In Death Wish (the novel), one of the newspaper
editorials note that many children have started to see
the vigilante as "a comic book hero like Batman". That
got me thinking-many people think that the murder of
the Batman's parents by a mugger in Detective
Comics#33 was the first revenge origin (it wasn't, as
I note below). Since the origin of the Batman involved
his parents getting killed by muggers, I was wondering
if that was any influence for the idea for Death Wish?
Of course, I had thought that Don Pendelton's
Executioner novels might have been an influence, as
after it came out numerous paperback series such as
the Penetrator, the Avenger, the Marksman, the Lone
Wolf, the Defender, the Assassin, etc. came out, but
most of those series involved people who lost loved
ones to organized criminal groups, not scruffy street
For the record, a list of loss of a loved one origins
that preceded the origin of the Batman in Detective
Dick Tracy (fiance's father killed by robber working
for Big Boy Alphonse Caprice-debatable, I admit-the
death of one's fiancee's father would seem a bit
the Phantom (death of the first Phantom's father at
the hands of pirates of Singh Brotherhood)
the Lone Ranger (death of his brother at hands of
the Green Hornet (his father was the LR's nephew, the
nephew whose father was slain by Butch Cavendish)
the Avenger (origin revealed just before that of the
Batman; killed by Arthur Hickock's gang)
Doc Savage (father killed by feathered serpent)
Marvel Preview#20 had a list of post-Batman characters with loss of loved one origins.
Marvel Preview#20 mentioned some post-Batman
characters with death of a loved one origins in an
article on the Shroud (whose origin served as an
intentionally exact homage to 'Tec#33). They rattled
off Daredevil, Spider-Man, Ant-Man, the Black Panther,
Iron Fist (I think), and probably a few others. It is
interesting to note that the origin of Spider-Man was
probably the first revenge origin of that type to be
adapted for TV
(though the 1960's Batman tv show mentioned, but never
showed, the death of the Waynes; it was actually an
episode of Super-Powers:Galactic Guardians that first
showed the mugging of the Waynes).
Anyway, can anyone name some more post-Batman characters with revenge origins?
> Anyway, can anyone name some more post-Batman characters with revenge origins?
Interesting to me is the long list of Marvel heroes who don't
have revenge origins:
(thus the entire early Avengers team)
Fantastic Four (Reed, Johnny, Sue, Ben)
X-Men (Xavier, Cyclops, Angel, Beast, Iceman, Marvel Girl)
And come to think of it, neither does this guy:
* Captain America and Iron Man both had facilitating persons die as part of their origins, yet in neither case was the death of the facilitating person the fundamental reason for subsequent heroism.
** Spider-Man had a beloved family member and father figure die as part of his origin, and that death was certainly fundamental to why Peter Parker subsequently became a hero, but Peter's driving force was never revenge, but guilt. Indeed, guilt is the core theme of the comic. Tangentially, I'll note a particular fantasy novel trilogy that very clearly has "guilt as the source of heroism" as its core theme: Stephen R. Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever
--"We ask merely a man's worth... not the accident of his condition."
Henry Pym, Avengers #58, 1968 - "Even an Android Can Cry" (Roy Thomas)