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CRIMEBUSTER

Real Name: Frank Moore

Identity/Class: Human, citizen of the United States

Occupation: Freelance crimefighter

Group Membership: Champions of Xandar (Comet/Harris Moore, Diamondhead/Arch Dyker, Nova/Richard Rider, Nova Prime/Tarak Valt, Powerhouse/Rieg Davan, Protector/Thoran Rul)

Affiliations: Princess Adora, Fantastic Four (Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Invisible Girl/Susan Richards-Storm, Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards, Thing/Ben Grimm), H.E.R.B.I.E., Janus the Golden Angel, Lectronn, Master Xar, the Nova Corps

Enemies: Doctor Sun, Krimmon's Gang, Sandman (Flint Marko), Skrulls, Sphinx (Anath-Na Mut)

Known Relatives: Harris Moore (Comet, father, deceased), Helen Moore (mother, deceased), unidentified sister (deceased)

Aliases: "C-B" (nickname used by Nova)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
                                  formerly Xandar;
                                  formerly Pottersville, New York, USA

First Appearance: Nova I#13 (September, 1977)

Powers/Abilities: Crimebuster possessed no known superhuman abilities. In combat, he relied on a multi-purpose gun he called his "Whammer" that performed various functions depending on the cartridges he inserted into it. Among those were his net cartridge that shot a constricting net at his opponents, as well as other  non-lethal ammunition like smoke bombs, stun pellets and a rope gun that fired lassos. The eye-lenses in his mask were outfitted with hypnotic beam projectors strong enough to coerce anyone to reveal any secrets, no matter how desperately they wanted to keep those hidden. For transportation, he relied on the Crime-Pod, a stylized one-man V.T.O.L. plane that could also hover for extended periods of time. Among the vessel's recorded attributes were a smokescreen projector, an electric stunblast, a durable metal net he could trap enemies in, a flexible ladder and a plush, leather seat. Crimebuster also had access to an allegedly airborne facility he called his Flying Lab. Crimebuster supposedly had sufficient engineering skills to both invent and maintain his weaponry and modes of transporation (see comments).

Height: 5'10"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Black

History: (Nova I#25 (fb) - BTS) - Frank Moore and his sister were born to Harris and Helen Moore, a wealthy couple of independent means. In the late 1950s, after receiving fantastical powers following an encounter with a gaseous anomaly, his father made a name for himself as the superpowered crimefighter known as the Comet (see comments).

(Nova I#24 (fb) - BTS) - The Moore's family home was blown up by an unknown assassin out to kill the Comet. His mother and sister apparently died in the explosion, while father and son Moore were flung in different directions. Shellshocked and severely injured, the Comet found himself alone in a hospital and believed he was the only one who had survived and immediately departed. Before too long, the guilt and shame over being (in)directly responsible for his family's demise drove the Comet to the brink of madness. He destroyed all the hospital records, took to the streets and became a drunk derelict. His absence inspired Frank to swear vengeance on the underworld, the young boy was determined to follow in his father's footsteps and wipe out crime forever.

(Nova I#13 (fb) - BTS) - Before making his public debut as Crimebuster, Frank Moore operated in secret for two years. During this time, he perfected his methods and weaponry while gathering a wide network of underground contacts.

(Power Man & Iron Fist I#105 (fb) - BTS) - Moore eventually settled down in a rented apartment in Pottersville, New York. Presumably to increase his preparedness, he hid away a spare Crimebuster uniform along with a full complement of arms.

(Nova I#13) - Crimebuster picked up the news that Sandman and his goons were in the process of robbing the Hempstead National Bank. He rushed to the scene, unaware that Richard Rider (Nova) was already present to check his account. Crimebuster burst through the window and engaged the enemies, allowing Rider to sneak away and change into his Nova gear. Nova came to Crimebuster's aid just as he was whacked upside the head with a gun. Easily absorbing the impact, Crimebuster fired his lasso gun, trapping the Sandman's hired hands while Nova locked the supervillain in the bank's airtight vault. With the immediate threat passed, the heroes briefly exchanged pleasantries with Crimebuster explaining to Nova that he'd actually been active for quite some time despite appearing to be a new face. He then took his leave of the young hero, calling his personalized airplane and taking off. As soon as his behind hit the comfortable, leather seat of his craft, Moore breathed a sigh of relief over the success of his first public appearance.

