"BLACK MARVEL"

Real Name: Unrevealed (see comments)

Identity/Class: Human (Native American, Old West era)

Occupation: Warrior

Group Membership: Blackfeet tribe

Affiliations: Malcolm Lyons

Enemies: Comanche Indians

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Black Marvel" (as called by Malcolm Lyons)

Base of Operations: Mobile

First Appearance: Mystic Comics I#5/text-story (March, 1941)

Powers/Abilities: Although no specific powers or abilities were mentioned, the "Black Marvel" was powerfully built, and his reputation was such that he was able to instill fear into the hearts of savage Comanche raiders; his face was dyed with black war-paint.

Able to speak broken English, the "Black Marvel" could make a war-cry like the sound of an eagle.

The "Black Marvel" rode a black pony.

Height: 6'2" (by approximation)
Weight: 200 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Black

History:
(Mystic Comics I#5/text story (fb) - BTS) - The true identity and past of the "Black Marvel" is unrevealed (see comments).

(Mystic Comics I#5/text story) - Seeking a better life out west, printer Malcolm Lyons bundled his printing press in a wagon, and with his wife and year-old son James, he left his shop on a quiet Philadelphia street and headed for California. The Lyons family eventually joined with other settlers in a wagon-train to make the arduous journey.

   Months later, after crossing the Mississippi River, the wagons rumbled across the plains of Kansas. One evening, the wagon-train stopped in a valley, fires were made, and supper was eaten. But as darkness fell, the fires were stamped out and the covered wagons formed into a close circle for protection, because the settlers were in Native Territory.

   Later that night, as the men of the wagon-train stood guard, screaming Comanche raiders began to attack with flaming arrows--although the settlers fought back, some of the covered wagons were set ablaze, and the wagon-train's leader was killed. Malcolm Lyons knelt on the ground and prayed for help--any kind of help--for he felt all was lost.

   Then the whoops of the savage raiders suddenly stopped, and from a distance, Lyons heard a faint but clear sound--like that of an eagle, but repeated over and over. Riding upon a black pony came another Native, his face painted with black dye. The band of raiders seemed fearful of this stalwart young brave, and the Comanches stopped the attack on the wagons and directed their attentions to him alone.

   Not knowing what to do, the men of the wagon-train fired at this new Native, but Lyons sensed something in him and felt that he was their friend, so he implored the men to continue firing at the raiders instead--his orders were followed, and the Comanches were driven off.

   The lone Native jumped his horse into the center of the circled wagons, and Lyons was the first to greet him. The Native identified himself as a member of the Blackfeet tribe; he told Lyons and the other settlers that they were safe now, for the Comanche feared the Blackfeet, then he rode off into the night.

   The next morning, as the wagon-train proceeded on its journey westward, Malcolm Lyons spoke to his wife about how the mysterious Native had saved their lives, and they had a lot to thank him for--in regards to their benefactor's war-paint, Lyons commented, "He was a MARVEL! A BLACK MARVEL!"

   The story of the "Black Marvel" would apparently be handed down by Malcolm Lyons to his descendants.

Comments: Created by Ray Gill (writer) and Peter Alvarado (artist).

There was only one illustration of the character available in this text-story--The Legend of the Blackfeet: The Story of the First Black Marvel!--I'm guessing that the man on the left was Malcolm Lyons.

No specific year was mentioned as to when these events took place, but it was some time after the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in California in 1849.

Malcolm Lyons was the central character in this text-story, and he would eventually be the grandfather of Dan Lyons, the Black Marvel of the 1940s.

Perhaps this "Black Marvel" had been Man-To, the elderly chief of the Blackfeet tribe, who was seen on his death-bed in the 1940s in this same issue's origin of Dan Lyons as the Black Marvel--Lyons credited Man-To with saving the life of his father, James.

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The "Black Marvel" has no known connections to:


images: (without ads)
Mystic Comics I#5/text story, p3, pan1 (Main Image - "Black Marvel" jumping his horse into center of circled wagons)


Appearances:
Mystic Comics I#5/text story (March, 1941) - Ray Gill (writer), Peter Alvarado (pencils and inks), Joe Simon (editor)


First Posted: 09/04/2018
Last updated: 09/04/2018

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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