Janus Stark was Victorian London's greatest escapologist and illusionist, a star of stage, society and penny dreadfuls, who used his bizarre skills to fight crime in the pages of Smash! and Valiant.
Being born with 'rubber-like, elastic bones', he can twist, turn and contort his body out of any trap, and most of the fun of the strip is watching him do just that.
Like most British comic superdoers, Janus is also a working class hero, having been raised in a brutal orphanage, he escapes to become an Artful Dodger-like thief under the watchful eye of his mentor, blind pickpocket Largo.
Never forgetting his roots, Janus' enemies are generally well-to-do crooks in high society, hiding behind their wealth and status, and a lot of stories end with them not only in the arms of The Peelers, but with all their ill gotten gains donated anonymously to a local poorhouse by the master escapist.
A major part of the strip's appeal was that it was drawn by the mighty Francisco Solano Lopez, a man born to draw grimy, soot-infested backstreets in general, and those of Victorian London in particular.
Janus Stark has an absolute sense of time and place, and if Janus never crossed paths with Sherlock Holmes, then surely they missed each other by mere inches.
Here's how his incredible adventures began.