Real Name: Daniel Dyce
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A good fighter--though as with all these Districts Attourney, you kinda got wonder how he's a good fighter. Was there some supplementary martial arts course they took in college? Most law students I know aren't particularly handy in a fight, and certainly 711's talents are never explained.
Bullets. He dies.
If you think all Golden Age Districts Attourney were the same, meet Daniel Dyce. Daniel has a problem. His good friend, Jacob Horn, is a criminal facing a trial that will likely send him away for life. But his wife is about to give birth. Knowing that he may never see his new child but from behind the confines of a jail, Horn asks Dyce for a gift only he can bestow.
Because the two friends are almost identical twins, Horn proposes they switch places, just for the night before the trial, so that he can see his baby once in the free world.
As Horn speeds away to the hospital, though, he is killed, leaving Dyce in jail, on trial, and eventually sentenced in Horn's place. He becomes prisoner #711 at Westmoor Prison. Eventually finding a way to tunnel out of the prison, he nevertheless chooses to stay there by day, going out only at night to fight crime the only way still open to him: as a masked crime fighter. Within a few short issues, however, he was killed by mobster Oscar Jones and replaced in the pages of Police Comics by Destiny, another crimefighter who went on to investigate the crime.
If ever there was an obscure comics character just begging for either a comics revival by top talent or, really, a movie adaptation, this is the guy.
The big stumbling block with writing the character for the modern age is, of course, the "identity switch". The comics themselves say that he tried, but was unable to prove his identity. Were this character written today, this would be difficult to credibly conceive. What makes much more sense is that, presumably, he would have lost his life anyway if he asked for fingerprint or DNA confirmation--because he might have been set free, but he would surely have lost his license to practice law, his job, and probably faced charges of some kind. Many would say that a life outside of jail, any life outside of jail, would be preferable, but perhaps the character can't conceive of a life that doesn't involving putting bad guys away. To him, then, it would be preferable to stay in jail for a crime he didn't commit than to go to jail (and be disbarred) for a crime he did.
First Appearance: Police Comics (1941) #1
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DC Comics Graphic Novel Collection [GER] (2015)
#45 Police Comics (1941)
- 'Plastic Man: Auf der Flucht'
World's Best Comics: Golden Age Sampler (2003)
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