The Golden Age Directory: R

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Rackman. Jakeoster contributes the following:

Craig Mansfield is a dwarf who attains normal size with the aid of stilts ("racks"). He lives on his own private island off the
Atlantic coast. As Rackman, he fights crime and aids the less fortunate.
First appearance: Clue Comics #12 (Hillman)

Radar. Pep Pepper is the latest a long line of circus folks. His father was a strongman and acrobat and his mother was a "mentalist," and Pep inherits both their powers, along with clairvoyant "radar vision." He works for the side of right, fighting against the Germans during the war and then against international lawbreakers after the war.
First Appearance: Captain Marvel #35 (Fawcett)

Radio Squad. See Sandy Kean.

Ragman. Jay Garson, Jr. is the Ragman, who "mops up the forces of crime." He is assisted by Tiny. He has no powers, but uses a disguise as a derelict to catch crooks off-guard.
First Appearance: Catman #1 (Holyoke)

Rainbow. Jim Travis, after reading some comic books, decides to become a costumed hero. He wants to outdo all the other heroes, though. He doesn't have any powers, however, so he's not quite successful at knocking off, say, Superman.
First Appearance: The Arrow #3 (Centaur)

Rainbow Boy. Jay Watson, he of no origin, is a worker for the Wizard Kid Radio Program. He is constantly looking for news items he can use, but too often these are actually about crimes and criminals. He was for a time the sidekick of Hydroman but then went on to fly solo. When Jay is exposed to the sun's light he gains the ability to turn into Rainbow Boy; as R-Boy he can fly at the speed of light and can mold his rainbow trail into any shape.
First Appearance: Reg'lar Fellers Heroic Comics #14 (Eastern Color Printing)

Rance Keane. Rance, the "Knight of the West," is a wandering cowpoke who fights crime and evil across the American frontier with the help of his old friend Pee Wee Lee.
First Appearance: Feature Comics #27 (Quality)

Rang-a-Tang. Rang-a-Tang is the "Wonder Dog," an abnormally intelligent crime-fighting canine. He is assisted in his exploits by Richy Waters, the Amazing Boy, and by Detective Hy Speed.
First Appearance: Blue Ribbon Comics #1 (Archie)

Rangers of Freedom. The Rangers of Freedom, consisting of Percy Cabot, Biff Barkley, Tex Russell, and Gloria Travers, come together to fight the villainous Super-Brain and equally villainous Germans. The Rangers have no superpowers but are adventurous and good in a fight.
First Appearance: Rangers Comics #1 (Fiction House)

Raven (I). Detective Sergeant Danny Dartkin, is frustrated by criminals who outwit the law or who use the law to escape justice, and so he puts on a costume and goes after those criminals, taking their money and redistributing it to the poor of Gotham. He was aided by Lola Lash, the daughter of NYC's police chief. He had no powers.
First Appearance: Sure-Fire Comics #1 (Ace)

Raven (II). He was a bird-costumed crimefighter who was also, as Michael Norwitz points out, the lover of the Spider Widow.
First Appearance: Feature Comics #60 (Quality)

The Ray. Happy Terrill, a reporter, is caught in a runaway hot air balloon and is exposed to solar radiation when the balloon enters the upper atmosphere. This gives him the ability to transform into the Ray whenever he is exposed to light. His powers include flight, controlling magnetic rays, and the ability to turn into a light beam.
First Appearance: Smash Comics #14 (Quality)

Reckoner. Matty Martin puts on a formal tuxedo and mask to fight crime. He has no powers.
First Appearance: Terrific Comics #5 (Holyoke)

Red. Red, with his partner Don Kerry, is part of the "Anchors Aweigh!" team. He is a strapping young Naval ratings who is sent to trouble spots around the world and fight criminals, spies, and enemy agents. Red has no superpowers but is very tough.
First Appearance: Adventure Comics #32 (DC)

Red Bee. Rick Raleigh, an Assistant District Attorney, is so frustrated at not being able to put more criminals away, due to the slowness and incompetence of the courts and the technicalities that allow criminals to elude justice, that he puts on a costume and fights crime as the Red Bee. He has no superpowers but makes use of a bunch of trained bees which he stores in his belt. (In some stories it was just one bee: Mike.) He also has a "stinger gun."
First Appearance: Hit Comics #1 (Quality)

