Encyclopedia of comic strip heroes and villains story Comic Strips by Genre adventure aviation and military detective and espionage drama and romance science fiction and fantasy sports super-hero swashbuckling and jungle adventure

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Notable Adversaries:

Captain Shark. AKA Akoola. 5/48-9/48, 1/73-3/73

Copper Calhoun. 1/47-4/47, 11/52-12/52, 5/54-8/54, 8/55-10/55, 7/59-10/59, 5/63-8/63, 3/69-5/69, 4/70, 9/71-11/71, 8/76-10/76, 11/84(dream), … 2/87-5/87.

Herself Muldoon. 10/50-1/51, 1/54-4/54, 3/66-5/66

Madame Hook. Originally Queen Bay of Mahnay. 9/64-12/64, 7/65-10/65, 9/71-11/71, 2/76-4/76.

Madame Lynx. 7/47-11/47, 3/50-6/50, 3/59-4/59, 3/61-6/61

Maid of Nine. 3/48-5/48.


Original Chroniclers



Main Protagonists:

Steve Roper. x/40-c/87, x/97-12/04

Mike Nomad. Original name Michael Nowak. 6/56-12/04.

Roper’s Origins: Roper is unable to join the military service due to a trick knee he got while playing football at Yale and so roams the country in search of adventurer as a tough-talking action photographer. He later learns that he was adopted. In search of his biological mother in 1942, Roper recounts to Wahoo what he’s learned about his mysterious childhood: “A young man from New Orleans married my mother against his rich parents will. They turned him out. After I was born, my father went to war—and didn’t come back! My grandparents then tried to get me away from mother! They even set thugs on her trail. One night she hid me in a parked car—the Ropers car! When she came back, the car was gone—and so was I!”

Nomad’s Origins: Mike Nomad first appears in the narrative on 6/19/56. Born in Poland, Mike came to the United States with an uncle. He worked the oil fields, construction jobs, any way to raise the money to bring his parents to the U.S. After paying a man named Gumbo five thousand dollars to smuggle his parents into the States, Gumbo told him there had been an accident and his parents were dead. Nomad believed he shot and killed Gumbo, but actually the con man was saved by a cigarette case. Mike Nomad seeks out Steve Roper because he’s taken a recent picture of Gumbo, he now realizes is alive. Roper helps Nomad find Gumbo and Nomad resists the urge to try and kill him the second time around.



Modus Operandi:
Friends and Allies:

Big Chief Wahoo. 11/36-2/47

J. Mortimer Gusto. x/36-8/39.

Princess Minnie Ha-Cha. Minnie Ha-Cha is a beautiful Indian princess with whom Wahoo is infatuated. Once Steve Roper makes the scene, however, the photographer is romantically attracted to Minnie, whom he attempts to impress with this unfortunate line, “Hmm! Some classy squaw! Heap much pleased to meetum, babe!” (as portrayed in Famous Funnies #89). Later, he becomes more sensitive and romantic, noting how he can get lost in her eyes. Minnie falls in love with Roper and is hurt when he suggests that it would be best for her career if the two parted ways. x/37-11/47.

Mr. Roper. Steve’s wealthy, good-hearted adoptive father. Famous Funnies xx-xx, 124-127.

Mrs. Roper. Steve’s rather snooty, high society adoptive mother. Famous Funnies xx-xx, 124-126, xx-xx.

Jimmy Strong. Publisher of Spot-Shop magazine and former college friend who hires Roper as a photographer. 9/44-x/45.

Kit Karson. The new owner of Spot-Shop magazine—tough, smart and brunette—and Roper’s boss. There is romantic tension between the two though she has variously pursued Sonny Brawnski and fallen under the influence of Swinn Galli. Karson and Roper were briefly engaged in 1951, but she didn’t stand by Steve when he was framed for a crime he didn’t commit, leading to their break-up. Famous Funnies 174- 2/46-x/53.

