Sunday, May 27, 2012

Captain Compass

Captain Compass was one of many features that Detective Comics had over the years. He originally appeared in issues of Star Spangled Comics, starting in #83. He bumped Robotman from that book, and that feature moved over to Detective, starting with #138.

Mark Compass wasn't really a captain; rather he was a trouble-shooter/house detective, initially sailing on the SS Nautilus, and later roving on various vessels of the Penny Steamship Lines. He lasted in Star Spangled until the very last issue of that title, #130, after which the book was converted into Star Spangled War Stories.

With no place to call a home, Captain Compass was assigned to Detective Comics starting with #203, where, ironically enough, he once again bumped Robotman out of a slot, ending that long-running feature. Captain Compass was a decent detective, although like many in the comics he depended on eavesdropping:

And his fists:
Almost as much as his wits:
Captain Compass appeared in Detective until issue #225, when he was replaced by the debut of Martian Manhunter (he also missed #206, which had a Sierra Smith adventure instead). In his earlier adventures he sometimes flirted with a nurse he called Red, much to her displeasure:
Unfortunately, by the time the series moved over to Detective, Red had vanished. Captain Compass only made one more appearance after that; in an ensemble story in Detective #500 featuring many of the gumshoes who had appeared in the pages of Tec over the years.


Steven Thompson said...

He must have been popular to have lasted so long but I'm not a fan of his. Dull with pedestrian art (even though some is by a young Curt Swan I believe).

hobbyfan said...

I had that Detective 500. Sad to say, it was a defective copy, as there were pages out of order on one of the stories, creating so much confusion. The "alumni convention", drawn by Jim Aparo, as memory serves me, was not affected, thankfully.

Too bad DC hasn't seen fit to reprint it.

Pat said...

Steven, I was unable to locate any Curt Swan artwork on Captain Compass, although I admit his style would have fit in perfectly with the mid-50's adventures.

Hobbyfan, the Batman story in Tec #500 is perfect; I confess to crying when reading the ending. Not sure about out of order pages (my copy seems to be right), although I do know some other giants with that problem.

Steven Thompson said...

Yeah, I checked. I was thinking of MANHUNTERS AROUND THE WORLD, another STAR SPANGLED feature I didn't care for which was drawn by Swan.