Red Blazer. Ted, a cowboy, is the subject of Dr. Morgan's experiment with "Astro-Pyro" Rays, and from these gains the ability to control heat and fire as well as fly. He is assisted by Sparky. He uses these abilities to, you guessed it, fight crime.
First Appearance: Pocket Comics #1 (Harvey)

Red Coat Patrol. Sergeant O'Malley, a Canadian Mountie, is assisted by his native partner Black Hawk and their wonder dog Flame in the fight against Crime in the Rockies and the Canadian plains.
First Appearance: More Fun Comics #39 (DC)

Red Comet. Red Comet, who has no origin or secret identity, works on and off Earth in the year 2040; he is the "mystery man of the universe." He wars on his enemies, criminals and "warmongers." His abilities are magically based; he has superstrength (enough to literally throw people off the planet), telekinesis, an extrasensory attraction to criminals, and the ability to explode bullets before they reach him.
First Appearance: Planet Comics #1 (Fiction House)

Red Cross. Dr. Peter Hall fights the Axis powers in occupied Europe and Asia as the heroic Red Cross. He has no powers, but carries and uses guns.
First Appearance: Captain Aero #8 (Holyoke)

Red Demon. Judge Straight becomes disgusted with crime and assumes the costumed identity of the Red Demon to combat it.
First Appearance: Black Cat #4 (Harvey)

Red Dragon. Bob Reed's parents are killed by the Japanese. Bob, still a teenager, swears vengeance, and spends years studying "ancient sorcery." He gains enough power to take on and defeat all the  Japanese he comes up against. He is assited by Ching Foo, a Chinese friend, and by his pet komodo dragon Komodo. The Red Dragon, by holding his hands together and saying "Po-She-Lo," gains magic powers, including flight, matter transformation, and illusion projection.
First Appearance: Super Magician Comics #8 (Street & Smith)

Red Gaucho. "Born in South America of Yankee parents, the Red Gaucho grows to widespread fame by his dashing, smashing methods of battling crime and oppression." He generally does the Zorro thing, laughing as he fights, dressing like a gaucho and using a whip and a sword. Some of his early opponents are communists rather than fascists.
First Appearance: Nickel Comics #4 (Fawcett)

Red Hawk (I). The Red Hawk was actually a plane. Jan Valor was a heroic American pilot and fighter who with his girlfriend Tanka helped General Mikhailovitch and the Chetniks of "Jugoslavia" to fight against the German menace. They fly the Red Hawk, a fighter, and allow the rebels to use it as well; the Red Hawk is not otherwise remarkable as an instrument of war.
First Appearance: Kid Komics #3 (Timely)

Red Hawk (II). Major Red Hawk is a "free lance fighter of the skyways and a full-blooded American Indian who beats the Japs at their own game." His tribe is never named, and he looks quite Anglo, but he's definitely a Native American, making him one of the earliest (if not the earliest) character of that kind.
First Appearance: Blazing Comics #1 (Enwill Publishing)

Red Logan. Red is the "ace reporter of the Times Courier" and an enemy of crime. He operates in England and America and is assisted by his Russian friend Ivan.
First Appearance: Detective Comics #38 (DC)

Red Mask. The Red Mask is a jungle/safari guide (no name given) active in the South Pacific who puts on a mask and fights evil-doers (including white men who threaten the natives) when he has to.
First Appearance: Best Comics #1 (Better)

Red Panther. The Red Panther is a costumed Tarzan clone.
First Appearance: Jungle Comics #2 (Fiction House)

Red Raven. The Red Raven was the only survivor, as a child, of a plane crash with an island in the sky. He was adopted by the king of the island's inhabitants--birdmen. He grew up and was given artificial wings by the king and was then sent back to the world to eradicate the "elements that make for unhappiness in the world." He could fly.
First Appearance: Red Raven Comics #1 (Timely)

Red Riley. Red Riley is a "hard-boiled fighting cop of the river and harbor patrol."
First Appearance: somewhere in or before Man of War Comics #1 (Centaur)

Red Robbins. Red Robbins, origin unknown, is "the fastest man in the world." He has superspeed and uses it to fight crime. He is helped by "Speed" Karr.
First Appearance: All Your Comics #1 (Fox)

Red Rocket. Rod Page puts on a costume and fights crime.
First Appearance: Captain Flight Comics #1 (Four Star)

Red Reeves. Red is a more-or-less ordinary American boy until he meets up with a genie and is granted magic powers. He uses them to fight crime.
First Appearance: Silver Streak Comics #1 (Lev Gleason)

