Captain Courageous.


Medium: Comic Books
Published by: Ace Magazines
First Appeared: 1941
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Captain Courageous, as usually seen, wasn't quite one of those "patriotic-style" superheroes who drape themselves in the American flag like Captain Freedom, Yankee Girl or The Star-Spangled Kid & Stripesy — tho it's true, he was pretty star-spangled. He even wore a mask in the shape of a star, kind of …

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… like Mermaid Man, the Aquaman-like supporting character in Spongebob Squarepants, except Cap's actually functioned as a mask by covering his eyes. (But it's unclear why he bothered, since neither of them maintained a secret identity.)

Captain Courageous distinguished himself from the flag wearers by not having a significant component of white in his costume. But he did have a schtick similar to that of one of them, Quality Comics' Uncle Sam. That is, he wasn't so much a man as a spirit of goodness and right, called into tangible existence whenever brave men and women have a special need for courage. No word on why this supernatural entity took the outward form of a superhero named after an 1897 British novel most familiar to the U.S. public as a 1937 Hollywood movie.

Cap made his debut in Banner Comics #3 (September, 1941), published by Ace Magazines (Hap Hazard, an Archie type; Magno & Davey). The first and second issues don't seem to exist under that name, but research thus far fails to indicate what, if anything, they were called. As of the sixth issue (March, 1942), Banner was retitled Captain Courageous Comics, but just for that one issue. Then it was gone. Under both titles, the back pages series included The Sword and The Lone Warrior.

That wasn't quite the end of Cap. He continued in Four Favorites, the comic Ace launched in 1941 as an extra venue for its most popular series, such as Vulcan and Lash Lightning. His first appearance there was in #5, dated May, 1942. That was the only place he appeared until #28 (March, 1946), when he was ousted from that one as well.


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