Sonny Brawnski. Just out of the Navy, Brawnski becomes a nationally recognized football star for Midwest College. His brawny good looks infatuate both Kit Karson and a nail stylist named Cupcake DeVine, but Sonny only has eyes for Cupcake once they meet. When Cupcake is paralyzed, Sonny becomes a professional wrestler under Monocle Molly in order to raise funds for a costly surgery. The surgery is a success and the two are promptly married in 1947. A family soon ensues. By the sixties, now middle-aged, Sonny runs a novelty factory. 8/46-11/53…, x/xx, 2/66-4/66 (Famous Funnies 178- 201, 206-208).

Kochanie “Cupcake” DeVine.. Cupcake is genuinely infatuated with Sonny Brawnski, but is hired by Snapper Cassino to influence his football performance once she is reported kidnapped. Cupcake is later shot and paralyzed by Clipper Kleeg. TooToo’s twin sister, also a shapely platinum blonde, but far more innocent. She is already the girl friend of Sonny Brawnski when she first appears, psychically sensing her sister is in danger. 8/46-11/53…, x/xx, 2/66-4/66 (Famous Funnies 178-81, 183-201, 206-208).

TooToo DeVine. A burlesque performer with a heart of gold, the saucier identical twin sister of Cupcake who arrives in town looking for her sister, not knowing she’s been kidnapped. TooToo remains in town to care for her sister after her paralysis, but leaves after her regaining her mobility.11/46-c7/47 (Famous Funnies 183-193 or 194)

Buster Brawnski. Oldest son of Sonny and Cupcake. Born prematurely at the weight of only two pounds, his name was determined by a contest ostensibly run by Kit Karson and open to all readers of the Steve Roper comic strip. 3/48 (Famous Funnies 201)

Monocle Molly” Moran. 3/47-8/47 (also Famous Funnies #187-192).

So-Hi Chong. Korean war orphan who Steve informally adopts for a time. He ultimately is shipped off to the Brawnski’s for a more stable upbringing. x/53-x/58.

Major J. Calhoun McCoy. Steve’s new boss at Tell, later Proof magazine. McCoy promotes Steve to be editor-in-chief in 1970. x/53-2/70…

Honeydew Mellon. Steve’s attractive new secretary at his new job. c/53-3/74+

Ma-Jong. Chinese restaurant owner and landlady of the apartment building Mike Nomad moves into. Ma-Jong is fond of offering Nomad Confucian aphorisms. x/62-x/xx.

Dolly Grafton. Showgirl girl friend of Mike Nomad. x/xx-x/xx, 10/63-11/63, 2/65-5/65…

Tiger. Romantic interest of Mike Nomad. 4/66-

Trudy Hale. A young, attractive reporter with whom Roper initially clashes, but whom perennial bachelor Roper ultimately falls in love with and marries in August 1976. When Trudy suffers from a post-traumatic nervous breakdown due to being caught in explosion in 1983, she is psychiatrically hospitalized and ultimately divorces Steve. Years later, after her death, it is revealed she gave birth to a daughter while in the hospital, unbeknownst to Roper. …3/74-x/83.

Francis Hogan. Former police officer with whom Nomad establishes a private detective agency in 1989.

Emma Stoop. Colorful motel owner who frequently utilizes the services of Nomad s detective agency. 12/91-

Aloha Lee.

_____ Roper. Journalist daughter of Steve and Trudy, whom Trudy gave birth to in the hospital without Steve’s knowledge. Father and daughter are reunited in the closing months of Roper’s career. x/xx-12/04.
Notable Adversaries:

Ali Baboon. Bald and hulking brawler in Monocle Molly’s stable of professional wrestlers who becomes homicidally jealous of Sonny Brawnski’s success in the ring as the Masked Meteor. 3/47-6/47 (also Famous Funnies #187-192).

