Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Captain Justice. Captain Justice was created by “Murray Roberts,” the pseudonym of Robert Murray Graydon (Sexton Blake, Newton), and appeared in several hundred stories in Modern Boy and Boys’ Friend Library from 1930 to 1939, beginning with "Captain Justice--Modern Pirate" (Modern Boy, Nov. 1930).
Captain Justice is the “Sea Rover,” a “modern pirate” and “adventurer of the highest order.” His home base is Titanic Tower, a mile-high fortress floating somewhere in the Atlantic and stuffed with technological wonders, including two-way television. Justice uses an invisible airship, the Flying Cloud, to take him and his friends, including red-headed boy assistant Midge and brilliant inventor and scientist Professor Flaznagel (the inventor of the Cloud’s invisibility) around the world, from hidden cities to the depths of the Sahara, and to fight evil and wrong-doers wherever he finds them.
This often entails, for example, confronting evil Sheiks who used armies of giant spiders, or going to Lost Worlds and fighting "hordes of prehistoric monsters," or saving the Earth from alien invasions, or stopping renegade Americans and evil Sheikhs from conquering the world. There are drowned worlds coming to the surface, and technologically advanced Lost Race natives in the Amazon threatening to invade the outer world. There are the evil androids of "Robot City," and the ill-inclined inhabitants of a Lost World in India, and even the "Weed Men" from the Sargasso Sea. There are boy Rajahs from places like Bhuristan who need restoring to their rightful thrones, stolen from them by evil viziers. There are monster robots on South Seas islands and lost civilizations beyond the Arctic ice and dinosaurs in volcano-heated lands beyond the Antarctic ice. There is the Afghan/Russian Kolensky, the "Wolf of Kabul" (no relation to the Wolf of Kabul), whose heart's aim was to bring down the British Empire.
There are metal cubes with unnatural powers, the product of Thunder Mountain, a source of "priceless electric ore." There are cannibals and pygmies in unexplored Africa. There are Yellow Peril military commanders, like Yong Huey, who kidnaps Flaznagel. There are would-be conquerors like Marcus the Mysterious, who intends to CONQUER THE WORLD! There are invasions from the sea, by aquatic creatures, from fish-humanoids to giant crabs. There are invasions from space, as when Professor Flaznagel's magnetic ray attracts the unwelcome attentions of the inhabitants of the planet Nuvius, who bring not only themselves but their entire planet to attack Earth. There is the Black Napoleon of Science City, out to conquer the world. (SCIENCE! City is a metropolis of advanced workshops, power houses, and laboratories, ringed by a huge stone wall and a maze of death traps. Science City is located in the middle of a vast, isolated forest in the depths of the Amazon. It was built by captive white scientists enlaved by the native (black) Ambani people; the Ambani have advanced technology and use robot slavers to capture white scientists. The scientists manage to get an S.O.S. to Captain Justice, who manages to free them).
There are the Tiger Priests of the Hidden Land. There are giant robots from the floor of the ocean who emerge to crush on everything in their sight, from shipping to Captain Justice's tower. There is Mad Scientist Garth Leopold, who with his remote-controlled robot is a threat to the world's shipping. There are men who tried and even briefly succeed in taking over Captain Justice's tower. There is even an earthquake which brings down Titanic Tower, trapping Captain Justice, Midge, and Prof. Flaznagel in it; Captain Justice eventually recovers his secrets and technology from the ruins of the Tower and creates a floating skyscraper city in the Atlantic as his new base. And there are the evil High Lamas of Tibet.
* I've included "Captain Justice" in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because of the ideasplosions within it. Just read the entry--look at the range of foes Captain Justice took on during his nine-year-long career. Just nine years, but, lordy, it's a colorful list. So many great ideas; essentially, every "Captain Justice" story was a masterclass in pulp imagination. That the stories were also, ahem, racially retrogressive cannot be denied, and should be considered at equal length as the ideasplosions.
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