Real Name: Chuck Chandler
Identity/Class: Normal human
Occupation: Army cadet
Enemies: Iron Jaw, He-She
Base of Operations:
First Appearance: Boy Comics #3 (Lev Gleason, 1942); Boy Comics #4-119; Text stories in Daredevil Comics and Silver Streak Comics 21
Powers/Abilities: Skilled fighter.
History: Chuck Chandler was a young military cadet during World War II. His father was a reporter who had spoken out against the Germans in newsreels, acting as the "only official source of information from the lost country, France!", informing the people of America of what the Nazis were doing at the request of the President. An eye-witness to the invasion, he had returned to the States, leaving his wife Joan, Chuck's mother, to follow him a week later. But the night he was to make another broadcast damning the teutonic aggression, he was confronted by the Gestapo agent Iron Jaw, who tried to intimidate him so that he would alter the speech he was due to make. Iron Jaw, so named because a resistance bomb had blown the lower half of his face off, to be replaced by a steel prosthetic, pointed out that they had captured Joan, and would torture him if he did not read a version of the speech the Nazis had prepared.
But the intrepid reporter, torn by the dilemma, decided that his wife would not want him to give way to this blackmail, and told the truth anyway. It cost him his life, as Iron Jaw was waiting in the wings, and shot him dead. Chuck, back at Custer Military Academy, is stunned when he hears the news. He rushed to the hospital, taking no time to change from his hockey uniform which he had been wearing, instead wrapping the blue military school cape round his shoulders to keep him warm.. He arrived to be told that his father had an excellent chance of recovery, and the doctor sent him to walk around the grounds while the operation was carried out to save him. But just after Chuck left, Iron Jaw entered the ward and overpowered the Doctor. Taking over the operation, he murders the reporter by cutting one of his main arteries.
Chuck followed his father's last wish and set off to Paris to rescue his mother, armed with a description of Iron Jaw furnished to him by a nurse. Intercepted by Nazis when he landed in a neutral Portuguese port, he swiftly deals with them, and managed to get a message to his mother to meet with him on a ship heading back to America. The two are reunited, but that night their clipper is sunk by a U-Boat. Chuck managed to find his injured mother floating among the wreckage, but realising she needed immediate medical attention, had no choice but to call to the Germans for aid. They agree to help, but then fire on the two swimmers as soon as they are close enough. Chuck suffers a glancing shot across his forehead, causing him to lose his hold on his mother and on consciousness, and the injured woman drowns. Rescued by an American airforce plane sometime later, Chuck returns to the States and vows vengeance on the Germans: "I swear it!! By all that's right to avenge their deaths! I'll fight terror with terror! They'll pay and pay and pay!" Adopting the outfit he had worn the night of his father's death, Chuck became Crimebuster, scourge of the Nazis. He swiftly gained a sidekick of sorts, in the form of his pet monkey Squeeks, and eventually managed to kill Iron Jaw, avenging his parents. He continued to fight the good fight even after the war ended, eventually dropping the cape and replacing the shorts with slacks after a girlfriend refused to be seen with him while he wore the ridiculous costume.
Comments: Created by Charles Biro and Bob Wood.
Thanks to Ben Samuels whose site provided one of the images of the character used here. Check out his site at http://www.samuelsdesign.com/comics
It took Crimebuster 12 issues before he caught up with and eliminated Iron Jaw, in Boy Comics #15. He changed to normal clothes in 1950, after the aforementioned comments from a girlfriend, then the comic was retitled Chuck Chandler as of #112 (when the newly created Comics Code forbade the use of the word "Crime" in a comic book title), and finally quit completely in 1956. Squeeks got a comic of his own in October 1953.
Crimebuster has been at least briefly revived by Americomics as part of their Femforce universe. Thanks to Mike Murphy for this information.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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