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Chéri-Bibi. Chéri-Bibi was created by the French author Gaston Leroux (Balaoo, Eliphas de Saint-Elme de Taillebourg de la Nox, Captain Hyx, Theophraste Longuet, Benedict Masson, Mysterious King, Phantom of the Opera, Joseph Rouletabille) and appeared in three serialized novels from 1913 to 1925, beginning with “Premières Aventures de Chéri-Bibi” (Le Matin, April 1913); Chéri-Bibi later appeared in five films.

As a young butcher’s apprentice Chéri-Bibi is framed for the murder of his boss (also the father of Cecily, his fiancée), and is sent to Devil’s Island. Chéri-Bibi’s romantic rival, Maxime du Touchais, is behind the frame, and he marries Cecily while Chéri-Bibi is on Devil’s Island. Maxime’s yacht is wrecked, and Chéri-Bibi discovers Maxime and has a surgeon replace his face with Maxime’s. However, on returning to civilization Chéri-Bibi discovers that Maxime committed the murder for which Chéri-Bibi went to prison, and he is caught and sent back to Devil’s Island. Chéri-Bibi eventually escapes and uses his strength and abilities to fight evil. He is repeatedly sent back to Devil’s Island and as often escapes, finally leaving for America.

Chéri-Bibi is

a man with a big square head, wide mouth and thick lips, short, squat nose, immense ears, small, round, extremely piercing eyes, always on the alert underneath the arch of their harsh and bushy eyebrows; hair closely cropped...revealing the exact outline of the skull in which Gall or Lavater would easily have discerned bumps of amativeness, combativeness, and destructiveness which might pertain alike to a ragamuffin who would defend his mistress to the death, or to a soldier who would die for his country.

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