Running Elk was the medicine man to the Black Feet people during the 1940's. When their leader, Man-To was dying, he would request that Running Elk find the best brave to replace him as leader of their tribe. Running Elk would promise to find the ideal candidate to be his successor. Running Elk would begin testing male members of his tribe with three tests: The first to beat a deer in a race, the second to beat the salmon in swimming up river, and the third their accuracy and concentration through archery. All the natives who participated would fail the test.

Soon after, Daniel Lyons would arrive at the camp, having come to repay the tribe for saving his father years ago. Learning of the tribes plight, Lyons would ask Man-To if he could participate in the competition. Although no white man ever competed in the competition, Man-To -- remembering Daniel's father as a great man would allow him. Running Elk would witness as Daniel would pass all the three tests and then send him on a fourth and final task: To battle a bear to the death. Daniel would succeed in defeating the bear, and Running Elk would declare Daniel as the worthiest successor. However, instead of leading the tribe, Running Elk would reward Daniel with the mantle of the Black Marvel and send him back to his home to fight crime instead.

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