The Invisible Hood

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Personal information

Real Name:  Kent Thurston

Residence: Suburbs of New York
Occupation: Adventurer
First Appearance (Golden Age): Smash Comics #1 (August 1939)
First Appearance (Post-Golden Age): All-Star Squadron #31 (May 1984)

Character History

Little is known of the life of Kent Thurston before he took to solving crimes in the late 1930’s.  He appeared to have no specific line of work and may have been independently wealthy.  He had a good relationship with the police in his area, specifically Inspector Bill Blake who included him in cases. Whether Blake ever learned Thurston had an alternative identity as Hooded Justice is unknown.

His first recorded case, he was summoned to police headquarter by Blake to meet an Indian maharajah who was seeking the return of some religiously significant sapphires taken from a temple in his state.  Blake received words that a series of jewel thefts are occurring with the victims being murdered. Suspecting a link to the sapphires, Thurston investigates as the “Invisible Hood”, a name he adopted as his outfit completely concealed his features.  He catches a theft in progress and follows the gang back to their hideout where he eventually recovers the gems and returns them to the Maharajah (Smash Comics #1).

One evening after rounding up some criminals, Thurston ruminates that he wishes his name was more true and that he was actually invisible.  In a moment of serendipity, he reads that scientist Hans von Dorn, who is working on a chemical formula to turn things invisible, has been kidnapped from his home.  The Hood pursues a lead that Garrick Spade, leader of the notorious Spade Gang is behind in and infiltrates his hideout.  There he finds von Dorn, who coats his cloak with the invisibility solution allowing him to become a true Invisible Hood.  He uses this new advantage to summon the authorities to the Spade hideout and routes that gang but not before Spade murders van Dorn.  Returning to the hideout as Thurston, he arrives just in time to witness the murder and kills Spade.  With Dorn’s dying words, he extracts a promise from Thurston to only use his formula in the pursuit of justice (Smash Comics #2).

IFrom this point forward, the Invisible Hood’s war on injustice accelerated.  Many of his cases were mundane.  He battled arsonists (Smash Comics #7), a disgraced vengeful judge (Smash Comics #5),  and thieves of all sorts (Smash Comics #3, 15 and 17).  Some of these criminals took on exotic personas such as the Green Lizard (Smash Comics #4), the Green Ghosts (Smash Comics #11) and the Golden Dragon (Smash Comics #13).   Some of these thefts involve remarkable artifacts such as an anti-gravity device from King Tut’s tomb (Smash Comics #16) or the Blue Crystal (Smash Comics #23)  or novel technology like an underwater sub called a waterbug (Smash Comics #26). Thurston’s station allowed him to travel extensively, engaging in adventure when he did he places like Panama (Smash Comics #12, 24) England (Smash Comics #22), the Pacific (Smash Comics #14) or even an island in Alaska that time forgot (Smash Comics #19).

As World War II took hold,  Axis forces became more of an obvious threat.  The Hood broke up spy rings  (Smash Comics #21) and foreign agents in the Caribbean (Smash Comics #29).  He even arrested a defense chief that had been kidnapped by agents acting on orders of the Axis (Smash Comics #28).  In this time frame he also encountered his most recurrent foe, the White Wizard. The Wizard marshaled considerable scientific acumen, including duplicating the formula used to render the Hood’s cloak invisible.  While his ambitions were defeated each time, he was never apprehended as far as is known (Smash Comics #27 and 30). 

In 1942, the Invisible Hood was contacted by the mystic being embodied the Spirit of America, Uncle Sam.  Sam had become aware of Earth-X, a world in which the laws of probability favored evil and Nazis were beginning a slow grind toward victory over that world.  Since that world appeared to lack super-heroes, Sam assembled a team of “Freedom Fighters” that would shift the tide in favor of the Allies.  Thurston agreed to join them and on their first incursion, the intercepted Japanese Zeroes bound for Pearl Harbor.  While the heroes put up a valiant fight, they were ultimately overwhelmed and Uncle Sam, who survived, believed that all of his recruits had been killed.   Hourman was later revealed to have survived but no such discovery of the Invisible Hood has been made and he is presumed deceased.  Whether that is true and whether anyone on Earth-Two every used his formula to continue his legacy is unknown.

Powers and Abilities

Kent Thurston's primary advantage was his possession of a cloak that rendered him and anything hidden with in invisible to the human eye. As the Invisible Hood operated in the age before infrared and heat sensing, it is not clear how far the range of obscuration extended for the cloak.  Whether  the cloak had to be periodically refreshed in the chemicals to remain invisible (or how he kept track of it when he could not see it) is not clear.  Thurston was a human in peak physical fitness, an excellent hand-to-hand combatant and had extensive detective skills.  He appeared to possess some form of ancestral wealth that financed a lifestyle without obvious employment.  The extent of these resources is unknown. 

Weaknesses and Limitations

Without the cloak, The Invisible Hood was an ordinary mortal and could be killed or injured as such.

Multiversity Villains



In the Post-Crisis timeline, it is revealed that the Invisible Hood did in fact survive the excursion of the first Freedom Fighters, tho it occurred in the main timeline and not on Earth-X. His activities over the next several decades are unknown, tho it is known that he started a family and later retired to Austin, Texas.  In the mid 1970's, he intervened in a case involving the Icicle and the Mist and was killed in the process (revealed in Starman vol. 2, #2).  His cloak passed to his grandson, Ken Thurston, who briefly adopted the identity of the Invisible Hood and joined a 21st century version of the Freedom Fighters before being killed by a rogue version of The Ray working for S.H.A.D.E. (Freedom Fighters Vol. 2 #5-6).  As Thurston was not wearing the cloak when he was killed, it's deposition is unknown.  Another individual, Tyson Gilford, also claimed that he was the grandson of Invisible Hood who had been put up for adoption by one of the Hood's children.  Gilford became the hero Blindside when he exhibited the ability to become Invisible at will (Relative Heroes LS).  Whether there is an actual connection has never been verified.

Golden Age Appearances of the Invisible Hood