The Gentleman is a superhero in the Millennium Comics universe. His real name is Oscar Copperwaithe, and his story is an odd one. The character, initially just a major supporting character, proved so popular he received his own title. Many regard him as the "ultimate outsider" archetype, the abandoned orphan who ends up special and important.
Oscar was the only son of the Copperwaithes, a very old and wealthy family. However, his evil uncle murdered his parents and gave the infant Oscar--who was born deformed--to a travelling circus for their freak show.
Oscar grew up learning an amazing number of skills. He is a competent aerilist, a very good magician, a stunt driver, an expert with various wild animals as well as a master of trick devices and special effects. In the circus' freak show he was called "The Hideous Vulture Boy" because of his appearance--tiny ears, huge nose, balding head, upswept eyebrows, a slight hunch, etc. In his early twenties, Oscar saw the Silver Ring Circus burned down by criminals. Fleeing, he hid out in an abandoned zoo. From there, he eeked out a living while trying to get revenge for the circus' destruction and the murder of his only friends. Along the way, he met an old woman who turned out to be Edwina Cleves his birth-parents' housekeeper. With the help of hidden records, Oscar managed to reclaim his birthright, going from penniless orphan to one of the wealthiest men in the world overnight. Donning what looks like an antique tuxedo, complete with top hat, he eventually decided to use his wealth and skills to fight crime--starting with those who destroyed his circus home.
Oscar Copperwaithe has no powers per se. He does, however, possess very high intelligence and mechanical aptitude augmented by skills learned in the circus. His suit is riddled with gadgets, including sleeping gas pellets and smoke bombs and a bullet-proof umbrella.
More, the skills he developed growing up in the circus have proven invaluable. He also designed his costume with 18th Century highwaymen and/or Gallophone gentleman-thieves in mind. He looks very much overdressed, and yet somehow dangerous. And he gets results--often because he knows obscure knowledge no one else does.
So in many ways his power is his brain.
So far, Oscar has managed to keep his wealth a secret, allowing him to hide behind the nom-de-guerre of The Gentleman who (as far as the public knows) may or may not be a criminal himself.
- Inspector Hadrienne Jones is a police officer often involved in cases which touch upon the mysterious figure called The Gentleman. She is unsure as to his true agenda.
- Doctor Future is a crime lord who has a genuine talent as a soothsayer and is always trying to learn more. He even forsaw the coming of The Gentleman, but didn't understand what he saw or correctly interpret the signs. He has become obsessed with the strange superhero.
- Raven Lee is a professional conwoman who finds herself fond of Oscar Copperwaithe. She is the one who figures out the identity of The Gentleman and--despite herself--decides to keep the secret.
- Longbow is a distant cousin of Oscar, heir to another huge fortune who has taken up a life of crime in a search for excitement. His weapon of choice is a bow-and-arrow.
- The Riddle is a ruthless vigilante, one who loves killing even minor criminals. Clearly insane, the masked man regards The Gentleman as his nemesis.
- Richard Jones is Inspector Hadrienne's uncle, a librarian confined to a wheelchair who becomes an accomplice to The Gentleman's exploits.