Real Name: Pierre Duray
Identity/Class: Undead (ghost)
Occupation: Vengeaful spirit, former inventor
Affiliations: Black Ace
Enemies: Airboy, Valkyrie
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: The Son of Evil
Base of Operations: The Airtomb, Black Hole of Calcutta
First Appearance: Air Fighters Comics #12 (Hillman, September 1943)
Powers/Abilities: Misery is undead, and thus cannot be slain or injured by any conventional means. However, he is also generally solid, so can be knocked down, if not actually hurt, by someone with decent hand-to-hand skills (such as Airboy). He can command dead aviators he has claimed, as well as the Airtomb, a flying stone crypt in the shape of an airplane. He doesn't actually pilot the vessel, moving it instead by his will alone. He is clairvoyant, able to view events happening thousands of miles away.
History: In 1738 in the mountains near Calcutta the Frenchman Pierre Duray decided to prove a man could fly by using wings of his own design. He succeeded, but superstitious locals decided he had used witchcraft, overpowered him, and burned him at the stake. As the fires lapped up over him, Pierre defiantly told his persecutors that they might burn him, but he would never die, nor be the last man to fly.
Duray became a murderous spirit, Misery, and over subsequent years, the wind and rain eroded the rocks on a cliff nearby, gradually creating the shape of a gigantic, crude plane, which became known as the Air Tomb. From time to time, Misery would venture forth, the Airtomb becoming a massive stone aircraft, seeking to claim the souls of doomed fliers. A legend grew up, with many aviators (rightly) believing that if the Airtomb's shadow fell over their planes, then their time was up. Misery kept the souls within the Airtomb, thralls to his service. Sometimes planes would disappear without word, and sometimes he would taunt his targets in advance, sending radio messages warning them he was coming to claim them.
In 1943, during World War II, Misery sought to claim Airboy, but the young flier proved to be one of the few adversaries able to escape the chilling spectre's clutches, trapping his foe in a volcano. Misery returned to make another attempt shortly after the war ended, targetting Airboy's ally Valkyrie. A few years later, when the arrogant Vernon Vulcan stole Airboy's plane, Birdie, several of Airboy's slain foes, including Misery, attacked the thief as he piloted his purloined plain, scaring Vernon into returning the vehicle.
When the original Airboy's grandson took up the mantle in the 1980s, Misery returned to menace him too.
Comments: Created by Harry Stein and Fred Kida.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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