): An affable college football stalwart who was smart enough to realise he'd never be a star and sensible enough to start looking for an alternative career track when the realisation hit him - thanks to the fact the amiable lunk-headedness with which he had pursued his college career was more the inevitable product of adolescence combined with inexperience than innate foolishness he was able to fall back on a grasp of science solid enough for his favourite professor to entrust him with monitoring a significant, but not overly sensitive experiment which was entirely successful (with the singular exception that one Bill McNulty somehow gained superhuman speed as a result of overnight exposure).
It was at this point that Bill McNulty began to discover his TRUE calling in life, which is to say he met the two ladies who would dominate the rest of his life: Miss Deborah 'Debbie' Powell (later Mrs William McNulty) and LADY JUSTICE - he also became a superhero, but it speaks volumes about his character that he remembers meeting his future wife more clearly than the precise circumstances under which he became a superhero.
Still, he would be one of the best - his people skills, indomitable (although not unshaken) optimism and sheer foot-speed contributing to the peace and security of The World (not to mention to making sure it's first superhero gathering failed to tear itself to pieces through sheer stubborn diversity), going on to become something of a keystone for the community of costumed adventurers by virtue of the fact that 'Uncle Dash' was one of the few superheroes who seemed to meet EVERYONE sooner or later (that foot-speed and the fact he took an INTEREST) and mentor half of them.
No-one was surprised (and many were saddened) when he killed himself saving the lives of every citizen in a town being fought over during The War of the Masks (so that his fellows could focus on saving their own lives rather than others); he'd always been a team player.
(Joseph M. Webb
): A self-made man who'd achieved a level of significance, verging on importance, that would keep him away from the battlefront for the duration of The Second World War Mister Webb was saved from the pangs of a conscience as upright as it was uptight by his astonishing discovery that the strange, ugly jewel that he'd uncovered during that period when he was first making something of himself and dubbed 'The Devil's Diamond' after he'd been unable to trade it for love or money was good for something besides a paperweight.
To be precise it gave him the power to DO something (actually quite a number of things) and what he did would fill an entire generation of funny papers; he fought crime, as well as those who would inflict injustice and suffering on others (some of them true monsters) with a verve and rectitude that intimidated the wicked and inspired those who needed that spark of hope most of all.
Also the most outlandish costume seen in the entire Golden Age (on permanent loan from a theatrical production never seen by the public, but put to good use never-the-less), kept from looking ridiculous only by the fact that it's wearer stood well over six feet in his socks and COMMANDING with it.
He would go on to enjoy a lengthy career as something of a paragon in E-38s superhero community and would fail to enjoy his career as husband and father for far too long, owing to an unfortunate series of events with consequences beyond even HIS power to heal.
The Ultimate Woman
(Gloriana Nichols nee Pembroke
): An emissary from an island civilisation which might very well have been a listening post established by The Star-Kingdom to keep an eye on the local version of Britain until it had made something of itself worth incorporating into the fabric of a Greater Britain, Gloriana seems to have taken one look at the sad situation in which the local Britons found themselves after Dunkirk and thrown herself into the fray with that peculiar combination of "jolly hockey-sticks!" enthusiasm and grand dame
imperiousness which had made her first amongst equals on her home away from home.
The British Empire never quite knew what hit it; still The Ultimate Woman helped it survive one of the sternest tests in it's existence, by hook and by whacking any fascist sharks that took the bait into oblivion and that was far from a bad thing - the problem was that she'd also set a dangerous precedent for any agents of the Star Kingdom looking to lend a hand to the locals and few of them lived up to the stern standards Gloriana Pembroke had set for herself (and subtly imposed on anyone who happened to come in range by sheer force of character).
Even from the midst of a very lengthy retirement, Gloriana Nichols is planning to DO SOMETHING about all this mess - right after she rakes out the foul lot that mucked up the Neverwhen Kingdom and drove her husband ... well, first into the black and then into oblivion.
The Radium Brain
(Mister P. Goodwin
): A creation of peculiar science and a genius as yet unmatched in the modern era, Mr Goodwin (he prefers the title, since he had to fight for it in a court of law and was very relieved to win it too, but isn't too proud to be called 'Pavel' by friends) was born with strange abilities that defied even the ability of his creator to explain, much less control and this left him with a bad reputation, as well as a criminal record.
