In the 16th Century, Jon Valor was a privateer working on a commission from the English King, and always working to a strong moral code of justice. Jon had many adventures. His Black Pirate identity would bring him into conflict with his long-term adversary, Don Carlos, who wanted Jon to hunt down the Black Pirate. Jon's costume would later change from its singular dark colors to a wild, more colorful one. He would later gain a sidekick in his adventures, his son Justin. The Valors made their home port on a persistently mist-shrouded island, in the vicinity of England.
Many years later, the two would separate, and Jon eventually found out that his son had been murdered. Accused of the crime himself, he was hanged, in the American port that would eventually become Opal City. Before his death, he crafted a curse on the city that no person who died there (nor his old crew) would rest until Jon's name had been cleared. He remained in that city as a ghost.
During the Second World War, the Valor family's secret island harbor became visible, and the German Air Force attempted to establish an air base on it. They were foiled by a detachment of antiaircraft gunners, led by Captain Jon Valor, RN, and his son, Lieutenant Justin Valor, RAF, two 20th-century descendants of the original Black Pirate.
By the late 20th Century, in what was now called Opal City, Jon Valor's restless spirit ended up helping the rookie hero Jack Knight fight a crime wave caused by the Mist. Jon helped Jack from the sidelines, slaying many of the Mist's soldiers. Eventually he contacted Jack directly and asked for his help, at the time also relating the circumstances of his own death. Knight promised to prove the Black Pirate's innocence. Before he could fulfill this, the murderous dwarf Simon Culp used Jon's curse for his own evil purposes. Culp's plans fell apart when the legendary detective Hamilton Drew, working with Ralph and Sue Dibny proved that Jon was innocent. Not only was Jon's soul freed, every soul that had ever died in Opal was freed also.
- 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.
- In Action Comics #23 (April 1940), the Black Pirate's introductory adventure is dated as happening in 1800.
- In Sensation Comics #1 (Jan 1942), the Black Pirate's origin story is dated as happening in 1558.
- 103 Appearances of Jon Valor (New Earth)
- 8 Images featuring Jon Valor (New Earth)
- 2 Quotations by or about Jon Valor (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Jon Valor (New Earth)