Mr. Scarlet

Mister Scarlet

Mister Scarlet from Wow Comics #2, artist Jack Binder
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Wow Comics #1 (Dec. 1940)
Created by France Herron (writer)
Jack Kirby (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Brian Butler
Pinkerton "Pinky" Butler
Team affiliations Squadron of Justice
All-Star Squadron
Abilities Olympic level athlete
Keen investigative skills
Use of utility belt

Mr. Scarlet is the name of a fictionals, comic book superhero published by DC Comics. Brian Butler, the original Mister Scarlet, debuted in Wow Comics #1 (cover-dated Dec. 1940), and was created by France Herron and Jack Kirby.

Publication history

Mr. Scarlet, created by writer France Herron and artist Jack Kirby debuted in Fawcett Comics' Wow Comics #1 (Dec. 1940) and was the cover feature for five issues of that anthology comic.[1] He later appeared in Fawcett's Mary Marvel #9 (Feb. 1947). After the Fawcett properties were acquired by National Comics Publications, the future DC Comics, Mr. Scarlet appeared in Justice League of America #135-137 (Oct.-Dec. 1976).

Fictional character biography

Brian Butler

Mr. Scarlet is district attorney Brian Butler, who along with his adopted son Pinky the Whiz Kid, fought evil in his city for several years. His success was such that his employment was frequently in jeopardy due to a lack of crime. As a result, he throughout his series took up several odd jobs to supplement his family's income. He used inventive devices to help him apprehend criminals, and had great acrobatic and hand-to-hand combatant skills.

In his first appearance in Wow Comics #1, Brian was based in Gotham City. This may be the first use of the name of this city in comics. Later retcons established Mr. Scarlet's base in either New York City or Fawcett City.[2]

Although initially appearing in the 1940s, Mr. Scarlet and Pinky were revealed to still be active and at relatively the same age level in the 1970s during a team-up with the Justice League of America and Justice Society of America in Justice League of America 135-137. It was during this team-up that the two crime-fighters joined with several other heroes to form Shazam's Squadron of Justice.[3]

Pinky Butler

After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Pinky Butler is revealed to have taken over the identity of his father Mr. Scarlet after his death, having been active in Fawcett City for several years. It is also revealed how they retained their youth since the 1940s, as the wizard Shazam provided a protective field around the city for decades allowing its inhabitants to age slower than their contemporaries in other cities.

Pinky first appeared as Mr. Scarlet in Power of Shazam #44.

Mr. Scarlet later rescues Freddy Freeman from Prometheus' captivity, alongside the Bulleteer.[4]

Other versions


  1. Mr. Scarlet and Pinky at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016.
  2. Wow Comics #1 (Dec. 1940)
  3. Justice League of America #135-137 (Oct.-Dec. 1976).
  4. Justice League: Cry for Justice #7 (April 2010)
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