Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Unrevealed (see comments) (1950s era)

Occupation: Criminal

Group Membership: Unrevealed (see comments)

Affiliations: Unrevealed

Enemies: Comet (Harris Moore)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed

First Appearance: Nova I#22 (November, 1978)

Powers/Abilities: Unrevealed (if any)


Height: 5' 10" (by approximation)
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Unrevealed

History: (Nova I#22 (fb)) - The past of the "Purple Gangster" is unrevealed, but one evening, circa 1956, in an unidentified city, he was fleeing from the Comet after presumably committing a crime.  The Comet hurled an energy bolt at the "Purple Gangster," but the outcome of this conflict is unrevealed. 

(Nova I#22) - In current times, Harris Moore was reminiscing about his origin and heroic past  (including his encounter with the "Purple Gangster") to Mike Burley.

Comments: Created by Marv Wolfman (writer), Carmine Infantino (pencils), and M. Hands (inks)

This character only appeared in this one story-panel, he was never identified, he didn't demonstrate any superpowers, and he appears to be nothing more than a generic scofflaw--so why am I doing a profile on him?

Well, way back when this issue of Nova originally came out, I noticed that in this panel, the Comet was depicted in full-color, while that thug had a purplish hue (although his hands and face are light-blue), and I thought that maybe the reason for this crook's odd coloring was because he was some kind of costumed supervillain (Gimme a break, I was just a dopey little kid back then, and I now realize that it was just an artistic technique employed by the colorist to simulate the darkness of the night while still keeping the reader's attention focused on the Comet).  So, thinking this unidentified purple thug was a costumed criminal, I began to think up names for him--The Violet Villain?  The Lavender Law-Breaker?  The Mauve Mobster?  The Plum Pilferer?  Nah, those names sounded too silly, like something out of Spidey Super Stories. 

Then I remembered a real-life group of criminals and bootleggers that operated in Detroit in the 1920s (and mentioned in Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock" and on TV's "The Untouchables")--the Purple Gang.  And with those mobsters in mind, I unofficially dubbed this unidentified character the "Purple Gangster" and filed that name away in the back of my mind.

Years later, while reading an issue of Marvel: The Lost Generation, I learned that Captain Hip battled a group called the Purple Gang in the early 1970s, and I suddenly remembered the "Purple Gangster".  This is pure speculation, but since we know nothing about the Purple Gang that Captain Hip fought, could that group have been around for several years, and could this guy that the Comet battled have been one of that gang's original members and/or founder? 

Yeah, I know I'm stretching things and making a proverbial mountain-out-of-a-mole-hill from this throw-away character, but we don't really know anything about the Comet's 1950s adventures or if he ever tackled any supervillains--with his fancy costume and superpowers, I'd like to think he had more to challenge him than a "rogues gallery" made up of common burglars, pickpockets, muggers, and purse-snatchers.  So if some day Marvel wants to do a series on the exploits of the Comet (Okay, that's very unlikely), here's a ready-made foe for him (just add a few details).

Maybe the "Purple Gangster's" odd coloring was the result of some chemical/radiation/mystical energy mutation that endowed him with some undisclosed superpower? 

And thanks to Norvo for providing the scan!

Profile by Ron Fredericks.

"Purple Gangster" has no known connections to:

images: (without ads)
Nova I#22, p7 pan4 ("Purple Gangster" fleeing from Comet)

Nova I#22 (November, 1978) - Marv Wolfman (writer & editor), Carmine Infantino (pencils), M. Hands (inks) 

Last updated: 11/05/15

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:

Special Thanks to http://www.g-mart.com/ for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters