Mystery Men & Women:

The P's

  Tommy Paige: 1944, Blazing Comics #1 (Enwill Publishing). Tommy Paige is a Marine Correspondent but is not content to watch others doing the fighting and dying and soon takes the fight to the Japanese himself.
  The Pals of Freedom: 1941, Captain Aero #2 (Holyoke). One of the many kid gang heroes. This one formed by Rusty and included the nonpowered Mickey, Spec, and Peanuts.
panther
Panther: Panther Comics #1. The Panther is from Australian comics, he's one of the many on the international scene influenced by Lee Falk's Phantom. As such, he fights crime in the jungles as well as the cities.
  Panther Woman: see Marga.
  Parachute Patrol: 1941, Wings Comics #1 (Fiction). Tommy, Blimpo and Curly are English Boy Scouts. In issue #11, they gain a smart dog as a fourth member.
  Crash Parker: 1940, Planet Comics #6 (Fiction House). Parker is a two-fisted adventurer, stunt/test flyer and race car driver, who fights against the Martians and other evil members of the planets of our solar system. In issues 6, 7, 8, his name is Barker and possesses the zoom sled and \his first appearance seems to take place in the present day and later appearances in the future. It may be that Crash Barker and Crash Parker are actually two different heroes and strips just making use of similar names.
Pat Parker, War Nurse: 1941, Speed Comics 13-42 (Harvey).
Originally she worked solo and in issue 13, she was sans costume and claimed to do what she did out of love for England. That and other early issues also implied she was English but some sources give her an American origin and not sure when that would have come into being. Later she led a group of women known as the Girl Commandos. They (Tanya, Mei-Ling, Penelope (Penny) Kirk, and Ellen Billings) first appeared in issue 23 and the strip was retitled to "The Girl Commandos" in issue 27 until the end of the strip, issue #42, 1946. The girls would make only one other appearance outside of SPEED COMICS, that was in ALL-NEW COMICS #11, 1945. As part of the Girl Commandos, she quickly gave up her costumed identity. Eventually, she also became a blonde.
  Pinkie Parker: 1940, Miracle Comics #1 (Hillman). Pinkie is a kid cop and detective. He gets adult help from Mr. Shayne (or Shane as it's spelled in the following issue), a young good looking cop.
  Private Parker: 1941, Victory Comics #1 (Centaur). Private Parker has adventures against the bad guys while still in training.
  Page Parks: 1940, Blue Bolt #1 (Funnies, Inc). Page Parks is air hostess on Trans-Air Corporations' international mail flights and helps pilot Chuck Dawson and co-pilot Jim Jennings in various adventures on the new sub-stratosphere plane.
Ted Parrish: 1939, Speed Comics #1 (Harvey). Ted Parrish is a famous Hollywood actor, he also is "the Man with 1000 Faces", a mysterious master of disguise and impersonation. He uses his talents to fight spies and other criminals.
  Pat Patriot: 1941, Silver Streak #10? (Lev Gleason). Pat Patriot is an athletic youth. He and his gang (literally called Pat's Gang) win a game of baseball and his mom brings them Silver Streak comics to read. Basically, an ad. None of his gang are named, but his rival and chief slugger of the opposing team, the Mud Hens, is called "Slugger" O'Toole.
Pat Patriot
Pat Patriot: 1941, Daredevil Comics #2 (Lev Gleason). Patricia Patrios is "America's Joan of Arc" fighting spies and other threats to the country she loves. She has no superpowers beyond her own natural ability. By issue 11, she has raised and is a leader of a woman army for the American forces, her right-hand girl being the blonde Heppy. Her costume, such as it is, wasn't always consistent, in at least one issue it's a white blouse, red cape and a red cap.
  Peace Raider: 1940, War Comics #3 (Dell). Ex-Naval officer but still young, Larry MacIntosh is wealthy, idealistic, and a crack scientist and inventer. He develops Voracetite/Voracitite, a substance that will destroy metal on contact and believes that it will make war be so deadly it will no longer be probable and possible. But, his own country doesn't believe in the possibilities or practicality of it. Trying to trap some enemy agents that are interested only gets him thrown in jail for treason. He escapes to his private island refuge in Alaskan waters where he has a gold mine and has built “Pax”, a large state-of-the-art ship cruiser. He and a crew of like-minded men decide to take to the seas, to use his science to make things too tough for war-mongers. He has an opposite number in the Warmaster.
