dianne Grayton is a wealthy, beautiful sportswoman who is bored. Learning she can control black widow spiders, she disguises herself as an old lady - wearing clothes like a witch/spinster hag -, and she goes out to dispense justice. Dianne debuts in Feature Comics #57, lasts till #72, and is best noted for her occasional team ups with Phantom Lady and the Raven - two other golden age heroines.
Debuting in Smash Comics #1, Chic Carter is a crime reporter. However in Smash #24, Chic dons costume consisting of a red spandex bodysuit, yellow shirt, yellow gloves, and yellow mask. Calling himself the Sword, Chic uses his superhero identity to help him get the scoop on underworld activities (and bring stop criminals as well). The Sword has no superpowers, but he does wield a narrow bladed, rapier type weapon. The feature is actually called "Chic Carter, Crime Reporter," and out of fifty or so adventures in National (#33-47), Smash (#1-24), and Police Comics, Carter only dons the mantle of the Sword three or four times.
Debuting in National Comics #1, Uncle Sam was the comic's lead feature until #45, his last golden age appearance. Sam even had his own comic, Uncle Sam Quarterly, which lasted for eight issues from 1941-1943. Issue #2 of Uncle Sam Quarterly is notable because it is one of the few times Quality heroes teamed up during the golden age. Drawn by Lou Fine, the story guest stars Black Condor, Neon the Unknown, Quicksilver, the Ray, Red Bee, and the Spider. This team was never given a name, but perhaps it had some influence on DC's decision in 1974 to retroactively create the Freedom Fighters.
Uncle Sam himself is dressed exactly like one would think - in all red, white, and blue. The red and white striped pants, red bow tie, blue suit coat, and star spangled top hat make this white haired character look like he just stepped out of a recruitment poster or political cartoon. Legend has it that it 1777, an American patriot known only as Samuel volunteered to distract British troops who were converging on a wagon supply train. The wagons were carrying supplies needed by George Washington's troops in Valley Forge. Samuel succeeded in decoying the British away from the supply wagons, but he was killed in the process. Sam's spirit rose from his body and merged with the spirits of freedom and liberty to become Uncle Sam. Since then, Uncle Sam has aided the USA in all her times of need.
In 1940, Uncle Sam merged with another man named Samuel, who was fighting against the Nazi backed Black Legion. The modern day Uncle Sam was born, and hew continued to fight crime along with his kid sidekick Buddy. Uncle Sam possesses super strength and a good degree of invulnerability. He can travel to other dimensions by opening red, white , and blue vortexes. Uncle Sam also does not age, and his presence is theorized to have kept the Freedom Fighters young over the many decades since World War II.
Uncle Sam is the leader of the Freedom Fighters, and he feels some guilt about causing the deaths of three members of his first Freedom Fighters team - Red Torpedo, Neon, and Magno. Sam's second group of Freedom Fighters composed of Black Condor, Doll Man, Human Bomb, Phantom Lady, and the Ray, have fared much better, but the team did lose the Red Bee when he was killed by Baron Blitzkrieg. Even when not leading the Freedom Fighters, Uncle Sam fights alongside ordinary Americans everywhere. From the battlefields of World War II to the jungle swamps of Vietnam to the Middle Eastern desert, Uncle Sam has been there. It should be noted that part of Uncle Sam's essence was absorbed into the hero known as Patriot as seen in The Spectre.
This heroine appeared in Feature Comics #42-48, and her adventures were drawn by Maurice Gutwirth. She wears a patriotic costume and uses an American flag for a cape. Her secret identity is unknown. USA uses her energy emitting "liberty torch" to defeat criminals and saboteurs, but it is not clear whether USA herself has superpowers or if the powers come from the torch.
Carol Vance Martin is granted the power to control fire and flame by the god of fire. Carol has red hair, and she wears a costume consisting of red pants, and a red bathing suit top. She appears in Smash Comics #25-37, and her adventures are drawn by Jim Mooney. Carol/Wildfire is a dead ringer for DC's Firebrand II. Both have identical powers, and it has been speculated that Roy Thomas wanted to use Wildfire in All Star Squadron but was prevented in doing so by DC's head honchos. They thought that having two Wildfires (the other being in the Legion of Super Heroes) would cause confusion among readers. Right, and there aren't four different Clayfaces running around the DCU.
