Flying Fox

Created by Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas, and Brian Murray

NAME + ALIASES:
None

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Running Deer (father, deceased), White Snow Owl (grandfather, deceased), Star-of-Dawn (ancestral grandmother), He-No (ancestral grandfather), Arak (aka Bright-Sky-After-Storm, ancestral grandfather)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Young All-Stars, All-Star Squadron

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Young All-Stars #1 (June 1987)

History

Teenage Bruce Wayne adopts the cloak of a "witch doctor" to become the Flying Fox! From Adventure Comics #275 (Aug. 1960); art by George Papp.
The legacy of the Quontauka tribe. From Young All-Stars #16 (); art by .
Michael Bair posted his early sketch for Flying Fox to Comic Art Fans. This was the first drawing of the character, which clearly went through more changes. Bair credits the final design to Brian Murray.

The Flying Fox was a member of the "Young All-Stars," created after the Crisis on Inifnite Earths in response to the continuity problems that arose from that series. The post-Crisis timeline removed the Golden Age Batman, and to "fill the void," writer Roy Thomas created the Flying Fox — and his evil German equivalents the Grösshorn Eule and Fledermaus of Axis Amerika.

The concept of Flying Fox was inspired by two primary sources. First is the Batman tale from Adventure Comics #275 (Aug. 1960). This story was billed as the "origin of the Superman/Batman team." In it, a teenaged Bruce Wayne visits Smallville. When a robot menace emerges, Lana Lang encourages him to don an artifact belonging to her father. It was a magical costume of a "witch doctor." The papers dub the hero the "Flying Fox." He soon meets Superboy, who removes all memories of their adventure from Wayne's mind.

Second, the Fox was descended from another one of Thomas' creations, the Native American hero called Arak.

The term "flying fox" is the common name of the largest species of bats, Pteropus, also known as "fruit bats."

The Legacy of Arak

The youth named Flying Fox was a member of the secluded Quontauka tribe, and a descendant of its greatest warrior called Bright Sky After Storm — known as Arak by the Vikings. Bright Sky was the son of Star-of-Dawn, and He-No, their god of thunder. Their tribe was massacred by Vikings and the boy fled in canoe. He was found by the Vikings who named him Arak. He journed for years across foreign lands, but eventually returned to Canada when he learned there were remaining members of the Quontauka.

Upon his son's death, He-No created a cloak of red fox fur for the tribe to give mystic powers to a descendant of Arak. He foretold that during the Quontauka's darkest hour, their descendant would use it to save them.

Centuries later, Nazis came to the Quontauka. Flying Fox's father, Running Deer, was their chief and he defied the foreigners. He was taken away and shot, and so was Flying Fox when he did the same. Fox's grandfather, White Snow Owl, was the tribe's shaman and he took Fox's body. He invoked spells and drew the sign of the fox on his chest in "forever paint." After four days Flying Fox awakened, healed. He was given the cloak and charged to help the people of the outside world fight the Nazis. With it, he could become invisible, create illusions, release blinding light from his hands, fly, sharper senses, and more to be learned.

Their hidden civilization was found during World War II by the Nazis, who came ashore via U-boat. The Nazis unsuccessfully attempted to convince the tribe to engage in guerilla warfare against the Canadian government. When the tribe's shaman refused them, the Nazi commander ordered the tribe's chief shot dead.

The chief's son (whose birth name is unknown) was grief-stricken, but the shaman directed the youth towards their ancient talisman — the cape and cowl of the magical flying fox. The shaman permanently painted the emblem of the flying fox onto the boy's chest, who was renamed Flying Fox hmself. The shaman trained Flying Fox in the use of his new magical powers and sent him to the United States to aid in the war effort against Nazi Germany.

(Young All-Stars #21)

The nineteen-year-old Flying Fox arrived in New York City in April 1942 and, along with other new "Young All-Stars" helped the All-Star Squadron defeat Axis Amerika.

On the recommendation of FDR, Flying Fox and the others were made members of the Squadron and went on a cross-country promotional tour.

The Fox's post-war activities and his ultimate fate are unknown.

Notes

 

+ Powers

Using the red fox cloak, Flying Fox could become invisible, create illusions, release blinding light from his hands, and fly. He possessed sharper senses, and his grandfather the shaman implied that he would learn more mystical abilities in time.

Appearances + References

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