Real Name: Alan Knight
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Affiliations: Dr.Van Lear
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Unknown
First Appearance: Red Knight newspaper strip (Register and Tribune Syndicate, June 1940)
Powers/Abilities: Superhuman strength (strong enough to tear down entire buildings). Able to turn invisible. Powers provided by a chemical process ("Plus Power") which mutated him, and maintained by repeat doses, without which his abilities swiftly wear off. Wears a protective suit of armour.
History: Alan Knight was an everyday man until he visited Dr.Van Lear's secret laboratory "secluded deep in a wood", and underwent the "Plus Power" process the scientist had developed, designed to make "a man who through chemical process will become all-powerful in body and mind." Requiring regular power ups to maintain his abilities, the heroic Knight was encouraged by Van Lear to fight the forces of evil, adopting a costumed persona to do so. A few years later, with the war in full swing, the Red Knight was forced down in enemy territory near Fujiyama while on a mission, and unable to revitalise his powers, spent his remaining adventures as a normal, but still heroic, secret agent.
Comments: Created by John J. Welch and Jack W. McGuire. He has the distinction of being the very first superhero created for a newspaper strip. His strip ran until September 1943.
Jack W. McGuire Jr, son of the original artist, kindly contacted me to add the following information about his father. "His first strip was "Jane Arden" in 1934, followed by "Bullet Benton", a cowboy boxer, similar to Joe Pooluka; then the "Red Knight". After the Red Knight, in 1943, Dad began drawing "Ella Cinders", as a ghost artist, for the original artist, Charlie Plumb. He drew this strip until he died in December, 1945.
My father also open the first Commercial Art School in the Southwest, in San Antonio Texas, after graduating from the Chicago Art Institute, as well as taught commercial art (including cartooning) in a local high school."
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
The Red Knight, a Blue Beetle foe
Rode Ridder, a.k.a. The Red Knight, Flemish Knight
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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