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Morgan, Captain. Henry Morgan (c. 1635-1688) was an English privateer who fought the Spanish in the Caribbean in the 1660s and 1670s. In 1907 Morgan was the hero of the German dime novel Unter Schwarzer Flagge #1-240 (1907-1910); the series was reprinted and adapted across Europe, Scandinavia, and Russia. Captain Morgan also appeared in a film serial, directed by Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset (Doctor Phantom, Meskal, Protéa, Riffle Bill), in 1909.
The fictional Morgan was a sanitized version of the historical person. He is a noble, heroic pirate whose ship is the Sturmvogel and whose nemesis is the wicked pirate captain Flint. He fights evil men like “Captain Satan,” the “Tyrant of Zanzibar,” and the cannibals of Turtle Island. He finds Lost Race Incas in their subterranean city, the “Golden Garden;” he fights pirates in the Caribbean, off the Chinese coast, among the Sulu islands, off the coast of Maryland, and in the Mediterranean; he rescues the Man in the Iron Mask, in a crossover with Dumas’ Three Musketeers; he fights various primitive submarines, some piloted by pirates, some by the Spanish, and some by Lost Race Aztecs; he overcomes icebergs, hurricanes, headhunters, cannibals, and kraken; he is taken prisoner by human-sacrificing Lost Race Maya in their “Blood Temple;” and he clashes with everyone from Maoris to Americans. The series ends with his death.
Morgan appears in stories with titles like “The Brew of the Pirate Leaders,” “Under the Ice of the South Pole,” and “At War with Chinese Pirates.”
* I'm including Unter Schwarzer Flagge in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because of its imaginative content. Not fantastic content, although the heftroman did feature some Lost Races, but rather the imaginative way the authors of Unter Schwarzer Flagge laid a rich mosaic of pulp pirate tropes. Captain Morgan wasn't the archetypal pulp or heftroman pirate, the one summarizing the genre and influencing other authors and characters in the genre. Captain Morgan just featured in the largest number of grand heftroman pirate adventures. Look at that list! No trope overlooked, no plot device unused, no piece of potential wasted. 100% beef, no marbling. You knew, reading Unter Schwarzer Flagge, that you were in for a good time with every issue. And, look, it would take a stronger person than I am to not rate a pulp feature Lost Race Aztecs piloting a submarine as highly as possible. That concept is just a force multiplier of coolness. Like Unter Schwarzer Flagge itself.
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