(Nova I#15 (fb) - BTS) - For several weeks, Crimebuster was on the lookout for Krimmon's Gang, a band of robbers that specifically targeted priceless antiques. Using his contacts within the underworld, Moore learned that Krimmon's Gang would strike a specific warehouse in Long Island City. He made his way there and waited for the gang to arrive. However, he was spotted by Nova, who also happened to be looking for Krimmon and his thugs. They decided to team up.

(Nova I#15) - Crimebuster and Nova covertly waited around for Krimmon's gang to make its move. When the thieves arrived, the heroes quickly came to action. Crimebuster insisted they hit all the mercenaries before they could run and even managed to stop an early runaway with a net cartridge fired from his "Whammer" gun. When Nova used his powers to stop the driver of the truck filled with stolen antiquities, Crimebuster used his hypnotic beam to make the man talk. Nova offered to help Crimebuster continue his fight against the gang, but Moore declined, preferring to wrap this case up on his own. Crimebuster asked Nova to wait for the cops to arrive, promising he'd notify them from his Flying Lab. He then took his leave of the slightly disgruntled hero, promising Nova he wouldn't forget his help on this case.

(Civil War: Battle Damage Report#1) - Crimebuster, Lectronn and Janus the Golden Angel rescued bystanders from mystic debris of the cosmic crisis "Star Waaugh".

(Nova I#24 - BTS) - Patrolling New York City in his Crime-Pod, the Crimebuster spotted a flying costumed person resembling his long lost father the Comet. His curiosity more than a little piqued. Moore chased the red and yellow garbed figure in his Crime-Pod.

(Nova I#24) - Still unsure, Crimebuster used his vessel's weapons on the Comet, who easily took care of the ship's smokescreen, stun blaster and the Crime-Pod's allegedly unbreakable netting. Crimebuster then called a truce, asking if they could speak for a moment. Setting down on a nearby rooftop, father and son enjoyed a brief but emotional reunion before they spotted Nova hurtling across the sky. Unaware Nova had been sent by the Sphinx who, along with Dr. Sun, had commandeered his Xandarian spacecraft to collect the amnesiac alien Powerhouse, father and son decided to follow Rider in case he needed help. All this was also witnessed by Nova's old enemy Diamondhead, who'd spotted Crimebuster and the Comet on the roof and quietly hid aboard the Crime-Pod. As soon as Nova, Crimebuster and the Comet had caught up with Powerhouse, they were all teleported aboard the Xandarian ship by the Sphinx. The vessel immediately took off, headed for the Xandarian Worldmind, whose knowledge the Sphinx and Sun both wanted to probe, albeit for different reasons.

(Nova I#25) - On their way to Xandar aboard Nova's ship, Crimebuster took the time to reconnect with his dad. The Comet admitted to feeling so horrible and low for having left his family behind while a teary-eyed Crimebuster merely rejoiced in the fact his long sustained hope of seeing his loved ones again had come true. The two hugged while Nova looked on from a distance, reminded of the fact he missed his own relatives. A little while after the Sphinx and Dr. Sun launched the ship into hyperdrive towards Xandar, they were attacked by a fleet of Skrull warships. As Nova and the Comet went into space to deal with the Skrulls, Diamondhead emerged from the shadows determined to return home by taking control of the vessel. Crimebuster tried his best to stop the superpowered criminal but proved no match for his brute strength. In the end, he was saved by the Sphinx, who ended the fight by blasting Diamondhead. When the villain came to and demanded an explanation, the Sphinx merely stated that the Skrulls attacking them so close to Xandarian space meant a larger assault was imminent and all their powers were needed to help fend them off.

(Fantastic Four I#206) - Upon reaching Xandar, Crimebuster and the other vigilantes were stunned to see the once proud planet had been reduced to its four major cities, interconnected through an artificial support system. Crimebuster aided the others in finding a suitable place to dock when they suddenly spotted a rogue Skrull craft headed for Xandar. Unaware three of Earth's Fantastic Four were aboard the ship, Nova's vessel fired on the enemy, seemingly destroying the Skrullian saucer in the process.

