Van Vanucci - Head Shot
Real Name: Van Vanucci
A.K.A.: Verner's Vanquisher
Profession: Chauffeur
Powers: super strength; flight (through boot jets); biomedical blasters on wrists and shoulders
Place of Residence: 3rd Floor
Del Coronado Apartments
Vista Del Mar, California
First Appearance: BLUE DEVIL No. 12


Van's not really all that bad a guy when it comes down to it. He's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but that's all right. So why's he in the rogues gallery, huh? Well, listen to this!

Van watched a few too many Saturday morning serials as a kid and consequently, grew up without the firmest grip on reality. Still, even he realized he wasn't going to get a job as a swashbuckler any time soon, and so, very disappointedly, took a chauffeur's job working for Jock Verner, an action he described as "hittin' the bottom of the barrel!" Poor, Van. You can't blame the guy for jumping at a chance to become Verner's very own super-hero.

See, Jock was fed up with the way Marla used Dan to boss him around, and so contracted the services of professors from the IHNCS to work their magic on his chauffeur. Jock wanted to compete with Marla, you understand? Anyway, through hypnotism, they provided Van the emotional means with which to become a hyper-normal person all the while Verner had James Jesse whipping up a nifty little super suit for about the price of a good teenage slasher movie. When wearing it, Van could power up the costume with a "hyper-hypno command," in this case, "Errol Flynn," during which time he had abilities roughly on par with the Blue Devil.

Only problem was he could only keep the costume powered up for limited periods of time and if he tried to do so for longer than those periods of time, Van would start to go crazy. His mind couldn't keep pace with his body's advances nor could it deal with his "complete psychoperceptual realignment." What that basically amounted to is Van's creating an entire fantasy world in order to support the effects of said realignment. And in this fantasy world, Verner and Blue Devil were his enemies and Marla was his damsel in distress, as it were.

Vanquisher - Full Shot

So Van abducted Marla and flew her to his apartment house in the Vista Del Mar where he started to calm down and return to reality. Marla placed a call to Blue Devil while Van was in the kitchen making coffee and BD showed up minutes later ready to tussle. Marla stepped in between the two, however and convinced Van that Dan was, in fact, like a brother to her (though he took it to mean that Dan was her brother) and it looked like things were going to end without any further destruction for a change.

But then Kid Devil came crashing through the window. Vanquisher assumed him to be one of "Verner's minions," and of course, a fight broke out between BD and Van which made its way out onto the beach, onto some surf boards, and into an outdoor café where it finally came to an end. Vanquisher was pooped and the effects of the super suit were wearing off.

That ended the career of the Vanquisher, but oddly enough, it didn't end the relationship between Van and Marla. After submitting to Blue Devil and discarding his fantasy world, he asked Marla out on a date and she actually agreed. Nothing ever became of that, I assume, because we never see Van again. Still, it would have been kind of interesting if Gary Cohn and Dan Mishkin had followed that up.

So there it is. The tragically humorous tale of Van Vanucci, the man who would be hyper-normal!

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