In the second half of the 1500s, the European continent was plagued by infighting among the many powers. Jon Valor was a man from England that sought to further his country’s interest, and thereafter assembling a team of seafaring adventures to accompany him in his career as a buccaneer. He took on the name of the Black Pirate. Unlike most pirates, he fought for justice and fairness, and not treasure.
He first appeared in a backup story in Sensation Comics #1 in 1942. Sensation Comics #1 is also known for being the first ongoing monthly series to star Wonder Woman.
As a golden age character the majority of his early appearances were typical of the period in that they were self-contained stories, often based around adventure. Thus the character did not have a great degree of development. Since the golden age the majority of his appearances have been as time traveling cameos and thus he is treated as more of an oddity than a character to be developed.
Major Story Arcs
After the wars were over which he fought in, Valor was eventually captured by the Spanish and threatened with execution. He bargained with them, and instead of being executed he agreed to fight for the Spanish as long as they agreed that he could continue to fight for justice and fairness. He also eventually married a Spanish woman and they had a son together named Justin. When the situation eventually became unstable in Spain the family fled to England where he continued his heroic career. When Justin approached adulthood, he began to fight alongside his father until one day he was seemingly killed. This served as the end of the Black Pirate’s career, as the heartbroken father could not go on. Five years later, King Charles called him out of retirement to try to stop the actions of a mysterious group of sailors that were harassing and raiding British vessels. Valor eventually discovered it was his son, who had become a puritan and was trying to gain enough resources for his group to travel to America. This signaled the end of both characters golden age history as Justine set sail for America and Jon returned to England to live out the rest of his life.
For many years, the character although never lapsing as a DC controlled character, languished in obscurity. Even Crisis on Infinite Earths which sought to incorporate almost every character in its publication passed him over. However, the character lives on in the occasional cameo in modern times, generally either where he travels through time, or some characters travel to his time. He battled the Justice League of America and the Justice Society of America after being taken from his time by Epoch, the Lord of Time. A slightly different version appeared in Starman comics where he was hanged after being captured at the Port O’Souls. He swore revenge on his crew that they could not rest until he was proven innocent. He would show up later to aid Starman and ask for him to help prove his innocence. During the events of the Return of Bruce Wayne, his grandson Jack encounters Bruce and they battle Blackbeard together. Jack gets inspired by Batman and continues the career of his grandfather.
Powers and Abilities
The Black Pirate is a regular human with no known super powers. He excels in all of the skills of piracy – hand to hand combat, navigation, seamanship. He is also bound by his strong sense of morals.