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Baby Face: Sept. 1943, Clue Comics #5. (Hillman) Ronald Byrd contributes: Ostensibly "an angelic-looking little man who loves to give charity," Baby Face uses the lure of charitable donations to capture people. Accompanied by a gorilla whom he dresses in clothes and passes off as his mute "brother," Baby Face cages his victims (including the hero Twilight) as his gorilla was once caged, then plans to use a reducing liquid to shrink them. "For years people poked fun at me because *I* was small! Now I'll laugh!" But a blow from Twilight sends the spray toward "Brother," who kills Baby Face in a rage before shrinking into "a small pitiful monkey."

bansheeThe Banshee: 1943, Super-Mystery Comics v3 #5 (Ace). Miner Bridges uncovered a vein of copper on his mine. When a cave-in addled his wits, the local sheriff arranged for Bridges to marry his sister, drove the man insane and then killed Bridges' brother, blaming the miner for it. He sent a deputy to arrest Bridges but had that man killed too. After that, whenever he a posse came calling for the man, his sister would hide him. During other times, the sheriff himself dressed up in a hooded robe and called himself the Banshee leading the townspeople to think the man was a crazy killer. To this effect, in the barn the pair of killers kept several bodies of the men killed. Unfortunately for them, Bridges' son Tommy was part of the hero Buckskin's Liberty Club. Buckskin exposed the criminals and doctors said Tommy's dad would be ok after an operation.

Varna Bari: August 1941, Victory Comics #1 (Hillman).Varna is a bit of a mystery. The British think she's a spy for them, and the Nazis think she's in league with them, helping them destabalize the country Damora through assassination. While the hero the Conqueror manages to thwart the assassination through the possibly willing or unwilling aide of Varna, he isn't sure of her loyalties.

Barlow, James: 1940, Amazing Man Comics #11 (Centaur). This was the incumbent mayor of Pittsburgh in 1940. As crooked as they come when he was overthrown by reformist Jeffery Haines he promptly blackmail Haines to concede his post by threatening to divulge information of sexual improprieties. His partner in this was Bob Fredrickson. His plot was exposed by Prince Zardi and he spent several years in prison.

Barmell, Anton, Dr.: 1939, Amazing Man Comics #5 (Centaur). This mad scientist has a fascination with shrinking people. He used his knowledge and technology to shrink an unknown number of people before he shrunk Minimidget and Ritty. He promised to restore Minimidget to his normal size in return for killing several of Barmell's relatives (for the inheritence). After Minimdget was captured by the F.B.I., he turned on Barmell and helped them capture the madman.

The Baron: 1944, Captain Flight #4 (Four Star). Chief of foreign spies and after plans for a new torpedo. The Baron shows himself to be technologically gifted, able to quickly cobble a device to control the torpedo from a distance. His endeavors at sabotage come to naught as he's captured by Ace Reynolds, thus not as great a fighter as inventor.

Baron Blue: 1944, Scoop Comics #8 (Chesler). Baron Blue is a ruthless and crafty criminal. A master of disguise, no one really has a clear description of him. In his first appearance, he appears as a slightly portly middle-aged man in top hat and suit to match and dark glasses. Underneath his bulk, he's powerfully strong. He manages to escape the Law even after he's shot and partially gassed by ether. Policewoman Dolly O'Dare manages to catch him in the second story in the comic and he seems destined for the electric chair.

Baron Doom: Captain Battle Comics (Lev Gleason). Doom is a masked costumed Nazi who was after a treasure hidden by pirate Captain Kydd. Baron Doom raced around the world hunting up clues and fighting Captain Battle and Hale all along the way. Unfortunately, I only have one reprint of this multi-issue storyline.

Baron Doomsday: 1944, All Great Comics (nn) (Fox). In the late 1700s, there were three Du Mont brothers. Raoul, possibly the oldest, was a dwarfish hunchback, twisted in mind and body and was thus committed to an asylum. The exact relationship in age and the first names of the other two are unrevealed. One brother married and had two children, Claude and Marianne who grew up to have friends in government and is presumably dead at the start of the story. The other though has title and lands, though whether they are the hereditary or granted because of past favors is unknown. However, because of his cruel ways, he is known to the people as Baron Doomsday. He is planning rebellion against the government and his niece and nephew's connections could prove valuable so he summons them to the castle. He sets free from the dungeon his brother Raoul in order to force his relatives to cooperate and/or kill them. Coincidentally, on this night the people of the land rise up and rebel. The Baron hopes to use Lady Marianne as a shield, but Claude at the front of the group first kills Raoul and then the Baron.

Baron Kraft: 1940, Silver Streak Comics #4 (Lev Gleason). German ace who led a blitzkrieg raid in Poland that killed the pregnant wife of Paul Storm. This led to Storm adopting the identity of the Sky Wolf (I).

