VIRUS VIGILANTE (11)
December 3, 2020
One in a series of posts about the Antiviral Alliance, a now-forgotten squad of comic-book vigilantes who during the years leading up to (and through) WWII worked tirelessly to prevent another Spanish Flu-like pandemic. Fun fact: The original intercompany crossover, this “event” would inspire National Comics and All-American Publications to form the Justice Society of America in 1940–1941.
The Challenger was part of the final wave of properly masked adventures who joined the Alliance in 1941. He was a law student whose back story was similar to Batman’s. When his father was murdered by the mob, he vowed revenge — and traveled around the world learning combat techniques, chemistry, aviation, and “nerve control.” His gimmick was challenging his foes to a duel, using a weapon of their choice — and then besting them with that weapon. So concerned was he about the airborne transmission of viruses that he sewed an extra mask on top of his mask.
Created by: Charles Wojtkoski
First appearance: Daring Mystery Comics #7 (April 1941)
Tip o’ the mask to Jess Nevins.
INTRODUCING… THE ANTIVIRAL ALLIANCE. PRE-COMICS: THE MOON MAN (1933). ORIGINAL TRIO (joined forces in 1939): THE CLOCK | SANDMAN | FANTOM OF THE FAIR. AND THEN THERE WERE SEVEN (joined 1940): THE SHADOW | LADY LUCK | THE LAUGHING MASK | KINKS MASON. SECOND-WAVE SIX (joined 1941): BLAZING SKULL | THE CHALLENGER | THE THUNDERER | DOCTOR NEMESIS | HUMAN BOMB | THE VIGILANTE. LATE TO THE PARTY (joined post-1941): MICRO-FACE | THE DESERT EAGLE.
SIMILAR HILOBROW SERIES: MEET THE L.I.S. | 4CP FRIDAY — themed comic-book detail galleries | CHESS MATCH — a gallery | COMICALLY VINTAGE | DC — THE NEW 52 | FILE X — a gallery | KIRB YOUR ENTHUSIASM — 25 writers on 25 Jack Kirby panels | SECRET PANEL —Silver Age comics’ double entendres | SKRULLICISM