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William Niles Norris

Alias: The Grim Reaper

Date of death: 2003
Place of death: Invertica, USA, Terra Obscura

Eyes: Blue
Hair: Black
Race: Human

Occupation: Mercenary
Group affiliation: S.M.A.S.H.
Base of operations: Terra Obscura

Story: When the humans first set foot on the Moon on July 20th, 1969, they woke up an alien that had crash landed and been buried there since the Moon was formed. The alien killed the astronauts and went to Earth where it started mining for something on Antarctica. The members of S.M.A.S.H. tried to stop the alien but all except Tom Strange got killed or trapped in a force bubble and placed in orbit. In order to get help from the only source he knew, Tom Strange traveled through space on foot for 30 years until he reached Earth and Tom Strong in October 2000 [2].

Tom Strong and Tom Strange went back to Terra Obscura, where they found the imprisoned super-heroes trapped in their force bubbles [2]. In the force bubbles, time had stood still and Strange and Strong was able to rescue them all. The alien in the meantime had tried to convert the planet to a new space ship to replace the one it had crashed. While it was big, it had only used a small part of Antarctica, and Terror 2000 was able to rewrite the programming and make it take leave the planet with the size it had gained [3].

After the alien left Earth, the heroes had to find their place in the World. Norris started working as a mercenary and was hired by Smenkhkare to take out his former team mate Terror 2000 so he could become ruler of the Earth. He was killed by Terror 2000 when he took former team member Diana Adams hostage and to gain access to Terror 2000's main frame [1].

Equipment: Pistol and short sword with some type of energy enhancement.

Continuity: America's Best Comics
Publisher(s): America's Best Comics
DC Comics
First app.: Tom Strong #11 (2001)
Country of origin: USA USA

Background notes: Grim Reaper is originally an old character from Better Publications in the early 1940s. At the present time no exact information is available regarding first appearance, creator etc. His first appearance in the Golden Age appears to be in Fighting Yank #7 from 1942 (art by Al Camy), and the stories mainly ran in Wonder Comics in the mid 1940s. Visually, this version is almost identical to the original, whereas his behavior is changed from a heroic person like the other heroes from that time, to being a mercenary doing dirty work if he's paid.

Related links/characters:
- ABC Characters
- Adam/The Ape
- Archie Masters/American Crusader
- Bruce Carter/Fighting Yank
- Carol Carter/Yankette/Fighting Yank
- Diana Adams/Miss Masque
- Dick Martin/Pyroman
- George Chance/The Ghost/Green Ghost
- Grant Halford/The Magnet
- Lance Lewis/Space Detective
- Nelson Drew/The Liberator
- Peggy Allen/The Woman in Red
- Peter Ward/The Scarab/Thoth
- Princess Pantha
- Smenkhkare/Set/Mystico
- Terror 2000
- Tim Roland
- Tom Strange
- Tom Strong

References: 1: Terra Obscura (vol. 1) #1
2: Tom Strong (vol. 1) #11
3: Tom Strong (vol. 1) #12