  Perisphere Payne: 1940, Science Comics #1 (Fox). Perisphere Payne is one of the Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers types.
  "Duke" Peters:1940, Fantoman #4 (Centaur). Duke is of the Colondar Historical Foundation. He and his friend ex-army sargent "Eyes" Wright have travelled to Africa and set up Professor Carter and lovely daughter Joan in "Gorilla Land", a land with many of the normal jungle creatures and some not so normal as giant bat-like vultures and large gorillas with unusual intelligence and a language that the professor has success in partially translating and able to use to communicate with them.
  Pal Peyton: 1940, O.K. Comics #1 (Worth Carnahan). Peyton is an ex-college athlete who inherits a small fortune and so seeks adventure in Latin America. He uses his money to buy and equip a bomber which he uses as a freelance flying fortress and recruits a body of like-minded men to crew it. He forms Pal Peyton, Inc, whose business is to deal in peace and patriotism and the crew are all stockholders. Two of them are college chums “Shadow” Parks and “Brick” Eggers, the others un-named. Miss Dora Walton is their secretary who loves Pal and stows away on their first venture and gets promoted to the Hostess of the plane when her quick thinking saves their lives by throwing a pair of binoculars and beaning the villain.
Phantasmo
Phantasmo: 1940, The Funnies #45 (Dell). After spending 25 years in Tibet studying with the "Grand High Lamas", Phil Anson masters mind and body and returns to the US where he uses his abilities to fight crime. Able to separate his spirit from his body, his spirit takes on solid form, has super-strength, grows to great sizes, fly, and has other abilities as needed by the story. He is assisted by bellhop Whizzer McGee who watches over his body when his spirit vacates it.
Phantom Detective
Phantom Detective: 1933, The Phantom Detective #1 (Thrilling Publications). Bored after the excitement of the Great War, wealthy Richard Curtis Van Loan is challenged to solve a crime that the police were unable to by his friend Frank Havens, publisher of the New York Clarion. Discovering he had a knack at sleuthing and that it filled a void in his life, he devoted himself to learning all that he thought might help him in his new vocation. He's strong, smart, a good shot and such an expert at disguise that even his closest friends cannot recognize him. He uses these abilities to solve the crimes that stump the police. Publisher Frank Havens summons the Phantom (as he's called in the pulps) with a flashing red light from the top of the newspaper offices. Van Loan's girlfriend is Muriel Havens. In the pulps, Van Loan rarely wears the tuxedo and mask depicted on the covers, usually prefering to operate in disguise. Whereas in the comics, he wore the tophat, mask, tuxedo, and cape outfit more often.
phantom falcon
Phantom Falcon (I): 1942, Catman #10 (Holyoke). Chuck Benson is an American soldier of fortune and pilot in England as well as the Phantom Falcon. Whenever, he thinks the Phantom Falcon will be needed, he heads to a cave and swaps out planes and puts on his costume. His black plane is done up as large black bird and wore a slightly different costume, at least in his first appearance. In fact, the stories I've read with him and his costume is different each time. The Phantom Falcon in action. In issue #15, he's captured by the Japanese and tortured. He manages to escape long enough to turn his plane around and crash it into an ammo shed, killing the whole enemy battalion and preventing a large attack on the allies. Thus the Phantom Falcom's story comes to an end, one of the few heroes of the golden-age to die in the line of duty.
  Phantom Falcon (II): as Clipper Kirk, 1940, Wings #1; 1946, as P.F., Wings #68 (Fiction House). Lt. Clipper Kirk commands a black winged air squadron during the War and became the masked Phantom Falcon afterwards.
  Phantom Falcons: 1940, Wings Comics #1 (Fiction House). The Falcons are ace pilots with an underground airstrip and base in Switzerland from where they fight the Axis menace across Europe. They are Tom Slade, Akeley, Dale, Jerry, and Parker. They also man a large bomber with Slade as the pilot.
