Every Thursday, mightygodking.com returns to the pages of Who’s Who, the classic 1980s DC comic book encyclopedia of their characters. Every week, a character shall be judged on the only scale scientific enough that matters: the Rex The Wonder Dog scale of fantasticosity.
Comics are weird in that every so often, a writer can knock a character concept right out of the park and the vast majority of fans simply won’t notice. We recently saw this in The Order, where Matt Fraction put together at least half a dozen stellar character concepts and wrote them all brilliantly and so of course the series got cancelled in ten issues. It happened with Skrull Kill Krew, probably the only superhero team to plausibly have an English racist skinhead as a member. And it happened in Young All-Stars, with Flying Fox.
Flying Fox is a fantastic superhero. His powers are ill-defined, yes, but they’re ill-defined that way because, having read the series, I can explain what Roy Thomas was trying to do: create a golden-age equivalent of Batman for the All-Star Squadron. Young All-Stars existed in part because, after Crisis On Infinite Earths, the All-Star Squadron didn’t have access to Batman, Superman or Wonder Woman – hence, Flying Fox, “Iron” Munro and the golden age Fury all got pressed into service as replacements. And where Batman had a utility belt, Fox had “Indian magic,” but the concept remained the same – he was the “thinker” of the team.
And he worked. (Fury didn’t. “Iron” Munro kind of did, but not as well as was needed, unfortunately.) There are characters who just have it, the magical quality of cool. Flying Fox is cool, seriously cool. He has a good costume, a good but not overly strong power set, got a lot of good lines (not bad for a native son only recently introduced to the modern world, really), and most importantly hit that exact point on the Batman Scale in between “brilliant, monomaniacal asshole” and “clubby, chummy super-dork” where you get the perfect superteam “thinking badass.”
He’s due for a reintroduction, frankly. I mean, no reason one of his “Indian magic” powers can’t be longevity.
Would have gone slightly higher, but the tufted crests on his mask are a bit too owly to be foxish.