Abner Kadaver is a tall, top hat wearing, lanky man who looks like he got off the set of a horror movie. Years ago, Kadaver was the host of a horror show on T.V. but his part was replaced by a 19-year-old, Baron Clovis, to save costs. Clovis’s real name was Charles Addams and after the show was cancelled, Kadaver hired a hitman, “Sizzler” Sitzes to track Addams down in another city (where he had become a weatherman) and kill him. Afterwards he shot “Sizzler” dead and kept his skeletal body. It’s interesting to note Sitzes used to work for “the King“, the predecessor to the first Mr. Crime, George Alpha. Kadaver worked with the third Mr. Crime incarnation and we wonder if perhaps he had worked for the first as well in the execution of Sitzes.
Kadaver at this point had opened up a horror prop and effects shop and ran a “House of Terror” during Halloween time. He used many real skeletons in his house, all murder victims he had killed in service as a hitman, there were nearly thirty. When Junior and Sparkle took Honeymoon, Joe and Jewel Tracy to the House of Terror during Halloween, Honeymoon was startled and attacked a dummy containing Sitzes’s remains. Junior then called Dick Tracy.
Speaking to Kadaver, Tracy was surprised to find Sparkle Plenty’s old husband, Vera Alldid writing a comic book for him. Kadaver claimed all the skeletons were legally purchased but Dick was able to track down the Sitzes’s body and entered Kadaver’s warehouse with Vera. Abner was waiting for him and knocked Tracy out cold, tying up Vera as well. The horrific hitman revealed he had been hired to kill Dick Tracy. (by Panda for Mr. Crime we later learn)
Tracy is tied down to a table with a pendulum blade swinging closer and closer, threatening to cut him in half. Junior, however arrived at this point, tracking his wife’s old husband Vera down to have a talk with him. Kadaver used a smoke bomb to escape and Junior was able to rescue his father.
Abner Kadaver soon appeared working as an assassin for the new Mr. Crime in 2012. His first job was to make Shaun Levitz, a man who could put Doubleup in jail, disappear. Abner continued his role as a hitman, planting the bomb that would kill the members of the Mumbles Quartet after they tried to turn on Mumbles. He allowed his fingerprint to be on the bomb, removing Mumbles from the list of suspects. When the Major Crime Squad raided Mr. Crime’s hideout at the Panda Talent Agency, Abner was the first to throw down smoke bombs to disrupt the raid. He, Doubleup and B-B Eyes were the first to engage the police and Kadaver stabbed Detective Worthington in the shoulder before he was shot by Lee Ebony. Abner was captured and soon ended up behind bars, charged with over 30 counts of murder, far to many for Apparatus lawyers to help him with.
The failure of the Apparatus to get Kadaver out of jail would soon come back to hunt them. An associate of Abner’s named Rikki Mortis with the help of Méliès of the Blackheart group broke the assassin out-of-state prison by faking his death by heart failure. Méliès recruited Kadaver to the Blackheart’s and gave him a new contract to eliminate Apparatus operatives in the city.
The cadaverous hitman and Rikki Mortis proceeded to eliminate the Apparatus one by one, of note killing Bill “Shortcake” Mitchell over Halloween in his gothic “Murder Mansion” home. When at last he came to his old boss, B-B Eyes, Kadaver instead recruited the skillful captain to the Blackhearts.
Finished with their current slate of killings, Rikki and Abner were approached by Mrs. Flattop, Stiletta Jones who hired him to kill Dick Tracy. Kadaver quickly agreed, hoping to even the score and with Rikki’s help kidnapped Tracy’s uncle Ray and daughter Bonnie. Tracy was then given a message to meet Rikki for a one way carriage ride, trading his life for the captives.
Tracy of course accepts these terms and is picked up by Rikki driving the dark horse and carriage. Rikki delivers Tracy to Abner at the Murder Mansion where Tracy is forced to face three deadly challenges. Dick attempts to broadcast his location with his wrist wizard, but Rikki intercepts the signal.
The first deathtrap is a retracting floor with a pit of water and very hungry alligators. Tracy pulls his handgun and dispatches each with a single shot to the back of the head. He proceeds to the next room which is trapped with closing, spike covered walls that looks to have been well used. Tracy uses his telescoping baton to stop the walls. Finally the third deadly room is a floor trapped with wet, soupy concrete. Dick slowly swims the quicksand to reach the final exit.
Abner Kadaver waited beyond the third doorway for Dick, who emerged, covered in wet cement, holding a handgun. Abner doubts it will fire and unsheaths his sword cane which is surprisingly shot from his hand. Kadaver calls it a lucky shot and charges Dick, attempting to dispatch him with a dagger. Tracy flips Abner into the wet concrete and the villain is gone, only his hat remaining on the surface.
Tracy then turns and asks that Blackjack reveal himself. The happy-go-lucky bank robber steps out with a smile, having been the one to shoot the sword cane from Kadaver’s hand. Blackjack reveals he has been tracking Dick with a wrist wizard he stole in an earlier case and while he considers Tracy a foe, Tracy is a foe he wants to meet on an even a fair playing field in the future. Blackjack has also rescued Uncle Ray and Bonnie as Abner and Rikki intended to kill them as well.
When asked about his name, Kadaver told Dick Tracy that he had it changed years ago to its current incarnation.