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The Grim Reaper
Grim Reaper 005

Real Name

William (Bill) Norris

First Appearance

Fighting Yank #7 (Feb. 1944)

Original Publisher

Nedor

Created by

Richard E. Hughes and Al Camy

Origin

Bill Norris was studying at Sorbonne, the famed university in Paris, France, when the Nazis occupied the city. Intervening in a Nazi harassment of a citizen, Norris was arrested and sent to a concentration camp. He helped an old man, who eventually confided to Norris that he was the leader of the French Underground and knew the location of an important French General, who had to be safely brought to Africa to continue the battle. Fashioning a Grim Reaper outfit, Norris, with help from the French citizenry, rescued the General.

Grim Reaper

Bill Norris took it upon himself to fight the Nazi menace in Europe, donning a mask and cape and calling himself the Grim Reaper. With no superpowers, he relies on his hand-to-hand combat skills, a rope with a hangman's noose, his handgun, and his trusty knife to thwart criminals.

Grim Reaper 004

The Grim Reaper's calling card.

He was, at one point, number one on the Gestapo's wanted list.

The Grim Reaper was often shown working behind enemy lines in the German underground. While getting a machine that broadcasts electrical sparks that short circuit any motor within range, including planes, out of Germany, the Reaper made his way to England.

In one adventure, the Reaper brings a special Nazi zeppelin to England and wants nothing more than to go back to the continent. "The only reward I want is a chance to fight the Nazi beasts again and again ... to spread terror among the foulest terrorists the world has ever known! Tremble, you Nazis! The Grim Reaper is coming back!"

Golden Age Appearances

  • The Fighting Yank #7
  • Wonder Comics #1-17
  • America's Biggest Comics Book #1

Notes

  • The Nedor comics were renewed by Popular Library, which was eventually bought out by Fawcett Books. When Fawcett went out of business, Popular Library was sold to Warner Bros. A number of different publishers, however, are currently/have been using these characters without any lawsuits from Warner Bros., so any action over them is (probably) unlikely. They are still, however, "use at your own risk" characters.
  • In the real world, the Nazis occupied Paris on June 14, 1940.
  • The outfit is described as all black in the text of Wonder Comics #2 but, is shown as a white shirt, purple cape/mask, and purple-blue pants/boots.
Grim Reaper 003

The Reaper strikes!

See Also

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