Signalman (comics)


Signalman from Detective Comics vol. 1 #466,
artist Ernie Chan
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Batman vol. 1 #112,
(December 1957)
Created by Bill Finger (writer)
Sheldon Moldoff (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Phillip "Phil" Cobb
Team affiliations Secret Society of Super Villains
Notable aliases Blue Bowman
Abilities Skilled hand to hand combatant
Wields various small, compact weapons

Signalman is a fictional supervillain published by DC Comics.

Publication history

Signalman first appeared in Batman vol. 1 #112 (December 1957), and was created by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff.

Fictional character biography

Phillip "Phil" Cobb was a gangster with big ideas. He came to Gotham City intent on hiring a gang of his own and making it big, only to be laughed at when he tried to recruit the gang because he had no reputation. Steaming with anger, he vowed to prove himself to Gotham's mobsters, and when he noticed how modern society was regulated by signs, signals and symbols, he found the inspiration for his criminal career. Becoming the Signalman, he went on a spectacular crime spree using those signs and symbols as his motif.

Ultimately captured by Batman and Robin, he returned for a rematch a year later in Batman #124,[1] and then switched gears and became the Green Arrow-copycat called the Blue Bowman in Batman #139.[2] After that, he remained unseen until 1976, when he resumed his Signalman guise in Detective Comics #466. This time, he actually managed to trap the Batman inside the Batsignal.[3]

In the years since then, Signalman has also been a member of the Secret Society of Super Villains and, in that capacity, did battle with the Justice League [4][5][6] and Justice Society.

In the pages of Identity Crisis, it is mentioned Signalman was kidnapped by Doctor Moon and Phobia, a fact confirmed in the pages of the Manhunter, which depicts his torture and seeming death via a video recording.

"One Year Later" however, he appears in Justice League of America #1 as a drug addled informant for Black Lightning.[7]

He also appears in full costume in Final Crisis #1, being arrested.[8]

In The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), Signalman appears as a member of the Secret Society. When Catwoman breaks out of Arkham Asylum, Signalman and Blockbuster confront Catwoman on the rooftop which ended with Catwoman being knocked out.[9]

During the Trinity War storyline, Signalman is sent with Giganta and Vandal Savage into tracking Pandora. After Pandora successfully subdues Giganta, Signalman realizes that Pandora is more parahuman than originally thought.[10]

Powers and abilities

Signalman has no superhuman powers but he is a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant. He also carries items such as a knockout-gas gun, miniature flares that cause fires, electric "sparks" capable of controlling the signals to the human brain, and a remote-control device in his belt that alters signals of an electronic nature.

Other versions

In other media


See also


  1. Batman #124
  2. Batman #139
  3. Batman #466
  4. Justice League of America #195
  5. Justice League of America #196
  6. Justice League of America #197
  7. Justice League of America #1
  8. Final Crisis #1
  9. Justice League of America Vol. 3 #3
  10. Trinity of Sin: Pandora #2
  11. Batman Beyond vol. 2 #1
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