Baron Satakai: 1945, Green Hornet Comics #22 (Harvey). Satakai is a leader of the Black Dragon Society operating in the US. He's duped into thinking that the Green Hornet is working with him and they contact each other through ads in Britt Reid's paper using “Box 312” as code. This way, the Green Hornet is able to keep tabs on what the Japanese agents are up to. A recurring menace for the Hornet as  he walks the line of his act as both criminal and traitor in order to destroy them from within. He is mortally wounded in 23 and in #24, his son vows to his dying father to get revenge on the Green Hornet. He does so by disguising himself as Green Hornet and carrying out acts of sabotage. Eventually the Green Hornet realizes his foe is Japanese and tracks him to the lair of the Black Dragon Society and almost has him captured when the police arrive and he leaves Satakai to the police. However, Satakai has done his job too well damaging Green Hornet's name and the police thinking he's the Green Hornet, shoot and kill him. When they discover he's Japanese and has papers identifying him as “Count Satakai” they figure the whole thing out, though Mike Axelford is bummed out that it means the real Green Hornet is still at large.

Baron Schlang: This bald german agent was captured and put into an asylum by the Halo. He is visited by the "most eminent criminologist in America", a bald cherubic clergyman known only as the Bishop and confides to him that he is working on an encyclopedia outlining every crime committed by human hands and that the last volume will be dedicated to the murder of Love, Music, and Religion that he plans on committing himself. He escapes from the asylum and sets out to make good on his promise. Only he runs afoul of the Halo once again. Note: the Halo himself is an interesting and obscure hero. He's tall and lean and basically the Spirit only with a mustache. However, his secret identity is that of the short bald and pudgy Bishop!

Baron Siva: 1941, Big Three #4 (Fox). On one hand Baron Siva is just another of a long line of bald madmen and would be conquerors that crossed Samson in the pages of this comic. On the other hand he visibly stands out with a large bulbous head (in a globe at one point) and a wiry body weaing a see-through shirt. He kidnaps the members of America's "Defense Board" to force her to surrender. He has various super-weapons like a small paralyzer ray gun. He is actually captured alive by Samson and David.

Baron Von Kampf: 1939, Speed Comics #1 (Harvey). Baron Von Kampf is an evil genius aiming to take over the world. He is able to invent ray guns and other diabolical devices such as a large ray machine that shuts off airplane motors and their radios. He also has a knack of getting armies of men to follow him. He looks a bit like Dr. Sivana only with extremely pointed ears and a military styled outfit. A step above many villains in that he appears in several early issues, his plans routinely foiled by Shock Gibson. He returns in issue 11, teaming up with the master villain Comrade Ratski from issue 10. At this point, Von Kampf is hiding out in the Florida everglades. He has command of an army of "zombies" (See under their own entry). They are unable to outfight Shock Gibson and the duo's plans stopped again by Shock Gibson, it looks like the end for them as the pair are surrounded by alligators.

Baron Von Twotree: 1942 Cat-Man Comics #15/16 (Termerson/Helnit/Continental). He looks a bit like the Superman foe, the Toyman. Short and rotund and tends to use deadly practical joke type props to commit his crimes and acts of sabotage as a Nazi agent. He prefers his tricks and cunning over force and is known as "the man who fought with fun."  He has candy that is a fast acting adhesive and thus will cement a person's jaws and throat shut, a traveling bag full of rocks, a gas loaded top hat, a chloroformed pile of hay in which to drop a victim. He also has an autogyro which he can fly. He is opposed by Cat-Man. NOTE: He appears in a last panel blurb of #15 but 16 is his first actual story.

Baroness Blood: Air Fighters Comics (Hillman) Buxom blonde Nazi villainess in red costume with a white swastika on her chest and a purple cape. Foe of the Black Angel.

Baroness Von Elsa: 1941, Prize Comics #13 (Feature Publications). With a dim-witted giant and cunning dwarf named Hugo and the Imp, she went after a formula that increased the power of explosions. However, she ran afoul of the Green Lama. She and her minions survived a mighty explosion to return the following issue and were poisoning senators. Again, they faced off against the Green Lama. They are apparently killed in a car crash.

Baroness Von Hohenlinden: 1941, Wings Comics #7 (Fiction House). The Baroness is part of the Greek Fifth Columnists, trying to spread panic amongst the Greek people. She's captured by Greek troops thanks to the efforts of Tom Slade of the Phantom Falcons.

Baroni, John: 1941, Shadow Comics v1#11 (Street & Smith). The Hooded Wasp and Jim Martin are invited to a costume party by a friend, Doc Johnson. It turns out that Johnson had received a threatening note and wanted the Wasp to look into it. After the first murder by a knife, the Hooded Wasp and Jim find themselves up against a killer with deadly aim and incredible agility. When Jim is captured, the Wasp looks into those that had already been killed and realized they were all on the jury that convicted Killer Baroni and sentenced him to death. Capturing this new murderer, he stands revealed as Baroni's son and is a circus acrobat and knife thrower (his missing Jim with his knife throws may be attributed to him not wanting to kill someone that had nothing to do with his father's death). He bites down on a poison capsule rather than go to jail. A colorful villain in his hat, mask and topcoat and able to go toe to toe with the heroes thanks to his incredible skills, a shame that he didn't take on a colorful name or make a return appearance.

