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[The Clipper Strikes!]
Real Name: Unknown
Base of Operations: 1930s New York City(?)
First Appearance: Flash v.2 #23 (February, 1989)
See Also: Mason Trollbridge

The ruthless depression-era crimefighter the Clipper got his nickname from his trademark: he would clip off the tops of criminals’ ears so they could never pass for honest men. As dangerous as the criminals he hunted, he would often exact punishment even from those he protected, if he learned that they had committed wrongdoings of their own. His signature catch-phrase was “The Clipper guesses!”

One night in 1931, wandering drunkenly through the slums, the Clipper saw two older boys beating a younger boy. He chased them away, and the boy, Mason Trollbridge, became his sidekick. He drove the car, took care of his ammunition, and helped the Clipper keep track of his many identities.

According to the Clipper, there were “only two sure rules in life:”

  1. Always carry extra fuel. Y’never know when you’re gonna have to chance the ungodly into the boonies where there’s no gas stations!
  2. All you really need to fight crime is a pure heart and high explosives.

The Clipper retired years ago, leaving Mason his outfit. He was never seen again, though Mason briefly tried to revive the identity after he befriended Wally West, the third Flash.

Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.

Top of Page Art

  • Flash (second series) #23 (February 1989) - Gordon Purcell and Larry Mahlstedt

Significant Appearances

  • Flash #23 (February 1989): “The Clipper Returns,” William Messner-Loebs


The Clipper may be based on the Shadow, another 1930s-era urban crimefighter who wore a trenchoat and wide-brimmed hat, whose signature phrase was, “The Shadow Knows.”

The color of his mask and gloves is conjecture. All of the original Clipper’s appearances are in blue-toned flashbacks, and Mason doesn’t include them when he pulls the outfit out of storage.

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