Having no secret Identity, Wonder Boy comes from "the depths of outer space" to Earth. Wonder Boy has the strength of a thousand men. The teenager wears red tights, a blue sleeveless jacket, and the red shirt below the jacket has a yellow star on the front. Wonder Boy's girlfriend is Sally Benson, the daughter of a famous inventor.
Other Quality Heroes I know little about
Cyclone - appeared as a backup feature in National Comics #1-4.
Dragon - Appeared as a backup feature in Doll Man #2 through #6. The hero's secret identity was Red McGraw, and his adventures were drawn by Fred Guardineer.
Just N Right - secretly Justin Wright, this hero only appeared once, in Doll Man #1.
Raven - appeared in Feature Comics #60-71, this costumed heroine teamed up with Phantom Lady and Spider Widow in two issues. She also appears in Police Comics #20-22.
The Unknown - a different character than Neon the Unknown, he appeared in National Comics #23-46. All I know is that he can fly and wears blue/black pants and no shirt.
Yankee Eagle - secretly Jerry (later Larry) Noble, his debut is Military Comics #1. He also has adventures beginning in Smash Comics #38.
The Freedom Fighters were a team of former Quality characters who made their debut in Justice League of America #107 (1st series). Originally consisting of six members - Black Condor, Doll Man, Human Bomb, Phantom Lady, the Ray, and Uncle Sam - the Freedom Fighters inhabited Earth-X in the pre-Crisis multiverse. On Earth X, the Nazis actually won a World War II that lasted much longer than it did on our Earth. Teaming up with the JSA and JLA, the Freedom Fighters eventually overthrew the Nazis and were hailed as world heroes on Earth-X. Two years after the team's first appearance (the individual characters debuted during the 1930's and 40's however), the Freedom Fighters received their own title. It lasted for fifteen bi-monthly issues, but unreleased issues #16 and #17 were eventually published as part of canceled Comics Cavalcade #2. After Crisis on Infinite Earths, much of the Freedom Fighters continuity and history is rendered non-existent. The FFers continuity was furthered messed up by a well intentioned Roy Thomas, who showed that the Quality heroes originated on Earth 2 and then migrated to Earth X. Thomas also created a prequel Freedom Fighters team made up of Invisible Hood, Hourman, Magno, Miss America, Neon the Unknown, the Red Torpedo, and Uncle Sam. This team succeeded in preventing Pearl Harbor from happening on Earth-X in pre crisis continuity, but only stopped the first wave of Japanese attacks in current DCU continuity. Three members of the team were killed, one rendered comatose, and two were captured by the Japanese in the process. Only Uncle Sam escaped relatively unscathed. More hi-jinks and retcons with the Freedom Fighters ensued, especially in terms of team membership, over the years. This is one attempt to sort all the mess out, so with further adieu, Fanzing Secret Files presents the...
Freedom Fighters Timeline
National Comics #1 and Secret Origins #19 - Somewhere near Valley Forge, the British are converging on wagon train carrying supplies to the American army. A man named Samuel volunteers to distract the British, and send them on a "wild goose chase," long enough for the wagons to escape. Samuel is shot dead, but his spirit merges with the spirit of America and Uncle Sam is born.
Secret Origins #19 - Uncle Sam joins the war effort as the United States battles Britain once more.
Flash Secret Files #1 - A fort messenger named Max is given the power of super speed and begins operating in the American West as Windrunner.
Flash Secret Files #1 - Max skims the Speed Force and is propelled into the future.
Secret Origins #19 - Uncle Sam stands by in sorrowful silence as Americans fight Americans in the Civil War.
Secret Origins #19 - Uncle Sam smiles for the first time in four years as the Civil War comes to an end.
Flash Secret Files #1 - Max reappears and adopts a new super hero name - Whip Whirlwind.
