Wonder Comics #1
America's Best Comics
|First appearance||Fighting Yank #7|
|Created by||Richard E. Hughes|
|Alter ego||William 'Bill' Norris|
none, used guns and a sword|
(ABC revival) electromagnetic blasts via sword
The Grim Reaper is a fictional character and a superhero. Created by writer/editor Richard E. Hughes He first appeared in Fighting Yank #7, Feb., 1944, and was quickly promoted to cover feature of Wonder Comics (Better Publications), beginning with #1 May 1944. His origin story was told in Wonder Comics #2.
Bill Norris was studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, France when the Nazis occupied the City. Intervening in a Nazi harassment of a citizen, Norris was arrested and sent to a concentration camp. He helped an old man, who eventually confided to Norris that he was the leader of the French Underground and knew the location of an important French General, who had to be safely brought to Africa to continue the battle. Fashioning an all black Grim Reaper outfit, Norris, with help from the French citizenry, rescued the General.
He was, at one point, number one on the Gestapo's wanted list.
The Grim Reaper was often shown working behind enemy lines in the German underground. While getting a machine that broadcasts electrical sparks that short circuit any motor within range, including planes, out of Germany, the Reaper made his way to England.
In one adventure, the Reaper brings a special Nazi zeppelin to England and wants nothing more than to go back to the continent. "The only reward I want is a chance to fight the Nazi beasts again and again ... to spread terror among the foulest terrorists the world has ever known! Tremble, you Nazis! The Grim Reaper is coming back!"
America's Best Comics
The Grim Reaper, along with other heroes from Nedor Comics, were revived by Alan Moore in his series Tom Strong. This revival set the characters on a parallel world called Terra Obscura, which was also the title of the resulting mini-series.
This Reaper eventually opposed the goals of the revived Black Terror and was killed, during his own unsuccessful attempt to put an end to the Terror.
Powers and abilities
None in the Golden Age. When revived by ABC, his sword could project electromagnetic blasts.
- Forbidden Adventures: The History of the American Comics Group, by Michael Vance, Greenwood Press, 1996, ISBN 0-313-29678-2
- In the real world, the Nazis occupied Paris on June 14, 1940. Norris was described as "American student stranded in occupied Europe." in Wonder Comics #3.
- Wonder Comics #2, reprinted in Heroes Unlimited #1 by ACG, 2002.
- Wonder Comics #3
- Wonder Comics #4
- America's Biggest Comics Book, 1944