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Jerry Morris

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Jerry Morris
Jerrymorris

Real Name

Professor Jerry Morris

First Appearance

Silver Streak #1 (1939)

Original Publisher

Lev Gleason

Created by

Jack Cole

Golden Age Origin

Professor Jerry Morris was a brilliant scientist and an adventurer. In his debut appearance, he was escorting Eloise Pearsall, a female American ambassador, who supervised the delivery of American financial aid war-torn China. During a stopover in the Pacific island nation of Ricca, the pair ran afoul of the Claw, Ricca's supernatural ruler. The Claw used his mind-control powers to brainwash Eloise into doing his bidding. Jerry Morris infiltrated the Claw's inner circle and rescued Eloise, and the Claw vanished without a trace.

As the pair resumed their journey to China, the Claw reappeared. Upon hearing reports of Hitler's invasion of Europe, the Claw decided to ally himself with the dictator. The Claw proposed a deal - he would use his arsenal to weaken European powers and, in return, Hitler would let him control half of the European continent. When Hitler asked what would happen if he didn't agree with the arrangement, the Claw pointed out that he could kill Adolf Hitler any time he wanted, so, when it came down to it, Hitler had no choice in the matter.

The Claw launched a series of devastating assaults, leaving thousands of casualties. This turn of events did not escape Jerry Morris, who set out to stop the Claw. With the aid of the freeze ray flashlight he invented (and with some help from the crew of the ship he was on), Morris was able to stop the Claw's death machines and seemingly killed the villain in the process.

The Claw would return, but Jerry Morris didn't reappear. He remained off-panel until Daredevil Comics #31, when he returned as part of a task force assembled by the American government. He and his fellow scientists were charged with finding a way to kill Claw for good. After much discussion, the task force came up with the plan. Jerry Morris allowed himself to be captured by Claw's demonic soldiers. Using the micro-radio invented by Professor Travis (another task force member), Morris was able to transmit information about the location and the inner workings of the Claw's hideout. He was also able to alert them that the Claw was planning to cripple America using deadly gas bombs. Before the Claw could execute the plans, the task force broke into his hide-out and attacked him with electric guns designed by Professor Alber. In desperation, the Claw threw the gas bombs at the scientists. Fortunately, the scientists came prepared and put on gas masks before the chemical attack could have any effect. Unfortunately, Jerry Morris wasn't so lucky. Since he had no mask, he died from inhaling the gas before his fellow scientists could do anything about it. The task force left the hide-out, their joy over the Claw's death tempered by the knowledge that their victory wouldn't have been possible without Jerry Morris.

Notes

  • In keeping with the common practice at the time, Hitler wasn't identified by name in Silver Streak Comics #2, but the way he was depicted made it very obvious who he was supposed to be.
  • In the interest of accuracy, it should be pointed out that Professor Morris who appeared in Daredevil Comics #31 was never explicitly stated to be Jerry Morris. However, Professor Morris looked very similar to Jerry Morris, and both were adventurer scientists, so the possibility that the two were one and the same isn't that far-fetched. Besides, the idea that the Claw's first opponent was the one who would play such an important role in defeating him for good (or, at least, until his reappearance in Boy Comics several years down the line) seems very thematically appropriate.

Golden Age Appearances

  • Silver Streak Comics #1-2
  • Daredevil Comics #31

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