Real Name: Vince Sterling
Identity/Class: Human psychopath
Occupation: Former actor
Group Membership: Strange Secrets cast
Affiliations: Formerly Ross Archer, Jerry Jason, Ed Lawson, Lester Dant, Karen Page, Bill Wheeler
Enemies: Brother Brimstone, Daredevil, Jerry Jason, Ed Lawson, Lt. Nately, Karen Page, Vince Sterling, Bill Wheeler
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Los Angeles, California
First Appearance: Daredevil I#65 (June, 1970)
Powers/Abilities: Sterling wore an exo-skeleton that allegedly enhanced his strength ten-fold (to the enhanced human range), as well as a rubberized suit that shielded him from injury and muted his heartbeat. He wore a full mask to make himself resemble Brother Brimstone.
He was an experienced actor.
(Daredevil I#65 (fb) - BTS) - Vince Sterling played the heroic role on the television show Strange Secrets, serving as the opponent of the villain Brother Brimstone played by Ross Archer. The show had begun to slip in the ratings.
(Daredevil I#66 (fb) - BTS) - Sterling discovered the blueprints of special effects man Lester Dant's strength enhancing exo-skeleton, and Sterling used them to construct his own costume.
(Daredevil I#65) - Ross befriended actress Karen Page as Archer went off the deep end and began attacking others as Brother Brimstone.
(Daredevil I#65 - BTS) - Sterling donned his exo-skeleton, disguised himself as Brother Brimstone, and strangled Archer to death.
(Daredevil I#65) - Archer didn't show up for the next filming, leading the cast to go looking for him. They found Brother Brimstone running along the top of the set, carrying a human body. Daredevil swung up to stop him, but even though he allowed Brimstone to hurl the body to the set below (Daredevil knew that the body had no heartbeat), Brimstone dropped him with a single punch. Brimstone escaped, and the cast rushed over to the body of Ross Archer.
(Daredevil I#66) - Vince Sterling and the rest of the cast attended Archer's funeral, after which Vince asked Karen out, but she was too distraught from recent events. The next morning, Vince saw Lester showing the exo-skeleton blueprints to Karen, the only person who treated Lester with any respect.
(Daredevil I#66 - BTS) - Sterling practiced lines with Karen before the next shooting.
(Daredevil I#66 - BTS) - The cast and crew turned in written votes and decided unanimously to continue.
(Daredevil I#66 - BTS) - Sterling forged a note from Lester, asking Karen to meet him at the La Brea tar pits. He intended to kill Karen
(Daredevil I#66) - Brimstone ambushed Daredevil when he investigated Lester's office and found the designs for a strength enhancing suit, knocking the hero out with a single punch before escaping. After reviving, Daredevil found the note to Karen. Daredevil initially believed Leroy was Brimstone
(Daredevil I#66 - BTS) - Daredevil compared the note to Karen to the ones from the earlier vote and realized Sterling was Brimstone.
(Daredevil I#66) - Brimstone confronted Karen, who instantly passed out, but Daredevil arrived in time to save her. Brimstone and Daredevil's struggles carried them into the tar pits, where Daredevil unmasked Brimstone as Sterling, but the exo-skeleton then pulled Sterling deep into the tar pits, and he apparently drowned.
Comments: Created by Roy Thomas, Gene "The Dean" Colan, and Syd Shores.
The story hinted that Leroy was the killer through most of
Daredevil#66, but DD knew it was Sterling after seeing the "Lester" 's note to
Karen and recognizing it as the same paper used by Sterling. Sterling had made a
big production of telling everyone he'd written "Stick it Out." I'd have thought
Sterling's scent on the paper a better source of evidence. And if Sterling had
killed Archer, and was going to kill Karen and Lester, why not kill Daredevil,
rather than knocking him out and leaving him to find his forged note.
And...and...but it's a throw-away story, so who cares.
The bottom line is that there was more mystery (everyone was a suspect) than story in this one.
Lester Dant was called Lester Leroy in Daredevil I#66. In the tradition of Robert Bruce Banner, I dub him Lester Leroy Dant. In addition, Ed Lawson was accidentally called Mr. Winthrop once in Daredevil I#66. I think I'll let that one slide.
The Marvel Comics Index Part 9B: Daredevil entry to DD#65 referenced Sterling's character as Brimstone's brother. I don't see that mentioned in the book, but it's not contradicted, either.
"Strange Secrets" is probably a parody of the old TV gothic
soap "Dark Shadows" and that demon "Brother Brimstone" is a take-off of vampire
Profile by Snood.
Vince Sterling should be distinguished from:
Lester Dant should not be confused with
Jerry Jason has no known connection to:
Ed Lawson has no known connection to:
Bill Wheeler has no known connection to:
Lester Leroy Dant
The makeup and special effects man for Strange Secrets, he was constantly underfoot, sometimes ruining scenes by getting too close to the set during filming. He designed an exo-skeleton, but kept it hidden because no one took him seriously. Sterling built a suit from his designs and intended to kill Karen Page--the only one who showed Lester any respect--and frame Lester as Brother Brimstone.
--Daredevil I#65 (66
The former stand-in for Ross Archer, he was assaulted by the maddened Archer who accused him of making him look bad. When Archer was distracted by Karen Page's scream, Jerry fought back, but Archer swiftly beat him senseless.
--Daredevil I#65 (66 - BTS?
The writer-creator of Strange Secrets, he was well known for his antagonism and baiting of Archer. It was his decision to write Ross Archer's Brother Brimstone out of the show.
--Daredevil I#65? (66
A member of the Los Angeles Police Department, he was in charge of the investigation of Archer's assaults and subsequent murder.
--Daredevil I#65? (66
The director of Strange Secrets, he was roughed up by Archer after he learned he was being written out of the series.
--Daredevil I#65 (66
Daredevil I#65, p10, panel 2 (Jason)
Daredevil I#66, p4, panel 2 (Wheeler)
panel 3 (Sterling)
p12, panel 1 (face)
Daredevil I#66 (July, 1970)- Roy Thomas (writer), Gene Colan (pencils), Syd Shores (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
First Posted: 06/05/2005 Last updated: 06/06/2005
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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