Real Name: Johnny Small
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Occupation: School pupil
Affiliations: Professor Meek
Enemies: Multiface, Tob Blacker
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: U.K.
First Appearance: Smash (I.P.C., 1969-70)
Powers/Abilities: Super sight, super speed, super strength.
History: Professor Meek invented a ray device which gave teenager Johnny Small "triple powers" to fight crime.
Comments: Tri-Man's main foe was Multiface; Johnny's main foe was school bully Tod Blacker.
The Tri-Man images here were drawn by Ron Turner. Thanks to Jim Croasdale for this additional information. Mick Dickens notes that another artist drew the regular series, while Ron only worked on the character in one of the annuals. That other artist also did Raven on the Wing for Valiant, Nipper for Score, and Master of the Marsh in Smash!s later issues. Mick also noted "I seem to remember that in the first episode, when we are shown how Tri-Man got his powers, it is stated that when Johnny Small uses the power beam on himself to use his "triple powers", he'll have his powers for three hours, which I thought most appropriate for a character called Tri-Man. Every week thereafter, it unexplainedly became TWO hours!)
The cover of Smash! Annual 1971 was a nice painting of Tri-Man thumping some villains - spoilt by a tacky looking blurb that promised "160 Action packed pages!" - and he was in a striking red costume. Inside, it had turned blue! Maybe in keeping with the triple power aspect he had three costumes - red, blue and monochrome?" The real reason, of course, is that so many British strips were black and white that when someone was asked to colour them, the colourist usually used guesswork, which leads to some weird and wonderful variations. Tri-Man was far from the only person to suffer from this; Johnny Future was another victim for a start. But Mick's explanation is funnier.
Tri-Man was namechecked in Albion, where it was mentioned that he had died during his time incarcerated in Britain's superhero prison.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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