WANTED: Earth-Two's Most Dangerous Super-Villains
Name: John Brandt
Residence: Calvin City
Occupation: Business Executive, Professional Criminal
First Appearance (Golden Age): All-American #40 (July 1942)
Nothing is known of the life of John Brandt until
he rose to prominence as a Calvin City businessman in the early 1940's. In
the summer of 1942, Brandt reached the attention of the police when he he flew
into an apparent rage and attacked another citizen shouting "The Tusk! The
Tusk!". He was easily subdued and returned to the care of his wife, Sue.
In the following weeks, two additional businessmen displayed the same odd
behavior, the third attacking Al Pratt who was admiring a recently purchased
bone-handled knife which evidently triggered the man's attack. Pratt and
his assailant are taken to the police office for examination when a call from
Sue Brandt comes in saying that her husband had disappeared. The
police are dispatched to the Brandt home and Pratt, overhearing the exchange,
switches to his uniform as the Atom and tails them.
After the police interview Mrs. Brandt, they depart as the Atom slips in to see for himself. He witnesses John Brandt emerge from hiding and congratulate his wife on her skills at deception. Brandt tells her she must maintain this characde until he "gets them all". His curiosity piqued, the Atom decides to pursue leads by inspecting the files in Brandt's office. There he discovers that the other victims of temporary insanity were all business partners of Brandt. As he delves into the details, he fails to see Brandt approaching and is clobbered and the incriminating files taken. The Atom gives chase but as Brandt cuts through a nearby park, he seemingly vanishes into thin air.
The next morning, Al Pratt returns to the park and while perusing the newspaper and learns that an oil magnate named Carson, another of Brandt's business associates has also disappeared. Retracing his steps, he fails to find Brandt but stops to help a child who has lost a balloon in a tree. While doing so, a tree limb breaks and dumps Pratt into a pool beneath a small waterfall. Behind the falls, he finds a hidden door and immediately suspects where Brandt has gone.
Quickly changing to the Atom, he breaks down the door and finds Carson bound in front of a bizarre who identifies himself as The Tusk. The Tusk declares that Carson will get his "just desserts" from his ray machine and then he will deal with the Atom. Leaping into the fray, the Atom deflects the gun and struggles with the Tusk eventually overcoming him. He escorted Carson and the defeated Tusk out of the hideout to discover the police searching for the missing Al Pratt. The Atom assures them of Pratt's well-being and disappears while Brandt confesses that Carson and the other Tusk victims were business partners who had cheated him, thus earning his ire. As Al Pratt re-appeared, Brandt was taken into police custody.
The subsequent activities of the Tusk and any further encounters he may have had with the Atom have not been recorded.
Powers and Abilities
John Brandt was a successful businessman in his pre-criminal life, sufficiently affluent to develop the hideout and weaponry needed to execute his activities as the Tusk. His possessed a high degree of technical acumen in physics and psychobiology as indicated by his ability to develop weapons that would alter mental behavior in a fairly sophisticated manner. The full range of his weapons and skills in this regard are not well-defined.
Weaknesses and Limitations
The Tusk possessed no super-powers that aided him in hand to hand combat and separated from his equipment, he could be captured as an ordinary criminal.
No version of the John Brandt version of Tusk has emerged on any other Earth other than the original Earth-Tw0. On Current Earth-0, a mutated human known as Tusk emerged as a foe of Batman and Robin but his true name and origins are poorly known but he seems unrelated to the Earth-Two version. (Batman and Robin Annual Vol. 2. #2)
1st appearance and origin, vs. the Golden Age Atom