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Public Domain Super Heroes

Airboy

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Airboy
Airboy v3 -11
Airboy

Real Name

David "Davy" Nelson II

First Appearance

Air Fighters Comics #2 (1942)

Original Publisher

Hillman

Created by

Charles Biro, Dick Wood, and Al Camy

Golden Age Origin Edit

Airboy in plane

Airboy's plane

Airboy was David Nelson II, the son of an expert pilot and an excellent young flyer himself. After becoming an orphan, Davy was raised in a monastery in Capistrano, California. He became friends with a well respected Franciscan monk named Brother Francis Martier. David helped to inspire Martier to to become interested in designing a precision aircraft, hoping it would be his contribution to the world. Martier worked obsessively, and secured a loan in order to create a prototype aircraft that flew by flapping its wings. However, Martier was killed while test-flying it, because its fuel lines had been sabotaged. Davy swore to rebuild the craft, and he did. Dawning a uniform, Davy soon named himself "Airboy" and his new plane "Birdie." He helped the Allies during World War II, and soon earned the respect of enemy fliers.

During and after the war, Airboy had many adventures, confronting such villains as intelligent rats, the mysterious Misery, the immortal Zzed, and his Nazi arch-nemesis Valkyrie, who would later become his ally and sweetheart. Another ally was fellow hero and aviator Skywolf. Airboy also went toe to toe with the monstrous Heap several times.

Airboy's plane, Birdie, had wings that actually flapped. It was equiped with dual machine guns, its wheels could grasp other aircraft, and it could be controlled by a voice activated remote control, under Airboy's lapel. It was able to home in on Airboy and may have had some limited degree of artifical intelligence. Airboy himself was an innovative mechanic and an ace fighter pilot. He was also a skilled fighter, able to defeat a Jiu-Jitsu World Champion from Japan in a no holds barred match.

Notes Edit

Airboy was unusual among Golden Age heroes because he aged reasonably close to real time, growing from a 12-year old boy in his first appearance to a young adult in his final appearances almost eleven (real life) years later. According to Fred Kida, the artist who drew most of his appearances, this was deliberate, and that he got the idea from the then-popular Terry and the Pirates comic strip.

Also an influence on Alan Moore's Top Ten Character Jetlad, who would later grow up to be Jetman, and the Wild Cards character Jet Boy.

Golden Age Appearances Edit

  • Air Fighters Comics v1 #2-12, v2 #1-10
  • Airboy Comics v2 #11-12, v3 #1-2, #4-12, v4 #1-12, v5 #1-12, v6 #1-12, v7 #1-12, v8 #1-12, v9 #1-12, v10 #1-4

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