Black Eagle. Suit and ascot wearing Indian and a college graduate, Black Eagle operates a kidnapping operation out of modern office hidden in an ancient pueblo. Broke upon graduating, Black Eagle “soon got wise to the fact that the white man would never make room for me in his world (and) my own people wouldn’t give me a break either!” He kidnaps the loved ones of the wealthy (in this case Minnie Ha-Cha) “with a nifty new twist that only an Indian would think of!” If the loved ones fail to pay off he makes them suffer “the Fate of Nakoma,” a secret powder that destroys youth. His ultimate aim is to obtain 50% of the Wahoo’s tribe’s valuable oil royalties. 1/42-2/42 (Famous Funnies 119-123).

Blowtorch. Constantly puffing away on his cigar, Blowtorch tortures Roper on a torture rack. He is burned to death when, lighting a cigar, he accidentally ignites a flame thrower. 12/45-2/46.

Bobbie Burnem. Murderous female behind a crooked furnace repair business. Her criminal associate is “Augie” Augusto and their muscle is Wick (“not for wicked”) Warren. When Bobbie and Augie leave Nomad to freeze to death in the frigid cold, Bobbie has second thoughts. 12/64-2/65.

Captain Skuba. Handsome even with an eye-patch, this European racketeer and scammer starts plying his trade in the United States. He blackmails Mike Nomad’s cousin, Minka Novak, into resuming their criminal partnership by threatening her parents who are locked away in a communist prison in Eastern Europe. 7/66-9/66.

Clipper” Kleeg. Ruthless mobster who earns his nickname by constantly clipping his nails. He is aided by members of his gang, Voices—a master impressionist, Oxie, and Maw Foglights, the unscrupulous owner of their junkyard hideout. He is reviled for shooting and crippling the beloved Cupcake DeVine. 11/46-3/47 (also Famous Funnies 183-187).

Deadhead. With his gaunt cheeks, sunken eyes and flat nose, Deadhead’s face resembles that of a skull. Incongruously, Deadhead likes wearing a bowtie, tux and fashionable hat. He is in the extortion business and assisted in set-ups by the lovely, blonde temptress, Doodles. 9/45-11/45.

Glossy Vaneer. Crooked and decidedly jealous former dance partner to the beautiful and tempestuous Torreodora. Vaneer’s hair is slicked back and oily. 12/47-3/48 (Famous Funnies 198- ).

Gumbo. George Gumbo, the man Mike Nomad believed killed his family. c/56.

Professor Gudge. Fish-eyed, bespectacled and jowly, Gudge is surprisingly agile and physically dangerous despite his burly, somewhat overweight build. He hides diamonds in his seemingly precious microscope. Gudge is also an experienced diver. 5/44-8/44 (also Famous Funnies #165-170).

Jezebel Jones and Monte Carlo. Jezebel, a beautiful blonde vicious cat-o-nine tails wielding con woman, is just as willing to punish her husband as Roper. They are in a marriage made in hell, kept together by their desire to make a fortune through an illicit gambling/counterfeiting scheme. 9/47-11/47 (also Famous Funnies 194 or 195-197).

Madame Darmah. Crooked supposed psychic assisted by the coolly sinister Dr. Falcon. 9/65-11/65.

Meatless. (Steve Roper 2-3) x/xx-x/45.

Mr. Watsiki. Foreign agent for the Kymurian government, a pudgy Asian man with round, black framed glasses. One of the few foes to face Roper and Wahoo more than once. Roper and Wahoo first encounter Watsiki in India while Steve is trying get photographs of the elusive Empress Zorena. In their second encounter, Watsiki is in America, seeking to steal the formula for Nihilite, a new extremely powerful explosive that chemists working for Roper’s father have developed. Watsiki learns of this through a servant he has placed in the Roper home. Roper and Minnie Ha-Cha develop a scheme to weave the formula into a shawl using her native tongue as a way to safely get the formula to Washington. This time it is Wahoo who subdues Watsiki. Famous Funnies …96-100…, 129-132.

