The Unknown

Created by Ted Udall and Bernard Klein




FIRST APPEARANCE: National Comics #23 (June 1942)


  • National Comics #23-41 (June 1942–April 1944)


The Unknown's origin, from National #29.

The Unknown looked very similar to another Quality hero, Hercules. Both were bare-chested and wore red capes. There was another Quality hero called “"Neon the Unknown” who was significantly different. It’s clear that the Unknown’s first several appearances were drawn by several different artists. His costume changed slightly with every issue. He began with a shirtless costume but later developed a sense of propriety and adopted a white shirt. Some artists drew a “U” on his belt.

The Unknown was an American man whose true name is lost to time. His story begins in France, June 7, 1940, after the Nazi invasion. As a civilian, he found himself allied with the French forces. Although America hadn’t entered the war, he sided with the French and survived a gunshot wound. But his injuries threw him into amnesia—he no longer remembered his own name or country. The man made his way to the historic battle of Dunkirk, where he donned a costume and fought the Nazis alongside the British and French as “the Unknown.” The Unknown refused an offer by the British military to return to England. He vowed instead to remain in Europe to fight the Nazis head-on. As he put it “I have forgotten much… but I will never forget cruelty and injustice!” (National #29)

[ Read the full profile in the Quality Companion ]


The Unknown made a cameo in an unconventional story in Uncle Sam Quarterly #2 (1941).

The Unknown was the inspiration for a supernatural character in John Arcudi’s 2002 Elseworlds series, JLA: Destiny.

+ Powers

The Unknown had no super-human powers. A true soldier, the Unknown never hesitated to use whatever means necessary to win a battle—including the use of firearms or the killing of enemy troops. He was a superb hand-to-hand combatant, and fearless in battle.