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Chameleon (Novelty)

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Chameleon
Chameleon
Chameleon

Real Name

Peter Stockbridge

First Appearance

Target Comics #6 (1940)

Original Publisher

Novelty

Created by

Doug Allen & John Junb

Golden Age Origin

The Chameleon was Peter Stockbridge, a non-super-powered detective hero and heir to Stockrbidge Holdings Incorporated - sizable financial empire that included oil rigs, industries and several newspapers. He lost his parents when he was young. His uncle, Adam Stockbrige, a kind, generous man, took him in and instilled in him a drive to fight for justice. When Peter grew up, he became a private detective who worked pro bono for clients from all classes. He was good with his fists, but his best weapon was his mastery of disguise.

When the United States started to break away from it's long-standing neutrality in World War II, he followed Uncle Sam's orders and joined the US Secret Service. He worked with the FBI to stop several sabotage attempts. But when the unscrupulous plastic surgeon Doctor Knife killed his uncle and used his skills to turn one of his henchmen into Peter's physical double, the young heir rushed back to New York City to prove his identity and regain his family fortune. Along the way, he met up with "Ragsy" Murphy, an orphaned, street-wise newspaper boy. Together, they found proof of Doctor Knife's schemes and brought him to justice. In gratitude, Peter made Ragsy his ward.

Now in control of his family's fortune, Peter turned his focus towards fighting street crime. He made himself a managing editor of the Daily Star, a newspaper that his family owned, and used his position to expose criminal gangs and the dangers they posed.

In Target Comics V3 #1, Ragsy infiltrated a dangerous kid gang. To preserve his cover, he took a cue from his favorite comic book character (the Tyrant) and assumed the costumed identity of Kid Tyrant. Out of costume, he worked as part of the gang, only to bust their plans as Kid Tyrant. He retired his costumed identity shortly after the gang's leader was brought to justice.

Chameleon focused on fighting street crime and managing the Daily Star for the remainder of his appearances, though he did occasionally aid the US Secret Service until World War II ended.

Notes

The Chameleon's identity was publicly known. When he started out, his reputation as a master of disguise was passed around through the word-of-month, but it did not become widely known until a feature story about him appeared on the front page of the Daily Star in the wake of his uncle's death.

Chameleon covertly aided the Target in Target Comics V2 #1 in the story that would logically had to take place between his recruitment by Uncle Sam and the Chameleon story that appeared in the same issue. Chameleon tried to use his mastery of disguise to keep himself hidden (for reasons he kept to himself), but he did not count on the fact that he would wind up in the same room as Niles Reed while disguised as the Target. Chameleon was able to persuade Target and the Targeteers that he was on their side, and they parted ways amicably. Niles was apparently impressed enough to put in a good word for him with the FBI - something which came in handy when he joined their ranks.

Golden Age Appearances

  • TARGET COMICS v1 #6-12, v2 #1-12, v3 #1-12, v4 #1-12, v5 #1-8, v6 #1-10, v7 #1-5, #7-12, v8 #2-3, #5, #7-12, v9 #3-4, #11

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