Real Name: Jason Pierce Roland
Identity/Class: Magic empowered human
Occupation: Former actor
Group Membership: Leader of Lethal Legion,
Night Shift (Brothers Grimm, Dansen Macabre, Digger, Gypsy Moth, Misfit, Needle, Tatterdemalion, Tick-Tock)
Affiliations: Agent of Satannish
former lover of Stella Houston
former employee of Mammoth Studios
Enemies: Avengers West Coast (Hawkeye, Iron Man, Living Lightning, Mockingbird (H'rpra), Spider-Woman (Carpenter), U.S. Agent, War Machine, Wonder Man), Mammoth Studios
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: The Demon that Devoured Hollywood
Place of Birth: Westmore, Vermont
Base of Operations: Los Angeles, California; Satannish's Hell
Appearances: (Roland) Tower of Shadows#5 (May, 1970);
(Hangman) Avengers West Coast#76 (November, 1991)
Weight: 280 lbs.
Powers: As Hangman, Roland possessed magically enhanced strength, durability, etc. He was strong enough to go head-to-head with Wonder Man. His rope was also magically enhanced, making it virtually indestructible. He could also levitate his rope and climb it without it being attached to anything. He was in almost constant communication with Satannish, who could enhance his powers as needed.
History: (Tower of Shadows#5) - Roland was originally a Hollywood actor seeking to make it big. Unable to achieve fame or fortune any other way, he made a deal with a make-up artist claiming to be an emissary of the devil: the old "soul-in-exchange-for-success" trick. The man made Roland into an extremely convincing monstrous form for the film "The Demon that Devoured Hollywood," which made him a complete success. Roland sought to break the deal and threatened the life of the make-up artist, but found after the last day of shooting was over that he could not remove the make-up and was trapped in monstrous form. He was last seen screaming and fleeing the set.
(Avengers West Coast#77 (fb) ) - Roland hid out for years, before finally, in desperation he called out to the demon with whom he had originally made a deal. The demon revealed itself as Satannish and returned him to his normal form with enhanced physical powers in exchange for his assistance in a plot.
(Avengers West Coast#76-79) - Mammoth Studios was beginning a remake of Roland's old movie. The Hangman appeared and threatened everyone involved, driving off several actors and staff. Hangman allied himself with Nightshift, and convinced them to summon Satannish in order to gain enhanced power for themselves. Not believing they were actually risking their own souls, they did so.
Wonder Man and the Avengers West Coast came to the set of the movie and attempted to allow it to finish. However, the violent energies given off by their battle against Night Shift, as well as a side-plot used to lure Dr. Strange to another dimension, allowed Satannish to manifest himself in the Earth dimension. His plot was planned for all who watched the film of the battle to lose their souls to Satannish. However, Agatha Harkness assisted the Avengers by summoning Dr. Strange to oppose Satannish. The Avengers stopped the filming while Dr. Strange convinced the Night Shift that their souls were in jeopardy, causing them to reject Satannish's power. Night Shift joined with the Avengers and Strange in attacking Satannish. As a result, Satannish lost his foothold in the Earth dimension and was banished back to his realm of Hell. Satannish punished Roland by taking his soul with him, leaving him alive, but a mindless husk.
(Avengers West Coast#98-100) - Later, Satannish revived Roland as the Hangman to assist him in another plot. This time, Satannish stole the souls of four of mankind's most heinous murderers from the realm of Mephisto in order to form a new Lethal Legion. Satannish had Hangman lead this Legion to successfully abduct Mockingbird back to his realm, knowing that the Avengers West Coast would follow, and that he could gain their souls as well. The Avengers did follow, and Hangman and the Legion defeated them, trapping them within the walls of Satannish's realm. However, angered that Satannish had stolen some of his souls, Mephisto assisted the Avengers in their journey to the realm of Satannish and engaged Satannish himself. This distraction allowed the Avengers to free themselves. Satannish was forced to withdraw the enhancements to the Legion and the Hangman in order to use his full strength against Mephisto. This allowed the Avengers to easily defeat them, and they managed to escape back to Earth. The souls of the Lethal Legion were destroyed when Mephisto and Satannish both struggled to keep them. Mephisto sought the souls of the Avengers to make up for the ones he had lost, and he managed to gain the soul of Mockingbird before the Avengers' portal to his realm closed. The fate of Roland was not stated, but I'm guessing Satannish felt a need for some punishment.
Comments: Originally created Roy Thomas and Barry Smith, Hangman created by Roy and Dann Thomas and David Ross.
Now this is what I call good utilization of an obscure character. The paper-thin connection that brought Roland back may have been that his original story was told in a book that was often narrated by Digger (Roderick Krupp), a poor man's Crypt-Keeper, who went on to become a member of Night Shift.
Roland is a prisoner of Satannish's realm, and unless he completely destroyed his soul as punishment, could probably make a return appearance some day.
Roland showed no remorse or even interest when Axe of Violence slew his former lover, Stella.
Hangman got in OHotMU Horror 2005 his own entry.
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Hangman is not to be confused with:
Avengers West Coast#76, p5, pan6 (Hangman main image)
Tower of Shadows#5, Cover (Jason Roland in mask)
Avengers West Coast#79, p4, pan6 (Stella Houston)
Tower of Shadows#5 (May, 1970) - Roy Thomas (writer), Barry Windsor-Smith (pencils), Dan Adkins (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Avengers West Coast#77-79 (December, 1991 - February, 1992) - Roy & Dann Thomas (writers), Dave Ross (pencils), Tim Dzon (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Avengers West Coast#98-100 (September-November, 1993) - Roy Thomas (writer), Dave Ross (pencils), Tim Dzon (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
All characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
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Last updated: 05/26/12
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!
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