Davey Fortunov grew up in Prohibition New York. By the early 1930s he had cultivated a reputation as the toughest and meanest guy on the lower East Side; however he remained a good man, using his rep on one occasion to spare young Steve Rogers from a pounding by local bullies. At some point he ratted out powerful mobster Olga Cimaglia to save his own neck; perhaps it was because of this that he relocated to California, Anglicizing his Jewish name to Dominic Fortune. Billing himself as a “Brigand-for-Hire”, he wore a distinctive “swashbuckler” suit, swiftly establishing a new reputation for himself. He set up home aboard the Mississippi Queen, a floating casino moored just outside U.S. waters; he enjoyed a romantic relationship with the Queen’s owner, Sabbath Raven, to whom he constantly owed several months back rent due to his incessant gambling in her casino, and with whom he shared numerous adventures.
In 1937 Dominic learned his likeness was being used as the basis for Acme Publications’ Purple Slasher comic book character, and angrily returned to New York, accompanied by Sabbath, where he exposed the company as a front for Nazi propagandists. Deciding to do a little gambling at a place suggested by his friend, Acey Dugan, Dominic was arrested in a police raid, then offered his freedom by Commissioner Gardle in return for untangling Gardle’s naïve friend Zelda Pinkley from her mobster boyfriend Louise Kelt. Learning that Kelt and his minions were zombies, Dominic destroyed them before Kelt could marry Zelda. Dominic remained in New York after Acey arranged for him to become the new face advertising Ferdley’s Milk. When movie star Chisholm Smith, formerly a childhood friend of Dominic’s and now secretly a Nazi sympathizer, assisted Baron Strucker in an assassination attempt on outspoken anti-German Senator Foster, Dominic learned of the plot just in time to save Foster’s life. Hired to bodyguard child star Tina Timmons, Dominic learned Tina was really a midget with a facelift, plotting to trick Dominic into slaying her ex-husband Lancelot before he could expose her secret. On Christmas Eve 1937 Dominic prevented a Santa-suited kidnapper, also called Dominic, from abducting the British ambassador, Sir Reginald Fortesque, in spite of repeated interference by the vigilante Silhouette (Lamar Canfield), who had erroneously concluded that Fortune was the kidnapper.
Returning to the West Coast, in the spring of 1938 Dominic met circus owner Timothy “Dum Dum” Dugan. Having been pressed to sell his circus by thugs hired by the wealthy Spencer Keene, Dugan had deliberately taunted them by using the show as collateral in a game of chance aboard the Mississippi Queen, only to lose it to the house. Keene offered to buy it from Sabbath, but she refused. Keene wanted the circus mentalist, Cephallo, to mentally open a booby-trapped safe left to him by his father; unable to simply buy the circus, Keene stole Cephallo’s trailer, believing Cephallo to be inside. Instead he kidnapped Cephallo’s assistant, Glory, who turned out to be the real mentalist; however, before she could open the safe, Dugan and Dominic arrived to rescue her. Keene fled, but was swiftly apprehended by Dominic. A few months later Dominic was hired by Carol Einhorn to break into her husband’s coastal estate, Skycliff, and kidnap her ex-husband Jacob, so that she could retrieve the $250,000 he owed her in back alimony. Dominic penetrated Skycliff’s defenses to find Einhorn selling the U.S. out to the Japanese military in return for ruling Texas and Mexico after they invaded. Dominic blew Skycliff and the Japanese plotters to kingdom come, though not before stealing enough gemstones to cover Carol’s alimony. Towards the end of the year former silent movie star Noble Flagg began a crusade against sin; hired by Apex Pictures to find evidence to discredit Flagg, Dominic noted that Olga Cimaglia was Flagg’s partner. He learned Flagg had a weapon for creating earthquakes, which he intended to use to attack casinos, bordellos, opium dens and burlesque theaters, gathering followers to his crusade, but also bringing control of the L.A. underworld into Olga’s East Coast hands. As Flagg, who had double-crossed Olga, attempted to flee town, Dominic confronted him; Olga interrupted their brawl, but Flagg shot her dead then attempted to escape in a mini-helicopter. In his haste to evade Dominic, he forgot to open the building’s skylight first, and crashed into it explosively.