Mrs. MacBeth. This slender, stern-faced woman understudied under her magician brother. After his death, MacBeth uses her magician trickery to commit crimes. 4/45-6/45 (Steve Roper 3-4).

Snapper. In his first appearance, “Snapper” Cassino—so called because he is always nervously snapping his fingers—is the well dressed, bow-tied manager of the Totem Pole Night Club. He is also a jewel thief. His nose is so prominent that his forehead and the bridge of his nose form a single, smooth ark. In his second appearance, Snapper kidnaps Cupcake in order to influence Sonny Brawnski’s performance in a college football game, thus insuring high profits for bets that he has placed. He is assisted by the notably homely Horseface and short in stature, Stubby. In his third appearance, Snapper adopts large, one framed dark glasses and the title of the Chief and is joined by Glitter DeCoye in an illegal hotel gambling operation. The Chief is particularly afraid of Brawnski, who badly beat him up after having kidnapped his girl friend. 9/44-11/44, 8/46-10/46, 7/48-10/48 (also Steve Roper 1; Famous Funnies 178-183, 206-208).

Still” Waters. Born Stillman Watero, Waters uses a mechanical robot dinosaur from an old movie to make local residents believe a monster actually swims in Devil’s Lake. It’s all a ploy to make sure his uranium mining operation adjoining the lake is not uncovered, nor his deal with a foreign government to buy the material. c5/48-c7/48 (also Famous Funnies 203-205).

Swinn Galli. A former vaudeville hypnotist has the ability to influence women to become devoted to him, including the usually very hard-headed Kit Karson. 10/48-2/49.

Vic Windsor. Handsome painter and secret jewel smuggler, Windsor facilitates his operation by also disguising himself as the elderly Granny Tuttle. clate/42 (also Famous Funnies #138-144).

Whipple “Whip” Koils. Racketeer who uses the secret criminal history of a wealthy businessman gone legit (one “Silent” Knight) to blackmail him into marrying into the family. Famous Funnies 174-177. x/46-x/46.

Zebra. Mr. Zuchetti, nickname Zebra, has striped black and white hair and wears a matching black and white striped suit. A con-man who attempts to trick Minnie out of an inheritance of gems, Zebra fronts his operations out of a laundry business run by Moptop Maggie, a brawny enforcer with a prominent missing tooth, button eyes and unruly curly hair 6/45-9/45 (Steve Roper 4-5).

Zircon. Dark-haired and exotic beauty, Zyrcon is first seen as a belly dancer in Cairo. Later, wearing a distinctive two buttoned blouse and trousers, she proves to be a schemer willing to kidnap and worse for a price. Aided by the large, powerful and fez wearing Kasha Blanca. She becomes fond of Roper and Wahoo, but not enough to entirely give up her larcenous ways. 4/44-9/44 (also Famous Funnies #165-174).
Sightings: Famous Funnies 89-174; Steve Roper 1-5; Famous Funnies 174-208.

Original Chroniclers



1939-66, 1978-85

Original Identity: Kal-el, once adopted, Clark Kent




Modus Operandi:
Friends and Allies:

Lois Lane.

George Taylor. Editor of the Daily Star, later the Daily Planet.

Perry White. Subsequent editor of the Daily Planet. 6/42-

Jimmy Olsen. 8/43.

Susie. Lois’ mischievous niece.
Notable Adversaries:

Bizarro. 8/58-12/58.

Brainiac. See Romado. 12/79-x/80.

Dr. Destiny. 7/78-10/78.

The Flame. A Nazi agent in an asbestos suit constantly aflame, the Flame seeks to sabotage America’s lumber industry. s 9/42-12/42.

The Image. Wears an eye mask to disguise his identity. Is able to create multiple images of himself to elude capture. s 2/42-3/42.

