The Leopard from Lime Street is a comic strip from the pages of Buster. Its hero, Billy Farmer, was a thirteen-year-old orphan living with his Aunt Joan and Uncle Charlie on Lime Street in the town of Selbridge.
In a rather unlikely (and not wholly original) turn of events, Billy gained superhuman strength, speed, reflexes and tree-climbing abilities (!) after being scratched by a radioactive leopard called Sheba while taking photos at Professor Jarman's experimental zoo for his school magazine. Naturally, he immediately customised and donned a leopard-like costume left over from when he starred as the cat in his school's production of Dick Whittington and began fighting crime, of which Selbridge had a surprising amount. In another not entirely unexpected twist, Billy also sold photos of his alter ego to the local paper in order to help support his frail aunt! (Sadly, unlike the uncle in Spider-Man, Billy's uncle was not a saintly old dead bloke, but an unfortunately living, violent, lazy thug.)
As time went on, Billy's mutation continued: his eyes turned green and began to glow in the dark, his canine teeth became elongated like fangs, his senses became heightened, he became increasingly aggressive (particularly when under stress) and he began to prefer his meat extremely rare, suggesting a rather alarming gradual personality change.
The Leopardman's foes included the Cat Man (a burglar), Vampirello the human bat (a circus acrobat), the Ghost of Lurcher Creel, the Snow Beast (Conrad Klaws), the Roller Monster, the Alien (a wrestler), the Grey Ghost (a Leopardman robot), the Leopardman's Ghost, newspaper editor Thaddeus Clegg, and a police inspector named Craddock who believed him to be a dangerous menace (as did much of the town, an unfortunate consequence of patterning one's heroic identity on a lethal carnivore).
Powers and abilities
PowersEnhanced speed and reflexes.
AbilitiesSuperior tree-climbing ability; heightened hearing; ability to see in the dark.
EquipmentHome made grappling claw; camera.
Leopard gun (firing paint or dye).
- The strip ran in Buster from 27th March 1976 to 18th May 1985, after which the title began reprinting it in colourised form; the reprints lasted until about 1990.
- It was reprinted in French in the comic Sunny Sun, and parts of it (the origin story and the final published adventure from the 1987 Buster annual) were later reprinted in the independent British title Starscape.
- An alternate version of the Leopardman was one of the superheroes assembled to fight the Lloigor in the 2000 AD strip Zenith. He was killed by Mr. Why on Earth 666. This is not, however, considered an official part of the Leopard's continuity, particularly since 2000 AD had no legal right to use the character (though to be fair, they didn't actually realise this at the time).
- Billy was briefly accompanied on his nocturnal adventures by his dog, Hunter (wearing a mask) but gave up on this rather silly idea when it began to endanger his secret identity.
- After he'd been around for a while, some enterprising Selbridge resident began producing Leopardman merchandise including transfers and jigsaw puzzles, which could be bought in local newsagents.
- Appearances of The Leopard from Lime Street
- Character Gallery: The Leopard from Lime Street
- Images that feature The Leopard from Lime Street
- Fan-Art Gallery: The Leopard from Lime Street
- The Leopard from Lime Street quotations
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