Mister Scarlet (Fawcett Comics) over a white background

Mister Scarlet

(Brian Butler)


Mister Scarlet was a Golden Age  super-hero. His stories were published by Fawcett Comics, who was eventually bought by DC. Mister Scarlet first appeared at the close of 1940.

He’s a formulaic one, in the mould of the Golden age Batman. But here’s a primer with stats. This is both for historical interest, and for those who need a generic 1940s hero.


  • Real Name: Brian Butler.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Pinky the Whiz Kid (adopted son).
  • Group Affiliation: (unofficial retcon) Crime Crusaders Club ; (pre-Crisis): Squadron of Justice II ; (post-Crisis): All-Star Squadron (inactive member).
  • Base Of Operations: (post-Crisis) Fawcett City.


Powers and Abilities

in DC Heroes RPG terms, Insta-Change. I gave him this because several times he seems to change clothes faster than the eye can see. No explanation was given. For example, cops find planted evidence in Brian Butler’s apartment. Before the cop can turn around, Brian Butler has been replaced with Mr. Scarlet. This happens at least two to three times.

Mr. Scarlet and Pinky don’t have a vehicle, so they have to walk or run to their adventures.


I don’t know a whole lot about Mr. Scarlet, so I’ll quote from an article in Golden Age Greats #4, written by Bill Black :

“Mr. Scarlet was attorney Brian Butler, who for most of his career, was down on his luck. As a masked crimefighter, he was a rousing success.

However, Butler was forever loosing [sic] his job, being bounced from his apartment and generally having a tough time making ends meet. If you thought that Spider-Man was the first character to introduce such elements, you’d be wrong.”


Rousing is all relative…

Personally, I wouldn’t say that he was a “rousing success” as a crimefighter. In “The Riddle of the Runaway Room”, after Brian Butler has been fired as special prosecutor, the two heroes are told the location of some crooks. They rush out to stop these crooks, only to have Captain Marvel show up to thank them for helping out on *his* case.

Captain Marvel does mention that there are some suspicious people over in another location on a street which rhymes with this one. The two adventurers rush over there and beat up some bad guys, only to have Bulletman and Bulletgirl show up to thank them for helping them with their case.

Bulletgirl mentions a third location for them to try… and they get captured by the crooks located there.

They only barely manage to escape when the crooks tie them up over a huge vat of nitroglycerin. However, Mr. Scarlet then recalls that nitroglycerin only explodes through impact not combustion. Mr. Scarlet drops a match into the vat, setting the nitro on fire, creating flames that burn their ropes, allowing them to escape.


His costume is scarlet with a yellow cape. He has an odd topknot at the top of his hood/mask. The gloves and boots are yellow.

This design was later changed to a blue mask (with red topknot), blue cape (with yellow interior), and yellow boots.


He’s often serious but sometimes whimsical. Which comes from having a kid sidekick, I suppose.


“Careful, Pinky—We don’t know what we might be blundering into !”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Mr. Scarlet

Dex: 07 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Upholding the Good
Int: 07 Wil: 06 Min: 07 Occupation: Attorney
Inf: 05 Aur: 06 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: Variable
Init: 021 HP: 045

Detective*: 07, Martial Artist*: 07, Scientist*: 07, Thief*: 07, Weaponry*: 07

Insta-Change, Sidekick (Pinky), Intensive Training.

Secret Identity, Unluck.


  • Utility Belt (contains at least a matchbook).
  • Infra-Red Ray Pistol [BODY 03, Heat Vision: 06, R#03].

By Sean MacDonald.

Source of Character: DC/Fawcett comics.

Helper(s): Dan.