Purpose: An unspecified number of law-breakers
engaged in unspecified criminal activities
Hip (Fred MacRae), Sunshine
Base of Operations: Chicago, Illinois
First Appearance: (Mentioned) Marvel: The Lost Generation#8 (July, 2000)
History: (Marvel: The Lost Generation#8 (fb) - BTS) - The past of the Purple Gang is unrevealed, but by the early 1970s they were involved in a confrontation with Captain Hip--the hippy hero sustained a broken right leg in the conflict, but the fate of the Purple Gang is unrevealed.
(Marvel: The Lost Generation#8) - Fred MacRae was confined
to a wheelchair while recuperating, so his wife arranged for tickets to
a Grateful Dead concert to cheer him up. Following the concert,
Autumn MacRae mildly chided her husband for taking on the Purple Gang by
Comments: Created by Roger Stern (writer) and John
Byrne (artist), Al Milgrom (inks)
The Purple Gang's only "appearance" was this one
word-balloon in this single panel, which probably makes them the most
obscure characters in the Lost Gen series (more
so than even Doctor
Mime, who at least was depicted).
Since they were never actually seen, we can only speculate on who the Purple Gang were.
In the "real" world, there was a group of criminals and
bootleggers that operated in Detroit in the 1920s called the Purple
Gang--maybe the Lost Gen characters were the successors to those
Or, since Captain Hip was a hippy superhero, maybe the
Purple Gang were hippy supervillains who chose that name for their group
because they were inspired by the Jimi Hendrix song "Purple
IMHO the simplest source of the Purple Gang's name might be Elvis Presley's 1957 song "Jailhouse Rock," in which "the whole rhythm section was the Purple Gang." Maybe they were purple-clad criminal Elvis impersonators, which would be a more memorable shtick than many.
(I typically heard it as "A purple gang" and just presumed that was prison slang of some sort.) In hindsight, IMHO "the Purple Gang" sounds like the sort of casual character reference that Kurt Busiek often used in "Astro City," with which I'm sure most correspondents are acquainted.
And thanks to Norvo for providing the scan!
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
The Purple Gang has no known connections to:
images: (without ads)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#8, p4, pan3 (Purple Gang mentioned by Autumn MacRae, Fred MacRae in wheelchair, accompanied by daughter Truth MacRae)
Marvel: The Lost Generation#8 (July, 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
First Posted: 10/14/2015
Last updated: 06/16/2022
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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