Oliver Barron: Anthony Durrant writes: This murderous crook was the partner of a criminal known as Joltin' Joe, and together they hatched a scheme to put empty cargo cases onboard the ships that Barron insured in his capacity as an insurance agent, then Joltin' Joe would place an explosive device on the target ship and then skedaddle in a boat with his henchmen before the ship exploded. They were stopped by Luckyman, real name Frank Parr, a crook-catcher with incredible good luck who flipped a coin whenever he had to make a decision, but who was also a talented fighter as well. NOTE: Normally, this bio and criminal wouldn't interest me too much as the villain seems your common variety criminal. However, what we do have is a noteworthy hero. One, I've not heard of the guy. Two, he also reminds me of the 2 heroes named Lucky Coyne, one who was at MLJ and another by the Chesler Studios. Could this be another re-working of the same character, a not too uncommon practice ala Dan Hastings? And is there any link between them and the coin flipping bad-guy Two-Face?

Block Buster Barton: 1946, Black Cat #2 (Harvey). “Flash! Block Buster Barton, public nuisance number one, and his desperate mob, public nuisance number two, three, four and five — are at large! “  Block Buster and crew are criminals, a bit dim-witted and though talented at escaping prison, they are shortly incarcerated again. One of their crew, Ape, is either an ape dressed in a man's suit and they don't know different or he's just pretending to be an ape. Either way, when the rest go to jail, he goes to the SPCA! In their second appearance, they are joined by Pop, a crusty old sailor.

The Bat: 1941, Cat-Man Comics (Holyoke). This masked and cloaked villain started a huge fire in the American west in order to gain control of a gold shipment in the small mining town of Red Creek. He's a cool customer, even when he attempts his escape from 'Chute' Harmon by running into the flames. Even the next issue blurb wasn't sure if we'd seen the last of the Bat.

Bats: Air Fighters Comics #6 (Hillman). A Nazi plane crashes into a cave in a English petrified forest. When Defense Police investigate they find only skeletons of the pirates and giant man-sized bats. Soon these giant bats are terrorizing production factories. The Black Angel investigates to find the skeletons were planted and human faces underneath bat masks. When they take to the air with bombs, she follows in her plane and shoots them down. Dead, they reveal their secrets, Nazi agents in costumes with small helicoptor rotors strapped to to their batwinged costumes.

Bat-Winged Fiends: (Street & Smith) Germans shell the paradise island home of Astron and accidentally release the bat-winged fiends. These demons of superstition first do battle with the Germans and then with Astron, her boyfriend "Man of the sky" pilot Cassidy, and her large crocodiles. The demons are nearly invulnerable, it was only by drowning them that the crocs were able to finish off many of them.

Beast: 1941, Weird Comics (Fox). Bug-eyed, hooded villain with an iron claw for a right hand. Recurring foe of the Eagle.

The Beggar King: 1946, Red Seal Comics #18? (Chesler). A large powerfully built man with long red hair and spiked beard, he builds an organization of criminals and is not above a little murder and mayhem himself. He's captured by the Black Dwarf.

Spats Bertelli: (Better) Anthony Durrant writes to me: His claim to fame is that he underwent plastic surgery to impersonate Grant Mannering, the brother of the deceased millionaire Hector Mannering, in order to profit from the sale of Hector Mannering's business to a worldwide aviation firm owned by the U.S. government. Unfortunately, he was stopped by the American Eagle, at which point it was revealed that he had killed Hector Mannering by drugging him during a business conference and injecting an air bubble into a vein. After the surgery, he looks just like Grant Mannering, but you can tell him apart because he dresses in a green suit, while the real Grant Mannering dresses in an old brown suit and has a triangle birthmark on his left shoulder, a means of identification used by Hector Mannering in his will, so that his brother could be identified if he was ever found.

Big Bertha: 1949, Guns Against Gangsters v2 no1/no7 (Novelty). Anthony Durrant writes us: A tall redhead, Big Bertha was the world's strongest woman.  When her manager, E. J. Hodes, caught her in the act of stealing from the studio, Big Bertha murdered him with her bare hands, but left a teacup with her blue lipstick at the scene of the crime.  The detective Toni Gayle discovered the murder when she came in for an audition.  Big Bertha overpowered Toni when she sneaked into her dressing-room, and forced her to go with her to a nearby park, where she planned to kill Toni.  Toni, however, had smeared Bertha's blue lipstick all over the sole of her shoe, and so her friends were able to follow them and stop Bertha from killing Toni. 

Professor Bixby: 1945, Four Favorites #17 (Ace). The professor is an expert on Mayan cultures and has gone a bit insane. He secretly dresses in priest's robes and leads a cult, convincing them that he's descended from the sun god and conducting human sacrifices of young women. However, when he tries to execute Isobel Blake who is secretly Lightning Girl, the cult turns on him, thinking she's the true descendent.

Black Axeman/Hooded Axeman: 1942, Ranger Comics #3 (Fiction). The Black Axeman is a Nazi executioner who is working for the Super-Brain and thus opposed by his enemies the Rangers of Freedom. For some reason, he wouldn't execute Ranger Girl unless she was in a dress. It was a moot point, as the Rangers escaped and stopped him. He wore a long white robe with a skull on the chest and a cowl that left his face exposed

Black Band: 1936, Spicey Detective Stories (Culture Publications, Inc.). A band of crooks identified to each other by a ring with their secret symbol. When they murdered one of their own, they must send a member to retrieve the ring from the body. But he runs afoul Sally the sleuth and her chief.

