Real Name

Pierre Duray

First Appearance

Air Fighters Comics vol. 1 #12 (September 1943)

Original Publisher


Created by

Harry Stein and Fred Kida


In 1738, Pierre Duray was a French inventor who created a pair of artificial wings that enabled him to fly. He tested his invention on cliffs near Calcutta in India. Those who witnessed this technological miracle deemed Duray to be a devil using witchcraft and burned him alive at the stake, on the very cliff that he made his flight from. Duray swore to live on, and on the fateful cliff, an airplane shaped formation appeared, apparently as a forecast of man's journey into flight. The formation became the subject of local legend, and came to be known as the "Air Tomb". Over the next 200 years, Duray, now calling himself Misery, collected the souls of brave men in this Air Tomb. He appeared during World War II, and began downing entire squadrons of British planes, and threatened to continue doing so until the hero Airboy sacrificed himself to Misery. Air Boy tracked Misery down and confronted him, and ultimately managed to defeat him. However, Misery returned, seemingly obsessed with Airboy, but the hero managed to escape with the help of Valkyrie, who broke Misery's hold on her when he attempted to kill Airboy.

Misery was a supernatural and immortal creature, with a bony body and a flaming skull-like head. He claimed that he was the son of evil and could not die. Airboy believed that he was death itself. Misery had some strange connection to the cliff and the Black Hole of Calcutta (apparently, a volcanic pit that led into the "Air Tomb", not the historical prison), which erupted with lava when Misery was injured. Misery was able to transform the "Air Tomb" into a flying aircraft, though it was made of heavy stone. It did not have any guns, but could emit an electrical burst which could down a plane. The interior could be filled with toxic fumes. Misery seemed to be capable of enveloping an area in darkness, he could transmit his voice over any radio and he possessed mind control abilities. Misery was said to float when he moved across the ground. He sometimes wielded an axe and he was a good combatant, especially adept at kicking.

Public Domain Appearances

  • Air Fighters Comics vol.1 #12
  • Airboy Comics vol. 2 #12

See Also

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