"Crime's greed turned the retired adventurer, Richard Henry Benson, into--
Some men are, like Doc Savage, raised from birth to fight crime. Others, like the Shadow, just want to watch the underworld burn. Benson, however, was made at the very moment when his wife and daughter vanished mid-flight from the seats next to his. Everyone thinks Benson is insane, with a brain flu that tells him he has family not his own. But cracks form in that gaslighting when a cabbie tells Benson that he remembers Benson together with his family. Suddenly, Benson, now a man of steel and gray, leaps into action.
MacMurdie has a special hate for mobsters, who killed his family in an insurance-racket bombing. MacMurdie recognizes a kindred spirit, and, even better for Benson, he knows that more people have vanished during similar routine flights on the same flight path. The two men decide to work together to investigate. There's just one rule:
The Avenger succeeds at being the third of a power trio of heroes where The Whisperer failed in that, while both are inspired by Doc and The Shadow, The Avenger is not copying either the way the Whisperer did. The personal stakes are also higher and relatable in The Avenger, and, while Benson does take a few lumps in the course of learning his new trade, he isn't getting jobbed out to every henchman, so he stays strong in the readers' eyes, unlike Wildcat Gordon. And, those few lumps Benson gets, he immediately gets payback for, as well.
The difference comes down to relatability, and what fosters it. The Avenger shows that common experience, that of the sorrow of losing a loved one, matters more than looking like the audience, the way The Whisperer's Wildcat Gordon and his folksiness attempted to.