The Invisible Hood is the earliest character from the Quality Comics stable that has been integrated into the DC Universe. Kent Thurston wears a long red cloak and hood, with a mask, and carries a gun that fires sleeping gas, as he aids police inspector Bill Blake when sacred Indian sapphires get stolen. In this first outing, he is not hugely different from the Shadow or the Crimson Avenger, and one has to wonder why he calls himself Invisible Hood.
This gets addressed in the second issue. Kent laments that he is only “invisible” because no one knows the identity of the Invisible Hood, and wishes he had true invisibility. Fortuitously, at the point he gets a call from Professor Van Dorn, a friend who has just perfected an invisibility serum. Kent douses his costume with the serum, and gets to play super-hero.
In issue 2 we see Kent, in costume, fade to invisibility in the way that would become standard in comics – dotted lines for the outline of the figure, pale colouring of the figure itself, a see-through effect. But once he gets into the action, battling thieves who want the formula, he is simply not drawn at all into the panels. We are meant to imagine him there, just seeing the effects of his actions.
Not a good idea. It just looks strange. And this was obvious enough that by issue 3 the dotted line, pale colour, see through effect would be used consistently.
Hood deals with pirates, gangsters and a blackmail ring lead by the Green Lizard, who turns out to be Inspector Blake’s servant.
We learn almost nothing about Kent Thurston in these five issues, only that he used to be a private detective, which just makes you wonder what his day job is now.
Invisible Hood continues in the Early Golden Age
Invisible Hood: Smash Comics 1 – 5 (Aug – Dec 39)