Real Name: Albert Oates
Identity/Class: Human empowered by chemical means.
Occupation: Botanist, athlete
Enemies: Doctor Vulpex
Known Relatives: None.
Base of Operations: U.K.
First Appearance: Lion and Eagle (I.P.C., 3rd May 1969)
Powers/Abilities: When he smoked, er, I mean smelled, the burning fumes from the wonder-herb, Oates became superfast (able to pedal a pushbike at 60 mph) and strong. He also became incredible accurate - he could, for example, head a football thrown at him so that it first hit the pedal to raise the lid, then bounced into the bin before the lid dropped again.
History: While researching the effect of herbs on athletic performance, bespectacled botanist Albert Oates discovered a wonder-herb which could transform him into a super-athlete. However, during a tour of the lab Doctor Vulpex, the sinister Minister of Sport for the middle European nation of Angria, learned of his discovery and ordered his subordinates to steal it so his countrymen could win literally every major world sporting event. Unfortunately for them, aware the secret was out, Oates wisely decided to make sure none of the herb was left lying around, and had just burned and inhaled the lab's remaining supply of the herb when the thieves broke in. They realised they would need to kidnap Oates to get the secret, but he easily evaded them, and went on the run. While Vulpex vowed to find, kidnap and brainwash Oates into divulging his findings, Oates decided to make the best of his time on the road by using himself as a guinea pig and test the effect of the wonder-herb at all kinds of sporting events.
Comments: Created by Tom Kerr.
Especially considering the era that Oates first appeared in, the writers of this strip must have been sailing somewhat close to the wind by having a hero who gained superpowers by inhaling the smoke from an unnamed plant. Now, of course, it has another connotation thanks to various high profile sporting scandals involving doping cheats. To be fair on Oates, it is made clear in the initial installment that before he went on the run he was neither using nor intending to use the herb to cheat at athletics, but merely wanted to know how herbs impact on performance.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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