Black Marvel

Real Name: Daniel Lyons

Identity/Class: Normal human

Occupation: Socialite

Affiliations: (Golden Age) Man-to (Black Feet chief, deceased), Running Elk (Black Feet medicine man), Captain America, Pat (friend), Mary (girlfriend)

(Silver Age) mentor to The Slingers, made a deal with Mephisto

Enemies: Dr.Hyde, Grinner, The Order of the Hood

Known Relatives: Unnamed father (deceased)

Aliases: Marvel

Base of Operations: Los Angeles

First Appearance: Mystic Comics #5 (Timely Comics, March 1941)

Powers/Abilities: Black Marvel is extremely fit, at the top of normal human attainment. He is an excellent fighter, and strong enough to outwrestle a bear.

History: (Mystic Comics #5, ga) Man-to, the last chief of the "Black Feet", was dying, and sought a worthy successor. His medicine man, Running Elk, arranged a series of tests for potential candidates, but over a hundred prospective braves try and fail to reach the standard required.

Dan Lyons was the last contestant, the son of a white man whose life Man-to had saved many years before. Wishing to repay this debt, he braved the tests. He outran a deer, swam upstream faster than the salmon, and proved himself an incredible marksman on the archery range, getting four consecutive bullseyes while blindfolded. When others fired arrows at him, he caught them from the air. Then finally he wrestled a bear, and snapped it's neck, slaying it. Satisfied, Man-to gave Dan the sacred costume of the Black Marvel, along with the responsibility to right wrongs and destroy those who would prey on the helpless. He also gave him a long bow, telling him to notch it every time he performed a good deed - only when he had one hundred notches would he be truely worthy of calling himself "The Black Marvel".

His first public case saw him stopping a raid on the city armoury, carried out under cover of darkness after the crooks created a black-out by attacking the electrical plant.

(Mystic Comics #6, ga) The Black Marvel stopped Nazi agents from killing a refugee who has escaped the regime in Germany.

(Mystic Comics #7, ga) When a scientist discovered a formula which transformed him into a murderous beast known as Dr.Hyde, the Black Marvel moved in to stop the killings.

(Mystic Comics #8, ga) The Black Marvel prevented a greedy diamond mine-owner from tricking local native Americans into attacking his own workers.

(Mystic Comics #9, ga) When an ex-con had trouble staying on the straight and narrow, the Black Marvel was on hand to help him out.

(Captain America I #442, bts) In 1942, the Black Marvel first meets Captain America.

(Marvels #1) The Black Marvel joined a number of other heroes on a parachute drop on a Nazi stronghold in occupied Europe.

(All-Winners Comics #1, ga) With the Order of the Hood robbing banks, the Black Marvel tails them to their headquarters. Although he is briefly captured, he eventually manages to win the day, and breaks-up their organisation.

(Slingers, fb) After failing to save a hotel full of burning people, the Black Marvel retires.

(Captain America I #442) Now much older, the Black Marvel attended a reunion of wartime heroes in the modern day.

(Slingers #1-6) No synopses available.

Comments: Presumably the native American tribe in question is meant to be the Black Foot, but they are constantly referred to as "Black Feet" in the story. There are two other versions of the Black Marvel, tied in with this one.

Thanks to Jess Nevins for allowing me to use information from his excellent Golden Age Heroes Directory and his Guide to Golden Age Marvel Characters. Thanks also to Richard Boucher & Darrin Wiltshire @ PR-Publications for permission to use information from their equally brilliant collection of Golden Age Sites, PR Publications. Their knowledge of Golden Age characters far outstrips my own.

The first Black Marvel

Real Name: Unknown

Identity/Class: Normal human

Occupation: "Black Feet" warrior

Affiliations: Unknown

Enemies: Comanche warriors

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: California, c. A.D.1849

First Appearance: Mystic Comics #5 (Timely Comics, March 1941, text piece)

Powers/Abilities: Black Marvel is extremely fit, at the top of normal human attainment. He is a skilled warrior.

History: In 1849, when a wagon train on its way to California was attacked by Comanche braves, the settlers were saved by the intervention of "another Indian". This brave, only identified as being a "Blackfeet", rode a black horse and had his face painted black too, causing one of the people in the wagons to describe him as a "Black Marvel". This became the first known appearance of not one, but a line of such braves, who protected the west, regardless of race, against those who would prey on the weak.

Comments: None

The Spider-Man cartoon Black Marvel

Real Name: Omar Mosely

Identity/Class: Normal human

Occupation: former chauffeur

Affiliations: member of the Six Forgotten Warriors (The Whizzer; Miss America; the Destroyer; The Black Marvel; The Thunderer, Captain America), Spider-Man, Joe "Robbie" Robertson

Enemies: The Red Skull, The Kingpin

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: New York City

First Appearance: "Secrets of the Six: The Six Forgotten Warriors Part III" Spider-Man cartoon episode #56 (Fox, 3rd October 1997)

Powers/Abilities: Superhuman strength

History: Omar Mosely was the chauffeur for socialite Dan Lyons during the Second World War. Omar battled crime as the Black Marvel, but realising the racial views of the day would not allow for a black man to be accepted in such a role, his friend and boss Dan allowed him to lead people to assume it was Lyons behind the mask. Towards the end of the war, the Black Marvel was working with several other heroes, including Captain America. The group were dismayed when Cap appeared to be killed preventing the Red Skull from activating a super weapon, and agreed to guard the keys which would give access to the Red Skull's New York base, so that no one else could ever get to the weapon. Years later the team reformed and worked with Spider-Man, when Spidey's enemy the Kingpin sought the device.

Comments: An interesting revival of Golden Age characters happened in the 1990's Spider-Man cartoon. At the time of the cartoon airing both the Thunderer and Black Marvel had only been revived in cameo form in the mainstream Marvel universe, and the Destroyer had been revived not as his Golden Age identity of Keen Marlowe, but as John Falsworth / Roger Aubrey. The cartoon turned this on its head - it gave powers to the Thunderer that he never had in the comics (and changed his identity), restored Keen Marlowe to his place as the Destroyer...and instead changed the true identity of the Black Marvel.

He was voiced by Paul Winfield in this new incarnation.

CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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