Crimson Avenger
The Crimson Avenger introduced in 2000; cover to JSA #52 by Carlos Pacheco.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearance(Travis)
Detective Comics #20 (October 1938)
World's Finest Comics #131 (February 1963)
Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #9 (April 2000)
Created by(Carlyle)
Geoff Johns
Scott Kolins
In-story information
Alter egoLee Walter Travis
Albert Elwood
Jill Carlyle
Trained soldier
Skilled martial artist
Gifted inventor

The Crimson Avenger is the name of three separate superheroes and supervillains in the DC Comics Universe. The character debuted in 1938 and is notable as the first masked hero in DC Comics.

The first Crimson Avenger, Lee Walter Travis, first appeared in Detective Comics #20 (October 1938). He is also known as a founding member of DC's second depicted superhero team, Seven Soldiers of Victory.

Fictional character biography

Lee Walter Travis

Main article: Crimson Avenger (Lee Travis)

The Crimson Avenger (along with his sidekick Wing) first appeared in the DC Comics anthology American comic book series Detective Comics in issue #20.[1][2] The Crimson Avenger had many similarities to The Green Hornet, including a sidekick named Wing who was an Asian valet, and a gas gun that he used to subdue opponents.[3][4]

Albert Elwood

Albert Elwood made a single appearance as the Crimson Avenger, in World's Finest Comics #131 (February 1963), in a story entitled "The Mystery of the Crimson Avenger". Eccentric inventor Albert Elwood adopted the guise and attempted to help Superman, Batman and Robin thwart the robberies of the Octopus Gang. A requisite identity confusion occurs when one of the Gang members assumed the Crimson Avenger's identity. Elwood helped the heroes capture the gang and retired right afterward. He had many sophisticated gadgets, but his efforts often proved counterproductive, more a hindrance than a help. Elwood did mention that he had "taken the name of a former lawman", meaning the by-then long defunct original Crimson Avenger.[5]

After the introduction of the DC Comics multiverse in the 1960s, the original Crimson Avenger (Lee Travis) was explained to have lived on Earth-Two; Albert Elwood's Earth has never been specified.

Jill Carlyle

A female Crimson Avenger first appeared in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #9 (April 2000), created by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins. This version, like the original El Diablo, served as a minor Spirit of Vengeance. She was an African American woman who possessed the powers of teleportation and intangibility. In a flashback sequence, it was revealed that Carlyle studied law but apparently lost a case in which the defendant was clearly guilty. She obtained a pair of Colt pistols originally owned by the first Crimson Avenger and used them to exact vengeance upon the unknown criminal.[6] These guns are cursed such that, if the possessor uses them out of revenge, he or she will be cursed to track and kill those who have taken an innocent life. Carlyle becomes the Crimsom Avenger after taking revenge on the unknown criminal and, also as part of the curse, an ever-bleeding bullet hole appears on her chest.[7][8][9] This version was never given a name, but is referred to by fans as Jill Carlyle, a name taken from the headstone of a victim the character was shown avenging in an early appearance. Whether the Avenger is Carlyle herself or not remains unclear.

While the Avenger's curse sends her after those who have taken an innocent life, an encounter with Wildcat and Power Girl reveals that "innocent" only has to mean that the victim was innocent of whatever circumstances led to their deaths. Crimson Avenger once targeted Wildcat for causing a man's death, but Wildcat revealed that his "victim" had already killed his own brother and the man's wife and son after they killed his fiancé; Wildcat planted evidence to frame the dead man for his fiancé's murder as he couldn't prove the man's real crime, and it was up to the legal system if the dead man was executed afterwards.

In the pages of "The New Golden Age", Crimson Avenger assembles the Seven Soldiers of Victory and takes them on a mission that involved Clock King using Per Degaton's time machine on the ship where Lee Travis sacrificed his life on.[10]

Other versions

In other media

See also: Crimson Avenger (Lee Travis) § In other media


  1. ^ Booker, M. Keith (2014). Comics through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9780313397516.
  2. ^ Hall, Richard A. (2019). The American Superhero: Encyclopedia of Caped Crusaders in History. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781440861246.
  3. ^ DC Comics Presents #38
  4. ^ Wells, John (May 2013). "Flashback: Whatever Happened to...?". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (64): 51–61.
  5. ^ Fleisher, Michael L. (2007). The Original Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes, Volume Three: Superman. DC Comics. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-4012-1389-3.
  6. ^ Flint, Hanna (24 April 2018). "10 fierce superheroes the goddess Beyoncé should play". SYFY WIRE. Archived from the original on 3 November 2020. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  7. ^ Wallace, Dan (2008), "Crimson Avenger II", in Dougall, Alastair (ed.), The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 90, ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1, OCLC 213309017
  8. ^ Wiese, Jason (15 June 2020). "7 DC Characters Zendaya Would Be Perfect To Play". CINEMABLEND. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  9. ^ Holland, Stephanie (19 February 2020). "10 Black Female Heroes We Want To See In Live Action". ScreenRant. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  10. ^ Stargirl Spring Break Special #1. DC Comics.