Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Captain Midnight was originally former World War I army pilot Captain Jim "Red" Albright, now head of the Secret Squadron, a paramilitary group of fliers formed to fight espionage and sabotage just prior to World War II.  The radio show ran from 1938 to 1939.  Once America entered the war, the Secret Squadron focused on unconventional Axis villains on an international stage.  Postwar, the Secret Squadron focused on crooks as well as spies.  (Albright, by the way, was called Captain Midnight because he returned from an  extremely dangerous mission at the stroke of midnight.)

Captain Midnight drew a large audience, split down the middle between adults and kids.  This led to a short-lived comic book from Dell in 1941 and a longer-living one from Fawcett from 1942 to 1948.  Fawcett's Captain Midnight differed greatly from the radio series.  Here, he was a brilliant inventor wearing a tight red suit and with an array of marvelous inventions.

Also in 1942, the Captain began being featured in his own comic strip.  This one followed the radio show rather closely.  The same year, a 15-part movie serial was released with Dave O'Brien in the title role.  Gone from the serial were the Secret Squadron and the Captain wore a mask to protect his identity as Albright.

Most familiar to many of us was the television show starring Richard Webb which ran from 1954 to 1956, with Sid Melton as Midnight's assistant Ikky and Olan Soule as scientist "Tut" Jones.  For copyright reasons, the show and the title character were renamed Jet Jackson and the new name was dubbed over in the worst possible way whenever Captain Midnight had been uttered in the original show.

In 2010, Moonstone revived the character for one story and Dark Horse brought Captain Midnight back on a planned regular basis in 2013.  Also in 2010, Moonstone published and anthology of new Captain midnight stories as Captain Midnight Chronicles, incorporating elements of the previous versions of the character.

Here, from May 1945, are four tales of America's ace trouble-shooter as he "dons the blazing uniform that spells terror to Axis rats and becomes that iron-fisted fighter for freedom -- CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT!!"

(Also, take a gander at the consulting editor and the editorial advisors listed on page three.  No way this comic book could harm America's impressionable youths.  Take that, you Axis rats!)

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