DC Database

Ulysses Hazard was a special operative during World War II under the name Gravedigger.

Ulysses Hazard was born in the early half of the 20th century in Birmingham, Alabama. When he was young he suffered from childhood Polio and spent years struggling to overcome this crippling disease. He pressed himself beyond limits just to walk like a normal human being. With time and perseverance, he conquered these restrictions and trained himself to the peak of physical perfection. He eventually excelled in body-building, athletics and martial arts.

When Ulysses was old enough, he enlisted in the United States army. Due to the societal norms of the time period however, black soldiers were not offered the same opportunities as white ones. Rather than being assigned to a combat unit, Hazard was put to work as a gravedigger. Hazard was executing his duties in the early years of World War II when a Nazi fighter jet gunned down his best friend. Learning of such a tragedy drove Hazard over the edge. He was more determined than ever to serve his country as a full combat soldier. He abandoned his post and traveled all the way to Washington, D.C. to plead his case. He brought his concerns before the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon and proved to them that he was as able-bodied a soldier as any man serving in the war. The commanders recognized his dedication and made Ulysses Hazard into a special commando operative code-named "Gravedigger".

The Gravedigger served in the European theater of operations throughout the course of the war, working missions in both France and Africa. In 1942, he became the leader of a group of Nomadic raiders in Egypt who had ties to both the Allies and the Nazis. He led a raid against a German tanker division in order to retrieve classified documents known as Defense Packet Six. This brought him into conflict with a Nazi spy known as the "Man with the Opened Eye".[1]

On another mission, Hazard was operating in the Sahara Desert when he received a cross-shaped wound across his forehead. This only added to the Gravedigger's fearsome countenance.

Hazard remained in the U.S. Army at least through July 4, 1976, attaining the rank of Colonel.[2]


  • Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One 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 should be considered apocryphal.