Few Golden Age super-villains had a better gimmick than The Weeper: a homicidal maniac who despised joy and wept crocodile tears over the tragic fates of his victims. Can you just imagine the type of field day Alan Moore or Grant Morrison would have with that particular concept?
The Fawcett creative team certainly knew they had a winner on their hands, as The Weeper returned twice to bedevil his arch-foes Bulletman and Bulletgirl and even formed a super-villain team known as The Revenge Squad.
(Multiple appearances by Golden Age villains were usually reserved for the Claws, Jokers and Sivanas of the funny-book hierarchy. The majority of bad guys in comics’ first decade usually bit the dust after one or two skirmishes.)
The Weeper died sometime later, but his heretofore unknown son took up the mantle after World War II and took on the team of Mary Marvel and Bulletgirl.
This Weeper wasn’t seen again until the 1970s, long after Fawcett was forced out of the super-hero business. In an attempt to replicate their success with introducing Golden Age heroes into the modern era via summer team-ups with the Justice League, the DC brain trust concocted a rather mediocre “Crisis On Earth-S” that brought Fawcett’s heroes and villains face to face with the mightiest heroes of Earth 1 and 2.
The Weeper teamed up with The Joker in that particular tale, giving writers E. Nelson Bridwell and Martin Pasko the opportunity to craft a memorable scene where the morose madman wondered what the Harlequin of Fate found so damn amusing about committing such heinous crimes.
Like most of Fawcett’s characters, The Weeper went into mothballs after that adventure and remained dormant for several decades while less colorful antagonists like Doomsday and the Jason Todd Red Hood hogged the attention.
Fortunately, the good men and women behind the Batman: The Brave And The Bold cartoon recognized The Weeper’s potential and – after recruiting comedian Tim Conway to provide the villain’s voice – once again teamed the Golden Age great with The Joker to provide one of the series’ most memorable episodes.
Given the Nu52’s insistence on revisiting the grim ’n’ gritty ‘90s, it’s unlikely that either The Weeper or his nemesis Bulletman will appear again soon in a DC Comic. Fortunately, readers can still enjoy the villains handful of appearances from the Golden Age.
From Master Comics #23 (Fawcett, February 1942), here’s “The Weeper: The Murderer Who Mourns His Victims.” The art is provided by the Binder studio.