The Black Baron: Airboy Comics vol. 9 #9 (Hillman). 200 years ago, a ship was built using the trees from the Wassau swamp in Poland to take colonists to the new world. The captain of the ship was a baron and he had no intentions of taking them to be colonists but to sell them into slavery. He made several slave runs and when that trade dried up, he turned to piracy. The years past and the crews were replaced but the Baron and his ship endured as have the stumps from which the timbers have come. It turns out that it's the same swamp that gave birth to the Heap and he is drawn to the ship of evil and finds it and its evil captain in North Africa, now operating as a prison ship in the hire of Arabs. The Black Baron and the Heap fight across the ship, until a lantern sets fire to the ship and both fall into the waters. With the ship's death, the Baron also dies. Back at the swamp, wildflowers start to grow where the stumps once stood.

Black Buzzard: 1942, Super Mystery Comics v3n2 (Ace). A hunchbacked saboteur and expionage agent. Had a poison that could skeletonize those that ingested it. Stopped by Buckskin.

Black Crow: 1940, Fight Comics #6 (Fiction). In the modern American West, Black Crow is a renegade and murderer, having killed five men. He's skilled at tracking and masking his trail, a wily fighter, and either has a trained bear or able to call animals to his aide with a call of "ooee". He also carries a knife and gun and isn't shy about using either. Despite all of this, he's captured by touring jungleman turned boxer Oran.

Black Death: 1940, Thrilling Comics 10 (Better). Originally a costumed murderer in a play by the same name, it appears as if jealous actor Perry Knight has turned the role into reality by shooting his rival and kidnapping actress Linda Lytell whom he loves. The Woman in Red catches the real Black Death, Mr. Weber. The Black Death dresses in a black form fitting costume head to foot with the emblem of a skull on his chest.

The Black Doom: 1942, Wonderworld #33 (Fox). The Black Doom is a saboteur in the service of the Nazis. He who wore a black hood, and sometimes a black robe over his suit. He had a burrowing machine called a "Land Torpedo" which he used to burrow into mines so he could set dynamite charges to blow them up. He almost succeeds in permanently injuring Flame Girl. He is apparently killed, burned to death when the Flame uses his fire powers to destroy the Land Torpedo.

The Black Dragon: 1941, Silver Streak Comics #10 (Lev Gleason). The Black Dragon and his Deaglos (bird-men) are foes of Captain Battle. One of his Deaglos, was an orphan named Nathan Hale, who when cured became Captain Battle's sidekick. He is "the last word in evil sorcery, bewitches all prisoners into these giant Deaglos. In his feudal castle in Asiatic mountains, this incarnation of evil rules as an absolute tyrant. He chafes at any form of freedom for others, hence his sworn enmity against all democracies. The Asian powers are but a front for him and having failed miserably to even dent our cousin's navy, he is taking a hand by sending a division of Deaglos. Black Dragon having used the spirit of an extinct bird, the dodo, for these transformations, the Deaglos are proof against physical death, as we know it. They laugh at the sailors' efforts to shoot them. Deaglos retain their human speech and thought but are completely dominated by him." Deaglos are giants about 20 feet tall with yellow bird like faces, bulging red eyes and green beaks but pointed ears and a few of the nastier ones have red crest-fins. They have blue-gray wings and feathers about the shoulders and chest but human torsos otherwise. The Black Dragon himself is a very normal looking man in red robe and skull cap. Captain Battle discovers the Deaglos can be killed simply by radio beams, but the Black Dragon himself escapes. Created by Carl Formes & Jack Binder

The Black Dragon Society: In the comics: The Black Dragon Society was a feared secret society of Japanese espionage group and several comic characters and groups would clash with them such as the Justice Society of America. A group of them faced Captain Future in Startling Comics #18.

Neper: 1944, Speed Comics #31 (Harvey). In India Neper is the right-hand man of the Majarajah of Bahjur. He is also head of a local contingent of smugglers and Japanese 5th columnists. Pat Parker and her girl commandoes bring his operation to an end. Neper had a large black dragon tattooed on his chest.

Mr. Kato: 1942, Startling Comics #18? Japanese Scientist and mastermind passes himself off as Korean and hires Grace of the Agatha Detective Agency to procure a rare chemical called Extron that can be used to make things grow such as a small lizard to a huge dragon like beast. However, he didn't count on Grace's boyfriend secretly being the hero Captain Future and when Mr. Kato threatens to throw Grace off a cliff, it's he that goes to his doom.

Black Fury: 1947, Zoot #9 (Fox) In the jungles, Taho and her mate Umar are aware of gold in the local river and plot for ways to chase off the village. They almost succeed by somehow bringing in killer octopi, but Rulah manages to uncover Umar's part in it and he's given to jungle justice, death at the hands, er, tentacles of his pets. Taho flees into jungle and uses other old talents she has. She's a descendent of a cult of cat worshippers who could speak their tongue and command them. She adopts a costume and with a group of panthers, tries to rid the jungles of Rulah's influence. However, Rulah is forewarned by an old witchwoman, and she manages to outwit and outfight Taho by using fires caused by an erupting volcano to scatter her pets. Taho is flees past the fires to escape and is last heard as her beasts turn on her. Oddly, in this jungle, all the women seem to be young, beautiful and white, except for the old witch woman. Jungle girl vs. jungle girl.

