Champions of Pulp
Henry is a rather nondescript man who stands five foot six and is slightly overweight, he has brown eyes often obscured by reading glasses. Balding, he shaves his head, which makes him stand out a bit. He has a nasty scar running from the back of his skull around to just above his right ear. He often wears black suits and a black fedora, sometimes people mistake him for a Hasidic Jew, a misconception he sometimes finds useful. While he is Canadian living close to Detroit has given him a bit of a Midwestern accent, which causes some to mistake him for an American. This too he has found to be advantageous upon occasion. He prefers to allow people to draw their own conclusions, as erroneous as they may be.
The man known as “Mister Black” started out life as Henry Graham, a hard working young man who had aspirations of becoming a lawyer. Growing up in Toronto, Canada, when The Great War began he dropped out of law school and enlisted in the military and after some training received an officer’s commission in the Canadian Army. Young lieutenant Henry’s romantic notions of war were quickly dashed, but he was a man who did his duty and one evening in 1916 when the whistles blew he ordered his men to go over the top.
One of his men objected and put a bullet in the back of Henry’s head. Two things saved Henry that day. The first was his helmet, the second was the bad angle of the rifleman. The bullet fractured Henry’s skull and sent him tumbling back down into the mud, where several soldiers who thought he was not the worst officer they had ever served under carried him to a hospital. Henry’s war was over and after an extended convalescence he was sent home.
Henry did not return to law school, he was not sure in fact what he wanted to do with his life. He spent several years in Toronto doing odd jobs, and then the United States enacted Prohibition in 1919. One of Henry’s friends knew people in Detroit that would pay good money for Canadian whiskey. Henry agreed and found the life of a bootlegger exciting. He worked hand-in-hand with Detroit’s Purple gang, shipping in booze by boat in warm months, driving it across the Great Lakes when the water froze. During this period he had adopted the identity of “Mister Black” and dressed appropriately, shaving his head and often wearing sunglasses as well to add to his new persona (In “civilian” life he would wear a wig). It was an exciting, profitable time, and for a few years Henry had a blast, but as the years past Henry found the life of a criminal…unfulfilling. He returned to law school and earned his degree and prepared to enter government work. That was when another friend of his, working for the League of Nations, asked if perhaps he might want to try another occupation. The world was full of political hot spots, revolutionaries, international criminals. His experience as a soldier and as a criminal as well as his legal expertise gave him a broad skill set that would allow him to mingle with various strata of society. Intrigued, Henry agreed, and soon Mister Black was back.
Henry is a decent shot with pistol and rifle, but his hand to hand skills are minimal. He has a decent right hook and he isn’t afraid to fight dirty, but for the most part if it comes to a scrap he would rather have discretion be the better part of valor. He is a lawyer experienced in international law and he has an intimate understanding of the criminal mind, having been one himself once, and he is quite well versed in understanding how various bureaucracies work. He is fluent in French, primarily the Quebec dialect, although he has worked hard to master the upper class dialect used in France. Henry is a skilled driver of automobiles and has some skill in piloting small water craft, especially speed boats.