DC Database

Carver Colman was an actor who was known for portraying the fictional detective Nathaniel Dusk, and was murdered in his own home in which his death remained unsolved.

Carver was born to a single mother, a exotic dancer and associate of the Sabella crime family, in Philadelphia. In 1928, he was kicked out of his home when his mother found him in bed with a man named Billy. Carver moved to Los Angeles where he worked in delivering mails at Paramount Studios. On February 14, 1929, Carver spotted the studio head kissing a man behind a stage; the studio head noticed Carver and accidentally dropped his cigarette, which subsequently burned the stage to the ground. As a result, Carver was fired.[2]

By 1937, Carver had been working at Dan Tana's until he was also fired for skipping work to wait in line for an audition that never happens. In April 18, 1938, he was left destitute and evicted from his home, forced to living on the streets. That night, Carver was violently accosted by two police officers until he was inadvertently saved by the being Doctor Manhattan, who had just arrived to the DC Universe. Manhattan introduced himself to Carver as "Jon". He helped Carver in being fed at a local diner and then used him as an "anchor" to adjust to his new world of residence and to foresee the future of the universe. In return, Manhattan helped Carver in foreseeing his future as a famous movie actor. Within a year, Carver gained a part as a drifter in The Westerner that led him being cast as the character Nathaniel Dusk. His role in the first Nathaniel Dusk movie Nothing Left to Lose instantly made him into a celebrity.[3][2] Carver enjoyed his newfound prestige and later fabricated his background, claiming that he was born to Irish immigrant farmers who settled in Merillville, Indiana.[3]

For a while, Carver's life was bright and hopeful until Manhattan foretold him that he wouldn't be "on this world" in 1954. Carver soon returned into contact with his mother, who is blackmailing him for his share of his fortune in return for keeping her silence on his homosexuality from releasing to the public. After Carver wired the money to his mother, she then demanded more for "additional financial difficulties" but Carver refused to respond. This forced his mother and her associate to confront him. On June 8, 1954, after finishing his last Nathaniel Dusk movie The Adjournment, Carver took his mother and her associate to his home to discuss about paying them. While Carver's back was turned, his mother murdered him by bludgeoning his skull with an award he won for his work in Lovers Die at Dusk.[3] Carver's mother and her associate ransacked his home before his housekeeper discovered his body on the next morning.[2]

The police investigated his death and soon Carver's false personal life was publicly debunked, but his murderers were never brought to justice. Carver's housekeeper discovered his mother's blackmail letter on his person and had it burned, protecting Carver's secret.[2]

Manhattan would later undo Carver's fate, changing it for the better: from 1954, Carver took advice from Manhattan to not be afraid of what he felt and came out to the public before the release of The Adjournment. He was subsequently shunned by the studios and became a recluse for years, losing his home and almost ended back living on the streets. However, Carver returned to acting in the mid-1960's, going on to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Fred Coe's A Thousand Clowns. Carver soon became an LGBT rights activist and was instrumental in getting homosexuality removed from the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1973. Carver passed away in 2005, with his partner of over 40 years at his side. His personal slogan "Don't be afraid of what you feel" is adopted by activists across the world. Turner Classic Movies celebrates his birthday every year by showing a marathon of his "Nathaniel Dusk" movies.[1]


  • Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-Two era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and no longer apply.
  • The Nathaniel Dusk movies were Nothing Left to Lose (1943), A Killer Calls (1945), Murder at Home (1947), A Killer's Kiss (1950), Lovers Die at Dusk (1952), and The Adjournment (1954).[3] Carver later starred in a new role in the film A Thousand Clowns (1965).[1]
  • Martin Balsam actually won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for A Thousand Clowns.
  • Carver's death is similar to Hollis Mason's death in Watchmen #8.