Mystery Men & Women:

The U-V's

  Undercover Girl: 1947, Manhunt #1 (Magazine Enterprises). Undercover Girl is Starr Flagg, who roams the world getting scoops as foreign correspondent for "The Herald". Which is really a cover as she is really an agent for American Intelligence.  Larry is her clueless would-be boyfriend who wants her to settle down. She is smart and cunning, an all-around good athlete.
  Undercover Man: 1941, Captain Battle #1 (Lev Gleason). Phil Barrows is a Homicide Detective and reports to Detective Cassidy at Centre Street Headquarters. What others, even the other cops, don't know is that he's a master of disguise and is the unpredictable Undercover Man. He dresses as an old flower lady, a hardened thug, a rich man about town, and a poor immigrant. While working a case in disguise, he does give his tips to the police as being from Undercover Man, it's not just a generic title.
  Undersea Raider: See "Tom Niles" under "N"
  Unholy 3: 1941, Punch Comics #1 (Chesler). Flash is the dashing hero, Pearl the beautiful lass, and Dale the midget. Talented with quick disguises, they solve crimes. Dale is tough talking and cigar chomping and of course, often has to play the parts of children. For what reasons they do this is unrevealed.
  Unknown: 1946, Four Favorites#21 (Ace). Unrelated to Ace's Unknown Soldier other than he took over that one's spot in the title. The Unknown seemed to be mostly a robed ghostly narrator..
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Unknown Soldier: 1941, Our Flag #1 (Ace). The mysterious Unknown Soldier, nameless though self-described as "the spirit of the boys who died to see that our nation (that is, the USA) shall live forever," shows up wherever things look worst for democracy. He fights for the good guys, naturally. He has superstrength, and flight, and carries a "nitro gun" whose bullets are explosive. He also has a unique power in that he is able to spin himself super-fast to cause and control a tornado.
Un-named (The Ally): 1944, Power Comics #2 (Narrative). This un-named hero took on Hitler and Hirohito, wearing a costume that comprised of the flags of the allied nations. Only on the cover.
Un-named (Bare-knuckles Jack): 1944, Power Comics #1 (Narrative). Above the city in an unfinished building hero and villain meet for a life and death struggle. The odds are on the crook's side. He has a gun and the cops below don't dare shoot lest they hit an innocent man. The hero has only his daring and his fists to bring the man to justice. Only on the cover.

Un-named Lady in Peril: 1952 & 53, Eerie Comics # 5, 9, 13 (Avon). This beautiful woman faced off against a mummy, an eerie ghost, and a skull-headed ghoul. NOTE: Couldn't resist. The three covers all make use of the same drawing of a woman. Inked and colored differently in each case, but from the position of her fingers, the curls in her hair, the line of her collar, the underlying drawing is obviously the same.

Un-named – The Witch: 1945, Lucky “7” Comics #1 (Howard Publications). This pretty blonde woman is being threatened by a man with a type of flame-thrower and the image of a green witch is rising above her in response to the threat. Running down the stairs to the rescue appears to be the Pioneer. But is the Witch friend or foe?
  Uno: 1946, Super-Mystery Comics v6n1 (Ace). Dark-haired Gordon White is Uno is a United Nations Troubleshooter.
U.S. Jones: 1941, Wonderworld Comics #28 (Fox). Jones has no powers, but puts on a patriotic costume to fight crime. He's helped by his friend, the Grumbler. After making a name for himself, he's made a special agent of the Secret Service, reporting only to the chief. He had a few very different costumes, including a hair color change.
  U.S. Rangers: See Rangers of Freedom.
  U.S. Royal: Late 1940s-1950s, Various (U.S. Royal Tires). U.S. is a deputy in Elm City and a mentor to the Elm City Bicycle Club, a group of bicycling youths. Royal's own bicycle happens to be rocket powered which he makes use of to round up bad guys. He's good with a lasso as well. While espouses the virtues of good tires, he doesn't promote safety as neither him nor the kids wear helmets.
  V-22: 1943, Hello Pal #1 (Harvey). V-22 is a clever and observant blond agent. NOTE: Despite the comic being put out by Harvey, the material and characters are ones associated with Chesler.
  V-Agents: 1942, V...- Comics #1 (Fox). Jean Hopper is V-Agent 13 and works with the other V-Agents of Liberty to fight against the enemy menace.

