Public Domain Super Heroes
Cat-Man 8.jpg

Real Name

David Merrywether

First Appearance

Crash Comics Adventures #4 (September 1940)

Original Publisher


Created by

Irwin Hansen


The Merrywether family was traveling through the jungles of Burma when bandits killed the mother, father, and sister. Young David was the only survivor. He was found and raised by a Tigress and gradually gained all the powers of the cat family. When he became an adult, he decided to return to the United States. Upon arriving there, he was appalled to discover that the city was full of crime and evil he found. He decided to fight it, both as a private eye in his civilian identity and as the costumed Cat-Man.

Later, David encountered Katie Conn, an 11-year old orphan. Her unscrupulous uncle was using her to help him steal. After putting her uncle behind bars, David took Katie in as his ward. He was initially reluctant to let her fight crime with him, but after she put on a costume and fights as the Kitten and helped him defeat the latest villain, David changed his mind.

When World War II broke out, David joined the military. He was never deployed. A year before the war ended, he was discharged under unspecified circumstances and he and Katie moved to Center City, home of the Deacon. While their sidekicks were already good friends, the two crime-fighters barely interacted and only teamed up on two occasions.

In 1945, David Merrywether was given an all-new origin in Cat-Man Comics #27. His mother was now animal trainer Antoinette Burotte, who raised David in the circus among the leopard Zeealia and her cubs, one of whom was named Tamara. However, Antoinette was murdered by a mad circus trainer. As she lay dying, Antoinette made David promise to be a good person and to be good to the leopards as they would teach him things. David was subsequently adopted by the circus and became an animal trainer like his mother, training with the now older Tamara, whom he learned his cat-like abilities from.

Powers and Abilities

Cat-Man had cat-like powers: he can see in the dark, leap many times his length, and climb anything. He also had nine lives. He was watched over by a guardian angel in the form of a tigress who brings Cat-Man back to life if when he is murdered (he had seven lives left as of Cat-Man Comics #3). Some of his supernatural powers were de-emphasised over time. He originally carried a silent-firing pistol called the Power Gun.

Public Domain Appearances

  • Cat-Man Comics #1-32
  • Crash Comics #4-5


See Also