  Phantom Falcons II: 1942, Ranger Comics #5 (Fiction House). Another group of misfit fliers, this time Jock Sturtevant, Ace Ely, Peg Darnell, John Lovelace, and Bud make up the Falcons. New York sportsman Jock's got the debonair mustache look and keeps falcons around but his legs are amputated below the knees. Ace Ely is one of the first men to ever fly the Pacific but is told to old to now fly in the War. Peg is a woman that resents being relegated to womens' roles and wants the same glory afforded men and a capable flier as well. John is a sailor and flier and he and cabin-boy Bud are shipwrecked castaways who meet up with the Falcons and join. They operate more or less secretly out of a secret base in Australia, their planes emblazened with Falcon insignia.
The Phantom Flyer:1941, Bill Barnes, America's Air Ace #2 (Street & Smith) OR 1945, Contact Comics #5 (Aviation Press).  Colonel Carver is a retired flyer lives near a American Air Command Post of the 18th Bombing Squadron and with the help of Kenny, the one lad who knows his secret, he's able to keep tabs on missions that require the aid of the costumed Phantom Flyer. In his underground hangar he keeps his advanced Shark Plane. In his one mission he encounters giant Nazi pilots. Originally, the shortest of recruits, they were made into 12 foot giants through the science of Von Tramm. In their presumably equally large fighter planes they rout the American pilots, so the Phantom Flyer leaps from his plane to battle them hand to hand. He discovers that the process that increased their physical bodies, weakened their mental capacity and courage. Thus when personally threatened, they leap from the planes to their dooms. Von Tramm manages to capture the Phantom and hopes to make him into a slave also, hoping with his will and courage it won't leave him as deficient but still a loyal slave. With the timely intervention of Kenny, the Von Tramm and his “supermen” are destroyed. Radioing headquarters leaves the Major there a bit confused as he thinks that the Flying Phantom's voice is the same as retired Colonel Carver. In some places, the Phantom shows some superstrength, able to dig his fingers into solid steel as well as fight the giants one on one. Kenny is trained to fly the Shark Plane and proves to be a capable pilot. NOTE: While the title of the strip is “Phantom Flyer” he's called the “Flying Phantom” throughout. I've read the Contact Comics version of the character, but Jess Nevins reports of the one in Bill Barnes which sounds like the same adventure, but with some specific changes (such as the name of the German scientist).
  Phantom Flyers: See Lt. Tom Phillips
  Phantom of the Hills: 1937, Western Picture Stories #1 (Centaur). Masked cowboy keeping justice in the Old West. His brown horse is Thunder. Five years earlier, his kid brother was gunned down by the crook Jed Ravens. When Ravens realizes he cannot outfight the Phantom in a fair fight, he draws a gun. However, the Phantom is quicker and with a shot, Ravens goes over a cliff.
  Phantom Knight: 1940, O.K. Comics #1 (Worth Carnahan). “Prince Philip of Kyle has grown from a wild untamable youth into one of the most ruthless warriors in Central Europe. His strength is that of several ordinary men, his skill with the sword and lance is phenomenal and his horsemanship superb. The only thing, man or beast, Prince Philip cares about is his great white charger ‘Lightning.’” He joins with the Crusades out of boredom from hunting boar and simple jousting than from any sense of piety or patriotism. He willfully kills another knight in tournament and another in wrestling, nor does he later share food he has aplenty with other hungry men, proving him to be a man without mercy or sense of charity. While he finds plenty of fighting and bloodshed leading the battles in the Crusades, he has no sympathy for the cause and deserts. Back home, he engages once more in hunting boar. Only this time, his faithful horse trips and it is he that is slain by the boar. He pleads for mercy from a ghostly figure, and the figure sends him back to Earth to wander and atone for his evil deeds until the account is balanced and he is recalled. “And so began the wanderings of one who men came to know as the Phantom Knight, a ghostly knight riding a ghostly white charger – paying his debt.”
  Phantom Princess: 1940, Amazing Mystery Funnies #20 (Centaur). Slivonia's royal family including the 16 year old Princess Tatanova. is killed by invading Nazis. Her body disappears and shortly aftermembers of the invaders are killed in bizarre way while rumors circulate of a "phantom princess".
