Real Name: Perseus Ablemarle
Identity/Class: Highly trained human, possibly extra-dimensional
Occupation: Nuclear physicist, doctor, lawyer, architect, layout artist and accountant
Group Membership: None
Enemies: All criminals
Known Relatives: Parents, names unknown, deceased
Base of Operations: Unnamed city
First Appearance: Rampage Magazine#41 (November, 1981)
Powers/Abilities: Highly trained human, skilled in acrobatics and martial arts. Possible genius level intellect and photographic memory.
History: As a young boy the Crusader witnessed the brutal murder of both his parents, shot down in the street by a thug as he watched helplessly. Later, kneeling by their graves, he swore to avenge them, his anger directed not only at the specific gunman who had slaughtered them, but also gratuitous violence and "the criminal classes in general".
He swiftly read, learned and digested "nearly every book ever written," absorbing the knowledge contained therein. It was one of the final tomes, Stan Lee's 'Origins of the Marvel Superheroes' that finally gave him the direction he sought -- he would train himself to become a superhero, the "time honoured path of orphaned youngsters seeking vengeance".
He trained in the gym to become a superb athlete with his body at the height of physical perfection, and he worked on his mental faculties too, gaining qualifications in a large variety of highly skilled professional jobs. At the age of 23 he took up the martial arts and spent ten years becoming a master of them.
At this point he was struck by a revelation -- if he didn't get around to actual crime-fighting some time soon, he would die of old age at the rate he was going. So he donned a skin tight costume, took up a specialised grapple on the end of a strong line, and swung into action across the city.
While on his first mission he spotted some shady types loading radioactive material from a warehouse into the back of a truck. He swung down to confront them, crying out a bombastic challenge as he did so -- which unfortunately gave one of the crooks time to turn around and machine gun him out of the air before he landed. Having neglected to bulletproof his costume, several shots ripped through him. The crooks made a swift getaway, leaving the fledgling hero's body lying amongst the garbage in the street.
"Who was that?"
"Some madman in a costume. Put your foot on it. He's dead as a door knocker."
Comments: Created by Alan Davis and Paul Neary.
In case anyone reading the above hasn't realised, the Crusader was a spoof of all the self-taught Dark Avenger of the Night types that abound in comics.
In spite of the final comments of the crooks, there is no certainty as to the final fate of the Crusader. The last text panel casts doubt as to whether or not this was truly the end of this hero. And indeed, the Crusader can be briefly spotted in another Alan Davis drawn strip a little under a year later, as one of the last heroes of Earth-238 and a victim of the Fury. However we have no way of knowing if the Crusader in the story above is the Earth-238 Crusader or his counterpart from another alternate Earth. Although he was inspired to become a costumed avenger by reading a Stan Lee written Marvel comic, there is nothing to preclude the possibility that he is from Earth-616, as Stan Lee and Marvel Comics have both been shown to exist in that reality. For the purpose of the entry above, I've assumed that this Crusader is distinct from the one spotted on Earth-238 -- if this is not the case then we could add to his history:
(bts) - The Crusader survived his gunshot wounds, possibly due to his perfect physique making him quite resilient, and once healed, returned to the noble fight against crime.
(Marvel Superheroes#388 (fb)) - Unfortunately his luck remained true, and he fell victim to the hero-killing cybiote, the Fury.
The Crusader's true name isn't explicitly stated in the story itself, but the final text panel asked the question "Were those who said 'You can't become a superhero with a name like Perseus Ablemarle' right?", which strongly implies that this was his real identity.
Profile by Loki.
No known connections to, and not to be confused with
Rampage Magazine#41 (November, 1981)
Marvel Superheroes#388 (August, 1982) - Alan Moore (writer), Alan Davis (artist), Bernie Jaye (editor)
Last updated: 10/23/10
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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