The Mask

Real Name

Tony Colby

First Appearance

Exciting Comics #1 (April 1940)

Original Publisher


Created by

Raymond Thayer


District attorney Tony Colby has the goods on Olly Snate, a mob boss. However, when the trial comes to court, a mob henchmen throws acid on the incriminating evidence, splashing Colby in the face and thus blinding him. Later, Colby is arranged by a mysterious woman to undergo an experimental operation. The operation is a success, and Colby's sight is not only restored, but also improved, giving him perfect night vision. He decides to become the crime fighter known as the Mask and later picks up three operatives. His operatives are Silk Davis, a reformed criminal; Butch, a muscle-bound bruiser; and Carol Smith, the woman who helped him regain his sight.

Golden Age Appearances

  • Exciting Comics #1-20


  • 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.
  • Nedor originally intended to call the Mask the Owl, a name shared by a Dell Golden Age hero. This explains why, in the early stories, not only does the Mask have a beak but, he also leaves behind a calling card that has an owl's head on it.
    • The Mask was initially created as a pulp fiction character called the Black Bat. The comic version was changed in several respects because of the agreement between Nedor and DC Comics over how they may use their respective bat-themed characters.

See Also

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