Tag Archives: Holyoke Superheroes


This superhero-crazed culture lets me know if I go too long without a blog post about this topic, so here’s another neglected hero from Holyoke Comics.

hood-holyokeTHE HOOD

Secret Identity: Craig Williams, FBI Agent

Origin: Federal Agent Craig Williams grew frustrated with the way too many slick criminals and supervillains were able to wriggle free from any legal charges. When faced with such dead-ends in the course of his duties he took to wearing a costume and calling himself the Hood. In that guise he brought down criminals who could not be brought to justice by conventional means.

First Appearance: Cat-Man Comics #5 (December 1941). His final Golden Age appearance came in 1945.

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Per reader requests Balladeer’s Blog presents another neglected superhero.

tornado-tomTORNADO TOM

Secret Identity: Tom Kenny, farm hand

Origin: While working the fields on a farm in the mid-western United States, Tom Kenny was scooped up and carried aloft by a freak cyclone. After several hours of exposure to the elemental windstorm the man finally dropped into a town he did not recognize.

In addition to granting Tom superpowers the mysterious storm caused him to lose much of his memory outside of his first name. He could not recall where he was from or who his relatives were or if he had known anything about the odd cyclone. Adopting the last name Kenny the amnesiac wandered from town to town and city to city trying to learn about his past.

During his quest he would battle any evils that he came across under the superhero name Tornado Tom.

First Appearance: Cyclone Comics #1 (June, 1940). His final Golden Age appearance came in 1941.

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Per reader requests Balladeer’s Blog presents another overlooked superhero.


Secret Identity: David Merryweather, Private Investigator

Origin: As a child David Merryweather, his parents and his sister were traveling through the jungles of Burma when bandits attacked, robbed and killed all but David. Left to die, David instead bonded with his mystic totem animal – tigers – and survived. Over the years the boy was educated by Burmese villagers and learned to control the powers that his totem animals had granted him.

As an adult David Merryweather moved back to the United States, where he eventually became a Private Investigator. In order to battle criminals that were beyond the reach of traditional law enforcement he donned a costume and used his super-powers under the name Cat-Man.

First Appearance: Crash Comics #4 (August 1940). His final Golden Age appearance came in 1946.

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Readers wanted more superheroes, so here we go:

mister-nobodyMISTER NOBODY

Secret Identity: None was ever revealed.

Origin: Even this enigmatic figure’s origin remained unknown, just like MLJ’s hero the Marvel (qv).

First Appearance: Terrific Comics #1 (January 1944). His final Golden Age appearance came in 1946.

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Balladeer’s Blog continues to shamelessly pander to our superhero-crazed culture with this look at another neglected Holyoke hero.
miss-victoryMISS VICTORY

Secret Identity: Joan Wayne, stenographer

Origin: Believe it or not the Golden Age Miss Victory was never given an origin story explaining how she gained her super-powers. She supposedly trained in the circus when she was younger but that would not explain her paranormal abilities. 

All that is known is that in Washington, DC, Foreign Trade Committee stenographer Joan Wayne grew tired of the corruption among politicians and government contractors so she donned a colorful costume and a mask to fight crime – and later, German and Japanese supervillains – as Miss Victory. This costumed figure worked for the FBI.  Continue reading


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Balladeer’s Blog continues to feed the beast that IS our superhero-obsessed world with a look at another forgotten Holyoke Superhero.


Secret Identity: Jack Wayne, Berlin Correspondent for the New York Globe.

Origin: When America entered World War 2 on the Allied side Jack Wayne and his editor “Pop” Simms were seized by the Gestapo. Since Jack had been a Flying Ace for the Americans during World War One the Gestapo assumed he and Pop were spies and tortured them for information.

Pop was killed by the torture and Jack, though blinded by his interrogator’s whip, managed to escape. He was rescued by the Underground Society, a secret resistance group led by Dr Dismal who – despite his name – was not a supervillain. Dr Dismal ran his resistance group from a secret base far beneath Gestapo Headquarters and, noting that Jack Wayne’s optic nerves were not entirely dead, devised special glasses and a visor he could wear that allowed him to see in daylight OR at night.

Jack donned a costume and under the nom de guerre Blackout joined Dr Dismal’s band of rebels, terrorizing the Nazis by night.  

First Appearance: Cat-Man Comics #10 (May 1942). His final Golden Age appearance came in 1944.

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blaze-baylor-3Technical issues caused delays yesterday but I have added on to the Holyoke Comics pantheon for this superhero-obsessed society.


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This has become a superhero-crazed culture. Balladeer’s Blog’s previous looks at the superhero rosters of now-defunct comic book companies have been so popular I decided to examine the heroes and heroines of Holyoke Comics.  


Any of us could stick a drawing pencil up our butt and draw a better picture.


Secret Identity: Drake Gorden, MD

Origin: While on a passenger ship in the South Seas Dr Drake Gorden was swept overboard during a typhoon. He washed ashore on an uncharted island inhabited only by a monk formerly from Tibet. The monk decreed Doctor Gorden to be worthy of the Egyptian black diamond he guarded. That jewel bestowed super-powers on Gorden, who returned to the U.S. and fought crime as Doctor Diamond. 

First Appearance: Cat-Man Comics # 1 (May 1941). His final Golden Age appearance came in 1942. 

Powers: The black jewel granted Doctor Diamond the strength of fifty men and an impressive degree of invulnerability. 

Comment: This hero’s foes included Najar the android and the mad scientist Doctor Borcia. Doctor Diamond is one of those Golden Age superheroes who had potential but whose career was tantalizingly short. In my opinion heroes with actual super-powers are preferable to that period’s endless array of ordinary people who simply donned a costume and fought crime.


Secret Identity: Katie Conn

Origin: When she was eleven years old Katie’s parents died in a train accident. She was taken in by her criminally-minded uncle who trained her in acrobatics, unarmed combat and cat-burglary. By age twelve the girl was an expert thief until Cat-Man (Holyoke’s most famous original superhero) nabbed Katie’s nefarious uncle and adopted her. (And you thought Batman’s relationship with Robin was questionable.)

The strong-willed girl donned a costume of her own and – calling herself Kitten – was determined to fight crime as Cat-Man’s sidekick. The superhero tried to dissuade Katie but her independence and streetwise nature made that impossible. Deciding she was safer working at his side he accepted her as his partner.

First Appearance: Cat-Man Comics # 1 (May 1941). Her final Golden Age appearance came in 1946.

Powers: Unlike Cat-Man, Kitten had no super-powers. However, she was more agile than an Olympic gymnast and was in peak condition for a female her age. In addition her cat-burglary skills and street-fighting abilities made her a very capable superheroine. In a few stories her gloves were clawed.  

Comment: Kitten often teamed up in separate adventures with Mickey Matthews, the boy sidekick of the Holyoke superhero called the Deacon. The pair fought criminals and Nazi supervillains as the Little Leaders.   Continue reading


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