Real Name

Black Douglas

First Appearance

Spitfire Comics #1 (1941)

Original Publisher


Created by

Malcolm Kildale


Englishman Black Douglas was intercepted by pirates during his journey to the New World in the 18th century. Although he proves his worth in combat, too many of his crew are killed and he is captured. Being the only one of his surviving crew who refuses to join the pirates, he is thrown into a longboat and left to die by his foes. However, after several hours adrift he manages to reach a mysterious island. Once he lands, Douglas drinks some strange water that has a peculiar taste, before falling asleep due to the strange gases coming out of hot springs on the Island.

The water was in fact from the Spring of Eternal Life, while the unusual properties of the gases not only put him to sleep but keep his clothes and boat perfectly preserved. Black Douglas wakes up 200 years later in the 20th Century after an underwater earthquake closes the vents, with him encountering a Nazi U-boat and requesting a ride back to England - unaware that England and Germany are currently at war. Upon telling his story to the Captain, Black is informed that it has been two centuries since he fell asleep on the island. Days later when they arrive at the Orkney Islands, the Captain also tells Douglas later that the Germans will be blowing up the Royal Navy ships in Scapa Flow to prove Aryan superiority.

Black angrily attacks the Captain and then proceeds to knock out his Nazi guards after discovering he can exhale the gas from the island and use it as a weapon. Working out the controls after having watched the Nazis, he manages to beach the U-boat and escape before the U-boat is shelled. Watching an air battle above him between the RAF and Luftwaffe Dive Bombers, he goes to the aid of a Spitfire pilot forced to make an emergency landing after being shot. Pulling him out of the plane, Black manages to eventually get it airborne and flies around wildly until he works out how to fly the Spitfire. Engaging the Luftwaffe, Black manages to down several bombers before giving chase to the fleeing aircraft, but he runs out of fuel after chasing them across the channel - safely landing in Nazi-controlled territory.

Battling a group of Nazis who try to capture him, Black uses a torch (which one of the Nazis dropped) along with his gaseous breath to create a flamethrower - forcing the Nazi's to flee, with one of the group exclaiming "he spit fire!" - giving Black his nickname "The Spitfire". Working his way through the country as the Nazis send a patrol out to capture him (which includes two tanks), he is nearly ran over by a pair of Nazis on a motorcycle. Their attempts to capture Black fail, with Black trying to ride the motorcycle and ending up being thrown over the handlebars - choosing to walk from that point. Coming across a P.O.W camp, Black manages to rescue an English RAF pilot named Dring after breaking into the camp and using his breath to create a smokescreen to cover their escape.

Telling his story to Dring, the pair plot to steal some reserve petrol (loaded on the Tanks in the patrol Black saw earlier) and use it to refuel the Spitfire so they can escape back to England. Recovering the motorcycle and with Dring driving, the pair come across the patrol - with Black managing to jump onto one of the tanks and use his breath to knock out the crew. As they steal the fuel and load it into the motorcycle's sidecar, the second tank attacks - with Black using his breath (ignited by the tank's gunfire) to blast the second tank before jumping off as the two tanks collide with each other. As Black and Dring race to the Spitfire, Black holds off a Nazi squad as Dring refuels the plane - with Black grabbing onto the plane as it takes off as Dring pilots it into the air. The pair are pursued by Messerschmitts, but Dring's piloting ability allows him to evade their attacks and cause the Nazi planes to crash into each other. The pair soon return across the channel - having enough fuel to reach England and glide in.

Powers and Abilities

Before encountering the island, Black Douglas was stated to be an excellent swordsman and fighter. He is armed with a Toledo sword and a Flintlock pistol.

Following drinking the water from the Spring of Eternal Life, Black was made immortal. Furthermore, 200 years of breathing the mysterious gases on the island had somehow altered his lungs to be able to generate the gas when needed, with him apparently been able to control the properties of the gas as he could use it to knock people out with it but also use it as a smokescreen without Dring been knocked unconscious. The gas was highly flammable, which Black was able to use to his advantage by turning his breath into a flamethrower - hence his given nickname "Spitfire."

Finally, while unfamiliar with it, Black proved to be a competent aviator when he flew a Spitfire plane.

Public Domain Appearances

  • Spitfire Comics #1-2

See Also


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