American Crusader was created by writer Max Plaisted and artist Elmer Woggon. The character first appeared in Thrilling Comics #19, published in August 1941 by Nedor Comics, which was an imprint of Standard Comics and Better Publications.
American Crusader, also known as Professor Archibald “”Archie”” Masters, was a mild-mannered astronomy professor who gained superpowers after being exposed to atomic radiation from a meteor. As a result of this exposure, he acquired superhuman strength, flight, invulnerability, and energy projection abilities. Archie Masters decided to use his newfound powers for good and adopted the superhero identity of the American Crusader.
Thrilling Comics was an anthology series featuring various superhero, adventure, and mystery stories. American Crusader was one of the many characters who appeared in the series, along with heroes such as Doc Strange, The Ghost, and The Woman in Red.
The publication history of American Crusader spans several issues of Thrilling Comics during the early 1940s. The character’s adventures continued until the decline of the superhero genre in the late 1940s.
Archie Masters, a brilliant yet disheartened astronomy professor, had always felt disconnected from the world. The constant chaos and suffering plaguing humanity left him in a state of despair, and as the years went by, his depression deepened. One fateful day, he decided that he could no longer bear his anguish.
However, instead of meeting his demise, Archie experienced a remarkable transformation. The atomic radiation imbued him with extraordinary powers, enabling him to manipulate atomic bonding and control the density of atoms within objects, including his own body.
Archie discovered that increasing the density of his body rendered him virtually indestructible. He also gained the ability to create and manipulate antimatter, which allowed him to generate devastating explosions and energy shields.
Despite his newfound powers, Archie’s despair persisted, driving him to seek an end to his own life. But each attempt to die proved futile, as his atomic density refused to yield to any form of harm. His frustration grew as he became more aware of the extent of his incredible abilities.
In an unexpected twist of fate, one of Archie’s desperate attempts at self-destruction inadvertently led to the rescue of someone in grave danger. The profound impact of this life-saving event awakened Archie to the possibility that the world could change for the better—one life at a time.
Walking through the bustling university campus, Archie stumbled upon a colleague working on a groundbreaking atom smasher, a device with the potential to revolutionize the world. Sensing Archie’s distress, the colleague inquired about his well-being.
In a moment of vulnerability, Archie confessed his intention to end his life. Shocked and concerned, the colleague tried to dissuade Archie, but his determination remained unshaken.
Desperate to change his friend’s mind, the colleague guided Archie to the atom smasher, hoping the awe-inspiring device might ignite a spark of hope. Archie, feeling he had nothing left to lose, stepped into the chamber, prepared for the end.
Embracing his unanticipated destiny, Archie adopted the heroic persona of the ‘American Crusader’. With his newfound strength and indestructibility, he dedicated himself to protecting the innocent and championing justice. Through the act of saving lives and making a positive difference, Archie found solace and purpose, gradually healing his own emotional wounds.
Atomic and Antimatter Control – Atomic manipulation, control of atomic bonding and density, antimatter creation and manipulation.
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