You have the ability to take on the properties of anything you touch, becoming living steel or walking brick wall whenever you want. You use this power to fight crime and Nazis as one of the first African-American superheroes of the Golden Age, except you were actually invented in the ’80s for All-Star-Squadron because someone pointed out that the wartime Justice Society was a little on the white side, especially The Spectre.
Amazing-Man was Will Everett, which is a Roy Thomas joke of sorts (there was an Amazing-Man in the ’40s, produced by Centaur Comics and created by the legendary Bill Everett, so it was kind of clever). And it was interesting that the company thought it was important to retcon the Golden Age to make it a little more PC/DC … but in the end, the character was just kind of lame. This had as much to do with his bizarre costume and headband as his ridiculous name. Really, if you’re going to rewrite the Golden Age of comics, there’s no need to resort to the lame naming conventions of the era.
- UPDATE: It has been pointed out to me that the entire concept of ASS was a retcon, so Roy Thomas was pretty much free to do whatever he wanted, which explains his updating of the Tarantula character. In fact, Roy Thomas invented the word “retcon.” Also, Jerry Ordway was the bomb.
Later writers moved Amazing-Man out of the headband and into more relevant storylines, as he was outed by the FBI and had to deal with the racial tensions of the civil rights era. His grandson inherited his powers and became the new Amazing-Man, and for some reason, chose to wear the same costume, which looked as fudgy in the ’90s as it did in the ’40s.
Amazing-Man II was last seen drifting away after accidentally touching a helium balloon while moonlighting as a clown at a children’s party.