The Black Marvel's debut
Cover art by Alex Schomburg
|First appearance||Mystic Comics #5 (March 1941)|
|Alter ego||Dan Lyons|
|Abilities||Peak physical abilities
The Black Marvel (Daniel Lyons) is a fictional comic book superhero in the Marvel Comics universe. Created by artist Al Gabriele with an unknown writer, he first appeared in Mystic Comics #5 (March 1941), published by Marvel's 1940s forerunner Timely Comics during the period fans and historians call the Golden Age of comic books.
The character also starred in a story in All Winners Comics #1 (Summer 1941), which was written by Lee and reprinted in The Golden Age of Marvel Comics, Vol. 2. The cover was also reprinted in Giant-Size Invaders vol. 2, #2 (Dec. 2005).
Fictional character biography
He was chosen by a "Black Feet" (sic) native American chief (not specifically tied to the real-life Blackfoot tribe) to be a champion of justice, after besting 100 challengers by outrunning a deer, outswimming a salmon upstream, hitting the bullseye while blindfolded and then catching arrows that were fired at him, and then wrestling a bear, finally winning by breaking its neck with his bare hands. He was given a long bow into which he carved a notch whenever he performed a good deed. When he had attained 100 notches he would be judged worthy of having taken the mantle of the Black Marvel.
In later years, Lyons made a Faustian bargain with the demonic being Mephisto that allowed Lyons to obtain four superpowered costumes abandoned by the superhero Spider-Man, and to use them to launch the superhero team the Slingers. The heroes eventually helped release Lyons from his demonic contract, allowing him to die in peace.
In other media
- The Black Marvel appeared on Spider-Man: The Animated Series in the five-part episode Six Forgotten Warriors voiced by Paul Winfield. Here, the Black Marvel is Omar Mosely, and a friend and former teacher of Daily Bugle editor Joseph "Robbie" Robertson.
- The Mayor of Superhero City on The Super Hero Squad Show wears a costume based on Black Marvel.
- Not Stan Lee as reported by some sources such as at "Stan Lee" at the Lambiek Comiclopedia. See Mystic Comics #5 at the Grand Comics Database: "Note that some sources claim that Stan Lee co-created the Black Marvel, but Lee's first writing credit, for a text filler, has been established as being in Captain America Comics #3, with his first comic scripting credit a few issues after that."
- Slingers # 0-12 (Nov. 1998 - Nov. 1999)
- "'Spider-Man: The Animated Series". Marvel Toonzone.