The Black Hawk Gang: 1942, Dynamic Comics #3 (Chesler). In a remote town untouched by modern civilization, the people still live as if it was the 18th Century, where people wear tri-cornered hats and use horse and carriages. They are terrorized by a gang of crooks, murderers, highwaymen and torturers. Into this town wanders the modern day heroes the Green Knight and Lance. They stop for food and rest at The Golden Swan, run by the portly Mr. Beebee. They hear of the gang and its doings from Jane Smith, a woman just blinded by the gang and whose fiance John Muggs was killed. A rich couple turned away from the inn and the innkeeper putting a light in the window has the Green Knight suspicious and he and Lance are just in time to save the couple from being waylaid on the road. They capture the gang and get from them a confession that Beebee is head of the gang. They get to the inn and Beebee flees upstairs and hangs himself. The blind woman is left in the cair of the rich couple, and Beebee's wife Meg will inherit the tavern. The Green Knight ruminates on how civilization will make it through the mountains and to this town some day. NOTE: More than likely, this was originally a period story and retrofitted for the Green Knight.

Black Hood: 1940, Fantastic Comics #13 (Fox). Karl Wolff heads up the Black Hood organization, a group of 5th Columnists. His plans of sabotage are stopped by Yank Wilson and his plane is shot down by Wilson. Wolff and his men wear identical black masks and costumes. Wolff is differentiated from the others by his mustache and a skull over crossbones in a red circle on the chest. NOTE: While the strip started off in the future, by this point in time, it had all the earmarks of being contemporary to the times published.

The Black Legion: 1941, The Flame #7. (Fox). In an ounderground temple outside of town, meets the cult known as the Black Legion. It's members wear long hooded robes while the leaders, the Master and his lieutenant, have skull-like masks. Each initiate swears to serve “for the Legion and the Master” and cuts a “D” on their chest as the symbol of death. Investigating this case is how the Flame meets up with Linda Dale and Pug, though he keeps his other identity a secret from them at the time. Linda's own aunt is the second in command. The Master is a man named Cranson and the whole scheme was to milk money in the form of dues and sales of robes and such.

Black Master 1: 1940, Super-Mystery Comics v1 #1 (Ace). This robed Black Master is a pirate with his own submarine. His lair is on a private island with a tunnel/cave. Captured by Vulcan.

 

 

 

Black Master II: 1942, Captain Courageous #6 (Ace Periodicals). The Black Master is a bit more than your average 5th Columnist. He kidnaps a young girl to force her older sister help steal military defense secrets. Meanwhile in his laboratory, he develops a death ray that he alone is immune to thanks to the protective robes he wears. He even destroys the defense plans he went through great efforts to have stolen, just to show his disdain for America. He apparently falls to his death off a cliff while fighting against America's newest hero, the Sword.

Black Mayor: 1942, Captain Courageous #6 (Ace Periodicals). The Black Mayor uses a gang of hooded men and extortion to get money from honest German Americans to be sent back to the homeland. Captain Courageous captures and unmasks him as Max Gort, a neighbor of Collins, one of his victims who had been working with the deceased Senator High in gathering evidence of the villain. He uses a poisonous dart gun to kill traitors but otherwise pistols and machine guns is fine with him.

Black Ned's Ghost: 1941, Thrilling Comics #12 (Standard). Beneath the mansion of elderly Phineas Steele is a large cavern in which legend tells of hidden treasure guarded by the ghost of the pirate Black Ned. Steele's nephew Douglas Long and his wife Eileen are visiting their uncle and second cousin Arnold who takes care of the old man. While the cousins are exploring the cave, Arnold disappears with a yell and Douglas thinks that his uncle had something to do with it, the legend being complete hogwash. Peggy Allen aka the Woman in Red is sent to investigate under the cover of being a nurse for Uncle Phineas. She soon discovers the ghost legend has substance and the uncle's actions are suspicious. However, in the end, it is Arnold who is unmasked as Black Ned.

black phantomBlack Phantom: 1939, Popular Comics #46 (Dell). A pilot first believed dead in Flanders and then taken to an insane asylum, he's shooting down planes and paints a black skull and crossbones on the metal wreckage to identify his kills. He has 77 to his name and in his insanity thinks the War is still going on. He's shot down by the Masked Pilot, but survives the crash.

 

Black Priest: 1944, Red Dragon Comics #9 (Street and Smith). 2000 years ago, a black priesthood sect died out in ancient Egypt save for one who was condemned to death by Queen Hat-Shet-Sup but managed to stay alive (though very old) by the book of Thoth. Active once more in modern times, he has Hitler calling him master, controls a gang of crooks, and possesses the Pool of Life. The pool shaves years in seconds and he duels with Chuck Ro-Magnon, the Immortal Man in the pool. But the Black Priest does not realize that the Immortal Man is far older than he and by story's end he's reduced to a baby though still possessing his adult mind. In addition to vast mind powers (able to read minds, control others at great distances) he possesses some magical knowledge, even able to call forth phantoms to fight for him.

black pumaBlack Puma: 1942, Four Favorites #7 (Ace).This costumed criminal headed up a gang utilizing slave labor, making counterfeit doped cigarettes, all on the behalf of Uncle Adolph. He had a lair that was full of death traps as well as using a hospital ship as a front for growing his dope plants. Defeated by Magno and Davy. Despite this apparently being his first appearance, Magno & Davy seemed to know him from before and indicated that before he did not work for the Nazis.

