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
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Captain Mors. Captain Mors appeared in the German dime novel Der Luftpirat und sein Lenkbares Luftschiff #1-165 (1908-1911); the series was reprinted in Italy, Poland, and Russia through 1912. Captain Mors is a Costumed Avenger. Der Luftpirat was one of the first space operas in 20th century science fiction as well as one of the first science fiction magazines. Mors is a figure similar to Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo. Mors is a brilliant German inventor whose family was killed, years ago, by a group of evil men who wanted to use Mors for their own wicked ends. He creates an armored, technologically-advanced airship and uses it and other advanced crafts and weapons to take vengeance on those who killed his family and then on those who oppress the innocent, both on Earth and in the planets of the solar system.
Mors wears a domino mask and is assisted by a crew of Indian and European men who he rescued from oppression. Mors comes into conflict with a variety of aliens, including Venusians, Martians, crystal robots (who use "strange devices"), and various “slimy” and “terrifying” monsters. Mors also discovers new planets; in Der Luftpirat #42, “In the Deadly Crater of the New Planet,” a small planet, orbiting between the Moon and the Earth, is discovered. Mors and his crew land on the new planet and find it to be in an evolutionary stage similar to Earth's Jurassic era, full of volcanic activity and dinosaur- and snake-like monsters. The latter are fought with the swords, knives, and axes that are the crew's weaponry. Through all the stories shines Mors' love of "Mother Earth," which must be defended by the unending threats of a hostile universe. As the issues go by, his Nemo-like alienation from human society fades and he becomes a more uncomplicated hero than the misanthropic figure seen in Der Luftpirat #1. Mors never loses his capacity for bloodshed and war, but his distaste for humanity is replaced, despite his personal history, with a more humanitarian love, although he remains capable of great violence when necessary.
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