In the superhero universe, there are several heroes that operate under the same aliases. For instance, there have been several personas who took the mantle of Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Robin, Blue Beetle, and even Flash. One of those heroes was the Crimson Avenger whose mantle was taken by three different fictional characters under DC Comics.
Initially, the first Crimson Avenger was Lee Walter Travis, who first appeared in the Detective Comics issue #20, published by DC Comics in 1938. He was then considered the first masked hero in the DC universe, as well as the founder of the superhero team called the Seven Soldiers of Victory. In 1963, Albert Wood became the second and the least known Crimson Avenger. Subsequently, the third and the most powerful among the three is portrayed by a female fictional character named Jill Carlyle in 2000.
Lee Walter Travis as the Crimson Avenger
During his early appearance at the Detective Comics issue #20, The Crimson Avenger was dressed in a red trench coat, a red mask covering his face, and a fedora, similar to the character named The Shadow. Aside from that, Crimson Avenger shared similarities to the crime-fighter named The Green Hornet as he also had a sidekick, a gas-gun weapon, and a secretary whose name was Miss. Scarlet. After gaining popularity in the subsequent years, The Crimson Avenger changed his costume into a more standard superhero costume. His new superhero outfit consisted of yellow boots, red tights, and a crest that somewhat looked like a sun –which was later revealed to be a stylized bullet hole.In October 1941, The Crimson Avenger appeared in the Leading Comics issue #1, together with the superhero team called Seven Soldiers of Victory.
In the 2001 Golden Age Secret Files and Origins issue #1, it was revealed that Travis returned to America after he had witnessed the death of several people at the hands of a monster.Years later, Travis had a rare, incurable fatal disease. However, he decided to meet his own end by rescuing his city from an explosive-charged freighter that was about to detonate in its harbor. Before the ship exploded, he managed to persuade the crew to abandon the ship while he piloted it on a safe distance.
Although without super-powers, Travis was an Olympic-level athlete and a highly experienced hand-to-hand fighter capable of combating against nearly any opponent. Travis also used a gas gun design to make his opponents unconscious in the early days of his career. In addition, his calling card was a cloud of crimson smoke through which he made his dramatic entrance.
Albert Elwood as the Crimson Avenger
In World’s Finest Comics issue #131, in a story titled “The Mystery of the Crimson Avenger,” Albert Elwood had a single appearance as the Crimson Avenger. He was an odd inventor who had taken the Crimson Avenger’s guise in an attempt to help Batman, Robin, and Superman to stop the Octopus Gang’s robbery. However, right after his initial mission, he retired right away. Elwood was reported to have several sophisticated gadgets, although his efforts were sometimes counter-productive. More like a hindrance than a help.
Jill Carlyle as the Crimson Avenger
Jill Carlyle is technically the third Crimson Avenger, following Lee Walter Travis and Albert Elwood. Carlyle was a criminal lawyer who obtained a pair of colt pistols initially owned by the first Crimson Avenger, Lee Travis. Unbeknownst to her, these weapons are cursed in a way that if the new owner uses those weapons out of revenge, he or she will be cursed to hunt down and kill those who took innocent lives. As part of the curse, her chest now features an ever-bleeding bullet hole.She also wears a crimson blindfold over her eyes as a tribute to Lady Justice. Aside from that, Jill acquires the skills and memories of the individual she’s currently avenging, although it is unclear if those skills are permanent or merely temporary. Travis’ abilities have also automatically been transferred to her, as the new wielder of the weapon. Jill Carlyle has also been reported to be a short-termed member of the Justice Society when the Ultra-Humanite took over their world.
In addition to her acquired skills and abilities, Carlyle has also demonstrated the ability to go intangible, thus being able to avoid many incoming enemy attacks that are physically stronger than her. She also has the power to teleport herself to different locations, as the weapons teleport her to those who need to be avenged.These cursed weapons have infinite ammo, are self-directional, Omni-penetrable, and cannot miss the target.However, Jill cannot die on regular accounts, even if she turns the pistol on herself.