Captain America (15 part serial)
Let me set the Stage. It’s the mid 1940’s, WWII is raging, and there’s this publication group called Timely Comics. It’s still decades away before they adopt a more “Marvel-ous” name, but for now they have this new character they call Captain America who they think will make waves. Timely wants to make a serial for Cap, Republic has made tons of serials, what could go wrong?
Hilariously, Republic threw out literally everything about Captain America for the serial. Sure he mostly has his costume, but this is not Steve Rogers the super soldier fighting the Nazis with the help of Bucky. Inexplicably the serial stars “Grant Gardner,” a powerless distract attorney who fights gangsters with the help of his secretary Gail Richards. No shield, no powers, he’s just a DA in spandex fighting a museum curator called the Scarab.
The bizarre choice of characters is fun enough, but there’s more to enjoy. The story starts with the Scarab trying to get his hands on a scientist’s ********. Be suspicious and Gail will gun you down before you can draw. There’s an arc where the Scarab kidnaps a scientist and wastes valuable resources resurrecting a henchman. Grant reveals his “first shot is always a blank” and then never uses a blank again. The Scarab can’t read his own name when it’s backwards.
It’s a bizarre part of Marvel history, their first foray into live-action. It still exists in the comic books as an in-universe propaganda film about Cap. It’s a fun time, and I would love to see it riffed.
Links to imdb and a playlist of it on YouTube.