Fiery Mask

First Appearance: Daring Mystery Comics #1 (January 1940).
Golden Age Appearances: Daring Mystery Comics #1, Human Torch Comics #2, Daring Mystery #5-6.
Modern Appearances: None.
Years Active: 1940-?

Jack Castle is a bright and successful young doctor whose brother, William, is a noted film director. One day Jack is called in by the police to help investigate a case involving tramps and hobos being kidnaped by zombies. (Why the police would need Jack's help on a case involving hobo-kidnaping zombies is never quite explained.) Jack is a better doctor than investigator, however, and he gets captured by a zombie and brought to the zombie's master. The master, who goes by the name "The Zombie Master," is an enormous, 20' tall mad scientist. The Zombie Master is using a special ray to make people into "living corpses." He then directs his zombies to go out and commit crimes as well as kidnap more homeless men for his zombie army. The Zombie Master explains this to Jack, and then turns his ray on Jack.

The ray doesn't work on Jack, however. Jack, y'see, knows hypnosis, and this enables him to resist the ray's power. The Zombie Master, a little irked by this, increases the ray's power in an attempt to break Jack's will. This turns out to be a mistakes, as the ray is destroyed and the machine powering it explodes, irradiating Jack Castle and giving him various powers (as well as killing the Zombie Master). Jack puts on a mask and costume, dubs himself "The Fiery Mask," and uses his powers to fight crime and evil.

His enemies are not simple criminals; he fights the Doctor, another zombie-making mad scientist, but also one practising super-hypnosis and who raises giant buzzards. The Fiery Mask fights Dork, still another mad scientist; he bioengineered a 20' tall bloodthirsty ape. And, finally, the Fiery Mask goes to Hell and fights the Legion of Doom, a group of evil demons.

The Fiery Mask has a number of powers. He has superstrength and superbreath. He can perform miles-long Hulk-leaps. His body gives off intense heat, ala the Human Torch (I), but without the Torch's flames. The Mask can erect a heat forcefield and he can "transmit (his) protective powers via (his) touch," granting his forcefield to someone else.

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