Secret Origins #19 - Uncle Sam charges up San Juan Hill alongside Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders in the most famous battle of the Spanish-American War.
Flash Secret Files #1 - Once again, Max skims the Speed Force and is propelled into the future.
Secret Origins #19 - In the trenches of France, the doughboys of World War I are helped by Uncle Sam.
Flash Secret Files #1 - Max reappears and secretly begins operating as Quicksilver.
August - Smash Comics #1 - First recorded golden age appearance of Invisible Hood.
December - Feature Comics #27 - First recorded golden age appearance of Doll Man
May - Crack Comics #1 - three debuts
First recorded golden age appearances of Black Condor, Red Torpedo, and the Spider
July - Hit Comics #1 - Two debuts
First recorded golden age appearances of Neon the Unknown and the Red Bee
July - National Comics #1 - First recorded golden age appearance of Uncle Sam
August - Smash Comics #13 - First recorded golden age appearance of Magno
September - Smash Comics #14 - First recorded golden age appearance of the Ray
November - National Comics #5 - First recorded golden age appearance of Quicksilver. This is Max's first publicly recorded adventure as Quicksilver.
January - Smash Comics #18 - First recorded golden age appearance of Midnight
March - Crack Comics #11 - Black Condor assumes the identity of recently murdered US Senator Tom Wright.
April - Smash Comics #21 - Last recorded golden age appearance of Magno
May - Smash Comics #22 - First recorded golden age appearance of the Jester
August - Police Comics #1 - Three debuts
First recorded golden age appearances of Firebrand I (Rod Reilly), the Human Bomb, and Phantom Lady
August - Military Comics #1 - First recorded golden age appearance of Miss America
November - Hit Comics #17 - Last recorded golden age appearance of Neon the Unknown
November - Secret Origins #22 - First case of Manhunter (Dan Richards)
December - Crack Comics #20 - Last recorded golden age appearance of Red Torpedo.
December 6, evening - All Star Squadron #32 - Midnight and Doll Man arrive too late to join the original Freedom Fighters on their trip to Pearl Harbor. They step into what is left of Uncle Sam's vortex and find themselves transported to Nazi occupied Paris. The two become resistance fighters for the next two months.
December 7, dawn - All Star Squadron #32, Secret Origins #26 - Original Freedom Fighters (Uncle Sam, Hourman, Miss America, Neon, Magno, Red Torpedo, and the Invisible Hood) try to prevent Japanese from attacking Pearl Harbor. They fail, and all are presumed dead.
However, Miss America and Uncle Sam are found alive by an American ship, and Hourman is found alive and captured by the Japanese. Later, in early issues of Starman, the Invisible Hood is also revealed to have survived.
December 7 - Rod Reilly (Firebrand) wounded at Pearl Harbor.
February - Smash Comics #32 - Last recorded golden age appearance of Invisible Hood.
February - Military Comics #7 - Last recorded golden age appearance of Miss America.
February 22, evening - All Star Squadron #32 - Cornered by Baron Blitzkrieg in Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral, Midnight sees one of Uncle Sam's vortexes appear. Grabbing the injured Doll Man, Midnight jumps into the vortex and is transported to New York City. Some of the Nazi soldiers follow him.
February 23, early morning - All Star Squadron #31-32 - Uncle Sam interrupts an All Star Squadron meeting to ask for help to stop a Japanese invasion of Santa Barbara, California. Also, an injured Midnight manages to avoid the Nazi troops, and he brings an unconscious Doll Man to the Perisphere.
February 23, mid day - All Star Squadron #33-35 - The Freedom Fighters (composed of Uncle Sam, Doll Man, Phantom Lady, Ray, Human Bomb, Black Condor, and the Red Bee) arrive in Santa Barbara to fight the Japanese invasion. Midnight is left behind in New York because of the gunshot wound in his shoulder. The FFers fight the Japanese, Hourman turns up alive, and all except the Red Bee are eventually captured by Baron Blitzkrieg.
