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Adventures of Captain Havoc and the Phantom Knight, The

Entry updated 30 October 2023. Tagged: Comics, Publication.

Australian Comic (?1947-?1949). Number of issues unknown; copies of #1-#6, #8-#10, #12 and #18 are extant in some form. Artists include Matt Baker, Don Ryan and C M Tighe. Writers include Noel P Bookes and John Libris. Issues #1-#2 were titled The Phantom Knight; from #3, The Adventures of Captain Havoc and The Phantom Knight. Some sources have this as a New Zealand comic – and there are copies with a New Zealand publication address (with others, Australian), but nearly all have the logo of an Australian company "Meteor Publications" on the cover; whilst at least two of the creators, Don Ryan and Cyril M Tighe, were Australian.

Professor Edward Melville and Captain Anthony Havoc build a Spaceship for space exploration; Accompanied by the professor's secretary, Gloria Starr, they land on the planet Karen, helping its inhabitants to fight enemies from Arkturia (see Invasion), whose ruler is named Tortura (#1-#3). They befriend Karen's Prince Kureston, nicknamed the Phantom Knight by Gloria due to his power of Invisibility; his other Superpowers include Teleportation and flight; he can be considered a Superhero and indeed wears a cape.

In #4 an SOS has them returning to Earth, where major cities are being bombed by an unknown enemy. As they approach, the Phantom looks through his visor, noting a City in Antarctica; Captain Havoc says an American expedition once saw "clear, fertile land beyond the main ice barriers – but cities – definitely not". Arriving in Canberra, the Phantom's visor enables him to see the approach of a futuristic craft carrying bombs, so he accosts its pilot: they are from the Antarctic city of Zerosia, ruled by Eskimoto, who plans to conquer the world (see Imperialism). Squadrons of planes are sent to drop atomic bombs on Zerosia, but these are easily destroyed by Rockets launched from the city. However, the Captain manages to bomb Zerosia using the spaceship, with the Phantom Knight diverting any rockets that try to stop him.

Other adventures include dealing with a pair of slavers (see Slavery) called Olaf and Egor (#6): they live in the cloud city of Clyx, designed by Olaf ("the brainy one" – see Intelligence) and held in place by "giant gyroscopic like machines" and "super-powerful degravitators" (see Antigravity). However, they are dealt with fairly easily – the Phantom Knight challenges Egor, who is tall, strong and arrogant, to a fight and wins. There is another invasion of Karen, this time by the barbaric Prontonian hordes (#9). Brugorgi "the Mad Scientist of Space" kidnaps Gloria – whilst rescuing her, the Captain and Phantom have to deal with the Roaraborgi "the most fearsome thing in the universe ... [an] electric phenomenon which moves about space – disintegrating anything it comes in contact with" (#10, Brugorgi appears in #7 and #8 too). When raiders from Uranus (see Outer Planets) attack Professor Melville's "secret factory on the planet Jupiter", Havoc and the Phantom locate and destroy the attackers' asteroid base (#17-#18). There is also the "magnetic planet of Kybroid" (#5), cutlass-wielding space pirates (#12) and occasional Monsters.

The amateurish The Adventures of Captain Havoc and The Phantom Knight has very little merit: early issues occasionally have good artwork early on, but usually it is of poor quality and rushed; the scripts are badly written and seemingly aimed at a younger audience than the comic's American counterparts. [SP]


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