WANTED: Earth-Two's Most Dangerous Super-Villains

Cuthbert Cain

Personal information

Character History

Real Name: Cuthbert Cain (presumed)


Residence: Mobile 
Occupation: Criminal, apprentice mystic
First Appearance (Golden Age):Adventure Comics #66 (September 1941)
First Appearance (Post-Golden Age): None 

Nothing is known of the early life of the young man known as Cuthburt Cain, including whether  that is his real name.  He first appeared outside of a bank in the suburbs of Washington DC along with two henchmen.  Wielding a camera, he took photos of everyone in the bank, uttering the phrase "Thyl'th Ny'A'A'".  The patrons and tellers all froze, allowing Cain and his men to waltz past security and fill their pockets with cash from the vault.  The henchmen praised the "racket" to which Cain took umbrage, considering his skills the finest of black arts.

Later that evening, Cain developed the camera's film and noted that FBI Chief Woodley Allen had been captured on film.  The camera's mystic properties allowed Cain to assume dominion over anyone caught in his gaze and focusing on the picture, Cain summoned Allen to his home.  Mesmerized, the G-Man fled in his housecoat and drive to an unassuming suburb where Cain met him at the door.  Leading him into the depths of his home, the youthful criminal explained the nature of his powers, the combination of studies of forbidden voodoo magicks and the physics of the camera itself.  Held in his Cain's sway, Allen was instructed to specifically avoid deploying FBI resources against Cain's activities.  Allen hypnotically agreed.

On the way home, Allen is intercepted by Starman who noticed his staring eyes but Allen will not be examined and returns home.  The days the follow, law enforcement is perplexed as Cain goes a raid and yet Allen quietly refused to engage.  Allen's frustration mounted when he received a message from Cain instructing him to clear the guards from the U.S. Mint.  Compelled to obey, Allen struck on the idea that while he could not act, Starman could and he confided his predicament to the Astral Avenger.

Starman arrives at the Mint slightly ahead of Cain and his men and ambushes them. Cain manages to snap Starman's photo and with a healthy haul from the Mint, returns to his hideout with the hypnotized Starman in tow.   On arrival Cain goes to summon Allen to witness his victory and Starman, who had been forewarned by Allen and use the emanations of his rod as a shield was revealed to not be under Cain's influence.   While Cain summoned Allen, Starman perused Cain's arcane library and when Cain and Allen enter the library, Starman reveals his deception. 

Enraged, Cain attacks him with acid from his film developer but Starman deflects the chemical and suspends Cain in the air.  Cain commands Allen to shoot Starman but Starman disarms him as Cain flees into the next room.  Starman gives chase but his blinded by a photo flash and drops the gravity rod.  As Cain moves in from the kill with his camera, Starman swats it aside causing it to take Cain's photograph instead.  Screaming in terror, Cain becomes a human negative and then vanishes completely.  With Cain's disappearance, the spell holding his victims vanishes (Adventure Comics #66).

While Cain was presumed deceased at that moment, his actual fate and what became of the camera are unknown.

cutherbert cain inks color resize

Powers and Abilities

The true nature of Cain's abilities and how his camera was empowered is unclear.  He appeared to be a student of the arcane arts but whether he himself had enchanted the camera or he had somehow encountered some other force or being is not obvious.   He claims there was some interactions between magic and the photoelectric properties of the camera that captures the "soul" but how that worked was also unclear.  Whether that was the only such camera in his possession is unknown.

Weaknesses and Limitations

Stripped of his camera and henchmen, Cain was an ordinary human with below average physical prowess.

Multiversity Villains


To date, Cuthbert Cain has only appeared in the Earth-Two timeline




Reprinted in

Adventure Comics #66

First Appearance , vs. Starman

Starman Archives #1, 100 Page Super-Spectacular DC-20