Unofficial Biography CRIMSON METEOR [Willie Schuman]
 Created by Danny Fingeroth and Bob McLeod

Personal Data

Real Name: Willie Schuman
Occupation: Cartoonist
Marital Status: Widower
Known Relatives: Cloris Danes Schuman (wife, deceased)
Base of Operation: Metropolis, formerly Seattle
Group Affiliation: None
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A
Eyes: Brown
Hair: White, formerly Brown
First Appearance: Superman 80-Page Giant #1 (February 1999)

Profile written by Ola Hellsten




  Willie Schuman, award-winning staff artist for the Seattle News, developed super-powers in the late 1940s. Using these to battle crime, he made ends meet by drawing action portraits of his costumed alter ego. After only a few years, his powers began to fade and he started more regular work as a cartoonist. Recently, he moved to Metropolis, where he writes the Captain Tomorrow strip, often based on the exploits of Superman, whom Willie counts among his fans.


  In the 1940s, Willie Schuman worked for the Seattle News as a staff artist, mostly drawing political cartoons and courtroom scetches, winning a few awards on the road. The he ghosted a bunch of strips for other cartoonists and later did one under a pen name for years. He also earned some money painting portraits of one of the minor super-heroes of the 1940s, the Crimson Meteor.

  In his old age, Willie moved to Metropolis and sold his new strip "Captain Tomorrow" to a syndicate, finally getting to sign his own name to a strip.

  When Clark Kent a.k.a. Superman first read the "Captain Tomorrow" strip in the Daily Planet, he was shocked to see the similarities between the main character and himself. The superhero Captain Tomorrow was secretly the mellow Bill Trent, newspaper artist for the Daily Criterion in Cosmopolis. He even had a sweetheart named Clorid Dane, and fought several villains reminiscent of Supermanís foes. Too close to be a coincidence.

  Furthermore, some people, particularly children, started to confuse Superman with the fictional Captain Tomorrow. Disturbed, Clark Kent visisted Schuman in an attempt to get an interview with the artist, but was met with utter suspicion. When Clark asked about from where Schuman got his inspiration or whether he had any agenda beyond entertainment, Schuman snapped:

  "For all I know, youíre the one with a hidden agenda. Maybe you want to steal my ideas and do a strip of your own, or sell movie rights to something Iíve created. Wouldnít be the first time it happened to me." Then Schuman asked Clark to leave.

  It was not until Clark revisited Schuman as Superman, that he learned the truth. Delighted to meet one of his idols, Schuman told Superman his life story. In the 1940s, Willie was subjected to the radiation of a strange meteor and gained super-powers. As the heroic Crimson Meteor of Seattle he did not get as much publicity as the "Eastern guys" got, but his feats were admirable and his powers made him a Superman of that era. His powers, though, started to fade pretty soon after he got them, and in his old age, they were long gone.

  Upon the death of his wife Cloris, Schuman moved to Metropolis and created the "Captain Tomorrow" strip, based on his life as a hero, his former secret identity and powers, mixed with some sci-fi elements and, he admitted, "some of the modern exploits of Superman himself. Hope you donít mind."

  Although still amazed by the similarities between their lives, Superman was calmed by Schumanís story and did not mind. He then granted Schuman a favor. It had been decades since Schuman had last flown, but grabbing Supermanís hand as he took off for the skies, Schuman experienced that feeling one more time. Helping Schuman "fly like an eagle" once again made Superman feel like a great hero. Maybe even as great as Captain Tomorrow.

Powers and Weapons

  In his prime, the Crimson Meteor could juggle pianos, fly like an eagle, and laugh if some goon hit him with a lead pipe. He could see things a mile away and hear a baby cry in the next country.

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