Black Rufus: 1940 Keen Detective Comics #21 (Centaur). This was a criminal in control of a part of New Orleans. He was the first villain encountered by the novice mystery man, Rainbow. He swore vengeance on the Rainbow after he and his men were run out of town.

Black Samurai: 1945, Green Hornet Comics #24 (Harvey). Deadly Japanese saboteur and handy with a sword is after secret plans in Calcutta. However, he and his men are stymied by Spirit of '76, his pal Tubby, and Hindu detective Ras Singh. He apparently falls to his death from a tower into the waters below while fighting the Spirit of '76.

Black Satan:1942, Startling Comics #16 (Standard): Billed as the "arch-enemy of America." He looked like a devil: bald head, goatee, horns and a black suit. He bedeviled the kid gang the Four Comrades and even responsible for bringing them together to begin with. Not above using a gun.

The Black Terror: 1942, Dynamic Comics #3 (Chesler). Completely unrelated to the Nedor hero, the villain dresses in a dark suit, cape and domino mask. He's a murderous saboteur and kills Detective Dick Starr (stabs him in the back and then blows him up real good). The dog K-9 is wounded but heals enough to track down the Black Terror who had managed to join the army in efforts to avoid the cops. He's killed by his own bomb, thrown back at him by the heroic dog.

The Black Terrorist: 1941, Yankee Comics #2 (Chesler). The Black Terrorist engages in acts of sabotage and destruction, first lulling the guards by regularly appearing as a harmless old blind man and then gaining admittance past the gates. He's stopped by the kid gang Young Americans.

The Blitz: 1941, Wonderworld Comics #21 (Fox). Murderous criminal mastermind with an eye patch over his left eye. He had two loyal and equally murderous henchmen by the name of Geepy and Slug. He fought the Black Lion and Cub continuously for their six issue run.

Blitz II: Fighting Yank #5 (Better). A group of German saboteurs, practicing their craft in the Alps, uncovered a cave with their dynamite. Out of this cave came a blonde giant, a prehistoric man trapped in there for centuries. The long time in sub-zero temperatures made him bigger, stronger and made his body radiate intense cold. After slaying several of the Nazis, he falls under the sway of the leader Glunken who recognizes him as a German even if a prehistoric one. It is Glunken who gives the giant the name of Blitz. Glunken takes him to America to perpetuate several acts of sabotage but they were ultimately stopped by the Fighting Yank.

Blitz III: 1941, Fight Comics #16 (Fiction House). Bald German agent after a special invention and he hires the crook the Smiler and his gang to steal it and kidnap the inventor. He has several inventions already such as a device that fires lightning bolts and a small tear-gas gun. It is unrevealed whether these are inventions he stole or ones he invented himself. His plans are stopped by Captain Fight.

The Blitzer: 1941, Speed Comics #15 (Harvey). Blitzer hates publishers and intends to torture and kill them. Disguised as an organ grinder, he sends a trained monkey with a dagger to stab Don Wright and drug him. Before he can carry the drugged man off, the Young Defendersintervene. Revived, Don changes to Captain Freedom and tracks the Blitzer down. The Blitzer employs an army of thugs and manages to capture the hero and the boy Defenders. Luckily, Joanie is still free and she manages to free Captain Freedom who rescues the boys and stops the Blitzer. The Blitzer is mortally wounded by the axe of his "Pit and the Pendalum" death trap he had the boys in.

Prof. Blitzsnozzle. Foe of Dickie Dean. Created by Dick Briefer.

The Bloody Baron: 1940, Wonderworld Comics #10 (Fox). In the year 1123, the Baron Rarek returned from the wars to his small duch of Morziava a changed man. Once kind and just, he was cruel and selfish and called "the Bloody Baron". He levied outrageous taxes and imprisoned beautiful women in his castle until the citizens overthrew him and burnt him at the stake. Before he died, he swore to return once each year at a full moon and take from the village the most beautiful maiden and it came to pass. Until now, when Yarko is travelling through and meets up with a young couple, Albert Deach and Sonya Miran, a native of the country. The young man's father being scientist Dean Deach, a man Yarko knew years earlier in Tibet (an odd tidbit to include, although it serves to establish for the rest of the story that Yarko is known as a magician). With night falling, they take seclusion in a castle which happens to be the Baron's and he's in residence with ghosts of his faithful soldiers. The Baron kidnaps Sonya, and Yarko pursues him to the realm between life and death (using one of the Baron's own swords to guide him) and he manages to outfight the Baron's men. Fighting the Baron, he calls forth women of many nations, women that the Baron had murdered and then the furies themselves to dispatch him fully to the land of the dead and to walk the realm of the living no more.

