American Avenger

Real Name: Don Caldwell

Identity/Class: Normal human

Occupation: College student

Affiliations: Carlos Ramirez (best friend)

Enemies: Baron Girbel

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: El Gaucho

Base of Operations: Buenos Aires, Argentina; later U.S.A.

First Appearance: U.S.A. Comics #5 (Timely Comics, Summer 42)

Powers/Abilities: Good fighter and horseman. Skilled with lariat and bolo.

History: Don Caldwell was an American student studying in Buenos Aires. He had lived there for several years, becoming virtually a native, even to the extent of learning the skills of local gauchos (riding, roping bulls, etc), and learning of the area's legendary hero and liberator, el Gaucho. Shortly after Don graduated, his friend Carlos expressed the concern that there were troubled time ahead for Argentina, and stated his sadness that Don would soon be returning to the U.S. Later that night Don went to visit the town's memorial statue to El Gaucho, where he encountered an elderly man, the grandson of one of El Gaucho's allies. Fearing the future waiting for his country, the old man had picked Don as a possible successor to resurrect the identity of the masked freedom fighter, and gave the student the hero's costume.

A few months later the statue of El Gaucho disappeared, causing the city to become rife with rumours that El Gaucho was alive again. Sure enough, a masked man dressed as the hero was soon causing trouble for local Nazi agents, led by the villainous Baron Girbel. After El Gaucho broke the local spy ring, Girbel fled to America, and Don gave chase. He thwarted an attempt by the Baron to hijack a freighter carrying a defense cargo, then continued to battle crime and enemy agents in his native land, now known as the American Avenger.

Comments: Created by Vince Alascia (most probably). His sole acknowledgement in the "modern era" was when he was listed among a number of other wartime patriotic heroes in USAgent #3.

Thanks to Jess Nevins for allowing me to use information from his excellent Golden Age Heroes Directory and his Guide to Golden Age Marvel Characters. Thanks also to Richard Boucher & Darrin Wiltshire @ PR-Publications for permission to use information from their equally brilliant collection of Golden Age Sites, PR Publications. Their knowledge of Golden Age characters far outstrips my own.

CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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