The Masked Marvel

Real Name: Chet Fairchild

Identity/Class: Normal human

Occupation: Playboy

Affiliations: Professor Helborn, Irene Helborn

Enemies: The Bloodsucker of Banta Gulch (Ha-Ni-Pa)

Known Relatives: Colonel Carlton Fairchild (father), Vera Fairchild (sister)

Aliases: Slim Crane

Base of Operations: American West, c.1880s

First Appearance: Gunsmoke #1 (Western Comics [an imprint of Youthful], April/May 1949)

Powers/Abilities: Skilled gunslinger and horse rider.

History: Though born into a life of privilege, the son of an oil millionaire, Chet Fairchild served a sense of justice, riding the range as the Masked Marvel, a skull-faced crimefighter. His foes included a vampiric Native American, turned almost zombie-like by centuries of being denied sustenance. Hearing of  the Bloodsucker of Banta Gulch when he arrived in town, the Masked Marvel elected to covertly watch over the similarly visiting Professor Helborn as the scholar hunted the beast, and he intervened when the creature attacked Helborn, only to nearly die himself when it proved immune to regular bullets. The intervention of the Professor's daughter, Irene, armed with silver bullets, drove the creature off, but she exhausted her limited supply of the special ammunition. The Masked Marvel nevertheless pursued the Bloodsucker back to the cave which served as its daytime lair, and again confronted it, finally ending its threat by shooting a stalactite down from the cave roof to impale the creature through the heart.

Comments: Masked Marvel took second billing in the comic Gunsmoke, after the gunslinger (masked in the first issue, unmasked thereafter) from whom the comic took its title.

CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with

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