  Phantom Ranger: 1939, Wonderworld #3 (Fox Features). See "Tex Maxon"
  Phantom Ranger (II): 1940, Rocket Comics #1 (Hillman). Unlike the more famous Ranger or even the previous Phantom Ranger, this one didn't wear a mask. He did ride a smart white horse named Demon. He wore green cowboy hat, slacks and shirt with rolled up sleeves, and a yellow bandana.
  Phantom Rider: 1936, The Phantom Rider (Movie Serial). Buck Grant dresses head to foot in white and rides the plains of the old west
phantom rider
Phantom Rider II: 1940, Wham Comics #1 (Centaur). This Phantom Rider is also a masked cowboy in the Old West, riding the plains on his horse Thunder. He's also a master of disguise. The colors of his outfit are inconsistant from story to story.
  Phantom Rider III: see "Tex Maxon".
  Phantom Soldier: 1943, Major Hoople Comics #1 (Better). The Phantom Soldier is an origin-less hero fighting in the Pacific Theatre of WWII. He has various powers as the plot requires.
  Phantom Sphinx: 1941, Pocket Comics (Harvey). Mummy of Amron from 4000 BC is revived (this seemed to happen quite frequently in the Golden-Age). He has powers of flight, whipping up windstorms and illusions, and can talk to his dead pharaoh father. His costume consists of headdress, skirt, belts, boot, and cape.
  The Phantom Sub: 1940, Blue Bolt #1 (Funnies, Inc). Professor Blackburn is an elderly inventor who has developed plans for a super sub. When he dies before seeing his dream come to fruition, his assistants Jack Damon and Slim Dugan build the sub though they have attracted the attention of enemy agents. The sub has a water-driven engine that propels the craft 60-100 mph.
  Phara: 1948, Zegra, Jungle Empress #1 (Fox). "In the outer reaches of the Nile rules Phara - part woman, part myth. Keeper of the lions for three thousand years, she is the immortal protector of the temple of Kait and the people who worship at its alter. For those who violate her sacred domain, their fate is death!" Other than commanding lions, she doesn't seem to have any overt powers. She prays to her "brother" the sphinx who is the ancestor of the lions. Kait seems to be either a village or kingdom where the few denizens we see are caucasians.
  Lt. Tom Phillips: 1940, Sky Blazers #2 (Hawley). Phillips is an ace Navy flyer and he and his buddy James  “Jim” Taylor undertake missions to protect US interests. His one published adventure has him travelling under cover to the Dutch East Indies in order to ferret out and put a stop to various destabilizing forces. As their mission is top secret, they communicate to the authorities calling themselves “the Phantom Flyers”. They fly an advanced “mystery” plane that the government reports as being stolen as part of their cover.

The Pied Piper: 1941, Cat-man Comics #3 (Holyoke). This gangster practically runs the city where Steve Prentice works as a lawyer. In fact he has Judge Hayworth in his pocket and the city "has been a relief stop for every thug and racketeer in the country!" Afraid that Prentice might discover the truth, he's framed for bribery and killing his own secretary. What McCann doesn't count on is Steve's resourcefulness. Instead of being captured and convicted, he takes on the identity of the Pied Piper to capture McCann and Hayworth. It turns out Prentice has long had an interest in pipes, and this one is a special one he came across in his travels that apparently has some mystical powers. His outfit was nothing fancy: a suit, glasses, and a floppy hat.

His cases started taking on supernatural tones, fighting voodoo, a werewolf and a vampire in later issues.

  Pioneer (I): 1941, Daredevil Comics #2 (Lev Gleason). When crooks crash their car running off a cliff and into Death Gorge, deepest and most mysterious canyon of Yellowstone, they are pulled out of the mangled wrecky by a husky youth and nursed back to health in his cabin. They take him back to civilization with them and try to con the naïve but strong youth into working with them. However, not liking guns, even taking offense when they killed a bird with one in the gorge, when they use the gun to shoot police, he charges them and beats them up. After capturing them, he collects five grand as a reward. See "Note" below for other Pioneers.
