Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, February 25, 2017


"Captain Albright is known to many as one of America's great inventors, but only a trusted few know that it is he who dons the blazing uniform that spells terror to evil forces and becomes that iron-fisted fighter for freedom -- CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT!"

The character of Captain midnight was created by Wilfred G. Moore and Robert M. Burtt for a Chicago ad agency which developed the show as a syndicated radio program for a few area radio stations in 1940.  The program came to the attention of Ovaltine (as any kid from the time could tell you, Ovaltine is an anagram for "Vital One"), which had already been sponsoring the radio adventures of Little Orphan Annie.  Ovaltine brought the program to a national audience, first on the Mutual network, then to NBC's Blue Network for three years, and then back to Mutual.  The radio show ran from 1938 to 1949.

Popular with kids -- many of whom owned a Captain Midnight secret decoder ring -- the show spawned a 15-episode film serial, a popular kid's television show (later renamed Jet Jackson for syndication), a newspaper comic strip, comic books, at least one novel, and a host of premiums and tie-in products.  The character was revived in 2010 by Moonstone Publishing with a new comic book story and an anthology of short stories, and by Dark Horse comics in 2012 with new comic book adventures.

Fawcett Comic's run of Captain Midnight ran from June 1942 to September 1948 and differed in many aspects from the original radio character.  He now wore a skin-tight red suit, was a world-famous inventor, and has an array of remarkable inventions at his beck and call.

In this issue, Captain Midnight battles his nemesis, the criminal mastermind Captain Ivan Shark, in "Marauders of the Deep."   Captain Midnight then conquers space in "Trip to the Moon" -- mistakenly billed as an "Interplanetary Adventure."  When Captain Red Albright and his colleagues Ichabod Mudd and  Professor Edan pilot an experimental rocket on the first flight to the moon, they are aware of two stowaways:  the beautiful and ambitious reporter Sally Blaine and the dangerous escaped convict "Killer" Jordan.  Ichabod Mudd takes center stage as he dons the costume of Sergeant Twilight -- a comic take on his boss and our hero -- in "Sergeant Twilight Meets the Dawn!"  Captain Midnight shows up in the last five panels to save the day.  (Unfortunately, a portion of this story is missing from this copy, but not enough for one to miss out on any important plot points.)  In "Captain Midnight Fights for Freedom," Midnight is sent to rescue freedom fighter Don Vereo, who has been captured by the tyrant dictator Shiro.  Rounding out this issue is the brief first chapter of the serial "Johnny Blair in the Air" (where young Johnny meets and befriends members of the Flying Police) and several humorous filler shorts.

You don't need a secret decoder ring to enjoy this issue.

1 comment:

  1. Like you, I enjoy stories like CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT from the pulp era. Somehow they energize me with that Sense of Wonder we had when we were kids.