Ulysses Hazard from Men of War #23,
artist Joe Kubert
|First appearance||(1) Men of War #1
(2) Checkmate vol. 2 #24
|Created by||(1) David Michelinie (writer)
Ed Davis (artist)
(2) Greg Rucka (writer)
Eric Trautmann (writer)
Joe Bennett (artist)
|Alter ego||(1) Captain Ulysses Hazard
(2) Tyson Sykes
|Team affiliations||United States Army|
|Notable aliases||Rook Alpha|
|Abilities||Trained military commando and marksman|
Gravedigger is a codename used by two fictional soldiers published by DC Comics. Captain Ulysses Hazard the first Gravedigger debuted in Men of War #1 (August 1977), and was created by David Michelinie and Ed Davis. Tyson Sykes the second Gravedigger debuted in Checkmate vol. 2 #25 (June 2008), and was created by Greg Rucka, Eric Trautmann and Joe Bennett.
Captain Ulysses Hazard appeared in every single one of the original twenty-six issue run of DC Comics' Men of War. He is also the only fictional character other than Sgt. Rock to ever lead DC Comics' version of Easy Company.
Fictional character biography
Ulysses Hazard suffered from polio as a child, and was tormented by bullies. After a regimen of exercise he was able to condition his body to an optimum. When the United States entered World War II, Ulysses joined the army but found himself in a segregated military, in which all Black soldiers were put to work in menial units: burying bodies, supply delivery, or kitchen work. Frustrated that he has overcome polio, but is not allowed to fight, he invades The Pentagon to show that he has the skills necessary to fight. He is made into a special one-man unit by the Pentagon, codenamed "Gravedigger". Later, during combat with the Nazis, he receives a scar across his face that resembles a cross. Also, Ulysses had at least one son, Achilles Hazard, who joined the United States Marine Corps.
In the backup story "Snapshot: Remembrance" in the retrospective mini-series DC Universe: Legacies #4, set during a reunion on July 4, 1976, it is revealed that Ulysses Hazard did survive the end of the war, staying in the Army and reaching the rank of Colonel. The other attendees are Jeb Stuart of the Haunted Tank, the Losers, Mademoiselle Marie and possibly the Unknown Soldier. Marie's son, who resembles Sgt. Rock, briefly appears.
Perseus Hazard is Ulysses's grandson, and the son of Achilles Hazard. He is the former leader of Squad K a special response team tasked with apprehending Superman if he should ever turn rogue. He does not use the codename Gravedigger.
Tyson Sykes, is the second African-American fictional character known to use the codename Gravedigger. He is a Checkmate operative whose field designation is Rook Alpha. Tyson gains special telepathic abilities by injecting himself with a solution called Apocritic made from Starro DNA.
- Greenberger, Robert (2008), "Gravedigger", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 148, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
- McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 174. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9.
Writer David Michelinie and artist Ed Davis presented an atypical war hero in Ulysses Hazard.
- Nate Hollis
- The Unofficial Gravedigger Biography
- Superman #664
- DC Universe: Legacies #4 (October 2010)
- First seen in Superman #664 (August 2007)
- As seen in Checkmate vol. 2 #24 (May 2008)