(Fantastic Four I#208) - Crimebuster and the others were stunned to find the vessel they destroyed did not house Skrulls but rather, three members of the Fantastic Four. Nova rushed outside to collect the three heroes, kept alive because of the Invisible Girl's force bubble. At the same time, both the Sphinx and Dr. Sun teleported to Xandar in hopes of gaining access to the World Computers. Moments later, Crimebuster met the FF, who were already feeling the effects of the Skrull aging ray they'd recently been subjected to. Crimebuster watched silently as the once mighty Thing had noticeable difficulties lifting not too heavy objects. Upon arriving on Xandar proper, the FF were reunited with their fourth member the Human Torch, who'd teleported in to join his teammates. Not too long afterwards, Crimebuster and the others noticed that Nova Prima Thoran had merged with the World Computers. This granted him significant omniscience, enough to foresee the Skrulls upcoming assault. Before they could truly gird themselves against this attack, they learned the Sphinx had absorbed the knowledge and power of the Xandarian computer banks, gaining massive super powers in the process. Ranting, raving and deeming himself unbeatable, the Sphinx tore a bloody swath through the Nova troops and even made short work of the FF, Nova and his allies. The Sphinx swatted most of Earth's heroes aside and fired an energy blast at Crimebuster. A horrified Comet looked on as his son was hit. Crimebuster was merely temporarily stunned but the Sphinx used this distraction to take off for Earth, voicing his intent to conquer his birth planet.

(Fantastic Four I#209) - Crimebuster watched from the side as Mr. Fantastic used the Xandarian Worldmind's knowledge to quickly construct a miniature, sentient robot that he dubbed H.E.R.B.I.E. which was tasked to help the team locate Galactus, whom Mr. Fantastic figured would be the only one able to stop the Sphinx. The FF asked Nova, Crimebuster and the remaining heroes of Earth to stand together as the new Champions of Xandar against the ever present Skrull threat while the Fantastic Four tried to save Earth from the Sphinx. Crimebuster assured Mr. Fantastic that this unofficial team was up to the task at hand and then saw the FF off.  Not too long after that, Crimebuster and the other Xandarians learned that the Skrulls had pulled back all of their forces in preparation for one, final attack on Xandar.

(Rom I#24 (fb)) - Unwilling to sit and wait for the Skrulls to attack, Crimebuster, Comet and Diamondhead boarded the Xandarian Milelong Ship to join the Nova Corps on the frontlines.

(Rom I#24 (fb) - BTS) - The treacherous Diamondhead had no intention of helping his Terran enemies and secretly contacted the Skrulls, who agreed to help ambush the Xandarian flagship by sending out a false distress signal. Upon arrival, the ship and all aboard were to be shifted to another dimension where they could no longer interfere.

(Rom I#24 (fb)) - Crimebuster discovered Diamonhead's alliance with the Skrulls and brought it to the Champions' attention. Before the Xandarian heroes could act, the Skrulls made their move. They lethally wounded Crimebuster and shifted Comet, the Champions and Xandar's remaining forces to the aforementioned dimension.

(Rom I#24 - BTS) - The Galadorian Spaceknight Rom happened upon Xandar and, after an initial mishap because he was flying a Skrull shuttle on loan from the Fantastic Four, was greeted as a friend by Adora and the others. The Milelong Ship then returned with a Skrull invasion force disguised as Xandar's own forces. Thanks to his Dire Wraith detection equipment, Rom saw through this ruse and attacked. In the end, Comet and the ambushed Nova Corps were freed from their dimensional exile, with Moore confirming Diamondhead's betrayal and the tragic fate that befell his son the Crimebuster.

(Power Man and Iron Fist#105 (fb) - BTS) - Fugitive Eugene P. Mason ended up renting Moore's old and unintentionally abandoned apartment in Pottersville, New York. He discovered Moore's spare Crimebuster suit and the arsenal he had stashed away prior to leaving (and dying) on Xandar. Mason decided to take the equipment and adapt it to start his own career as the vigilante Crime-Buster.

(Nova II#1 (fb) - BTS) - Shi'ar Imperial soldiers Fath'raj and Shy'tarra reviewed the history of Earth's Nova, Richard Rider. They took special notice of Rider's time with Crimebuster and the other Champions of Xandar.

Comments: Created by Marv Wolfman (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils) and Joe Sinnott (inks).