J. Wilbur Wolfingham. d 8/52-10/52.

Luthor. d 10/40-11/40, d 4/46-6/46, 1/50-2/50, 6/62-8/62, 2/64-3/64, 1/79-5/79..

Metallo. After an accident, his flesh is replaced with metal and his “heart” is powered by uranium pellets. 12/58-4/59.

Mr. Mxyztplk. d 2/44-7/44, d 6/45-8/45, d 7/46-8/46.

Monocle. Bald Nazi saboteur who wears a monocle and smokes using a cigarette holder. d 8/42-11/42.

Prankster. d 10/46-11/46, 5/79-10/79.

Romado. Alien who collects cities from different planets by shrinking them and placing them in glass bottles. One of these cities, named Dur-el-va, is from Krypton captured before the planet’s destruction. Romada and his Kryptonian city parallel Brainiac and the miniature city of Kandor in Superman comic books. 1958.

Vandal Savage. 4/78-7/78.

Prankster. d 10/46-11/46, 5/79-10/79.

Romado. Alien who collects cities from different planets by shrinking them and placing them in glass bottles. One of these cities, named Dur-el-va, is from Krypton captured before the planet’s destruction. Romada and his Kryptonian city parallel Brainiac and the miniature city of Kandor in Superman comic books. 1958.

Vandal Savage. 4/78-7/78.

Original Chroniclers


Original Identity:




Modus Operandi:
Friends and Allies:


Korak. 6/32-7/32s, 1/68d, 7/68-10/68d, 1/69-5/69s, 10/69-6/70d, 2/70-6/70s, 1/71-3/71d, 7/71-7/72d, 4/72-9/72s, 10/73-3/74s, 2/75-8/75s, 11/82-2/83s, 11/89-2/90s,

Captain Paul D’Arnot. 9/31-12/31s, 4/42/7/42s, 7/70-1/71s, 7/84-9/84, 11/86-12/86s, 2/89-5/89s, 10/91-11/91..

Muviro. 2/69-4/69d, 6/72-9/72s, 9/75-11/75s,

Woman in the Black Mask. Originally, LaBelle Lenida, a noted lion tamer in a French circus, Tarzan saves her life when a lion begins to maul her during her act. Scarred, Lenida takes the attack as a sign that she should return her lions to Africa. She hides her scarred face beneath a black mask. She ultimately comes to be regarded as a goddess by a warlike tribe, the Al-Alba. 4/32-6/32.

Erich von Harben. German archeologist and linguist. 8/32-9/33s, 5/85-8/85s, 4/91-5/91s.

Zeela, the Wild Girl. 3/40-1/41d, 4/42-7/42d.

David Innes. 9/47-2/48d?, x/72-7/72d, 10/87-12/87s.

Ark-o-ology. 11/61-4/62s, 5/63-8/63s.

Joiper, the Ant-Man. 4/68-x/68s, 4/71-12/71s, 2/73-10/73s, 8/75-12/75s.

Miss Nubilia. European educated African princess. 10/73-3/74s.

Professor Samuel T. Philander. , 4/87-6/87, 1/91-4/91.
Notable Adversaries:

Anya Sharlovaya. Sultry, dark-haired poacher of Siberian tigers, Sharlovaya wears a brown vest with nothing underneath it. 9/90-10/90.

Auric. A once idealistic figure, Auric intends to drag the Waziri into the modern world, by force if necessary. Athletically built, Auric often goes shirtless, wearing a necklace with the symbol of a knife. He has longish dark hair and goatee. When last seen, Auric intends to liberate the tailed Ho-duns from their magician oppressors with the aid of their lovely priestess Ju-Ra. 2/69-3/69, 9/69-10/69, 1/70, 4/70-5/70.

