Astro City M&M
Status: Presumed deceased
Real Name: “Whit” McAleer (unconfirmed)
First Appearance: 1919
Affiliation: Cornerstone Club (rumored)
Base: Romeyn Falls
Powers: Flight, Weapons Expert, Charisma
Air Ace was a pioneer, the definitive first super-powered individual of the modern age. A trench man in World War One, he somehow acquired the power of flight due to frightening battlefield accident involving an experimental German gas weapon.
He wore the goggles, the leather helmet and the scarf of a fighter pilot.
Following the gas attack, Air Ace was awarded the Purple Heart and released from military service.
Air Ace settled in Romeyn Falls in 1919, following the end of World War One. The majority of his adventures are linked to this area and his reputation fueled the later explosive migration and growth of super-heroes to the area, soon to be known as Astro City.
Air Ace’s main power is flight. Without wings or an apparent apparatus, it appeared that the flight was an extension of his body’s natural functions. Air Ace was likely an accomplished weapons expert, due to his training as a soldier. He carried a Mauser C96 pistol, probably a trophy from his WWI exploits.
As of 2004, Air Ace has been featured in more than 32 films, including features, silents, and serials. The hero was even known to have consulted and starred in the earliest examples.
In the 1990s, a comic series was published on his exploits.
A statue was erected in his honor in Binderbeck Plaza.
One of the likely recurring foes of Air Ace was the Barnstormer Gang.
It is not clear if Air Ace maintained his secret identity throughout his lifetime. The speculative links to “Whit” McAleer became widespread knowledge later in his career as a crime-fighter.
His direct involvement in early motion pictures based on his adventures, suggests that his private life was made very public. The reasons might be ego, government propaganda, a need for finances, or just the way events unfolded after the accident that caused his mutation.