Red Rube. Reuben Reuben, an young orphan, finds the castle of his ancestors and discovers that the castle is full of the ghosts of those ancestors. The ghosts are all named "Reuben Reuben," and they grant him special powers, which he uses to fight crime. When Reuben says the magic words "Hey, Rube!" (maybe his ancestors were carny workers?) he turns into Red Rube, who has the powers of each of his ancestors, who were similarly super-powered.
First Appearance: Zip Comics #45 (MLJ)

Red Seal. Red Seal is the unorigined, powerless sidekick of Manowar. He may be an FBI agent, and he is definitely in top physical shpae and a good fighter.
First Appearance: Target Comics #19 (Funnies, Inc.)

Red Skeleton. Red is a mystery writer for Crimely Publications. His boss, editor Stanley Dee, is none too happy with him, however, since his plots are not what Dee expects. So Red goes in search of a better story, along with his female assistant Deena. Red's not a traditional hero (on his first exposure to a corpse he faints) but when he has to he comes through, using his knowledge of "jui-jitsu" to take down a mobster. He gets help from Deena, too, who is quick and able with a gun and who rejects his attempts at romancing her with "save it, Casanova."
First Appearance: Mystic Comics v1 #10 (Timely)

Red Tornado. Ma Hunkel fights crime in her neighborhood as the costumed Red Tornado. She is a member of the Justice Society of America. She has no superpowers, but is big and strong.
First Appearance: All-American Comics #3 (DC)

Red Torpedo. Jim Lockhart retires from the U.S. Navy but can't stand the quiet of retirement, and so develops the Torpedo, a one-man submarine. With it he becomes the "Robin Hood of the deep," keeping the peace on the seven seas. He has no power, but he does have the Torpedo, which can fly as well as move on the ship's surface and below it. The Torpedo is also armed with laser-like weapons in its stern.
First Appearance: Crack Comics #1 (Quality)

Red, White & Blue. Sergeant Red Dugan of Army G2, Whitey Smith of the Army, and Blooey Blue of the Navy make up Red, White & Blue, three stalwart enemies "against the insidious forces bent on sapping the strength of this great world power, the United States of America!!" They are helped by top FBI agent Doris West. They have no superpowers but are strong and clever and good in a fight.
First Appearance: All-American Comics #1 (DC)

"Reef" Kinkaid. "`Reef' Kinkaid is a daring adventurer and soldier of fortune--on his thirty-foot cruiser he combs the South Seas in search of adventure." He ends up in a lost world with the scientist Doctor Lang, Lang's daughter Marian, and "the little native Safari."
First Appearance: Amazing Man #12 (Centaur)

Reef Ryan. Ryan is a two-fisted explorer of space.
First Appearance: Planet Comics #13 (Fiction House)

Rex. Rex, the "King of the Deep," is the designer, builder, and operator of a high-tech supersubmarine. He uses it for the good of all mankind. He is helped by his sweetie Nan Barlow and his friend Dirk.
First Appearance: The Funnies #45 (Dell)

Rex Dexter. To quote from Rex's debut:

One of the features of the Fair of 1939 was the rocketing of a space ship to the planet Mars. Piloted by young Montague Dexter and his wife, the ship soared on its course, the anxious world receiving word from it every hour, until...1960 1970 1980 1990 2000, the years pass.

On the face of the planet Mars, in a barren valley, we see the battered rocket plane, like a wounded eagle, it lies there, the first messenger from our Earth to an unknown land. Two men are repairing the ship--Montague Dexter, now 85 years old, and his son Rex, the first human to be born on Mars.

Rex, being a native Martian, doesn't need an oxygen helmet to breath in the Martian atmosphere. He is also friends with the Martians and the acknowledged link between tehm and Earth. Once he returns to Earth he makes friends and challenges and defeats evil humans, for both Earth and Mars. He has no superpowers.
First Appearance: Mystery Men #1 (Fox Features)

Rex Elliott. Rex Elliott is a top-notch pilot and flight instructor who works at a "secret Army Air Base near Australia" (near Australia? What, in New Zealand?) fighting against the Japanese.
First Appearance: All New Comics #2 (Family/Harvey)

Rex King. Ed Love contributes the following:

