James "Jim" Craddock grew up in 1800's England. His mother was poor, and he lived in poverty. He soon turned to robbery to support himself.
He eventually immigrated to the United States, where he was falsely accused of a violent crime and killed by Nighthawk, a masked cowboy.
Craddock soon discovered that he would remain a ghost until the spirit of the man who murdered him moved on to "the next plane of existence." He also quickly discovers that Nighthawk is actually an incarnation of ancient Egyptian royalty, meaning that his soul, and therefore Craddock's, will never pass on.
Nighthawk is later reincarnated as Hawkman, who Craddock finds he is unable to truly kill. He becomes Gentleman Ghost and begins antagonizing superheroes in order to pass the time.
Jim Craddock was created by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert. Jim Craddock made his first comic book appearance in October 1947 in the pages of Flash Comics #88.
Major Story Arcs
For More Information: Infinite Crisis
During the events of Infinite Crisis, Gentleman Ghost joins Alexander Luthor's Secret Society and attacks Metropolis along with other criminals. During the battle he fights Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, and wins, leaving Scott in a coma.
After the defeat of Alexander and Superboy-Prime, Gentleman Ghost takes the souls of the superheroes who died in the Infinite Crisis and creates an army of ghosts, with the intention of conquering the world. But Wildcat, a member of the Royal Family, and Stargirl, who is a virgin, stopped him, and Gentleman Ghost disappears. He later appears as one of the villains sent to retrieve the Get Out of Hell Free Card from the Secret Six.
The New 52
Gentle Ghost steals the Mortis Orb to resurrect the dead. He comes into contact and battle Hawkman. The dead Warlock, Julius Gates, that had the Mortis Orb buried with him comes back to drag him to Hell. Hawkman drops the Mortis Orb somewhere in Antactica.
Powers and Abilities
Gentleman Ghost is what is traditionally understood to be a "ghost"; he is capable of intangibility, invisibility and flight. He is also a good marksman and carries an old flintock gun. He can freeze the body of anyone he touches in the manner of a "death touch". He is also able to trace and identify spectral trails. However, other ghosts, men with royal blood, virgins, and Nth metal can negate his intangibility.
In Other Media
Justice League Unlimited
The Gentleman Ghost appears in Justice League Unlimited, played by Robin Atkin Downes. He was first seen in as a member of the Gorilla Grodd's Secret Society in "I Am Legion" and later makes cameo appearances in "Dead Reckoning" and "The Great Brain Robbery" . In "Ancient History," he is shown trying to outrun the Green Lantern until Hawkman catches him with a net made from Nth metal.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
The Gentleman Ghost appears in several episodes of the animated series Batman: The Brave and Bold, played by Greg Ellis. He is shown as an elegant being with white clothes and monocle, his true appearence only is seen during battle when he is pounched. He is only affected with Batman´s devices with Nth Metal (as knucles, batarangs, handcuffs).
His first appeareance is in the second episode of series: "Terror on Dinasaur Land!". As introduction its shown how Batman and Plastic Man are chasing Gentleman Ghost after one of his fellonies, Plastic Man got distracted by the stolen money and leave alone Batman in the persecution, when Gentleman Ghost is about to kill Batman is beaten by Fire.
He later appears in seventh episode "Dawn of the Deadman!", he appears as the main villain in the episode, duirng the fight against Batman, the villain manages to bury him alive in a high tech coffin with traps included. Believing that his enemy was dead, Gentleman Ghost gather three ancient artifacs related to executions (a quill, key prison and a hanging rope) so he could revive and control his own army of undead criminals.
Green Arrow with Speedy assistance could release batman´s body and finally the four heroes (Batman, Green Arrow, Deadman and Speedy) face the undead. During the battle Batman destroys the artifacts freeing the living dead from control of Gentleman Ghost. The army revolted against their master grabbing and pulling him to the ground. Crying for help Gentleman Ghost was helped by Batman but was unsuccessful. The villain was dragging while cursing Batman.
Batman: The brave and the Bold
He appears as one of the four main bosses of the game in episode 3. As prelude of the episode Batman must face Clock King in the Big Ben as bait to lure him to London. He tries to kill Batman and Hawkman in the old London offering Batman´s soul to the demon Astaroth so he can get back his life.