Man-to, the last chief of a tribe of Blackfeet was dying and sought a worthy successor. His medicine man, Running Elk, arranged a series of tests for potential candidates, but over a hundred prospective braves tried and failed to reach the standard required.
Dan Lyons was the last contestant, the son of a white man whose life Man-to had saved many years before. Wishing to repay this debt, he braved the tests. He outran a deer, swam upstream faster than the salmon, and proved himself an incredible marksman on the archery range, getting four consecutive bullseyes while blindfolded. When other arrows were fired at him, he caught them in the air. Then finally he wrestled a bear, and snapped its neck, slaying it. Satisfied, Man-to gave Dan the sacred costume of the Black Marvel, along with the responsibility to right wrongs and destroy those who would prey on the helpless. He also gave him a long bow, telling him to notch it every time he performed a good deed - only when he had one hundred notches would he be truly worthy of calling himself "The Black Marvel."
His first public adventure saw him stopping a raid on the city armory, carried out under cover of darkness after the crooks created a blackout by attacking the electrical plant. In his next adventure, the Black Marvel stopped Nazi agents from killing a refuge who had escaped the regime in Germany.
Later, the Black Marvel would relocate to California where he would take down the Order of the Hood who were attempting to extort the United States into giving them massive amounts of money through acts of murder and robbery. Later, the Black Marvel would fail to prevent the murder of German-American scientist Dr. Eisenberg from Nazi's operating out of a German Bund. Despite this failure, the Black Marvel managed to track down his killers and bring them to justice. The Black Marvel then clashed with a new criminal known as the Grinner, upon killing the crook he learned that the Grinner was Dr. Weem, who's only mistake was testing out a cure for pneumonia that transformed him into a ruthless killer.
In his most exotic adventure recorded, the Black Marvel traveled to South America to investigate a supposedly haunted mine with a massive diamond that killed with a touch. The Marvel helped expose that it was all a hoax created by a con-man named Ridley and his accomplice Buka the local witch doctor who posed as the natives' god Vool-Kah. In his last recorded solo adventure, the Black Marvel protected reformed criminal Jerry Madden from the vengeful Longnails Legarya.
In 1943, the Black Marvel was among a number of heroes who were slain by the Cosmic Cube wielding Red Skull and impaled on a massive wall. However, the Cube was recovered by Private Paul Anselm who resurrected all the slain heroes who aided the combined efforts of the Invaders and the time displaced New Avengers and Mighty Avengers. When the Skull was defeated the heroes used the Cube to wipe out the Black Marvel's memories of the event to preserve history.
The Black Marvel's final mission saw him fail to save a hotel full of burning people, causing him to retire in shame.
As an old man, the Black Marvel attended a reunion party of golden age heroes of which Captain America was the guest of honour. The party was actually a trap set by the hero killer Zeitgeist who died in battle with Captain America.
Even later still, Lyons made a bargain with the demonic being Mephisto that allowed him to obtain four superpowered costumes abandoned by the superhero Spider-Man, and used them to launch the superhero team the Slingers, composed of Prodigy, Hornet, Dusk, and Ricochet. Lyons died after failing to reignite his hero career, and later had his soul rescued by the Slingers.
The Black Marvel was extremely fit, at the top of normal human attainment. He was an excellent fighter, and in his prime was even strong enough to out-wrestle a bear.
- 19 appearance(s) of Daniel Lyons (Earth-616)
- 2 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Daniel Lyons (Earth-616)
- 1 minor appearance(s) of Daniel Lyons (Earth-616)
- 4 mention(s) of Daniel Lyons (Earth-616)
- 9 image(s) of Daniel Lyons (Earth-616)