Dagga Ramba. Half-caste Arab sergeant who uses the chaos and unrest in North Africa to start his own army. Stealing a general’s uniform and seizing an abandoned fort, he declared himself the emperor of the mountains and the desert. He offers Tarzan a role in his army and shoots him when he refuses. A year long struggle ensues, ending with Tarzan throwing a sword through Dagga Ramba’s chest. Presumed dead, the villain returns decades later with a new scheme to take over North Africa. Through unknown means, Dagga Ramba acquires the science to create animal/human hybrids that have the power to influence the behavior of their pure animal counterparts. With control of the animal kingdom, Dagga Ramba is more dangerous than ever. 5/41-4/42s, 5/68-10/68s.

Don Macabre. Latino villain with long black hair and a drooping mustache, Don Macabre’s monstrous realm is remote and surrounded by dangerous waters and skull motifs. His most deadly tool, however, is his carnivorous Garden of Death. Powerfully built, Don Macabre is often is seen shirtless but proves no match for Tarzan. 3/44-7/44s.

Horibs. In their final appearance, the Horibs are lead by Bagdar, a figure first seen in a novel. 12/71-1/72d, 11/87s, 1/00-4/00s.

I. B. Pompus. 5/64-8/64d, 5/66-7/66d.

La and the Beast-Men of Opar. 5/52-8/52d, 1/66-4/66s?, 1/68-3/68d, 11/75-8/76s, 8/81-9/81s, 6/91-7/91s.

The Leader. Nazi with plans to establish secret Nazi colonial strongholds in Africa to use, in case of defeat by the allies, as bases for the rise of a Fourth Reich 10/43-3/44s.

The Mahars. A race of mind-controlling reptiles from Pellucidar, the ruled the inner world until David Innis liberated the realm and became its new emperor. The Mahars have sought to reclaim dominion of Pellucidar ever since. First portrayed in the novels. 4/71-7/71, 12/71-7/72d, 12/87s.

Merala, Queen of Tohr. Immortal queen who bathes in the flames of everlasting life and has lived through the centuries, out-living every other member of her race. She seeks Tarzan to rule at her side. 10/48-4/49s.

Queen Xiona of Barsoom. Attractive, bald Martian ruler who comes to earth with plans of conquest. She calls Tarzan “the face of death,” a reference that proves prophetic. 3/01-7/01s.


Thorwald. Powerfully built German chosen by Goebbels and Goering to fulfill their “Tarzan Plan,” a scheme to replace the jungle lord with a near look-alike (Thorwald has a scar and a flatter nose.) After Thorwald has been trained to be able to swing on vines and kill jungle animals in combat, Hitler himself sends Thorwald to Africa and later goes there to supervise his effort. 3/43-7/43s.

The Vampire Queen. 2/46-6/46s.

The Van Zandt Brothers. General van Zandt, known as “the Boer Butcher,” crosses paths with Tarzan in an effort to loot Opar (La is not seen in this encounter). When the general is killed by Tarzan, his younger brother Pieter later seeks vengeance on the jungle lord. Not because Tarzan killed his brother, who had brutally tortured him as a boy, but because Tarzan deprived Pieter of the opportunity of killing his brother himself. 5/83-7/83s, 11/91-1/92s.

Winged Men of Pal-Ul-Don. 5/69-8/69d, other.

Chroniclers: Archie Goodwin, w79-81s, a79-81s

Active: -1/25/81s


Original Identity:




Modus Operandi:

Terry and Hotshot Charlie join the military in 1951, under the command of Colonel “Snapper” Brassard.

Friends and Allies:

Pat Ryan. After the war, Terry once again shares several adventures with Ryan, who in 1948 leaves a position as a police commander in Southeast Asia to ultimately resume his career as a journalist. In his final appearance in 1959, Ryan initially appears disguised as a bearded Russian secret police colonel named Pryn Pasha. He has one last encounter with the Dragon Lady, who drugs him in order to evade the authorities, perhaps more fitting than a final kiss. 33 -45, 9/47-2/48, 2/59-11/59.

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