Pioneer
The Pioneer (II): 1945, Witty Comics #2? (Chicago Nite Life News). Described as the spirit of Early American youth that's in all Americans, he has no real name or origin. In a story from 1945, it's evident he's been around for at least 2 years. Quick to action and good in a fight, he also has an electric punch that can stun a room of the bad guys. His dialogue is sprinkled with rustic sayings but he's also at home in a scientific laboratory. PIC NOTE: There is some confusion with this character as I've researched him further. There are at least two other Pioneer appearances, they may all be the same story or 3 different characters. Counting above there's also 1) 1945, Lucky "7" #1 (Howard). 2) 1941, Daredevil Comics #2 (Lev Gleason). However, appearances would suggest that #1 and Witty Comics are the same character if not the same story. GCD's description from Witty sounds verbatim to the story I read. However, the cover of Lucky "7" lists the Pioneer by name and it appears to be him on the cover (although the GCD says it is Punch Powers, Punch is a different character). It's also not inconceivable that this Pioneer is the same as the one by Lev Gleason, only gotten older as the story starts off with him spending two years in school.
Pirate Prince
Pirate Prince: 1940, Silver Streak Comics #7 (Lev Gleason). The "Robin Hood of the seas" sailed the seas of the Caribbean during the Golden-Age of Piracy with his loyal crew. Though technically a pirate, they preyed on the unjust and slave ships. They also made a couple of trips to the 20th Century, once to help the heroes in their battle against Hitler and the Claw.
  Planet Payson: 1940, Planet Comics #2 (Fiction House). Planet Payson is another Flash Gordon riff: he is the pilot and trouble-shooter for Professor Sandow, a scientist and astronomer. In his first adventure, he encounters Hawkmen.
Plymo
Plymo, the Rubber Man: 1942, C-M-O Comics (Centaur). Circus performer, able to stretch his body to great lengths. Not above using lethal force.
  Gail Porter: 1944, Blue Circle Comics #1 (Enwil). Photographer for the newspaper Daily Chronicle/Daily Star that ends up in all sorts of adventures like "The Werewolf of Woonsocket".
Power Man: 1940, Fight Comics #3 (Fiction). Rip Regan wears the power-suit, woven from a chemically treated metal that makes the wearer lighter than air, yet bulletproof. The suit is an invention from his friend, former teacher, and genius chemist, Doc Austin. Doc is also up on other sciences as well, inventing an electric eye that helps keep his lab hidden and safe. He also maintains an "Anti Crime Fund" to back Rip's new career. Rip is helped in his crimefighting by his pal and boxing champ Punchy Bogart. The suit seems to have given him some super-strength as well, as he can easily outfight gorillas and such.
Power Man II: 1940, Fight Comics #4 (Fiction). Lou Fine drew this image of the hero. Colored differently, down to his hair and shown to have strength enough to shatter a car, I have no problem considering the end result being a different hero.
Power Nelson
Power Nelson: 1940, Prize Comics #1 (Prize). In the far future of 1982, Emperor Seng I and his mongol hordes have taken over the world. A group of scientists give Gene West generic superpowers so that he might fight them. After 8 months of fighting Seng and various menaces from space, he travels back in time (issue #9) to 1940 where he becomes a radio commentator. Here he gains a girlfriend in his secretary Lana. He hides his identity by wearing an eye-patch when in civilian mode.
  Ace Powers: 1940, Silver Streak Comics #3 (Lev Gleason). Ace is the top detective in the city's detective squad.
  Biff Powers: Startling Comics (Better). A big game hunter. He sported a pencil thin mustache, smoked a pipe and dressed in white pith helmet, and matching orange (supposed to be tan perhaps?) shorts and short-sleeved shirt when in the field. He went into the wilds for the Carson Circus, accompanied against his better judgment by his secretary Marcia.
  Pat Powers: 1941, Dynamic Comics #1 (Chesler). Pat and his partner Sandy O'Shay are heroic cops of the "radio squad". The strip was called "Calling all cars".
  Prop Powers: 1946, Atomic Comics #4? (Green). Prop is a heroic pilot in the Army Air Corps. Note: Atomic Comics contained reprints from various comics, so unsure of the source of this story or it might be original to the comic. Given the gap around his name in the opening blurb, the story might have featured another character by the same name. There is a Prop Powers that appeared in National Comics, but unsure if the character and story is from there as it doesn't match any listed in the GCD.
