Crimson Clown. The Clown was created by Johnston McCulley (The Avenging Twins, Bat (II), Black Star, Jim Bodney, Captain Goodwin, Green Ghost, Richard Hughes, Man in Purple, Mongoose, Peter Noggins, Peanut Pete, Spider (I), Thubway Tham, Thunderbolt (I), Terry Trimble, Whirlwind, Zorro) and appeared in seventeen stories and serials in Detective Story Magazine from 1926 to 1931, beginning with “The Crimson Clown” (Detective Story Magazine, July 31, 1926); the stories were collected in The Crimson Clown (1927) and The Crimson Clown Again (1928). The Crimson Clown is a Costumed Avenger. Delton Prouse is a wealthy bachelor playboy, a World War One veteran, a big-game hunter, and explorer of the North Pole. He steals from the unjust rich and returns the money to its rightful owners. Prouse dresses up in a white clown outfit, equips himself with a tear gas pistol (later a “gas gun”), and goes a-robbing. He’s hunted by Detective Donler. In 1928 he encounters Thubway Tham.
The worst part of that picture? He’s got a glass of Scotch in his hand. He’s a clown, and he’s been drinking.