Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, October 11, 2014


The thing with costumed superheroes is that they always have to have a costume.  These superheroes unfortunately have no fashion sense -- consider the whole wearing your underwear on the outside motif.  They never would have made it on Project Runway.  Add to that the fact that most of the  good (relatively speaking) costume ideas are already taken.  What's a new guy on the block going to do?  In the case of Captain Courageous, you wear a giant blue starfish sucking on your face to set your otherwise creepy and uninspired costume apart.

Captain Courageous first appeared in Banner Comics #3.   According to the Superpowers Wiki, he "is a supernatural being, a 'Spirit of Courage' that appeared when brave men and women ask for courage.  During World War II he responded to Americans' pleas and appeared to help the Allies.  He
had super strength, flight, limited invulnerability*, and could survive unaided underwater.  In Four Favorites #21, Captain Courageous willingly gave up his costume and joined the U.S. Navy civilian soldier.  He stopped using his powers and continued fighting crime and surviving Axis agents."  His real name is not known.  (And, yes, whoever wrote that piece for Superpowers Wiki never passed English 101, despite the use of the Oxford comma.)

The character was popular enough have a bloodless coup, changing the name of Banner Comics to Captain Courageous Comics by issue 6, which happens to be the one I've linked to below.  Palace takeovers seldom work in the long run.  In the case of Captain Courageous, issue 6 was the first and last issue to bear his name.  Cap was next seen in Four Favorites #5, where he stayed through issue 28.

In Captain Courageous Comics #6, our hero faces off again the Black Mayor.  This is not a racist thing.  The Black Mayor is a Nazi who holds the city in a grip of terror as he exhorts money from ordinary men and women in order to help finance the German war machineHe is not a nice man.  In one panel we see him taking a baby's milk money from a pleading mother (!) and in another panel he threatening to shoot a baby if the mother does not hand over her jewels (double !).

Captain Courageous could only manage one story out of six in his own magazine.  The other five stories feature The Sword (in the first appearance of that character), Lone Warrior, Typhoon Tyson, Kay McKay, and Paul Revere, Jr.

The cover of this issue has Captain Courageous fighting a giant cross-eyed genie who's holding a well-endowed woman in his clutches (well, clutch, maybe -- he has the woman in one hand while fighting the Captain with the other).  The woman is wearing a red dress that shows a lot of leg while showing that she is not wearing a bra.  This cover is a complete lie:  this battle, this genie, and this zaftig woman do not appear in the story -- in fact, there is no woman, zaftig or otherwise, in this tale.  Thus many eager boys spent their dimes on this issue only to be disappointed.

Put on your PC blinders, buckle up, and enjoy the adventures of Captain Courageous, et alia.

* "Limited invulnerability" is one of those oxymorons that makes disgusting fluids spurt from my nose when I laugh.  Like "partially pregnant."

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