Captain Hazzard is back!
Captain Hazzard is sadly a one-hit wonder in the pulp world, and is one of the more blatant Doc Savage clones. Originally published by Ace Magazines, his one issue came out in 1938, though a second story was written.
Ron Fortier of Airship 27 Productions decided to make full use of the character. He revamped the original novel and then did the same for the second, which had be turned into a Secret Agent X story. These became the first and third volume of a new series of Captain Hazzard books. He wrote new novels, which are the second and fourth volumes.
Now after too long we get a fifth Captain Hazzard novel: Custer’s Ghost. A welcome addition to this story is we get Super-Detective Jim Anthony added to the mix, and a return of Azlea O’Hara from volume two. It’s been awhile since Airship 27 had done anything with Jim Anthony, another original pulp hero and yet another Doc pastiche.
For those who aren’t aware of Captain Hazzard, he is an adventurer with dark hair and blue-gray eyes. Fortier added a pencil-thin mustache, along with a first and middle name. Blinded as a youth when his parents were murdered, his eyesight is restored by a new surgical procedure. But he has a scar over his left eye. While blind, he had developed a mild form of ESP, which he uses to communicate with his closest aides.
Operating out of Hazzard Labs in Long Island, he assembled a group of people to work with him, which include Dr. Martin Tracy, surgeon; Professor Washington MacGowen, physicist; Tyler Randell, inventor and pilot; and Jake Cole, cowboy. They are also joined by William Crawley, reporter.
As to Jim Anthony, I’d done several postings on him. Created by the Trojan group, the spicy pulp publisher, this scientist-adventurer is “half Irish, half Indian, and all American.” He has a penthouse, with lab, at the top of his Waldorf Anthony hotel. While he has a small number of people helping him, this time he’s just accompanied by his shaman grandfather Mephito.
And it’s appropriate that Anthony is along on this adventure, as it’s set in out West. There is a “ghost of Custer” operating, attack people on a Sioux Reservation. This is causes issues within the tribe. At the same time, criminals try to kidnap a Sioux princess who is a fellow college student of Azalea’s, and we have skinwalkers (werewolves) attacking people. Because of this, Anthony and his grandfather team up with Hazzard and his friends as they head out to Montana in Hazzard’s new airship to solve this mystery. Along the way we learn more about Mephisto (though I’m not sure I’m too keen on that).
There are a few “Easter eggs” in this story that hopefully the alert reader will pickup. I won’t give them away here.
I hope we won’t have to wait too long for further Captain Hazzard stories from Airship 27 — as well as further Jim Anthony stories from them. Always a good read. Maybe next time Hazzard and Anthony can be joined by Rush Randall or maybe Thunder Jim Wade?