Who’s Who Presents – Who’s That? #2: Captain Fear

For the second episode of WHO’S THAT?, Shag and Rob look at the history of DC’s swashbuckling pirate, CAPTAIN FEAR! A high adventure strip from amazing creators such as Walt Simonson, Alex Nino, Robert Kanigher, Steve Skeates, and David Michelinie! Plus, we read YOUR listener feedback!

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Opening music by The Who.

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17 responses to “Who’s Who Presents – Who’s That? #2: Captain Fear

  1. What a great surprise! I like these character spotlights, and it’s a good listen with both WW hosts.
    BTdubs, where’s my Who’s Who?

    Also, I think you owe us a Capt Compass show.

  2. Fantastic! Had much of the same reaction to Captain Fear in Who’s Who… way before I knew about Filipinos in comics and especially Alex Niño… but I never followed him up again.

    This is really interesting and very much on the other POV of history, dealing with the experience of natives and Slaves and minorities in a pulp adventure milieu.

  3. Great episode!
    Yes, the Who’s Who entry reminded me of a certain mascot for rum and so in my head I dismissed him as silliness.

    After seeing the gallery page I think I have to go out and find these issues. The art alone makes them worth tracking down. The Nino stuff is just gorgeous. (I am a bit surprised that Shag didn’t mention Fury of Firestorm #37, drawn by Nino!) Just incredible.

    Thanks for all the kind words on the first episode. As I said, the ‘vegetable’ panel of the Crime Doctor story has haunted my vision since I read it off the rack. So I was thrilled to do the show.

    Can I suggest Dr. Tzin-Tzin as a possible character for an upcoming episode?

    1. Can’t believe I forgot that Alex Nino drew Fury of Firestorm #37!!! Now I have to go back and listen to what i said now that I have an appreciation for his work! Thanks, Anj!!

  4. So they draw the Cpt. left handed direction of the guns and the hand the sward is in but the scabbard is on the side for a right handed person. And a rapier and not a cutlass? A sword that went out of style in the 17th century. Plus is really to long to use well on board a ship.

  5. Thanks to my wife and daughter, I am the proud owner of Lego Justice League: Cosmic Clash. Despite having watched the movie several times, and having listened to every episode of the Who’s Who podcast, I did not recognize Captain Fear in his film debut. I am so ashamed. I guess it is time for me to go back and relisten to all of the old Who’s Who episodes to make sure that never happens again.

    My impression of Lego Captain Fear is that he’s a self-interested pirate, rather than an evil villain. Sure, he doesn’t like Hal Jordan, but that doesn’t put him on the same level as Sinestro. I’m sure there are some other heroes in the DC universe who wouldn’t mind seeing Hal swab some decks.

  6. Another fun show, and thanks for sharing all that art. Wowza!

    Oddly enough, Captain Compass got a namecheck in a Steve Orlando Wonder Woman story this month, apparently he’s now running a luxury cruiser as the ARGUS prison ship (I bet Rob could get from the Love Boat to Citizen Kane AND M*A*S*H in about ten seconds flat…).

  7. Thanks for the fun show. I haven’t read the Nino drawn issues.

    I wonder if Captain Fear was a favorite of Simonson’s. The three-part story he drew was reprinted in the Art of Walt Simonson TPB. That is where I saw it. I think Simonson must have had some say-so in what was included, because the “Cape and Cowl Deathtrap” featured Simonson’s original splash page of Batman smiling, which was changed on the original comic.

    Oh, just a bit of clarification. Nino didn’t draw Rima the Jungle Girl. He drew back-up stories in the first five issues. Nestor Redondo drew the Rima stories. Yeah, I’m probably the only Rima fan in your audience. I didn’t discover her in Who’s Who, though.

  8. Yes! A new “Who’s That!” I hereby second the nomination for a “Balloon Buster” episode. Also: I was happy to hear a promo break for “Unpacking the Power of Power Pack,” that’s one of my favorite new shows. As for Captain Fear: I also have the “Judas Coin” OGN, and can echo Shag’s enthusiasm for that work. I’ve also read the “Architects” story before it was collected, and I must have enjoyed it more than…whatever it was originally printed alongside (a “Tales of the Unexpected” mini of some kind?). Great show!

  9. Thoroughly enjoyable episode, gentlemen. I truly enjoyed your overview of Capt. Fear.
    I’m familiar with the character because – like Gothosmansion above – I have the Art of Walter Simonson tpb (an absolutely wonderful book), where the back-ups from Unknown Soldier are reprinted. By the way, in his brief text introduction to the Capt. Fear stories, Simonson explained the reason for the change in historical periods in a slightly greater detail, describing the earlier stories “beautifully drawn by Alex Nino” as “an historical rat’s nest.” He goes on:
    “The tales were set in the 1850s, more than a hundred years *after* the heyday of the Caribbean buccaneers, yet featured Spaniards wearing the helmets of conquistadors, unidentifiable but undeniably ancient firearms, and ship types (when they were identifiable) that were hundreds of years out of date!”
    So, after noting that he loves old sailing ships and always wanted to draw a story with them in it, he says that he and David Michelinie “fashioned the tale, recasting our hero in the mid-18th century (a mere thirty years after the apex of pirate glory). We sandwiched in full-rigged ships, a ninja warrior, and as much real history as we could inject.”
    Unfortunately, in that book (at least in the copy I have), pages 3 & 4 of the second and third installments of the Capt. Fear features are switched – so you have to flip back and forth if you want to read the pages in order. It’s a real pain and it mars what would otherwise be an almost perfect book. In that sense, I certainly wouldn’t mind a nice, slim reprint tpb, or even a saddle-stitched comic book (like the Night Nurse book published by Marvel a few years ago) that collects the complete Captain Fear stories drawn by both Nino and Simonson – with the pages all in the proper order.

  10. Only Rob and Shag can take a half page entry from Who’s Who and turn it into a 45 minute discussion.

    I’ve been listening to you guys for a couple of years now, and I’ve got to say, you guys sounded more excited doing this episode than I think I’ve heard in a long time. I don’t mean that in a bad way – you guys are always great. But something about this episode – you could hear so much genuine enthusiasm and excitement about the character. It reminded me why I enjoy listening to shows on this network, and shows that feature you guys.

    Thanks for the fun listen!

  11. Great episode! I love these little shout outs to obscure characters.

    I have a print of Dr. Thirteen’s Team Thirteen by Cliff Chang signed and hanging in my comic room. I can’t recommend Architecture and Morality enough.

    From a continuity standpoint, I’d posit that the time differences means that there are different people who used the same name – that it’s a mantle passed down, much like The Flash or Azrael.

  12. It was great to hear an episode dedicated to such an obscure, but fascinating, character. The sample pages you provided were amazing! It’s stuff like this that most comics readers don’t know about. For example, I’ve been enjoying for many months now, the website “Marvel University.” Often, the writers and responders will point to a particular Marvel Bronze Age classic story and use it to disparage other comics companies, specifically DC. Too often, I think that fans think DC comics from the early 70s were just stories like Flash v. The Top, or Superman v.wacky aliens. Characters like Captain Fear, and the war books, and the horror books are great examples of excellence in comics art.

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