Blue Spark: 1940, Super Mystery Comics #2 (Ace). The Blue Spark was a scientific genius with a criminal streak. He invented a burrowing machine, a mighty ray gun that he could mount on top of cars or his burrowing machine and melt solid steel with it, and an electronic brain machine that he could hypnotize others, with which he built a criminal gang. It might be argued that he was running out of ideas when he also created inflatable rubber suits for his gang, when filled with air it made them almost impervious to the mightiest blows of the hero. 'Course, the villains couldn't actually run around inflated constantly and it took tanks of air, hardly an instantaneous tactic. He uses these devices to get people under control, rob banks, and extort industrial magnates. He is eventually captured by Magno who is able to release the hold on the victimes by overcoming the electrical hypnosis with his magnetic powers. The Blue Spark wears a dark blue tights suit covering his body but his eyes and hands with what looks like a crown underneath his mask. His men wear a light blue version, red trunks and a yellow circle on their chest where the valve is to fill the suits up with air.

The Boar: 1942, Daredevil Comics #8 (Lev Gleason). Foe of London. Created by Jerry Robinson.

Bogardus: Yankee Comics: 3 or 4 (Chesler) See Gorgon's Head entry.

The Bolt: 1942, Daredevil Comics #9 (Lev Gleason). "The Champion of Crime", the Bolt is in reality Flash Farnum, an Olympic Decathalon champion. However, Flash is a bully to the point that he couldn't find work and would get hired and fired in one day. He turns to a life of crime where his incredible athletic skills make him a formidble adversary of the Law. Even Daredevil has a tough job apprehending the crook (indeed when Daredevil was just plain Bart Hill and a junior in High School, Farnum had beaten him senseless). He kidnaps Tonia Saunders on a train in order to make good his escape but gets his foot caught in the tracks. Unable to save both, Daredevil rescues the girl while Bolt is run over by the train. Bolt wore no costume but seemed adept at staying in the shadows, and his athletic prowess along with his ruthless nature aided in his avoiding capture by the police. This tale may not be "true" as it's told by Bart Hill to a group of kids including one tough bullying kid to educate him on the sad life of bullies and the backstory of Bart in school does not jibe with either of his origins.

Borcia: 1941, Cat-Man Comics #3 (Helnit Publishing Co). A great inventor whose mind snapped and dreamed of ruling the world. He created the huge robot Najar (also spelled Najor) and captured the powerful Dr. Diamond. However, his step-daughter turns against him and frees Diamond who destroyed the powerful robot and captured Borcia.

Borgo: 1940, Big Three #1 (Fox). When Fred James fires Borgo for stealing radium, he vows revenge on him and his scientist brothers. Borgo recruits a gang and through a powerful mirror reflecting sunlight, manages to cause accidents killing three of the brothers. He captured Joan Mason who was writing stories about the James brothers' murder and took her to his lighthouse lair. Borgo was deranged, not above killing his own henchmen to keep them from talking, torturing the final two brothers and trying to kill Joan by tying her to a large drum to kill her with its vibrations. She and the brothers were rescued by the Blue Beetle who captured Borgo and the survivng members of his gang. Borgo used the lighthouse and mirrors to cast blinding light and carried a reflective mirror shield.

Boro: 1941, Star and Stripes #2 (Centuar). Boro is the leader of the Great Question's underground army. This army is one of monsters. Gray, they look a bit like rats only the heads are borderline human with long prehensile trunks like elephants. Boro himself is able to grow to a story or two high and is a physical match for Amazing Man. Boro and his men are drowned when the Great Question lets the sea in on the underground lair in an effort to kill Aman and the others.

The Boss and the Imp: 1946 or 47, Black Cat #4 or 6 (Harvey) Anthony Durrant writes: The Boss and Imp were two characters who came up against the Red Demon. They would take the butlers of wealthy citizens captive during the Boss's magical disappearing act trick, then Imp would rob the person's home disgused as the butler, after which they dropped off the real butler in a dazed condition. The Red Demon caught Imp, and the Boss - a blonde who had the face and figure of an angel - fell to her death from a cliff soon thereafter.

Brain I: 1939, Fantastic Comics #1 (Fox). Referring to himself as the Brain at the start of his attempt to conquer Earth, this villain with a large egg shaped head and little pince-nez glasses is the great Martian scientist Skomah, the 7th son of the great scientist Skomah who wanted to produce an offspring with such a great brain that no problem would be too much. No mention of what happened to his 6 older siblings or if they too were named Skomah. Controlling thousands of Martian Imp Men, he brings Space Smith and girlfriend Dianna to Mars where he intends to make Dianna into a being like him and his queen of the universe.

The Brain II: 1940, Green Mask Comics 3 (Fox). Yes, another villain called the Brain, this one a foe of the Green Mask and Domino.

The Brain III: 1941, Popular Comics (Dell) Sorel, Supermind's "former pupil with the wizard mind, seizes several of Supermind's super-inventions and the man himself in order to commit incredible crimes. He returns at least once to bedevil Supermind and son by stealing the machine that gives Dan Warren his fantastic strength and invulnerability. Each time he is defeated by the superior intellect of Supermind and the powers of his son.

The Brain IV: 1944, Fighting Yank 9 (Better) Anthony Durrant writes to me: He and his fiendish cohorts were based in a captured lighthouse and worked for the Nazias actually a dummy on top of a u-boat, as well as taking prisoners who had strategic knowledge. The brain and his cohorts were eventually stopped by the Fighting Yank, who single-handedly knocked the u-boat into the water and thereby destroyed their operation. Physically, the Brain was just that: a brain in a jar with an entenna on top who did all his gang's thinking, sabotaging the Allied war fleet by jamming the harbour with the explosion of a sailboat that whem, including the plan for capturing the lightship and taking its crew prisoner; they were using the lightship to send false signals and thereby cause further destruction.

