The Hanged Man
K.O. Carson tells old time tales of the Hanged Man, some of which pre-date World War I and the arrival of Air Ace. The earliest stories originate in mystic European folklore from the Middle Ages, but the Hanged Man's first recorded appearance occurred in 1748. Stephane Mesnier, a resident of Picardy, France, was found guilty of unspecified crimes, and sentenced to hang. Immediately preceding his death, he was offered and accepted the opportunity to gift his body as a vessel that the Hanged Man could inhabit in order to prevent a great danger from transpiring.
It was during the later half of the 19th Century that the Hanged Man, along with large groups of Eastern Europeans, migrated to the American West into the area now known as Astro City. No specific details have ever been mentioned, just ghostly fragments of events from an ancient past.
Recent history provides more abundant information Hanged Man's activities protecting the residents of Astro City. One of his most revered incidents involved the mysterious murders plaguing Shadow Hill during the time of the Great Enelsian Invasion. That case baffled authorities who originally concluded that the Confessor, a rather ruthless vigilante, was somehow responsible for the serial killings. Instead, the Hanged Man discovered the real culprit turned out to be an extremely horrendous and bestial entity.
On a very dark night shortly following both the death of the Confessor and the defeat of the Enelsians, an eerie light emanated over the old buildings inhabiting Shadow Hill. It was a projection filling the skies, mingling with the starlight. A vision made large by the Hanged Man so all the restless citizens of Astro City could witness the final life moments of a horrific killer that had caused so much grieving. That was the relief needed and in the end, the Hanged Man brought closure for the victims and the city.