- Many heroes make enemies that last a lifetime. But you, the both of you… your enemies last forever!
- -- Gentleman Ghost src
James "Jim" Craddock, alias the Gentleman Ghost is a ghostly criminal adversary who has battled Hawkman on various occasions. He is the son of an English gentleman who abandoned both Jim and his mother, forcing them into poverty. Craddock grew up to become a notorious Victorian highwayman and robber who terrorized England in the 1800s.
As a boy he worked as a pickpocket and with his stolen money, he went to the Gypsy Queen, who lived by the Tyburn Gallows. She prophesied that he would die by hanging, and "meet his end by noble blood", only to return as a ghost. She also said that centuries in the future, he will fight his fiercest foes in the British royal castle. If his foes die that night, he will live again. He refused to believe her.
He later emigrated to to the United States to make his fortune but he met the gunslingers Nighthawk and Cinnamon. Nighthawk lynched Craddock after wrongly assuming that he sexually assaulted Cinnamon, and killed the criminal in cold blood. Due to the strange nature of his death and his executioners Jim returned from the dead as a ghost, he continues his reign of terror now possessing his ghostly powers. Jim, however is unable to rest until his executioner die and his soul enters the afterlife, but the problem is that Nighthawk is the reincarnation of Khufu who is cursed to be resurrected along with his true love throughout time.
More than half a century later, the Ghost first made his presence known to the public, beginning a crime spree that took him to all the great capitals of Europe. He finally met the later incarnation of his executioners; heroes Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Although they repeatedly stopped the Ghost's plans, they were never able to capture him, due to his ability to seemingly vanish into thin air.
The Gentlemen Ghost, however, has battled many other heroes such as Batman, Superman, and the Justice Society of America and All-Star Squadron over the years, but his true enemies are always Hawkman and Hawkgirl.
The Gentleman Ghost showed up in Gotham City while he was looking for a new hideout. He eventually overheard Alfred Pennyworth talk about the abandoned Wayne Manor and the Ghost decided to take control of Alfred in order to use the place as his new hideout. Wayne Manor reminded the Ghost of his British heritage, but his manipulation of Alfred ended with him being confronted by Gotham's protector, Batman. Although the Gentleman Ghost was forced out of Wayne Manor, he managed to escape from the Dark Knight Detective. Later encounters with Batman often ended with the same results.
The previous events allowed the Gentleman Ghost to be considered one of Gotham City's established supervillains, and was invited to a large villain gathering by the Joker, to tell them that Killer Croc had sworn to kill Batman within twenty four hours. The Joker felt this was stealing thunder from himself and his fellow well established rogues. So the criminals split into separate teams to search the city and kill Batman before Killer Croc can get to him. The Gentleman Ghost works with Clayface and Killer Moth, whilst Two-Face agreed to come as well after a toss of the coin, to which Killer Moth silently remarked that Gentleman Ghost would have killed Two-Face had he not agreed to help. While searching out Batman an abandoned factory, the villains were intercepted by Batgirl and Robin, who they defeat the criminal band.
The Gentlemen Ghost worked with the Secret Society of Supervillains as they attack on Metropolis but they are opposed by various superpowered heroes. This led to a fight between Jim and Green Lantern (Alan Scott). But the Ghost was able to defeat the hero and leaving him in a coma.
During a fight with the Justice Society of America, the Gentleman Ghost gained the power to summon other ghosts. These vengeful spirits are all fallen foes of the Justice Society. He summoned an army of deceased highwayman who attacked the JSA. However, he is defeated by Stargirl, as she was a virgin girl, who are revealed to be protected from ghostly attack. Other spirits arrive and help defeat the rogue ghost and his army. It is also revealed that Wildcat is a descendant of the Royal family England and was able to decapitate the Ghost's head, which causes the vanquished ghost to disappear.
- Ghost Powers
- Invisibility: Jim Craddock as a ghost is able to make himself invisible. His normal appearance is that of a floating hat and monocle, he uses this power to hide his decayed face.
- Intangibility: Jim Craddock as a ghost he has the spectral ability to phase through solid objects such as walls and people.
- Teleportation: Craddock can teleport distances as short as across a room, or as long as the other side of a state. He can even teleport to other dimensions.
- Mind Control: Using his ghostly powers, the Gentleman Ghost is capable of manipulating people to follow his commands.
- Vulnerability to Nth Metal: Although he is a ghost and can become completely intangible, the Gentleman Ghost can still be affected by Nth Metal.
- Power Limitation: He unable to touch or be touched by virgins. This is confirmed by his inability to do harm to both Stargirl and Jakeem Thunder. However, he can pick up a real weapon and be able to hurt them, as when he used the Cosmic Rod.
- Vulnerability to Noble Blood: Any person of royal lineage is able to attack and banish the Gentleman Ghost to the afterlife, as shown by the defeat by Wildcat.
- Ghostly Carriage: The Gentleman Ghost usually travels around a white carriage, with one or two horses to provide rapid movement power. Despite the vehicle's appearance, it has no supernatural capabilities.
- Flintlock Pistols: James often carried the same Flintlock pistols that slayed him many years ago. Each still fired and work perfectly despite their years of age.
- Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-Two era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985-86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and no longer apply.
- Craddock's spirit can never be put to rest until his killer is put to rest first. However, since Nighthawk's spirit can never truly die neither can Craddock's.
- 55 Appearances of James Craddock (New Earth)
- 20 Images featuring James Craddock (New Earth)
- 2 Quotations by or about James Craddock (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: James Craddock (New Earth)
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Secret Society of Super-Villains member