Mister Scarlet
Mister Scarlet from Wow Comics #2, artist Jack Binder
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Wow Comics #1 (December 1940)
Created by France Herron (writer)
Jack Kirby (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Brian Butler
Pinkerton "Pinky" Butler
Team affiliations Squadron of Justice
All-Star Squadron
Abilities Olympic level athlete, keen investigative skills, utility belt.

Mister Scarlet is the name of several fictional characters, comic book superheroes published by DC Comics. Brian Butler the original Mister Scarlet debuted in Wow Comics #1 (December 1940), and was created by France Herron and Jack Kirby.

Publication history

Mr. Scarlet appears in Wow Comics #1 later showing up in Mary Marvel vol 1 #9 both published by Fawcett Comics.[1] After the Fawcett Comics properties were acquired by National Publications, he appeared in Justice League of America Vol 1 #135-137 published by DC Comics.

Fictional character biography

Brian Butler

Mister Scarlet is district attorney Brian Butler, who along with his adopted son Pinky the Whiz Kid, fought evil in his city for several years. His success was such that his employment was frequently in jeopardy due to a lack of crime. As a result, he throughout his series took up several odd jobs to supplement his family's income. He is a Batman-style crimefighter.[clarification needed] He had several devices which aided him in apprehending various criminals along with some above-average acrobatic and hand-to-hand combatant skills.

In his first appearance in Wow Comics #1, Brian was based in Gotham City. This may be the first use of the name of this city in comics. Later retcons established Mr. Scarlet's base in either New York City or Fawcett City.[2]

Although initially appearing in the 1940s, Mr. Scarlet and Pinky were revealed to still be active and at relatively the same age level in the 1970s during a team-up with the Justice League of America and Justice Society of America in Justice League of America vol 1 #135-137. It was during this teamup that the two crimefighters joined with several other heroes to form Shazam's Squadron of Justice, when the villain King Kull had teamed up with other villains on an attempt to wipe out humanity on all three Earths after capturing the Elders who empowered the Marvels preventing them from transforming. Scarlet and Pinkey fought against the Weeper II and Earth-2 Joker on Earth-S as they committed jewel robberies and turned people into different materials, their goggles helped them against the Weeper's tear gas, although no further adventures of this team were chronicled thereafter.[3]

Pinky Butler

After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Pinky Butler is revealed to have taken over the identity of his father Mister Scarlet after his death, having been active in Fawcett City for several years. It is also revealed how they retained their youth since the 1940s, as the wizard Shazam provided a protective field around the city for decades allowing its inhabitants to age slower than their contemporaries in other cities.

Pinky first appeared as Mr. Scarlet in Power of Shazam #44, saving Freddy Freeman for the first time from Chain Lightning.

Mr. Scarlet later rescues Freddy Freeman from Prometheus' captivity, alongside the Bulleteer.[4]

Other versions

  • A new version of Mister Scarlet appeared in Elseworlds' Kingdom Come and The Kingdom miniseries'. Mister Scarlet is drawn as a bright red devil of a man known for hanging out at Titans Tower bar with Matrix, the new Joker's daughter, and the new Thunder. He has a large "crest" running down his hood, based on the fin on the original's cowl.


  1. Mary Marvel vol 1 #9 (February 1947)
  2. Wow Comics #1 (December 1940)
  3. Justice League of America Vol 1 #135-137 (October–December 1976)
  4. Justice League: Cry for Justice vol. 1 #7 (April 2010)

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