  Roy Powers, Eagle Scout: 1937, newspaper strip (Ledger Syndicate). Roy is 17 years old and an adventurous Boy Scout of the Beaver Patrol along with pals Chunky (described as fifteen, fat, and funny), Rocky and their Scoutmaster Jack Stuart and other boys that are needed to fill out a troop.
prankster
Prankster: 1945, Red Circle Comics #1 (Rural Home). Vaudeville magician Michael Morgan foils a robbery with nothing more than a water pistol and a funny mask. So inspired, he uses his props and tricks of the trade to fight crime. See "The Yankee" for another Michael Morgan.
  Inspector Pratt: 1941, Scoop Comics #1 (Chesler). Pratt is of the FBI, but he gets leads from mysterious letters sent to him by someone identifying themselves simply as Ima Citizen.
Presto Martin
Presto Martin: Silver Streak Comics (Lev Gleason). Bill Martin as a child was fascinated with disguises and studied all that he could about them. As an adult, he came up with a special plastic putty that allowed him to quickly disguise himself as anyone he so chose. As Captain of Detectives, he uses his skills as a quick change artist to solve crimes and keep the metropolis safe. His old girl-friend is movie star Kay Kenyon.
  Bob Preston: 1940, Crash Comics #5 (Holyoke). Bob Preston is an American explorer and apparently a bit of an archaeologist as he's hired to lead an expedition to find the tomb of Tut Shah-Hi'Amen along with Professor Dale of the Geographical Society who's to photograph the expedition. Only appearance.
  Prince Otembi: 1940, Mystery Men Comics #10 (Fox). A pygmy pilot (colored caucasian though) in an advanced airplane. He studied at Oxford and thus speaks with an English accent and idioms. Prince Otembi is looking for his old enemy Mahruf-Ali when he comes across Wing Turner and forces him down to make sure he's not his enemy before shooting. While on the ground talking, Otembi is wounded by Mahruf, strafing them from the air. Wing takes him to the hospital and that's pretty much where it ends. NOTE: The first “chapter” of this serial is by Simon & Kirby! Both chapters are short and issue 12 does not pick up from here
zardi
Prince Zardi, the Eternal Man: 1940, Amazing-Man Comics #11 (Centaur). At least 10 thousand years old, centuries past, Zardi was prince of Zandipore. He saw the pyramids in Egypt built, walked with Pharoahs and knows the secret of the sphinx. He saw learned the secrets of Chaldean magic and saw the birth of Hindu magic. He saw Moses part the Red Sea. He has vast wealth in buried treasures and knows magic. While residing in an American hotel, he has his quarters set up in Mid-East themes and wears appropriate clothing and has a servant named Nogi. When called to action to solve some perplexing crime, he dresses in a tuxedo, a cape makes him young again and he carries a magical cane that he can use to cast various spells such as putting a room full of ruffians asleep.
Princess Pantha
Princess Pantha: 1946, Thrilling Comics #56 (Better). Her 9-5 is as an animal trainer and main attraction for the Gates Circus, but she seems most at home in an animal skin bikini having adventures in various jungle locales along with her boyfriend author Dane Hunter. One of many heroes who list among their various talents is a skill at jiu-jitsu.
professor x
Professor X: 1944, Captain Flight #1 (Four Star). Professor X is a noted criminologist who lectures at University about past cases and where crooks slip up.
Punch Powers: 1945, Lucky 7 Comics #1 (Howard). This costumed hero only fought this once. The story is actually a Planet Payson adventure from Planet Comics #7, just re-colored and the names changed. For a comparison and look-see of this adventure, go here.
puppeteer
Puppeteer: 1947, Blue Beetle Comics (Fox). Alan Hale is a puppet maker with a sentient talking raven (who inexplicably looks more like a bald eagle). When trouble arises and the music of Beethoven's 5th is played, Hale turns in to the patriotic hero the Puppeteer. As the Puppeteer, he has super strength and can fly on a red, white, and blue V-beam. The Puppeteer is a reworking - renaming of Captain V.
