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Phillip Cobb (New Earth)

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Quote1 Another one of those cheap hoodlums who thinks he can make a reputation for himself by outsmarting the law! Quote2
-- Commissioner Gordon src

Phillip "Phil" Cobb was a gangster with big ideas. He came to Gotham City intent on hiring a gang of his own and making it big, but was laughed at when trying to recruit thugs because he had no reputation. Steaming with anger, he vowed to prove himself to Gotham's mobsters, and when he noticed how modern society was regulated by signs, signals and symbols, he found the inspiration for his criminal career. Becoming the Signalman, he went on a spectacular crime spree using signs and symbols as his trademark.[1] He was eventually captured by Batman and Robin, although he would return for a rematch a year later.[2]

Phillip Cobb 002

The Blue Bowman.

In jail, he met Green Arrow villain Bulls-Eye, and listening to his tales of the Emerald Archer, Cobb decided to use trick arrows, as Batman would be unfamiliar with fighting against them. He adopted a new identity, The Blue Bowman, but was easily beaten by Batman and Robin.[3] He remained unseen for over 15 years until 1976 when he resumed the guise of Signalman again to fight Batman.[4] On his third attempt, he actually managed to trap Batman inside the Batsignal.

Signalman would later become a member of the Ultra-Humanite's Secret Society of Super-Villains, which was defeated by the Justice League of America. Since then, he has become sort of a joke amongst other supervillains, laughed at for his ridiculously flamboyant costume.

He was supposedly killed by Doctor Moon, tortured to death and recorded on video,[5] but would reappear during the events of "One Year Later." He was a drug addict, and one of the many underground informants of Black Lightning for the Justice League of America.[6] It is unknown whether or not he has kicked his habits, but during the Final Crisis he reappears once again in full costume as a member of Libra's Secret Society of Super-Villains.[7]

  • Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One 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 should be considered apocryphal.


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