Identity/Class: Human ghost
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Mobile
First Appearance: Star Studded Comics #1
Powers/Abilities: Invisibility, intangibility, invulnerability (he’s already dead) and ability to grow to giant size.
History: In the year 2031, young scientist Dr Rex Ward stepped into his experimental time machine, and vanished. He exited the machine into the library of a remote country house, in the year 1941. Unfortunately, the house was being burgled, and he was immediately shot dead.
Fleeing the scene, the burglars torched the house to destroy the evidence of murder. Unfortunately for them, the spirit of Dr Ward rose from his body, still clad in his futuristic clothing, but now sporting a strange emblem. His handsome face now replaced by a ghastly, ghostly visage, he sent his killers to a fiery doom, by sending their getaway car over a cliff.
On ascending to Heaven, the spirit of Dr Ward was denied entry, because “You have died before you where born, a thing that can not be”. This paradox was resolved by sending the spirit back to earth, with magical powers, including the ability to become solid and visible. Calling himself Dr Weird, the spirit was charged with protecting the world from supernatural menaces. He must do so until the moment of his departure from the future (he had hoped that the moment of his birth would do). A reluctant but dedicated hero, the doc is always looking for a way to go to his eternal rest ahead of schedule.
Comments: Dr Weird’s adventures begin in the 1940’s, but this is clearly on Earth A. He never appears in a “Golden Age” Knights of Justice” story, and the Earth B heroes do not meet him until the “Criss Cross Crisis” in Big Bang (Caliber series) # 3.
Dr Weird is unique, in that he is the only Big Bang hero to have a real publishing history. Dreamed up by comics fan Howard Keltner in the early 1940’s, the Doc was first published by Howard and his fellow members of the Texas Trio in fanzine form in Star Studded Comics #1 (he appeared in 12 of the 18 issue run). In this version, Rex Ward had only traveled from 2013 to 1963. When Big Bang acquired the character, the dates where changed to make him more “Golden Age” and to give the character more potential for past and future stories. Doctor Weird appeared in many amateur comics (being drawn by Jim Starlin at one point) before joining the Big Bang stable. Some of these old stories have been reprinted under the Big Bang label.
Despite his obvious resemblances to the Spectre, Dr Fate and even Dr Strange, Dr Weird was in fact inspired by genuine old time comic hero, Mr. Justice.
Thanks to Chris Adams for the above information.