February 23, evening - All Star Squadron #35 - Blitzkrieg threatens to kill the FFers one by one if Hourman refuses to give him the Miraclo formula. The Red Bee shows up just as Blitzkrieg is about to kill Phantom Lady. The Red Bee is killed in the ensuing fight, but his sacrifice allows the others enough time to escape and defeat Blitzkrieg. Uncle Sam, Ray, and Black Condor stay in Santa Barbara to help with the clean up efforts, and the rest of the FFers return to New York.
March - Police Comics #8 - First recorded golden age appearance of Manhunter (Dan Richards)
Late March - All Star Squadron #44 - Firebrand's father "Emerald" Ed Reilly is killed by the Nazi agents Night and Fog.
April 1 - All Star Squadron #50 - Rod Reilly is released from the hospital. Uncle Sam, Black Condor, and the Ray return and invite Phantom Lady, Human Bomb, Doll Man, Midnight, Jester, Manhunter, and the Spider to join them in forming an ongoing Freedom Fighters team. Rod Reilly (Firebrand) is left behind. Sometime here after Firebrand travels to Germany and apparently defects to the Axis cause, but in actuality he is working to sabotage Nazi plans (a la the Americommando).
April - Young All Stars #2 - Freedom Fighters move to Washington DC. Team picture shows Uncle Sam, Phantom Lady, Black Condor, Human Bomb, Doll Man, Ray, Midnight, Quicksilver, Manhunter, Spider, and the Jester as being members.
May - Young All Stars # 8 - Manhunter teams up with Dan the Dynamite, Tsunami, Flying Fox, and Hop Harrigan to fight a ring controlled, deranged Green Lantern who is terrorizing residents of the Aleutian Islands. The team gets beat soundly.
Mid May - Young All Stars #14 - A fire at Project M causes Miss America to awaken from the coma she's been in since Pearl Harbor.
Late May - Young All Stars Annual #1 - Miss America formally joins both the All Star Squadron and the JSA. She becomes the secretary of the JSA, and is no longer part of the Freedom Fighters.
June - Hit Comics #24 - Last recorded golden age appearance of Red Bee
June - Young All Stars # 27 - In another team picture of the Freedom Fighters, the Spider and the Jester are not pictured as members. What happened? Did they quit two months after joining?
August - Police Comics #13 - Last recorded golden age appearance of Firebrand
October - Smash Comics #40 - Last recorded golden age appearance of the Ray
October - Crack Comics #30 - Last recorded golden age appearance of the Spider
August - Feature Comics #71 - Last recorded golden age appearance of Phantom Lady
October - Crack Comics #31 - Last recorded golden age appearance of Black Condor
November - Starman #44 - Phantom Lady captures the Prairie Witch, and she uses the reward money to buy war bonds. In talking about the FFers, she only mentions Uncle Sam, Ray, Black Condor, Doll Man, and the Human Bomb as being members. The cover to this issue says events took place in "1944" but the interior says "1943."
December - National Comics #45 - Last recorded golden age appearance of Uncle Sam.
May - Police Comics #58 - Last recorded golden age appearance of the Human Bomb
All Star Comics #39, as retold in Infinity Inc. # 50 - Miss America fights alongside the JSA in a story entitled "Invasion from Fairyland." One of the only JSA stories in which Miss America appears as a team member.
Flash Secret Files - Quicksilver leaps forward in time to 1957 where he begins operating as Blue Streak. Presumably, once his Quicksilver identity is abandoned he no longer affiliates himself with the FFers.
September - National Comics #73 - Last recorded golden age appearance of Quicksilver.
October - Smash Comics #85 - two finales:
Last recorded golden age appearances of the Jester and Midnight.
Mid year - Ray: In a Blaze of Power #5 - the Ray quits the Freedom Fighters. "Ray Quits: Freedom Fighters Vow to Carry On" reads the newspaper headlines. Only the six traditional FFers are pictured.
August - Police Comics #101 - Last recorded golden age appearance of Manhunter (Dan Richards).
Zero Hour #0 - Justice Society disbands. Freedom Fighters most likely disband as well.
