Hangman (Marvel Comics)

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Hangman is the name of two fictional characters in the Marvel Universe.

Harlan Krueger[edit]

Hangman
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Werewolf by Night #11 (Nov 1973)
Created by Marv Wolfman and Gil Kane
In-story information
Alter ego Harlan Krueger
Abilities Skilled in use of rope and scythe
Extensive knowledge of American cinema

Fictional character biography[edit]

Harlan Krueger was born in Los Angeles, California. He was a fanatical moviegoer who idolized movie stars of the past (such as John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, and Alan Ladd). He identified with these heroic figures, developing a simplistic view of good and evil in real life, deciding that evildoers should pay for their crimes with their lives.

After being court-martialed from the army for torturing prisoners of war, Krueger resolved to take the law into his own hands and became the masked vigilante the Hangman. His modus operandi involved executing male criminals while leaving female ones alive but imprisoned to 'protect them' from corruption (many died of starvation while in captivity). After years of stalking criminals with a noose and scythe, he came into conflict with the Werewolf by Night.[1] He later battled the Werewolf again and Deprave.[2] Hangman then allied with Doctor Glitternight and Moon Knight against the Werewolf.[3]

Hangman next stalked one of the Brothers Grimm, who had been stealing from diamond merchants. Mistaking one Brother Grimm (Jake) for his target (William), he pursued him to a Pyrotechnics building and saw him seemingly die in an explosion.[4] He was later one of the criminals captured by the Locksmith.[5]

While attending a Hollywood costume party held for the premiere of a horror movie to 'purge' yet more 'unworthy souls' (in other words, target members of the film industry for execution), the Hangman killed a disguised woman, thus inadvertently violating his own moral code. As he knelt over the corpse in remorse, he was apparently fatally stabbed in the back by film reviewer Matthew O'Brien, who had been trying to stop the Hangman from his latest killing spree, impaling the Hangman on his own scythe.[6]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Harlan Krueger was an athletic man with no superhuman powers. He carried a 30-foot (9.1 m) length of half-inch hemp rope, terminating in a hangman's noose. He also used a harvesting scythe with an eight foot wooden handle and curved four-foot single-edged steel blade. He received Army hand-to-hand combat training.

Krueger had extensive knowledge of American cinema, particularly the films of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.

Jason Roland[edit]

Hangman
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Tower of Shadows #5 (May, 1970)
Created by Roy Thomas and Barry Smith
In-story information
Alter ego Jason Roland
Team affiliations Night Shift
Lethal Legion
Abilities Magically enhanced physical attributes and virtually indestructible rope
Ability to levitate and climb rope without attaching it
Mind-link with Satannish

Fictional character biography[edit]

Jason Roland was an aspiring actor who made a deal with a demon (later revealed to be Satannish[volume & issue needed]) to make his career successful.[volume & issue needed] He was trapped in a monstrous form and hid out for years.[volume & issue needed] He eventually encountered the Night Shift and convinced them to deal with Satannish to increase their powers. They were defeated by the Avengers West Coast.[7]

Satannish later used the Hangman as part of his Lethal Legion, made up of some of the most notorious figures in history given superhuman powers; for example Stalin transformed into the superstrong giant Coldsteel. Mephisto aided the Avengers West Coast in defeating Satannish and his minions.[8]

Much later, Hangman surfaced again when a demon named Bloodbath revealed that his former wife had sired a son he did not know about. Bloodbath forced Hangman to kill people for him for a while, until X-Factor Investigations found out about the killings and fought then helped him.[9]

Powers and abilities[edit]

As Hangman, Roland possessed magically enhanced strength, durability, etc. He was strong enough to go head-to-head with Wonder Man. His rope was also magically enhanced, making it virtually indestructible. He could also levitate his rope and climb it without it being attached to anything. He was in almost constant communication with Satannish, who could enhance his powers as needed.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Werewolf by Night #11
  2. ^ Werewolf by Night #26
  3. ^ Werewolf by Night #37
  4. ^ Spider-Woman #4-5
  5. ^ Spider-Woman #50
  6. ^ Bizarre Adventures #31
  7. ^ West Coast Avengers #79
  8. ^ Avengers West Coast #98-100
  9. ^ X-Factor v3 #224.1 to #228 (Nov 2011-Feb 2012)

External links[edit]