Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human (1940s era)

Occupation: Criminal, model-builder, stunt-performer

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: His henchmen

Enemies: Bucky (Fred Davis), Captain America (Jeff Mace) (see comments), Gloria DeVille, Betsy Ross, unidentified contest judges

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Man of Mystery" (as billed on a sign)

Base of Operations: Mobile

First Appearance: Captain America Comics I#64/4 (October, 1947)

Powers/Abilities: The Acrobat was a skilled acrobat (no big surprise) and gymnast who performed death-defying stunts, most notably jumping from a high platform into a shallow tank of water.  He was also a talented model-builder who constructed a scale-model of a proposed futuristic metropolis he called "City of 1960". The Acrobat didn't display any hand-to-hand combat skills, and relied on his henchmen to fight for him.

   The Acrobat seemed to have his teeth filed down to fangs (...either that, or else he had a really bad dentist).

Height: 6' (by approximation)
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unknown
Hair: Black

(Captain America Comics I#64/4 (fb) - BTS) - Nothing is known of the past of the Acrobat, but he was booked to appear at the Future Fair, where he would be performing his high-diving stunt hourly. He learned that the fair was holding a competition of scale-models for proposed cities of the future, and he was tipped off that the blue-ribbon prize winner would also secretly be awarded with a $10,000 cash prize from Gloria DeVille, the contest's sponsor. So the Acrobat built a model he called "City of 1960" that he displayed at the Future Fair's exhibition hall--although he hoped to win the contest legitimately, he hired two henchmen and made a contingency plan to get the prize money illegally if the need arose.

(Captain America Comics I#64/4) - The students of the Lee School entered their future city model in the competition. While Captain America was making an appearance at the fair to sign autographs, his young sidekick Bucky (in his civilian identity, see comments) was helping Betsy Ross set up the Lee School's exhibit. As the competition was drawing to a close, one of the Acrobat's henchmen overheard Gloria DeVille and the other two contest judges talking about awarding the prize to the Lee School's model, so he informed his boss. The Acrobat started a fire at the Lee School's exhibit, and Captain America had Bucky change into his costume and take care of extinguishing the flames before there was any serious damage, while Cap pursued the fleeing Acrobat. The Acrobat summoned his two henchmen, but Cap made short work of the thugs and punched the two senseless, then continued his pursuit of the Acrobat. The Acrobat ran to his tower platform and climbed the ladder to perform his next scheduled high-dive; he jumped from the tower into the shallow water tank, but after five minutes, the Acrobat didn't resurface, and Cap learned he escaped via a trapdoor at the bottom of the tank and got away in a sewer tunnel. Unaware of the secret cash prize, and wondering why the Acrobat would go through so much trouble just to win a blue-ribbon, the baffled Captain America returned to the exhibition hall to guard the Lee School's model city.

   Meanwhile, the Acrobat wanted to decoy Cap away from the model, so he and his men abducted Betsy Ross, and as a distraction, he threw her into a mechanical house-wrecking machine that was on display at the fair. Cap and Bucky heard Betsy's cries for help and rushed to rescue their imperiled friend, while the Acrobat and his men returned to the model exhibits. The Acrobat ordered his henchmen to destroy the Lee School's model city with clubs, but Cap and Bucky fought them off. The heroes chased the Acrobat through a hall of mirrors, but Cap and Bucky lost track of the villain in the maze.

   The Acrobat and his men returned to the exhibition hall just as Gloria DeVille and the judges were walking by, and Gloria was carrying the envelope with the prize money, ready to declare the Lee School's entry the contest winner. The Acrobat grabbed Gloria and the envelope, then he and his men carried her off to a race-track on the fairgrounds, where they commandeered a race-car to make their getaway, only to find Cap and Bucky standing in their path. The heroes leaped aboard and punched the henchmen from the speeding racer. Screeching to a stop, the Acrobat jumped out of the car and ran, but he was tackled from behind by Captain America. Cap unmasked the villain and revealed him to be the builder of the "City of 1960" model, and a police officer took the acrimonious Acrobat into custody, ending his reign of terror at the fair.

   Gloria and the judges awarded the Lee School's model with the blue-ribbon and the envelope with the $10,000 cash prize, which was given to Betsy Ross, who would see to it that the money would go to the Lee School's lunch fund--Cap was pleasantly surprised, and happy to learn that there would be free lunches for the kids for a long time to come.

Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Ken Bald (artist)

I guess the Acrobat had those horns on his costume's mask because he was a "daredevil".

   After he set the fire and was being chased by Cap, the Acrobat summoned his henchmen with the circus battle-cry "Hey Rube!", which implies he may have once been a circus performer.

   When Captain America made his "first appearance" in modern Marvel Comics (@ Strange Tales I#114), he was actually being impersonated by another Acrobat (Carl Zante).

   Timely Comics was still publishing the adventures of Captain America and Bucky into the late-1940s, with the characters referred to as "Steve" and "Bucky" in their civilian identities. But modern Marvel continuity has established that Cap (Steve Rogers) and Bucky (James Buchanan Barnes) were lost and presumed killed-in-action in April, 1945, and their costumed identities were assumed by replacements (@ What If? I#4). Cap was replaced first by William Nasland (formerly the Spirit of '76), and later (following the death of Nasland at the hands of Adam-II's android in 1946) by Jeff Mace (formerly the Patriot), while Fred Davis filled in as Bucky.

   Since this Acrobat story was published decades before the above retcon occurred, Captain America referred to himself as "Steve Rogers" in a thought-balloon, while his young sidekick is referred to as "Bucky Barnes" in a caption. Maybe this continuity glitch could be explained by saying that Mace and Davis temporarily assumed those names after undergoing programming from the "False Memory Chamber"--maybe the two had living relatives they wanted to protect from enemy reprisal should their alter-egos ever be compromised, so making them believe they were "Steve Rogers" and "Bucky Barnes" (two "dead" men with no known family members) would seem to be a perfect way to conceal their true identities.

   In Captain America Comics I#59, "Steve" accepted a teaching position at the Lee School, and "Bucky" became one of the students, which explains why they were present for the school's exhibit at the Future Fair.

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

The Acrobat has no known connections to:

Gloria DeVille has no known connections to:

Acrobat's henchmen

Two unidentified hoodlums, they assisted the Acrobat in his scheme to get a $10,000 cash prize. They helped the Acrobat abduct and endanger Betsy Ross to distract Captain America and Bucky, and they were about to destroy the Lee School's model of a future city with clubs before Cap and Bucky prevented them. They later assisted the Acrobat in abducting Gloria DeVille until they were finally stopped by Captain America and Bucky; presumably, they were arrested and taken into custody along with the Acrobat.

--Captain America Comics I#64/4

Gloria DeVille and unidentified contest judges

A young society social worker, Miss Gloria DeVille was the sponsor for the Future Fair's future city scale-models competition; she and the two unidentified male judges would determine the winning entry in the contest.

   Gloria was secretly carrying an envelope with a $10,000 cash prize that she would present to the winning model-builder because she wanted to buy the winner's model --she and other social workers were planning to use it to promote that the cities of tomorrow be built according to the winning model's standards, free of pollution, noise, and slums.

   But the Acrobat was tipped off that Gloria was carrying a large sum of money, and he abducted her once he learned that Gloria and the judges had decided that the Lee School's model was the winning entry instead of the Acrobat's own model. Gloria was later rescued by Captain America and Bucky.

--Captain America Comics I#64/4

images: (without ads)
Captain America Comics I#64/4, p1, pan1 (main image, Acrobat smashing model city building)
Captain America Comics I#64/4, p12, pan1 (headshot, Acrobat unmasked by Captain America)
Captain America Comics I#64/4, p4, pan3 (Acrobat starting fire)
Captain America Comics I#64/4, p4, pan6 (in model city, Acrobat leaping away from Captain America)
Captain America Comics I#64/4, p8, pan5 (Acrobat ordering his two henchmen to destroy Lee School's model city)
Captain America Comics I#64/4, p3, pan4 (two unidentified contest judges (right), Gloria DeVille (left))
Captain America Comics I#64/4, p10, pan1 (Gloria DeVille between two unidentified contest judges)

Captain America Comics I#64/4 (October, 1947) - Unidentified writer, Ken Bald (peciler), Syd Shores & Vince Alascia (inks), Stan Lee (editor)

Last updated: 05/26/16

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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