Starman #46 - The Jester and Starman Ted Knight defeat the Icicle, Gambler, and Fiddler. The Jester retires as a mystery man shortly thereafter. The cover to this issue says events within took place in "1954" but the interior says "1952."
October - Doll Man #47 - Last recorded golden age appearance of Doll Man
Shade miniseries #1-4 - The Spider is revealed to have become a villain, and he is killed in Keystone City by the Shade.
Damage #11 - Phantom Lady is recruited for the spy agency Argent, a branch of the O.S.S. Phantom Lady is teamed with Iron Munro, and the two partake in several missions to stop the schemes of Baron Blitzkrieg, who is now working for the Soviets. Phantom Lady and Munro become lovers.
Damage #8 and #11 - Phantom Lady and Munro wed in Monaco. Their marriage was a spur of the moment fling, and the two heroes quarrel constantly. On a mission a month later, Phantom Lady is captured by Baron Blitzkrieg and is declared missing in action. Iron Munro, believes her to be dead. Phantom Lady is held captive for months, during which time the Baron learns that Phantom Lady is pregnant with Munro's child. Once the child is born, the Baron steals it, and leaves Phantom Lady to die. She escapes and returns to the USA, but doesn't tell Munro.
June - July - Justice League of America #107-108 - the FFers team up with the JLA and JSA to free Earth-X from Nazi control. This story no longer exists post crisis.
The Invisible Hood is killed by the Mist and the Icicle. Revealed by the Mist in a flashback in Starman.
April - Freedom Fighters #1 - FFers reform. Only Uncle Sam, Black Condor, Doll Man, Human Bomb, Phantom Lady, and the Ray are members. First appearance of the Silver Ghost, Raphael Van Zandt, the FFers recurrent enemy in the 70's. The Freedom Fighters are bored on Earth-X (having stopped the Nazi menace), and decide to migrate to Earth 1. They are teleported over to Earth 1 by a scientist friend, and some members begin to manifest powers they haven't had before. Phantom Lady is able to become intangible, and the Human Bomb's entire body becomes explosive (not just his hands). The teleportation device
April and June - Freedom Fighters #7-8 - Black Condor loses control of his newly discovered mental powers. Doll Man develops a "damper system" that allows the Human Bomb to turn his power on or off.
August - Freedom Fighters #9 - Doll Man is framed for New York District Attorney David Pearson's murder. He is tried, convicted, and sentenced to death.
October - Freedom Fighters #10 - Uncle Sam, Phantom Lady, and the Human Bomb fight Catman. Ray fights the Silver Ghost and loses.
December - Freedom Fighters #11 - First silver age appearance of Rod Reilly.
February - Freedom Fighters #12 - Doll Man is cleared of the murder charge by Martha (Doll Girl) Roberts seconds before he is scheduled to die. Firebrand joins the Freedom Fighters.
Late in the year - Freedom Fighters #15, #16, and #17 (16 and 17 were both published as part of canceled Comics Cavalcade #2), and JLA #164-166 - The Silver Ghost hires the SSOSV to kill the Freedom Fighters. While fighting Firebrand, the Silver Ghost's powers overload, and both hero and villain are transformed into solid silver. Knowing no way to reverse the process, Firebrand and the Silver Ghost are declared dead.
October - DC Comics Presents # 62 - Uncle Sam, Ray, Black Condor, Doll Man, and the Human Bomb team up to rescue the Constitution and Declaration of Independence after both documents are stolen by neo-Nazis.
Zero Hour #0 Timeline, JLA Year 1 #11-12 - Justice League of America forms. Freedom Fighters are captured by invading Apellaxians, but eventually help fight to regain the planet.
Crisis on Infinite Earths series - the Ray joins other heroes in invading the anti matter universe, Uncle Sam gives a speech to all the assembled heroes and villains prior to taking on the Anti-Monitor, and both Firebrand and the Silver Ghost are seen alive and well. Apparently, their condition was somehow undone, though exactly how is not known.