Deep in the  heart of the African jungle, Rex King, man of adventure, is enjoying the good life with his faithful black panther Kato. [Sometimes Kato's name is given as Jet--Jess] When some threat to his adopted home springs forth, Rex King leaps into action as a gliding hero in a sleek black outfit. Whether it's the "thieving white man's jungle magic" terrorizing the native Ohtams, or crooked traders bent on  stealing the secrets of the jungle to use for their own corrupt purposes, Rex King is there  to guard against the insidious evil that threatens this peaceful land. Later Rex King adopts  the id of the Black Fury (II?). Black Condor-like wings allowed him glide.
First Appearance: Super Magician Comics #1 (Street & Smith)

Rex Swift. Rex Swift is a top agent for the Secret Service.
First Appearance: Top-Notch #1 (Archie)

Reynolds of the Mounted. Reynolds is a heroic Mountie who patrols Canada with his pilot friend Red.
First Appearance: Feature Comics #27 (Quality)

Rick Evans. Rick Evans is an internationally-known teen adventurer who uses his spaceship to fight crime and help people. He is assisted by his pals Stringbean and the winsome Astra.
First Appearance: All Good Comics #1 (Fox)

"Rick" Masters. "Rick" is a foreign correspondent who travels to wherever the news is and reports it. He is helped by his assistant, the portly and balding "Skinny."
First Appearance: Bang-Up #1 (Progressive)

Rick O'Shay. Rick O'Shay is a brawling American adventurer and mercenary. He is assisted by his "ever-faithful Arab servant Mekki."
First Appearance: Master Comics #1 (Fawcett)

Rio Kid. The Rio Kid is a wandering cowboy on an “eternal quest for adventure.”
First Appearance: Thrilling Comics #2 (Better)

Rip Carson. Rip Carson is a two-fisted adventurer, a parachute trooper during WW2 and then an ace fighter pilot during Korea.
First Appearance: Fight Comics #19 (Fiction House) Note: His strip was later retitled “Risks, Unlimited.”

Risks, Unlimited. See Rip Carson.

Robin. Dick Grayson, a child acrobat, watched in horror as his parents were killed through the work of a gangster. The Batman is on the trail of the gangster, and makes the child his helper and legal ward, and together they brought down the gangster. Robin is partnered with the Batman but is not, during the Golden Age, a member of the Justice Society of America. Robin has no powers but was trained by the Batman and is a skilled fighter and acrobat. He also has a neat utility belt.
First Appearance: Detective Comics #38 (DC)

Robotman. Dr. Robert Crane and his assistant Dr. Chuck Grayson are just completing an android body which will "keep alive a human brain whose owner had died." But darn the luck, just then a group of thugs break into the lab and try to steal whatever's inside. Crane tries to stop them and gets shot for his troubles. Crane, as he dies, tells Grayson to put his brain into the robot body. Grayson does so, and Crane wakes up in the body of the android. He creates a human mask for himself and takes on a new identity, that of Paul Dennis. He tracks down his killers, gets back together with Joan Carter, his girlfriend, and then goes out to fight crime, with the help of his talking robot dog Robbie. Robotman has superstrength, acute mechanical eyes, "microphonic ears," and is fueled by several hundred horsepower, although he can and does run down and need recharging.
First Appearance: Star-Spangled Comics #7 (DC)

Rocke Wayburn. Rocke Wayburn is an "adventurous rover" who roams the South Seas and the dockfronts of America looking for adventure.
First Appearance: Amazing Man #14 (Centaur)

Rocket Boy. Billy Wood is a young boy who Cal Martin, aka Rocketman, gives a jetpack to. Billy, as Rocket Boy, helps Cal fight crime. He has no superpowers but can fly via the jetpack.
First Appearance: Scoop Comics #1 (Harry "A" Chesler)

Rocketgirl. Doris Dalton is the fiancee of Cal Martin, Rocketman, and when Cal invents a flying jetpack he gives one to her. She helps him fight crime as Rocketgirl. She has no powers but can fly via the jetpack.
First Appearance: Scoop Comics #1 (Harry "A" Chesler)

Rocketman. Cal Martin, an inventor and adventurer, creates a "three-cartridge rocket pack" jetpack that allows him to fly through the air. He makes one for his fiancée Doris Dalton, and together they fight crime and the Germans as Rocketman and Rocketgirl. They are partnered with Billy Wood, a young boy who they gave a jetpack to and who helps them as Rocket Boy. Cal has no powers but can fly with the jetpack.
First Appearance: Scoop Comics #1 (Harry 'A' Chesler)

