Man In Black
Man in Black (Boys of New York)

Real Name


First Appearance

The Boys of New York: A Paper for Young Americans, vol. 8, no. 383 (16 Dec. 1882)

Original publisher

Frank Tousey

Created by

Unknown (pseudonym used was "Paul Braddon")


A member of a secret society of similarly clad men, he was denounced a traitor, shot, and left for dead. He came back, seeking vengeance on his betrayer, Number Ten.

Platinum Age Appearances

  • The Man in Black, by Paul Braddon, The Boys of New York: A Paper for Young Americans, nos. 383–391, 16 Dec. 1882–10 Feb. 1883.

The Man in the Black Cloak

A similar mysterious tall figure with a broad-brimmed low slouch hat but draped in a long black cloak which (at least on one outing) concealed a "skeleton-like frame of white grisly bone". What little can be seen of its face between cloak and hat is "a saturnine countenance, attenuated to a horrible degree - sunken cheeks, thin, protruding nose, and above all those deep-set, burning eyes." It has a deep voice and a "deep, cavernous mouth" with "white, glistening teeth". It seems to have the ability to leap out of a three story window fifty feet up, disappearing with only the sound of a loud clanking sound like something metallic against brick, and also to take off down a street with incredible speed and impossible silence as though "treading simply on empty air" with the wind blowing its cloak across its frame "as though the head were supported by no body at all".

Created by Francis W. Doughty either under pseudonym "P.T. Raymond" or "Paul Braddon".

Platinum Age Appearances

  • "The Ghouls of Gotham; or, The Man in the Black Cloak" - The Boys of New York Pocket Library #193 (1884) (reprinted in Boys' Star Library #158 (June 21 1890))
  • "The Man in the Black Cloak; or, In Search of the John Street Jewels" - The Boys of New York - a Paper for Young Americans v. 11 #569, July 10 1886 (reprinted in New York Detective Library #362)


  • Scans of "The Man in the Black Cloak; or, In Search of the John Street Jewels" can be accessed in Villanova University's digital library.
  • The character was discussed and compared to Walter Gibson's The Shadow in Murania Press fanzine Blood N' Thunder #3.

See Also

  • Tales of the Dark Knight: Batman's First Fifty Years: 1939-1989 by Mark Cotta Vaz.

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