Besides a Gentleman, Obviously
Another day, another DC character! Man, I should really probably do a Marvel character again at some point. Maybe next week. Anyways, here’s an article suggested by u/kaykordeath, who almost certainly named themselves that because the username using the correctly spelled quote was already taken. Or not, I guess. Idunno man, I don’t know their life.
Anywho, Gentleman Ghost is a villain who’s been around for a long, long time, dating all the way back to the 40s. Unfortunately, he never seems to get the spotlight that he deserves. He’s got a great design, a fun gimmick, and above all, he’s a ghost. Ah well. Maybe he gets shafted because he’s technically a Hawkman villain, and as most people know, Hawkman is basically just Hawkgirl’s douchey boyfriend these days. I mean, I know he’s a really old and important character, but man, what a cock that guy is. But we’re not here to talk about him, we’re here to talk about a sick, pimp-ass ghost man. Without further ado, let’s fake an education in comics!
I’m Pretty Sure the Gentlemen Ghost is Also a Sex Thing Too
SCENARIO: You ready for some knowledge, son? FACT: Ghosts are cool. FACT 2: Making a thing that was already cool into a classier version of said thing is even cooler. FACT 3: Gentleman Ghost is fucking sweet.
I don’t really have anything else to say here. Just, uh, if someone thinks Gentleman Ghost is a lame concept then they’re probably not very fun to hang out with, I guess.
Moving swiftly along…
Step One: Going Ghost
So waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the 1800s, there was a highwayman by the name of James Craddock, better known by his criminal alias, Gentleman Jim Craddock, which kind of sounds like an alcohol that pretends to be way fancier than it actually is. Interestingly enough, Gentleman Ghost here also pretends to be much higher class than he actually is. Fancy that.
Anyways, he would go on to visit the “Gypsy Queen” in his younger years (otherwise known as every gypsy I’ve ever met at a carnival), who told him a bunch of prophetic bullshit that can summed up with “you’re gonna meet Hawkman and Hawkgirl’s old west incarnations and they’re gonna lynch you, but if you can murder them in the British royal castle then you get resurrected”. So, like any reasonable man would do, he refused to believe that crazy bullshit, moved to America to pursue his fortune, and was almost immediately lynched by Hawkman and Hawkgirl’s old west incarnations. Go figure. Now, if this had been anyone else who had murdered him, Jim could have simply waited for his executioners to be just as dead as he is, and badda bing badda boom, Jim would have gone on to whatever afterlife the editors decided was cannon in the DCU. However, since the Hawks have that whole “cursed with infinite resurrection and reincarnation” thing, this meant that Jim was going to have to take up a more… direct approach. So basically he turned his afterlife into a series of elaborate robberies and murder plots themed around being a really suave ghost. Actually, in a really entertaining twist, he basically only robs places to keep himself entertained in between murder plots, which makes sense because ghosts don’t exactly need money.
Now I gave Gentleman Ghost some shit for being a Hawkman villain earlier, but he’s actually a bit of a big leaguer. He’s been a credible threat to the entire JSA at times, even putting Alan Scott (the Golden Age Green Lantern, for those of you not in the know) in a coma for a while. Plus, he’s managed to gather enough steam to occasionally cross over as a Batman villain, and that’s how you know you’ve made it in life. Shit, Gentleman Ghost’s most famous appearances are arguably those he did on the Brave and the Bold cartoon (which, wow, kind of comes up a lot in these articles, maybe you should all go watch it or something). Anyways, he’s about as creepy and cool looking to be a Bat-Villain, and frankly, I would prefer that Bats had more prominent supernatural villains, but whatever, thanks to the disaster that was New 52 Hawkman we’ll probably never get Gentleman Ghost doing anything genuinely cool ever again.
Step Two: New 52 Boogaloo
As was the case with so many lesser known characters during the chaotic dawn of the DC Reboot, Gentleman Ghost got shafted pretty hard. With no JSA to antagonize and Batman dealing with some pretty messed up shit in his own right, ol Jim wound up back in the impossibly hairy arms of Hawkman, like a woman (or man, I guess) returning to the familiar comfort of their last lover. But of course, like how that situation usually goes in real life, it didn’t really go too great. Sure, it was Gentleman Ghost, but it just wasn’t the same. Gone was the classic, ghostly look, replaced with something that looked like a shitty Spawn villain. Gone was the charming façade of nobility concealing rage and contempt, replaced with generic scheming and quips. But hey, he got tentacles and a zombie army, so… there’s that, I guess. There’s really not all that much more to say about the matter, honestly, seeing as he only got about one arc before he was trapped in whatever version of hell DC had decided was cannon that week.
So basically, it was pretty fucking lame is what I’m saying. Although, kind of interestingly, he did have a similar coloration to what the New 52 design was whenever he got hurt or angry, flashing from his white coloration to a black, threadbare suit with a rotting corpse within. So that’s a fun callback. But otherwise, there was basically nothing redeeming to the character. Idunno, maybe I’m letting my disdain for Hawkman affect my perception, but you know what? I stand by my feelings on Hawkman. The only cool things about his stories are Hawkgirl and whenever Hawkworld pops up, because Hawkworld is basically a power metal album cover given life. And before the reboot left about half of DC’s titles creatively bankrupt for a year or two, Gentleman Ghost was one of the coolest parts of the Hawkman mythos too, but now he’s gone, like leaves on the wind.
Step Three: Gonna Catch em All cuz He’s, uh… Gentleman Ghost
I’m going to be totally honest with you, I don’t actually know enough of the Danny Phantom theme song to keep making intelligible references to it.
Anyways, I don’t really have much more to say about Jim, just gonna wind things down a little with a couple fun facts. First, that Stargirl has been able to kick Gentleman Ghost’s ass because she’s a virgin, apparently, so maybe abstinence has some more usefulness than stopping babies from happening after all. Secondly, that Gentleman Ghost got punked even harder by Wildcat. Thirdly, uh… Ghosts are cool, I guess. Look, I ran out of things, padding articles is hard, ok?
In Conclusion, I’m really tired and I have to pack for a flight soon, so I’m done here and you can all blow me if you have a problem with that. I’ll see all you lovely folks next week, when I finally take on another Marvel character. Much love.
Oh, also, as is now tradition, here is the plug for my shitty youtube gaming channel. We’re currently playing Earthbound and just wrapped up a no death run of the original Legend of Zelda, with a new LP on its way relatively soonish. So, if you want to hear more of my bullshit, just go here and pretend I’m whichever of the two commentators you think is funnier/more attractive sounding.
See you next time!