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Early masked mystery men 
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Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:13 pm
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Digging for old gold comics for CB+, I found a French site by Professeur Labor Improbus, who has gathered together a selection of old, really old, French language comics with a lot of well researched info on titles, creators and some background. More importantly for me, he has 2 comics from 1938 with, what is for me, a new masked mystery man and his female partner. This masked man is Le Loup Garou - L'Homme Masque', in a Phantom like costume and armed with a gas gun, as is his female counterpart. You think you've got obscure heroes off pat and, wonder of wonders, a brand new one turns up. Doesn't get any better.
Without wishing to annoy those who are wary of scanned comics - if you don't want to read this, look away now - these links will let you read the 2 adventures with Loup Garou v. The Red Cagoul, a really nasty robed, hooded fascist band.
https://labor-improbus.jimdo.com/les-ch ... 9rieux1938
https://labor-improbus.jimdo.com/les-ch ... irates1938
Similarities with Sandman's gas gun, perhaps? But Sandman was in 1939. :wink:


Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:05 pm
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:37 pm
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Those examples remind me of 'The Bullseye' and 'The Surprise' comics Paw.

There is a hooded mystery man in 'The Bullseye' (scan below) "he leaves behind a scarlet emblem that is beyond all human power to erase" "he can pass through bolted doors right into the secret strongholds of crime". He knows all and sees all.
Some nice stories in Bullseye and surprise.


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Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:39 pm
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Matrix, that's great. Never heard of this MMM. Any chance of his name - if you have the issue that is :wink:
CB+ only has 2 issues of Bullseye on file and both are from 1931. As Bullseye is very difficult to find, I've little chance of finding out more, and there's nothing on Friardale.
Those ancient French comics are also like hens' teeth. There were a lot of Masked Mystery Men in European comics in the '30's, '40's, '50's, particularly in Spain, Italy and France.
As you mention British storypapers, I should mention that there are many other heroes/MMM in them. If you know all this, sorry for boring you, but I am a superhero/MMM nut. Various papers had characters like The Black Whip, Flaming Avenger, The Iron Man (from 1st. World War), Hooded Unknown, The Night Hawk, Zero the Silent, Son of the Electric Shadow (text strip and his dad was a villain :shock: ), Karga the Clutcher (villain as hero), Phantom Avenger - well you get the idea.
I had hoped that more members might have added some comments to this post, so thank you for jumping in.


Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:14 pm
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Another masked mystery man from The Bullseye, was the protagonist of the 28-episode serial The Phantom Of Cursitor Fields, written by Alfred Edgar, and published in 1931.


Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:27 pm
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Thank you, Phoenix. I've just checked on CB+ and one of the 2 issues we have features an episode of the story. Downloading it now to read.
I'm sure there are more MMM than I am aware of and if you or anyone else can add any names and sources, if known, that would make a grumpy old codger happy indeed. By the way, Flying Justice from The Boys' Friend around 1927 is a particular favourite and I often wonder if the creators of Batman ever saw the illustrations. Probably not, as their source material, if not imagination and creativity, was more likely The Shadow.


Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:42 pm
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He is referred to as the "mystery man" on a few occasions but also the "Hooded Unknown" as per scan. In the other scan you can clearly see him using his powers. I only have three issues that mention this character so they may give him another name?

I think he looks cool!


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Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:51 am
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Mr Valeera
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Folks, I cannot contribute to this conversation but keep it going as it is fascinating to read about comics outside my collecting zone.

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Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:08 am
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paw broon wrote:
Thank you, Phoenix. I've just checked on CB+ and one of the 2 issues we have features an episode of the story. Downloading it now to read.
Could you please let us have your reaction, Paw, when you've had time to digest it.


Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:59 am
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Re 'The Phantom of Cursitor Fields' it continued well beyond its first series in various guises.
The details are as follows -
The Phantom of Cursitor Fields - Bullseye 14-41
The Return of the Phantom - Bullseye 72-104
Then came a very similarly themed story by the same writer but this time set in the 1790's rather than the 1930's
The Night Rider of London Fields - Bullseye 169-183
The editor of Bullseye Fred Cordwell who was also the editor of Film Fun then reprinted the first series in the comic paper in the late 1930's, early 1940's.
It then reappeared again in Film Fun in 1959 under the title 'The Blackfriars Phantom'
for fifteen issues between No2043 in Mar 1959 and the undated strike issue in the summer. The second series then being reprinted under its original title in Film Fun 21/3/60-6/8/60.
The third 'historical' series then turned up as a picture strip in the pages of Hurricane 10/10/64-23/1/65 under the title 'The Phantom of Cursitors Marsh' illustrated by Michael Hubbard.
The original series was then abridged for an appearance in Hamlyn's 'Supernatural Stories for Boys' in 1968 although it was removed from the contents when the book was republished a decade later.


Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:49 pm
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