Monday, February 11, 2008

Bulletman and Bulletgirl

Jim Barr was the son of a police officer who was killed and as a result took it upon himself to fight crime. Like many characters of the time, he used chemistry to develop powers for himself; in his case greater muscle mass and brain power. He also invented a Gravity Regulator Helmet (which was bullet shaped and gave him his name), which allowed him to fly and deflect bullets.

Shortly after Bulletman began his crime-fighting career, he created a second helmet for his girlfriend and later wife Susan Kent, who adopted the name Bulletgirl.

Bulletman and Bulletgirl were Fawcett Comics' second most popular characters after Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family. They were acquired by DC Comics along with the rest of the Fawcett comics stable of characters in 1972. However, the characters lapsed into public domain prior to the said acquisition, which would later allow AC Comics to reprint their Golden Age adventures.

During this period of time, Bulletman and Bulletgirl appeared with fellow Fawcett heroes to form Shazam's Squadron of Justice against the forces of King Kull. Their age appeared to be as it was in the 1940's without explanation. They subsequently appeared a few times with Captain Marvel and his family.

Bulletman and Bulletgirl were eventually retrofitted into DC Universe continuity as members of the All-Star Squadron, and in the pages of The Power of Shazam were given a daughter named Deanna Barr, who donned her mother's helmet and operated briefly under the name Windshear (not to be confused with the Marvel Comics superhero of the same name).

In issues #39-40 of Starman (1998) James Barr is accused of being a traitor to the United States. He is seemingly implicated in the Nazi-attack on the Normandie ocean liner in New York. This contradicts what is known by Jack Knight's father, Ted Knight, whose life Barr saved, in Alaska, on the day of the Normandie attack.

Constrained by promises of confidentiallity to the same government that is prosecuting him, Barr goes on the run with Ted while Minute Man tries to get the secret oath rescinded. Captain Marvel, currently much younger than Bulletman (than he was back then) fights with Jack Knight in an attempt to arrest Barr.

In 2005, a new Bulletgirl known as Bulleteer was introduced as one of the Seven in Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers of Victory. She is unrelated to these older heroes, though her costume is to some extent inspired by theirs. In issue #3, Susan Barr appeared in a brief cameo, visiting her successor.

Publisher Fawcett Comics (1939–1953)
DC Comics (1976–present)
First appearance Nickel Comics #1 (1940, historical)
The Power of Shazam! #8 (1995, canon)
Created by Bill Parker
Jon Smalle

Alter ego James "Jim" Barr and Susan Kent-Barr
affiliations Shazam's Squadron of Justice
All-Star Squadron
Abilities Chemically-induced super-strength and intelligence, Gravity Regulator Helmet allows each to fly and deflect bullets.

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