Purple Tigress
Purple Tigress: 1944, All Good Comics #1 (Fox). Blonde Ann Morgan seens to have it all: wealth, beauty, a group of fawning rich boyfriends. But none suspect that she is that extraordinary crime-fighter the Purple Tigress. Which suggests that her boyfriends are dumb or blind since, like many golden age heroines, she goes to no lengths to disguise her face. Maybe that's why the ladies wore such revealing costumes: to redirect the men's attention from the face. Her costume was a purple cape and bikini. The latter had black stripes hence her name. She is an extremely good fighter and has superior eye-sight especially in the dark, but no hint of anything beyond human limits. NOTE: She is quoted as being "Like her jungle namesake she stalks the venemous (sic) denizens of the wild." Which would seem a bit strange about a character that's seemingly based on Tigers though of a strange hue. The situation though is possibly of a writer too clever for his own good as he failed to tell the artist where the name came from (or maybe it's his own inside joke). Turns out there are in the natural world two types of "Purple Tigers", a rose and a predatory beetle that goes after other insects. Thus her name is not meant to conjure up jungle types like the Black Panther or Tigerman, but more like the Black Canary crossed with the Green Hornet or Blue Beetle. The conjunction of it also being a rose and both possibly being a bit rare, it is a natural name for a heroine and cementing her as a rare beauty indeed.
Purple Zombie
Purple Zombie: 1940, Reg'lar Fellers #1-12 (Eastern Color Printing). Dr. Malinsky and Dr. Hale come up with a fantastic invention that raises a dead man by the name of Zoro with a purple hue. Dr. Kim Hale wants to use the invention to prolong life, but the evil Malinsky wants to use it to create invincible armies of zombies and rule both living and dead. Malinsky shoots and severely wounds Hale but does not realize that there is a mental and moral link with the zombie. The Purple Zombie comes to life and thinking Hale has been killed, hestrangles Malinsky and then hunts down those that backed his research. When Hale recovers, the Purple Zombie recognizes him as master. The two make friends with Professor Elton and his hunchback assistant Chico and the pair get sent through various adventures in the past accidentally through Elton's time machine. Chico dies helping the Professor repair the machine enough to get them back. Hale thinks he can use his zombie making machine to bring Chico back like he did Zoro, but then the truth comes out. Zoro was never dead. He had escaped from prison after being wrongfully convicted and was hiding in the morgue when taken to Hale and Malinsky's lab. The machine didn't bring him from the dead, it just made him purple, gave him great strength and an invulnerability to pain and bullets (though a sufficently powerful enough blow to the back of the head can knock him out, but he can survive electrocution with no trouble). Dr. Kim Hale and Prof. Elton go to work with the government on a new explosive (Manhattan Project?) while the Purple Zombie joins the army after being cleared of all criminal charges which is where the published adventures end. NOTE: This all developed over 12 issues, so the background and story changed over time. The first issue Hale is pretty much assumed dead and the Purple Zombie is said to be amoral. The second, Hale's alive and it turns out the machine had somehow established a moral bond with him and the Zombie who calls him master and then in the 12th, he's not a zombie at all. The Purple Zombie is one of several creations by Tarpe Mills.
Pyroman:1943, Startling Comics 18 (Better). Enemy agent Dizasta, hires a few local toughs to start some fires. Unknown to them, he uses them to distract firemen while he sabotages army warehouses and foundries by starting fires by remote control with a sonic transmitter device. What he doesn't realize, is that friend to the local toughs is the upstanding Dick Martin who tries to stop them. What Martin gets for his troubles though is being arrested for the crimes and ultimately a death sentence, execution by the electric chair. In these days, apparently such trials and sentences are carried out fairly quickly. When he survives as wannabe superheroes and villains are apt to do in the 40s, he puts on a costume and goes after the gang and the enemy leader Dizasta as Pyroman. Why a man who has electrical powers calls himself Pyroman? Maybe he thought it'd mislead the crooks as to the nature of powers?

The stories imply that Martin is still wanted for the crime, though, and has to hide his identity. His superpowers include electrifying his body, forming electric force fields, and shooting lightning bolts.

Pyroman had a good long run, alternating covers with the Fighting Yank on STARTLING COMICS done by Schomburg. He was also late enough that the quality of the stories were pretty good. He cameo'ed in FEM FORCE as part of the Vault of Heroes revived to fight the Dark Shroud as well as part of the Nedor heroes brought out of retirement in TOM STRONG and the Terra Obscura stories where he didn't have too much to do.