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Judex. Judex was created by the French creators Arthur Bernède (Germaine Aubry, Belphegor, Chantecoq, Vampiria) and Louis Feuillade (BarrabasIrma Vep) and appeared in the film serials Judex (1917) and The New Mission of Judex (1918).

Judex is a Costumed Avenger. He is the oldest son of the Trémeuse family. He was raised by his mother to avenge the injuries done to their family by the evil banker Favraux. Judex eventually gains revenge on Favraux. In The New Mission of Judex Judex takes on the criminal organization, the "Rafle aux Secrets," which specializes in the theft of high-tech inventions and whose chief is a powerful hypnotist. Judex is a master of disguise and has an underground, cliff-side headquarters with an early form of television in it. While fighting crime, Judex wears a slouch hat and a dark cloak, and makes use of hypnotic abilities. Judex also commands an organization of circus folk and low-life apaches who help him in his war on Favraux. (The similarities between Judex and the The Shadow (I) are interesting but likely coincidental).

* I'm including the Judex film serials in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because of their historical importance. The Judex film serials are certainly intelligent and entertaining, and when one learns that Bernède and Feuillade intended Judex to be a heroic version of Fantômas the finer details of the Judex film serials become clearer and more enjoyable, but the film serials deserve inclusion in the Best of the Encyclopedia because their widespread distribution, including in America, significantly helped propagate the concept of the Costumed Avenger. There were of course Costumed Avengers before Judex--hell, I wrote a book on the subject--but the two Judex film serials were nearly as influential on the spread of the concept of the Costumed Avenger in the United States as the Scarlet Pimpernel and Zorro were. Thanks largely to those two and Judex, superheroes were accepted by the American public rather than laughed out the door. 

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