Stephen A. Kallis, Jr., the Captain Midnight historian and author of the book Radio's Captain Midnight: The Wartime Biography (2000) writes in Radio Recall, June 2005 that the Fawcett comic book version of Captain Midnight was not much more than a retread of another Fawcett character, Spy Smasher.
For a quick side-by-side comparison of the two Fawcett comic book versions, both Captain Midnight and Spy Smasher meet up as shown on the page below from the Summer of 1943 issue #8 of America's Greatest Comics. Please note in the dialog between the two superheroes that even though Kallis has stated in his works that the comic book version of Captain Midnight did not include the Secret Squadron as part of their stories, it is mentioned quite prominently as an integral part of the particular story line depicted.
It should be noted that in the Kallis paragraphs so quoted from the aforementioned June 2005 Radio Recall, that does for the most part outline Captain Midnight's biography radio-wise --- and of which are found in the Captain Midnight site this page is linked from --- Kallis provides a thumbnail sketch of the differences between Captain Midnight's various media versions. In doing so, however good his overall coverage, even with his Captain Midnight - Spy Smasher comparison, Kallis stops short of bringing up or mentioning the appearance of the Captain Midnight comic book character prior to the Fawcett version.
The Dell versions of Captain Midnight preceded Fawcett publishing with their first story showing up in Funnies #57 dated July 1941.(see) Below is a page selected from Funnies #61 dated November 1941 because it graphically illustrates how Captain Midnight was 'originally' dressed --- more-or-less outfitted in a kind of tan or khaki-color semi flight uniform of the day. Compare how quickly his appearance morphed into the bright red tight fitting superhero-type suit in the comic book page shown above with Spy Smasher as soon as the stories jumped to Fawcett.
The Fawcett version first showed up in Captain Midnight, September 30, 1942, Vol 1, No. 1.(see)
For your own edification, the page below is from the Fawcett publication Whiz Comics #14 March 1941. It clearly shows the Spy Smasher in his early days in an outfit so similar to the early Dell version of Captain Midnight (depicted above) that, except for the cape perhaps, they could have bought their clothes at the same tailor, albeit, like I say, more-or-less outfitted in a kind of tan or khaki-color semi flight uniform of the day. Below that is a photo of how Captain Midnight appeared in the Captain Midnight serials of the 1940s and how his manner of dress compared to the early Spy Smasher regalia. Even the pose is so close to being exactly the same it makes you wonder if it was pure coincidence or not.
FLYING CAPTAIN MARVEL
ZEN AND THE ART OF FLYING MEN
HOW ONE BOY'S FASCINATION WITH A TOY LED TO SHAMBHALA
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