War broke out in Europe, and Dominic and Sabbath found themselves increasingly battling Nazi spys and saboteurs, such as Baron Wolfgang von Lundt or the members of the Dean Brothers Circus. The latter incident made the newsreels, bringing Dominic to the attention of the U.S. Army’s Operation: Rebirth, which was looking for a candidate for Professor Erskine’s Super-Soldier Program. Dominic agreed to the experiments, but though weeks of tests proved him physically suitable, he was eventually rejected. One general raised concerns over choosing a Jewish candidate for the program, but his objection was disregarded; however the President raised concerns over Dominic’s gambling, fighting dirty and sleeping with Sabbath out of wedlock, leading to Dominic being turned down because of his dubious character. Though Dominic was angered at the decision, when he chanced to witness Nazi agents trying to kill the next candidate, Steve Rogers, Dominic came to Rogers’ aid, and together they eventually overpowered the Nazis. A few months later, Dominic and Sabbath watched newsreels of Captain America in action, aware that this was the boy Dominic had once saved from neighborhood bullies.
In May of 1940, Dominic and Sabbath were in Rotterdam. They had an argument, and Sabbath stormed out; later that day, the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, and Dominic was unable to locate Sabbath before being forced to evacuate. Dominic joined the army, and a few years later returned to Europe as a G.I. Numbed by witnessing friends and comrades die, after the war Dominic searched across Europe and America for Sabbath, at some point encountering Nazi hunter Ernst Sablinova. When creditors finally sold the Mississippi Queen, Dominic gave up and tried to get on with his life. Returning to being David Fortunov, he married, had a couple of children, and became a car salesman. After his wife died, he tried living with his son Jerry, but eventually Jerry moved him into Restwell Nursing Home in New York. David revived Dominic Fortune and alongside Spider-Man (Peter Parker), prevented Turner D. Century from slaying all New Yorkers under 65 with his ultrasonic Time Horn. Revitalized, Dominic began anew his search for Sabbath. His hunt soon drew the attention of Wolfgang von Lundt, now Simon Steele of Steele Enterprises. Unknown to Dominic, after losing track of him, Sabbath had worked as a resistance fighter alongside Wolfgang’s anti-Nazi brother, Heinrich, eventually marrying him after the war ended, and having his daughter Elena. When Heinrich was murdered, Wolfgang took them in, having bought immunity from war crime prosecutions by aiding the Allies prior to the war’s end; he forced Sabbath to marry him, and raised Elena in his own image. Fearing Dominic’s hunt would destroy his new life as Steele, he hired the Shocker to kill Fortune, but Spider-Man stopped him. Though Jerry threatened to commit him, Dominic ignored his son and followed a lead to California; Jerry followed, witnessing his father battle alongside Iron Man (Tony Stark) against the Iron Monger, one of Steele’s lackeys. Iron Monger struck Dominic with a repulsor blast; the injured man passed out in Jerry’s arms, and arriving doctors proclaimed him dead. Unaware the medics were in Steele’s pay, and his father, still alive, was now Steele’s captive, Jerry vowed to get vengeance, and became the new Dominic Fortune. Breaking into Steele’s estate, Jerry was reunited with his father; the pair attacked Steele’s stronghold alongside Iron Man, but Jerry was fatally wounded by Steele, and died in his father’s arms. Having met Elena, now the spitting image of her mother and calling herself Sabbath, while in Steele’s custody, Dominic renewed his determination to find Steele and Sabbath. With his immunity to prosecution gone due to his murder of Jerry, Steele began eliminating anyone who could testify as to his Nazi past; meanwhile Silver Sable’s Wild Pack picked up Steele’s trail, now that the Nazi was fair game. Dominic found Steele in residence aboard the aging Mississippi Queen in New York harbor, and was finally reunited with Sabbath. Steele and Elena were taken into custody with the assistance of Spider-Man and Silver Sable, and Sabbath and Dominic left to try and rebuild their relationship.
Recently Silver Sable has encountered a youthful adventurer going by the Dominic Fortune name. Whether this is somehow David Fortunov rejuvenated, or another individual who has taken up the mantle, is, as yet, unconfirmed.