Keeper of Infinite Earths - Villains of the Pulp Age
Created by Matt Parmenter
Alter Ego: Abraham Bartholomew
Known Relatives: Mia Bartholomew (Deceased Wife)
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: New York, NY
Famous stage actors, the couple traveled regularly around the US and Europe performing plays like the Barber of Seville and Julius Caesar. Abraham was often quoted saying that Mia was the love of his life and the one thing that kept him sane. During a run in NY, the eccentric and wealthy Braddock Barstow became enamored with the lovely Mia. He invited her to a party and she was flattered, saying that she was sure her husband would love to go. Barstow was infuriated that she was married and set about a plan to remove Abraham from the picture. To enact his evil plan, he purchased the theater and replaced the staff with thugs. A message was sent requiring Abraham to check the lighting, so the hirelings could beat him up and burn the theater with him in it. It almost worked, but he regained consciousness in time to escape the blaze with relatively minor injuries. The thugs had let slip that they were working for Barstow and Abraham headed off to confront him. Thinking that sufficient time had passed, Barstow had Mia meet him at the burning theater and told her she had no choice other than to accept his love, since her husband was dead. She bolted from Barstow’s grasp and, as a cruel fate would have it, raced into the theater at the same time as Abraham made it out. Abraham came around the front and saw Barstow, but not in time to see Mia. Thinking the murderer had come to gloat, he ran at him blinded with rage as the building collapsed. Barstow took the first punch to his chin, but bettered it by telling Abraham that if he couldn’t have Mia, no one would and he pointed to the theater. Abraham turned and saw his wife’s coat on the ground where it fell when she had struggled with Barstow. Realizing with horror that his wife had went in the theater, he tried to get her out as Barstow left laughing. With a nearly superhuman effort, Abraham got to his beloved and got her to the hospital, but it was too late. The love of his life was dead and with her departure, so too did his sanity go as well. When he returned to his hotel, he found a forged suicide note saying that he had burned down the theater and taken his own life. No one had got a clear look at him at the hospital and he had entered the hotel through the back entrance unnoticed, so he decided that Abraham Bartholomew was dead. Weeks later, two of the thugs that had worked Abraham over received a message to meet Barstow at a barber shop late at night. When they entered, the door locked behind them and the room filled with gas. The next thing they knew, they were strapped to the barber stools and a crying, singing clown slit their throats. The only thing witnesses reported was seeing a clown leaving the scene of the crime. Shortly thereafter, a man in a toga appeared at the hospital where Mia had died and stabbed the doctor to death. The strange murders came to the attention of Crimson Death and he discovered the link between the hospital and the thugs having been in Barstow’s employ. Crimson Death followed Barstow to the opera which was doing Wagner’s Ring. During the performance, the lightning effect went awry and caught fire. Hearing the usher scream that the doors were jammed, he raced to the exit and broke the doors open, leaving Barstow unattended. Returning to his quarry, he sees Thor running away from the direction that the lightning bolt styled javelin sticking in Barstow’s chest must have come from and disappearing into the blaze before he could get off a shot. When the fire was brought under control, there was no evidence of the killer’s body. The Thespian would come into conflict with the Pulp Age heroes on numerous occasions over the years whether he was seeking revenge on anyone he deemed responsible for Mia’s death or some theater related crime spree.
Driven insane by the loss of his wife, the Thespian seeks vengeance on a world that he blames for his misery with a dramatic, but deadly, flair.
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