V-Man: 1942, V... Comics #1 (Fox). Jerry Steele was a Yankee ace pilot for Britain on a secret mission dropping an agent of the underground off. He ends up getting captured, tortured and re-captured after a prison uprising. He is rescued by the Czechoslovakian underground and nursed to health by Father Duroc. Duroc tells him of the V-Group and that he's destined to be one of them. Duroc dresses in a red robe with a V on it and Steele takes a pledge to be part of the group when the room is flooded with light and Steele is magically costumed as V-Man. Duroc tells him that he has the powers of the "V-sign", that he's physically and mentally more powerful than others and gifted with endless courage. Back in the States, he forms his own organization of youths in defense of America, the V-Boys Defense Corps. The captain of which is Mickey. He pretends to meek and mild as Jerry Steele who isn't a member of the group which irks would-be girlfriend Ginger Dare who wishes he could be more like V-Man. He has some gadgets including a ring-televisor/radio.

  V-Man II: 1942, Dynamic Comics #3. George Marshall is a young atache to the American Consulate in Czechoslavakia. When his life is saved in the forest by the Slav Malo and he hears the passioned talk about Malo of the fall of the country and the Nazi horrors, Marshall vows to help him and the Victory Movement to liberate Czechoslavakia.As the costumed V-Man, Marshall is a powerful and capable fighter. NOTE: V-Man wears a costume that is instantly identafiable by the Nazis but is not described or shown in this text story.
  Vagabond Prince: Black Cat Comics (Harvey). Dressed like a masked marching band leader, and apt to speak in rhyme, at least half of the time, he and his court go out and fight crime. His court consists of his Chief Justice, a teen-aged lad and the erudite Jester. A Jack Kirby strip.
  Valkyrie: 1942, Air Fighters Comics v2 n2 (Hillman). Lisellotte von Schellendorf is a pilot and agent for the Germans, leading an all-woman squad called the Airmaidens. However when she goes against Airboy, she and her squad change their ways.
Vapo-Man: 1941, Liberty Scouts #2 (Centaur). Bradford Cole is an assistant to Doctor Kreiner and planning on being a great chemist. However, another scientist in the lab is working with the Germans and they blow up the lab which kills Kreiner and transforms Cole into "the chemical man that scientists have been striving to create for ages." As Vapo-Man, Cole can disintergrate matter, fly, grow and expand his whole body or just parts as well as survive explosions. He apparently can be imprisoned in an air-tight container though. Admittedly, he doesn't really come off as the sharpest knife in the drawer in his first adventure.
  Veiled Avenger: 1944, Spotlight Comics #1 (Harry "A' Chesler). Wealthy blonde Ginny Spears follows in the footsteps of the Domino Lady and Lady Luck and puts on a costume to fight crime. Her costume is like a female toreador, red hat, vest, skirt and white top. She's an expert at using a whip and isn't too upset at causing villains to accidentally killing themselves with their own weapons.
  Veiled Prophet: 1941, Miracle Comics #4 (Hillman). The Veiled Prophet is an American in the Middle-East whose studies of the area and people allow him to go undercover, and put down uprisings and such. He wears a the traditionally depicted Arabian robes with a red veil to serve as a mask over his eyes.
  Ventrilo: 1948, Crime Reporter #1 (St. John). Ventrilo, or Ven as his sister Vera calls him, belongs to that subset of talented performers, especially ventriloquists who have given up their stage careers in order to fight crime. Ven is aided in this by his pretty sister and his physician brother, Dr. Fate (no relation). He's a talented detective, fighter and extraordinarily adept at mimicking others' voices and throwing his voice. NOTE: When Chesler went out of business, publisher St. John repackaged some of their characters and stories as new characters. Thus the Black Dwarf became the Blue Monk and in this case, the Echo became Ventrilo (with Cora becoming Vera and interestingly, Dr. Doom becoming Dr Fate).
Viking Carter: 1941, Key Ring Comics #1a (Dell). A young American amateur boxer who gets stranded there during the War so he trains English soldiers how to box while waiting for Germans to invade at a place called "Hell's Corner" and volunteers to help in any way he can. He ends up being integral in throwing back an invasion attempt.
The Voice: 1940, Popular Comics #53 (Dell). Professor Bert Wilson creates a "suit of invisibility" and gives it to his friend, police Detective Jim Brant, who freelances as the invisible man the Voice.