Brain of the Robot: 1939, Amazing Mystery Funnies v2#12 (Centaur). This otherwise un-named man seized control of the Electro robot and the generators at the electric utilities exhibit at the World's Fair in his opening salvo at conquest. He used them to attack the crowd via the robot's great strength and throwing lightning into the crowd. The Fantom of the Fair pitted his strength and ability against the robot, saving countless lives and capturing the madman.

Braina: 1944, Planet Comics #33 (Fiction): Anthony Durrant writes: Braina was a man from Jupiter who had lost part of his brain but had gained another one. He was seeking to kill Professor Tora, a delegate from Jupiter who was about to come to Earth to attend a meeting of delegates from all of the planets. To do this, he amputated a prisoner's arms and injected them with a radioactive solution so they would strangle Tora to death once placed in the vicinity of metal. His plan worked, and the amputated arms were substituted for the bomb Tora's secretary was carrying, but, ironically, the man Braina killed turned out to be an impostor who had subdued Tora and taken his place in order to destroy the interplanetary conference. Presumably, Braina himself was captured by the Space Rangers Reef Ryan and Flint Baker

Brima Stone: 1953, Purple Claw #1 (Minoan Publishing). Witch? Demoness? This red-headed beauty was queen of the underworld with hoodlums and demons serving her. Her best demon guardian was her gun. It brought gangsters under her control and she could kill with it any time. Despite this and her ability to appear and vanish in a flash of brimstone, she was brought low by the Purple Claw.

Sam Broot: 1940, Jungle Comics #2/3 (Fiction). Anthony Durrant writes us: "Sam Broot was a small-time gangster from Chicago who killed a man and had to flee the country.  He travelled to Africa, where he became the Chieftain of a brutal tribe.  A huge man with a potbelly, Broot wore a top hat on his head, apparently as a badge of office.  He burned down the house where Ann Mason lived, which caused her love Ka'anga to go after her.  He defeated Broot after a terrible struggle and was able to remove him as chieftain of the tribe.  The second enemy to ever be faced by Ka'anga, Sam Broot first appeared in Jungle Comics #2." The GCD lists this story as being in #3 but it's not always the most accurate.

Brown Terror: 1946, Sparkling Stars #33 (Holyoke). In the modern American West, the Brown Terror (has an alias as Colonel Holt but doesn't seem to be his real name) is the leader of a murderous gang but he himself seems to take orders from the mysterious XZ who is only mentioned but not seen. His gang is captured by Lank Strong and Gil Little, formerly ace pilots of the Hell's Angels. The Terror is mortally wounded in the final round up.

Baroness Brunhilde: 1944, Catman #23/24 (Holyoke). Baroness Brunhilde is mentioned at the end of Blackout's adventure in #23 as being a threat against the German Underground and even the hero seems to be taken aback.

B'Shini: 1948, Fight Comics #56 (Fiction) Anthony Durrant writes: B'Shini was a legendary giant warrior who was worshipped as a god by a tribe in the territory of Tiger Girl, the jungle crimefighter. He was impersonated by Trader Gregory, a legless trader who used stilts and an elaborate disguise to persuade the natives that he was B'Shini and make them plunder the cargoes of the boats traveling along the cargo lanes. He was stopped by Tiger Girl, who unmasked him, and then was eaten alive by a huge leopard.

bulvoBulvo: 1940, Science Comics #8 (Fox). Bulvo is a leader of a gang and described as being a racketeer. He threatens the city with cutting off its water supply, and thinking they'll quickly acquiesce to his demands. He and his men are blown to kingdom come by their own explosives when trying to kill the Eagle. He's drawn and colored in a way that implies some kind of Asian heritage, but it's not said where his exotic look comes from.

Nadya Burnett: 1944, Super-Mystery Comics Vol. 4 No. 2 (Ace). A beautiful model, Nadya was chosen to model a fantastic diamond necklace. She hires some crooks to steal the diamonds during the show, only to alert the head of the agency anonymously. He then calls Mr. Risk in to guard the diamonds. During the robbery while doublecrossing her crook partners, a large light crashes against her, horribly scarring one half of her face. She now loathes and seeks to destroy all beauty, but is accidentally knocked out a window by Risk and falls to her death.

Butcher: 1941, Wonderworld Comics #21 (Fox). Bald white suited Nazi spy. He's incredibly strong (kills a British agent by throwing a large spear) and able to go toe to toe with the hero London. They had possibly met sometime outside of this story as both hero and villain recognize each other. However, he is outfought by London but is then killed by Tibbets, another undercover German agent because the two were in competition to prove which was Hitler's top operative and was afraid Butcher would now talk.

Torchy Byrnes: 1942, C-M-O Comics #2 (Centaur). Torchy Byrnes heads up a gang of arsonists (natch) and kidnappers. They intimidate Haynes, burning down his various properties and getting a huge share of the insurance money. They kidnap his daughter to insure he'll play fair, but the Invisible Terror makes things too hot for them and they are captured. Torchy has reddish brown hair, a goatee beard and likes playing with matches.