HAPPY MANN

Real Name: Happy Mann (see comments)

Identity/Class: Human (World War II era)

Occupation: Unrevealed

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Ted

Enemies: Blackie, Butch

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Happy the Pessimist, "Long face," "Sourpuss"

Base of Operations: Unidentified U.S. city

First Appearance: Joker Comics#1/2 (April 1942)

Powers/Abilities: Happy has the unwavering ability to assume the worst possible outcome in any situation, and to see the negative side of every situation, no matter how positive it should be. Despite this, he actually seems to be fairly lucky.

Height: Unrevealed
Weight: Unrevealed
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Black, greying

History:
(
Joker Comics#1/2) - Happy Mann was a born pessimist, always assuming the worst would happen in any given situation. One day while listening to the news on the radio and bemoaning the sorry state of the world he was visited by his friend Ted, who invited him to go to the movies with him that night, noting that the cinema was also having bingo as part of the program. Despite saying there was no point as they'd never win, Happy went with Ted, bringing along an umbrella despite the bright sunny day because he believed it always rained when he went out.

    Arriving at the theater, Happy announced that he didn't like the advertised movie, the western Lone Stranger, because it "looks very sad," but Ted rebutted this, noting that it contained lot of action. During the film, Happy began openly weeping at the scene where the hero caught the villain, explaining to a confused Ted that the horses looked unhappy.

    When the bingo segment of the evening began, the caller announced Happy's number, 2136, had won the grand prize of $500, though Happy was convinced it had to be a mistake. After Happy collected his winnings, Ted wished him a goodnight outside on the street, and told him to remember to bank the money, despite Happy's reservations that the bank might fail. Moments after Ted departed however, Happy's pessimism finally came true when he was was mugged at gunpoint by two thugs, Butch and Blackie. Since he felt the money would only bring him trouble anyway, Happy willingly let them take his wallet, but upon discovering he had $500 within, Butch assumed that Happy must be a millionaire if he was walking around with such a large amount, so Blackie decided they should hold Happy for ransom and ordered him into their car. Ted spotted this, and suspicious since Happy had not mentioned he might be meeting friends, Ted hailed a taxi to follow.

   In the villains' car, the criminals informed Happy they were going to demand $25,000 for his release, prompting Happy to wonder why even his luck was unlucky. They soon arrived at the crooks' farmhouse hideout, and despite Happy complaining that the tiny dog outside was a tiger, and that there was something about him that made animals dislike him and dogs want to bite him, the two kidnappers quickly bundled Happy into the building. Blackie then told Happy to write a ransom note to his family for $25000, but Happy insisted he didn't have that amount of money, though he was willing to share his pawn ticket with them. Thinking he was just joking, Blackie warned Happy not to try and trick them, and repeated his demand for $25,000. Butch meanwhile asked their victim his name, and when he identified himself, they began laughing uncontrollably, the contrast between his name and his depressed face proving too funny to restrain themselves. Finishing guffawing, the crooks told him to behave himself if he wanted to stay healthy, prompting Happy to complain that the house was so drafty that he was catching a cold, and to again bemoan winning the bingo prize.

   Blackie began making some soup, and having decided he didn't want to share the ransom, surreptitiously poisoned Butch's bowl. However, when he gave it to his partner, Butch announced that they needed to keep Happy looking healthy until they got the ransom, and passed the food to him. Ever the pessimist, Happy declined, announcing his belief that it would probably be poisoned. Amused at this, Butch called Happy a dope and decided to punish him for his negativity by giving the soup to the dog instead. It greedily lapped the soup up, but moments later rolled over and died in agony, with Happy taking a perverse satisfaction in being proven right for once.

    Realizing he had been betrayed, Butch attacked Blackie, and the resultant brutal fight between the two criminals literally brought the house down, as pieces of falling ceiling knocked them both out. Happy concluded that he might say he was lucky, if only he wasn't sure that some more ceiling would surely hit him momentarily. Despite this defeatist belief, he proceeded to hit Blackie on the head with his umbrella to ensure the villain was definitely unconscious.

    Moments later the farmhouse door burst open as Ted arrived with the police. As Happy complained that he had broken his umbrella, the cops informed him there was a $500 reward for the two crooks he had just captured, but Happy immediately began worrying that if he accepted yet more money he would only get kidnapped again.

Comments: Created by Ed Winiarski.