January and February - Infinity Inc. #46 + #47, Secret Origins #22 - Dan Richards (Manhunter) sponsors his granddaughter Marcie Cooper for admission into Infinity Inc. She becomes Harlequin II, and later betrays the team.
Mid year - Action Comics #636 - Sandra Knight, the original Phantom Lady, is shown to be teaching at a university that trains spies and operatives for the O.S.S. Dee Tyler, one of Professor Knight's students at the university, debuts as Phantom Lady II.
March and April - Infinity Inc. #48-49 - Joan Dale (Miss America) revealed to have married Admiral Derek Trevor many years ago.
Hawk and Dove #28 - Uncle Sam makes a cameo appearance.
Ray: In a Blaze of Power #1 - Happy Terrill, the original Ray, fakes his death. Raymond Terrill (Ray II) makes his debut.
June - Black Condor #1 - Black Condor II makes his debut. He is no relation to the first.
Black Condor #4 and 10 - the original Black Condor appears as some sort of blue hologram that only certain people can see. He is apparently working for some organization that wants to monitor Black Condor II's progress, but this situation was never fully explained before the series was canceled.
August - Damage #3 - Roy Lincoln (Human Bomb) revealed to be living on a houseboat in Florida with Arn "Iron" Munro. It is suggested that either his powers have faded or that he is using the dampening system to control them. Iron Munro is also revealed to have married Sandra (Phantom Lady) Knight in the early 60's.
October - Ray #0 - The original Ray tangles with the Martian Manhunter.
December - Damage #8-11 - Iron Munro begins his quest to find Phantom Lady. Munro believes that Baron Blitzkrieg has either killed her or been holding her captive all these years. In reality, Phantom Lady escaped from the Baron and allowed Munro to believe she had died. Accompanied by Roy Lincoln (the Human Bomb) to Washington D.C., Munro tracks down Phantom Lady to the University Notre Dame des ombres (Our Lady of the Shadows). He talks to Phantom Lady II, but cannot gather up the courage to talk to his former wife. Munro leaves brokenhearted
Uncle Sam becomes a part of/is absorbed into the new character Patriot. Seen in the Spectre series.
Starman #37 - The Red Bee's ghost talks to Starman Jack Knight.
Although some members are the same, the original Freedom Fighters are not the same team as the second team. The original FFers were the team that tried to prevent Pearl Harbor from being attacked and failed. Their membership included Hourman, the Invisible Hood, Magno, Miss America, Neon the Unknown, the Red Torpedo, and Uncle Sam.
The exact membership of the second Freedom Fighters team is hard to pin down. The group's core six members are Black Condor, Doll Man, the Human Bomb, Phantom Lady, the Ray, and Uncle Sam. Throughout the years seven other heroes - Firebrand, the Jester, Manhunter (Dan Richards), Midnight, Quicksilver, the Red Bee, and the Spider - have either participated in some of the FFers adventures or have been included in team pictures.
However, it should be mentioned that theoretically all former heroes published by Quality are potential members of the group. These other two dozen or so characters have been called the Freedom Fighters Reserve Members by some sources and they include:
#711, Blue Tracer, Bozo the Robot (Hugh Hazzard), Captain Triumph, the Clock, Cyclone, the Dragon, the Ghost of Flanders , the Great Defender (Stormy Foster), Hercules, Kid Eternity, Just 'N' Right, Marksman, Merlin, the Mouthpiece, Madam Fatal, the Raven, Spider Widow, the Sword (Chic Carter), Tor, the Unknown (a different character than Neon the Unknown), USA, Wildfire, Wonder Boy, and Yankee Eagle.
David R. Black is Fanzing.com's magazine editor and chief archivist. A big fan of "The Warlord," he has a cat named Shakira and is looking for a girlfriend named Tara....
All characters are DC Comics
This column is © 1999 by David R. Black.
Fanzing is not associated with DC Comics.
All DC Comics characters, trademarks and images (where used) are DC Comics, Inc.
DC characters are used here in fan art and fiction in accordance with their generous "fair use" policies.
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