While I like Crimebuster (a hero using modular weapons with insertable cartridges, what's not to love?), his yellow and green costume makes him look like a HYDRA footsoldier. That's bound to get a guy punched during the inevitable crossover team-up with your fellow heroes. Still, the concept of having a handful of Earth-based vigilantes end up on an alien world they're forced to protect is an interesting one. It's a shame we didn't get to see more of it...and, to think, we almost would have... In the late 1970s, Marv Wolfman, writer of both Nova and Fantastic Four had planned a 6-month crossover-style storyline between the two books that would tell two seemingly separate tales until they'd suddenly blend together. Unfortunately, Nova was canceled in the Summer of '79 just as Wolfman had completed all the necessary set ups for the heroes of both books to meet. This forced him to restructure his story on the fly, quickly moving the Champions of Xandar to the pages Fantastic Four where he could tell a little bit of what he'd planned. After all, the FF's part of the crossover saw them leaving Xandar to look for Galactus. This meant Xandar's last stand wasn't brought up again until 1981 when Bill Mantlo's Rom revealed this theoretically epic struggle and Crimebuster's allegedly heroic sacrifice as little more than a two panel flashback to events we never got to see in the first place. That's truly a tragedy as far as Frank Moore's concerned. No follow up, no mention of his funeral services and worst of all: his death took place in Rom, a licensed comic book Marvel no longer holds the rights to. This means creators are forced to tip toe around Crimebuster's death... for legal reasons. Then again, the Rom stories are still referenced in Handbooks so...what's to prevent anyone from bringing him back? "Ha-ha, I was a Skrull after all!" worked for most of Secret Invasion, so why not have more of Frank Moore? The Marvel Universe could do with a Blue Beetle type hero, especially if he returns to Earth to find even printers stopped relying on cartridges by now.

As for the fact that he was supposedly around 8 years old when his superhero dad the Comet disappeared circa 1957...let's agree to let that one slide like the timescale that made his original continuity unworkable. Also, there's a bit of confusion about whether or not his name should be spelled with a hyphen. His creator Marv Wolfman uses both seemingly indiscriminately but the OHotMU entry stuck with "Crimebuster," so let's consider that spelling canon.

So, how did Crimebuster pay for all his high-tech gadgets and personalized aircraft? Well, though the matter was never addressed on panel, his father Harris was established as a man of independent means. Considering Harris went off the deep end and even destroyed any records of him having survived the attack... it's logical to assume Frank was left as the sole inheritor of the Moore family fortune.

Crimebuster, as part of the Champions of Xandar, received profiles in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#2 (1983), Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Deluxe Edition#16 and Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z HC Vol. 2 (2008).

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Crimebuster should not be confused with


images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe II#16, p47, pan3 (main image)
Nova I#13, p2, pan5 (first public appearance)
Nova I#15, p6, pan1 (uses his hypnotic lenses)
Nova I#24, p8, pan4 (and his VTOL Crime-Pod)
Nova I#25, p7, pans3&4 (reunited with his dad the Comet)
Rom I#24, p16, pans 3&4 (killed by the Skrulls)


Appearances:
Nova I#13 (September, 1977) -
Marv Wolfman (writer & editor), Sal Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks)
Nova I#15 (November, 1977) - Marv Wolfman (writer & editor), Carmen Infantino (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks)
Nova I#24 (March, 1979) - Marv Wolfman (writer & editor), Carmen Infantino (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks)
Nova I#25 (May, 1979) - Marv Wolfman (writer & editor), Carmine Infantino (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks)
Fantastic Four I#206 (May, 1979) - Marv Wolfman (writer & editor), Keith Pollard pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks)
Fantastic Four I#208 (July, 1979) - Marv Wolfman (writer & editor), Sal Buscema (pencils), D. Hands (inks)
Fantastic Four I#209 (August, 1979) - Marv Wolfman (writer & editor), John Byrne (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks)
Rom I#24 (November, 1981) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Allen Milgrom (editor), Mark Gruenwald (research)
Power Man & Iron Fist#105 (May, 1984) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Richard Howell (pencils), Andy Mushinsky (inks), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Nova II#1 (January, 1994) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Chris Marrinan (pencils), Mark Stegbauer (inks), Rob Tokar (editor)
Civil War: Battle Damage Report: Lectronn entry (2007) - Ronald Byrd (writer)


Last updated: 01/29/15

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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