The Voice (II): 1941, Amazing Man Comics #22 (Centaur). Son of circus performers, Dan Lang inherits their talents as well as learning many other esoteric circus skills. So he has great strength, agility, ventriloquism, hypnosis, etc. He's even able to send a telepathic wave to direct the police to the location of crooks. He also carries a special gun that fires knock-out bullets.

In his first appearance, he was a bit more mundane looking, just a hood over his street clothes and he didn't take special pains to stay masked. His powers were simpler but no less fantastic, he had mastered his voice so that he speak either inaudibly or with the sound of a cannon and shatter steel and stone with its vibrations.

Volto, from Mars: 1945, America's Best Comics 116 (Standard), copyrighted 1945 by General Foods Corp. A martian with magnetic powers: his left arm repels, his right attracts and he (and all Martians) recharge by eating whole grain cereals. Needless to say, he's the hero of a one page strip that advertises "Grape-Nuts Flakes" and the Hop Harrigan radio show.



Volton, the Human Generator: 1940, Cyclone Comics #1 (Bilbara/Holyoke). "Guy Newton, brilliant young scientist, discovers the secret of static electricity in the body. He controls its power so well, that he can multiply or decrease it. His device is concealed in a box attached to a chain and welded to him. He calls himself Volton." His first costume consists mainly of street clothes, with a tight v-neck sweater with the letter V on his chest. NOTE: Volton underwent some changes over time, and could possibly be considered different characters. Some sources list one of the Voltons having the unlikely name D. Voltz. In Catman Comics, he had different costumes and was drawn by a young Joe Kubert. This version served as the inspiration for the villainous character of the Battle Axis in The Invaders by Roy Thomas. As by Kubert, Volton seemed to be able to convert his body to electricity (so you see curving lightning bolts with his head or fists attached to one end), stretch like Plastic-Man and travel through and materialize out of various electrical devices including telephones.
Voodah: 1945, Crown Comics #3 (McCombs). Voodah is a jungle lord. What makes him stand out is that in his first adventure, he is colored as being a native. This didn't last long. By issue 5, he was a caucasian on the cover, but still dark-skinned on the inside. Issue 6 and the transformation was done. Drawn by Matt Baker, early noted African-American comic book artist.
  Voodini: 1940, Prize Comics #7 (Prize). Voodini is a Zatarra type magician down to the mustache. He is able to speak his spells normally, spouting gibberish or waving his hands and concentrating. A little unique in that he's helped by the blonde lad Nikki who is his apprentice and can do some of the same magic. Voodini also carries the tocsin ring that alerts him to danger and plans of crime that's afoot.
Vulcan: 1940, Super Mystery Comics V1 N1 through 3:2. (ACE). Vulcan was billed as the descendent of the Roman fire god of the same name. He was the master of flame and heat, had super strength, and could fly when aflame (his flames surrounded him like a corona but he was visible as opposed to being engulfed in flames like the Human Torch). Bullets tended to melt before they reached him when powered up.