Real Name: Norman Conquest
Identity/Class: Normal human
Occupation: Private adventurer
Affiliations: Joy "Pixie" Everard (partner)
Base of Operations:
First Appearance: The Thriller magazine (January 1937)
History: Norman Conquest is a private adventurer who dedicates himself to tackling those crooks who are beyond the law; Conquest's justice is to rob them of their wealth and return it to those who deserve it. Originally from India, he had to watch his father be ruined through a swindler, which left the Conquest family bankrupt. (The Conquest family, "long known as the `Lawless Conquests', had fought under the Percies in the Border Wars.") This forced Norman to run away from home, and he'd lived "on practically every corner of this earth--including Cochin-China, Siberia, Borneo, and Wigan." The first thing that Conquest did on reaching manhood was to go to London and see to the swindler, now a respectable lawyer. From there he tackles criminal syndicates (Vultures, Limited), smugglers (The Black Ring), beautiful thieves (Primrose Trevor), white slavers (Sir Nicholas Glibley), cruel mine operators, crooked nightclub owners, gangsters, and the aboriginal son of a Duke who liked turning his victims into life-sized wax effigies. Conquest is a dashing, affable, laughing, hard man, in the same vein as the Saint and as given to light-hearted remarks in the face of danger but more ruthless, more lethal, more violent, and with less of a conscience.
Conquest lives in a converted railway viaduct (don't ask). He is assisted by Joy "Pixie" Everard, the former secretary of the man who ruined his father; she left him to help Conquest and they fell in love quickly. She is small and elfin, but plucky and brave, and saves Conquest's life on more than one occasion. Conquest is also helped by Mandeville Livingstone, a former toy maker who lost his wife and child to murder and took to wandering the roads of England. Conquest took Livingstone in, stopped him from being framed for murder, and Livingstone repaid Conquest's generosity by becoming his Man Friday. The inevitable police presence in the series is Inspector William "Sweet William" Williams, who has a love/hate relationship with Conquest, hating his interferences but grudgingly admiring him at the same time. During the war Conquest's house and Hispano roadster are destroyed in the crash of a German bomber, and Joy almost killed, prompting Conquest into a one-man invasion of Germany.
Powers/Abilities: Nearly superhuman strength and endurance. He also occasionally uses interesting gadgets, such as explosive lighters and cigarettes and a wristwatch with a flexible, sharp, toothed metal band. (Very handy for sawing his ways out of ropes)
Comments: Norman Conquest was created by Edwy Searles Brooks, the creator of Falcon Swift among many others, and appeared in The Thriller beginning in January 1937, and in hardback starting with Mr. Mortimer Gets the Jitters in 1938.
Conquest is apparently a modified version of one of Brooks' other characters, Rupert Waldo, the Wonder Man character, relaunched as a hero without that character's villainous past.
Image of Norman Conquest kindly provided by Terry Hooper.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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