Despite this bad start in life he would go on to make something of himself, first as a superhuman defender of his fellow citizens (although he had to fight for THAT too, mostly because some unscrupulous businessmen wanted to take him apart to see what made him tick ... literally) and then as a full-blown superhero once people stopped screaming long enough to notice the fact that if he WAS a monster then he wasn't very good at his job (what with all that do-gooding).
Although always just a little too ... otherworldly for comfort, no matter WHICH chassis he cares to use today, The Radium Brain has enjoyed a good reputation and full membership of the Human Race for a very long time, since even before that day when he blasted his way to Hitler's door (even if Der Fuhrer beat him to the punch by a matter of moments; to this day nobody can be sure whether he was more afraid of being burned to death or captured by The Soviets).
In the decades since, Mister Goodwin has divided his time impartially between becoming a more fully-rounded human being and making life more difficult for the dastardly (in a wide variety of guises, some more robotic-looking than others - a secret identity is easier to keep when you can change your entire body with a little bit of work; well, a little bit of help and a lot of work).
(Grace T. Harlowe
): Also known as 'Grace Under Pressure' after her memoirs were published, Miss Grace Terril (her middle name - she got especially sick of being asked if she was a relation of Jean Harlow when she realised that they didn't even spell their names the same way) was a bright young lady with a steady job as a secretary rapidly becoming a career stretching out ahead of her on the day when the circle of costumed adventurers, mystery-men and super humans who had been attempting to keep in touch and pool their efforts decided that they needed someone to keep their voluminous reams of correspondence straight so they could stop arguing about who had written what to whom and FINALLY start working out how to beat crime up but GOOD.
Contacting the appropriate authorities (to be precise those governing the public place where they had quietly gathered, out of costume but in at least some semblance of disguise), they were furnished with Miss Grace who proceeded to become their organising genius, most celebrated chronicler and Girl Friday in general; she swiftly forgave their little subterfuge, once she realised that they weren't planning to blow up this particular dam, but were in fact working out how and when those they aimed to stop would strike (all the better to be waiting there).
Sticking with The Freedom Ring in part due to native curiosity and partly because working for them made being a secretary even MORE fun, Grace proved herself to be a bit of a wonder even outside those periods of time when she actually possessed superpowers (The Golden Age was a pretty peculiar time, even by the standards of the Silver Age), not least by surviving everything thrown at her with that invaluable common sense and sense of humour firmly intact (no slight achievement when those projectiles include anathemas, bricks, bullets, curses, flowers, promises not intended to be kept and purple prose).
): A young man whose family made it out of Germany, but not in time to avoid some serious trauma, Leonard found himself headed for trouble thanks to his utter refusal to take **** from anyone and his ambition to spend the rest of his life kicking the oppressor closest to boot in the unmentionables even before his burgeoning powers over magnetism began to make themselves blatantly apparent. Had it not been for the good offices of The Freedom Ring, this unfortunate boy might well have become a terror - as things turned out he frightened people anyway, but usually for the right reasons.
He would go on to serve a long, complicated and remarkable career that did not invariably find him in The Right - no matter how much he might claim otherwise, his moral compass was never as infallible as his nose for real wickedness - but which saw him do a lot of good anyway (if only by teaching young super-humans how NOT to go about making the world a better place).
As a note, a major part of the reason so many costumed adventurers and mystery men took young sidekicks during The Golden Age was due to the simple fact that they were for the most part only human, most of them were hardly in the pink of health - they'd have been drafted otherwise - and most of the able-bodied were too busy with one sort of War work or another to be able to devote the sort of time needed to pursue a Crusade against Crime.
The fact that not every mystery-man of the Golden Age enjoyed or would ever be able to enjoy particularly cordial relations with The Police didn't help their difficulties when it came to finding suitable recruits.
Founder of H.E.R.O.I.C, Complimenter-in-Chief, Co-Arch Henchman to the Grin, Servant of the Hoff!
Rule Brittania! Praise the Hoff and the Grin!
Warning!: May cause Thread Drift.