Rocket Rooney. Rocket is a spaceship pilot and adventurer in the far future. He and his "boon companion," Professor Watts of the Technical Research Bureau," go exploring and have various adventures on- and off-planet. Rocket has no superpowers but is actually a good scientist as well as being a two-fisted type.
First Appearance: Bill Barnes Comics #1 (Street & Smith)

Rockman. Rockman (he doesn't seem to have any other name) is the leader/king of the underground kingdom of Abysmia, which is located somewhere underneath the United States and consists of the descendants of the first white inhabitants of the American continent. He's been monitoring events aboveground for some time when he finally loses his patience and leaves for the surface, to help America against its enemies. He has access to advanced science, including monitoring equipment and a "digger car." He has exceptional speed and fighting ability, has a supertough body, limited superstrength, does not need oxygen to breath and is immune to the pressures of the sea-depths.
First Appearance: USA Comics #1 (Timely)

Rocky Ryan. Rocky is a two-fisted freelance adventuring type; to quote from his first appearance, "into the British fort at Bunnu on the northern front of a turbulent India rides a lone traveller (sic) on a foam-flecked horse, a free-lance adventurer, a man that fights with a grim smile, a man that lives and breathes action and daily strife, Rocky Ryan...."
First Appearance: Big Shot Comics #1 (Columbia)

Rod Rian. Rod Rian is a heroic agent for the Inter-Planetary Police (or the "Sky Police") in the year 2500 AD. He keeps the space lanes free of pirates.
First Appearance: Flash Comics #2 (DC)

Rodeo Rick. Rick is a heroic cowboy.
First Appearance: Western Comics #1 (DC)

Roko the Amazing. High school art student and, of course, great patriot Lon Crag is drawing a picture of Menelaos when the picture comes to life and grants him a wish; Lon's is that he wants to be "a great and good Captain America!" Menelaos tells him that when he says "Ilium" (or "Illium," as in the panel above--it was none too consistent) he "will have the wisdom of Ulysses, the battle-prowess of Agamemnon and the invulnerability of Achilles" (along with Achilles' weakness). Lon says the word and turns into a tall, muscular man with a small, round, red shield (with the Greek three-dancing-legs design on it), and goes off to fight evil. In addition to the powers of Ulysses, Agamemnon, and Achilles, he's also got superstrength and can fly.
First Appearance: USA Comics #5 (Timely)

Roy Lance. Roy Lance is an international globe trotter who prefers Africa to "civilization."
First Appearance: sometime in or before Jungle Comics #8 (Fiction House)

Roy the Super Boy. Roy was an orphan shoeshine boy who had the good luck to be discovered by Blaine Whitney, aka The Wizard. Blaine sees something in Roy and takes him under his wing, training him to be his sidekick, Roy the Super Boy. Roy is also a member of the Boy Buddies. He has no superpowers.
First Appearance: Top-Notch Comics #8 (Archie)

Rudy the Robot. See the Li'l Professor.

Rulah the Jungle Goddess. Rulah is Jane Dodge, a rich American orphan who is bored and flying over Africa when her plane crashes in the jungle. Rulah is left in rags, so she skins a giraffe, saves a native tribe from white trickery, and becomes a Sheena-clone. She has no superpowers but is good in a fight and has a pet panther named Saber.
First Appearance: Zoot Comics #7 (Fox Features)

Runaway Ronson. Runaway Ronson is the "streamengineer," the driver/conductor of a super-fast train.
First Appearance: Blue Bolt #1 (Funnies, Inc)

Rurik. Rurik is a king of the Danes who travels the seas of the Baltic, North, and Atlantic oceans in search of adventure during the years of the Vikings. He goes as far as the Antarctic, where he even finds a lost world. He is helped by his faithful fumbler Reith.
First Appearance: Spitfire Comics #1 (Harvey)

Rusty (I). Rusty is the sidekick of Major Hornet. In his spare time he is a member of the Pals of Freedom. He has the same costume and like him has no powers.
First Appearance: Captain Aero #4 (Holyoke)

Rusty (II). Rusty is, in civilian life, the ward of Don Stevens; in costumed form he is the sidekick of the Defender. He is a good fighter but has no superpowers.
First Appearance: USA Comics #1 (Timely)

Rusty (III). Rusty is a strapping young adventurer who fights evil around the world and tries to make a profit thereby. He is helped by his "pals," the beautiful brunette Duchess and a kid gang, led by the blond Steve. Rusty has no superpowers but has the usual explorer/adventurer set of skills.
First Appearance: Adventure Comics #32 (DC)