   Happy Man appeared in the first issue of Joker Comics, and his tale ended with a note that there would be "More Next Issue." Happy would of course have doubted this announcement, assuming the worst possible outcome in any situation, and in this case would have been right, as he turned out to be, to the best of my knowledge, a one-issue character.

   His name might be considered a nickname, presumably given by someone as a jest at his negative demeanor, except that when the crooks ask him for his name he says it is "Happy Mann." Given he doesn't seem the type of person who would use a nickname others applied to him, this suggests his given first name actually is Happy.

    This profile was completed 12/14/2020, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.

Profile by Loki.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Happy Mann has no known connections to:


Ted

  

    Ted was Happy Mann's friend, liking him despite his constant pessimism. He invited Happy to the cinema/bingo with him, putting up with the constant negativity Happy extruded.

    After saying goodnight to Happy, he spotted his friend getting into a car with two strange men, and correctly assumed something was wrong, since Happy would have mentioned if he was intending to meet other friends. Thus Ted hailed a taxi and had it follow the car containing Happy and his two kidnappers.

    When the taxi lost the car it was following, Ted swiftly went to the police, informing them that he was sure something was wrong since Happy had never stayed out this late before. The police took Ted to where he had last seen the crooks' car, and one of the cops spotted tire tracks leading up a cowpath to the old Ames House.

    Following the tracks, the police and Ted arrived at the farmhouse and smashed the door down to find Happy inside standing over his unconscious captors.

 

--Joker Comics#1/2


Blackie

    Blackie was a known criminal with a reward for his capture. Working with fellow crook Butc,h he mugged Happy Mann, then suggested they kidnap him for ransom after Butch concluded that their victim must be a millionaire.

    Apparently the more proactive of the pair in general, Blackie was the one to insist Happy write his own ransom note once they got him back to their hideout in the old Ames farmhouse. He then announced that he was starving and began making some soup for himself, but secretly he had decided to keep the ransom entirely to himself, so when Butch told Blackie to make some soup for him too, Blackie secretly poisoned it.

    Serving a bowl to Butch, Blackie told him to dig in, but to his concern Butch decided to give it to Happy, making Blackie fearful that Butch suspected what he was up to. When Happy declined the food, Butch gave it to the farmhouse's dog instead, and when it promptly died, he realized Blackie had tried to betray and kill him.

    Blackie tried to feign innocence, but Butch was having none of it, and began hitting him both with his fists and with furniture, until the pounding brought the ceiling of the room down on both crooks' heads, knocking them out. To add insult to injury, Happy then whacked Blackie with his umbrella, hitting the thug hard enough to break the implement.

    Moments later the police arrived and took both criminals into custody.

--Joker Comics#1/2


Butch

    Butch was a known criminal with a reward for his capture. Working with fellow crook Blackie, he mugged Happy Mann, and when he found his victim's wallet contained $500 in cash he jumped to the conclusion that Happy must be a millionaire, prompting his partner to suggest they kidnap him for ransom.

    Back at their farmhouse hideout, Butch asked Blackie what they should do next, so Blackie ordered Happy to write a ransom note to his family. Butch's contribution to the scheme was merely to ask their victim his name. Blackie then announced that he was starving and began making some soup for himself, prompting Butch to tell him he wanted some too. Blackie secretly poisoned Butch's bowl, but decided they should feed Happy first; when the paranoid Happy declined because he suspected it to be poisoned, Butch decided to punish him by giving the bowl to the farmhouse dog. It promptly died painfully, and Butch realized Blackie had tried to betray and kill him. Butch tried to feign innocence, but Butch was having none of it, and began hitting him both with his fists and with furniture, until the pounding brought the ceiling of the room down on both crooks' heads, knocking them out. Moments later the police arrived and took both criminals into custody.

--Joker Comics#1/2


images: (without ads)
Joker Comics#1/2, p3 of story, pan5 (main image)
Joker Comics#1/2, p2 of story, pan3 (headshot without hat)
Joker Comics#1/2, p2 of story, pan1 (Ted)
Joker Comics#1/2, p3 of story, pan7 (Blackie)
Joker Comics#1/2, p5 of story, pan1 (Butch)


Appearances:
Joker Comics#1/2 (April 1942) - uncredited writer, Ed Winiarski (pencils), uncredited inker, uncredited editor


First Posted: 09/01/2021
Last updated: 8/29/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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