We know that comic book characters pasts and stories are all a bit off the wall. Spider bites, murdered parents, strange potions, etc cetera. Yet the story behind Doom Patrol’s character the Beard Hunter is by far one of the wildest yet.
The Beard Hunter’s alter ego is Ernest Franklin (how un-super hero like), a lonely man whose sole companion is his German Shepherd. One thing that has bothered Ernest since he reached puberty was that he could not grow a beard. He has some kind of hormone deficiency that makes it impossible to grow facial hair his entire life. This has left him a little batty in the belfry, although why remains a mystery. Maybe he idolizes Ming The Merciless (now that’s a comic name) from Flash Gordon.
Whatever the reason, mild mannered Ernest becomes completely unhinged and becomes a vigilante aptly named the Beard Hunter. His mission is to kill those he deems to be a criminal mastermind but only if they have a beard. This cannot be a very large pool of potential victims.
If possible the premise gets stranger. Before putting his victims out of their misery, the Beard Hunter shaves their beards, and then wears them around his belt like trophies. Yes you read that correctly. I can only hope that he continues to put beard balm (like this premium one on Amazon) on them or that is going to be one scraggly beard.
Even odder is the fact that the Beard Hunter is not the first comic to explore the topic of bearded men with such depth. In a 1957 issue of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen an entire storyline is based around a terrible band of bearded men who are plotting to make all men of Metropolis sport a beard. This Beard Band recruits Jimmy to help with the plot – Operation Whiskers – to fill the city’s water reservoirs with a special potion that forces beard growth. I wonder what would have happened to Wonder Woman had the plan not been foiled by Jimmy and his quick thinking.
It would seem as if comic book creators have some kind of prejudice against beards, and anyone who wears them. You would be hard pressed to find a good guy who has a full grown beard, nicely manicured with beard balm. Instead we are given wild looking beards, supposedly good guys who hunt those who dare wear them, and a band of bearded bandits who are plotting for facial hair for all.
Step out of the mainstream and impress the judges with a character who embodies good and wears a beard. The contest winners need to be creative and think outside of the box to win, and this is one way to grab their attention.