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Crimson Avenger (Jill Carlyle)

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Crimson Avenger
The Crimson Avenger introduced in 2000.
Cover to JSA #52 by Carlos Pacheco
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceStars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #9 (April 2000)
Created byGeoff Johns
Scott Kolins
In-story information

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Crimson Avenger is a fictional character from DC Comics. She is depicted as the third character to use the Crimson Avenger alias. She is depicted as an African American female antiheroine within the DC Universe.[1] [2]


The third incarnation of the Crimson Avenger is referred to by fans as Jill Carlyle, a name taken from the headstone of a victim the character was shown avenging in an early appearance. Whether the Avenger is Carlyle herself or not remains unclear. Following DC Comics' 2011 reboot of their publishing line, a similar character appears in the series Earth-2 under the name Lee Travis.[3]

Fictional character biography[edit]


A female Crimson Avenger appeared later who, like the original El Diablo, served as a minor Spirit of Vengeance. She was an African-American woman who possessed the powers of teleportation and intangibility. In a flashback sequence, it was revealed that Carlyle studied law but apparently lost a case in which the defendant was clearly guilty. She obtained a pair of Colt pistols originally owned by the first Crimson Avenger and used them to exact vengeance upon the unknown criminal. [4]These guns are cursed such that, if the possessor uses them out of revenge, he or she will be cursed to track and kill those who have taken an innocent life. Carlyle becomes the Crimsom Avenger after taking revenge on the unknown criminal and, also as part of the curse, an ever-bleeding bullet hole appears on her chest.[5][6]

Upon gaining a new "assignment," she mentally relives the death of the victim, and then is teleported to their place of burial. Carlyle then gains the memory and skills of those whose deaths she is avenging. Also, her guns never miss, never run out of ammunition, and have no triggers. The bullets are capable of penetrating any substance, and can wound invulnerable heroes such as Superman and Power Girl, as well as crack the armored shell of Captain Atom. The guns seemingly have a mind of their own, as Carlyle speaks of having to restrain them from shooting those who come between her and her target. Her intangibility does not function against her own weapons or other magical forces. Unless/until the curse is lifted, Carlyle is seemingly immortal. She once attempted to kill herself with her own weapons, but this merely resulted in ending her current "assignment" and delivering her to the next one.[5]

Stealing Thunder[edit]

She was a member of the JSA during the "Stealing Thunder" storyline - the group at the time being short on heroes after the Ultra-Humanite used the Thunderbolt to take over the world. Her mission was to avenge the death of Lee Travis, revealing that the explosion that killed him was actually caused by the Ultra-Humanite. Carlyle returned later in JSA #52-53, tracking down Wildcat for framing a man called Charles Durham for a crime he didn't commit. She learned however that Wildcat only framed Durham after Durham killed his brother, sister-in-law and nephew as revenge for his own brother killing his fiancée. Durham was innocent of the crime he was convicted for, but Wildcat only framed him for the death of his fiancée because he couldn't prove Durham had killed his brother's family. Realizing that she was not always contacted by the spirits of the innocent, the Avenger attempted to escape her duty by shooting herself. She argued that she had already taken two of Wildcat's nine lives and hence punished him for his 'crime', but found herself simply moving on to her next target.

Infinite Crisis[edit]

Though attacked by the Spectre in a 2005 issue of JSA, the Crimson Avenger is seen at Blackgate Prison, fighting escaping inmates during the worldwide supervillain breakout the Society engineered in Villains United: Infinite Crisis Special #1. The Crimson Avenger later appears, alongside the current Vigilante and Wild Dog, on a rooftop in the great Battle of Metropolis, raining bullets down on the Trigger Twins, the Madmen and Spellbinder.[7] She also appears as one of the dozens of heroes and villains kidnapped by aliens in Action Comics #842 and 843 before being freed by other heroes.

Cry for Justice[edit]

Carlyle is later seen gunning down the supervillain known as Catalyst after Prometheus sends random super-criminals to attack the world's heroes in order to distract them from his master plan.[8]


Jill Carlyle was placed by ScreenRant in a top ten list of African American female people who want to seen in live-action. [9]


  1. Gavaler, Chris (5 October 2017). Superhero Comics. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4742-2637-0. Retrieved 29 October 2020. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  2. Snider, Brandon T. DC Comics: The Ultimate Character Guide. Dk Pub. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-7566-8261-3. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  3. Motes, Jax (10 August 2018). "11 Justice Society Members We'd Like To See On 'Stargirl'". ScienceFiction.com. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  4. Flint, Hanna (24 April 2018). "10 fierce superheroes the goddess Beyoncé should play". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Wallace, Dan (2008), "Crimson Avenger II", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 90, ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1, OCLC 213309017
  6. Wiese, Jason (15 June 2020). "7 DC Characters Zendaya Would Be Perfect To Play". CINEMABLEND. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  7. Infinite Crisis #7
  8. Justice League: Cry For Justice #5
  9. Holland, Stephanie (19 February 2020). "10 Black Female Heroes We Want To See In Live Action". ScreenRant. Retrieved 29 October 2020.

See also[edit]

"20 Black Superheroes We'd Love To See In Film". Vibe. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2020.

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