What's this page? This page will be characters from the British story-papers, penny dreadfuls, as well as other European fictional characters. The purpose is to give a general view and context of super-hero and super-villain fiction, that it's not solely an American institution and some of which pre-dates or is contemporary to what was occurring in the States.
Black Whip: 1931, Ranger.The Black Whip! Avenger! Gang Buster!. In reality, the Black Whip is Buck Sinclair of the English Secret Service. As the Black Whip, he's after a gang called the Foundryland Terrors or simply "The Terrors", responsible for the death of his uncle John Peters. And one by one, he takes them down. His closest crew of Gang-busters consist of a boy Beefy Parker, and Hector the Alsation hound. They also recruit the aid of tall Dick Pauley whose life they saved and was pilot and owner of a "Moth plane". Naturally, the Black Whip is good with his whip, as well as guns and fists.
Congo King: ?, Adventure (D.C. Thomson & Co., Great Britan). Congo King is called the finest shot in all of Africa. He travels with Umtala of the Zulu. In addition to his hunting and tracking skills, Umtala is also knowledgable of healing herbs. On one adventure, Congo and Umtala rescue Jimmy Dale, a young boy who leads them to the lost city of Ophar where his explorer father had disappeared. The city was settled by ancient Romans and to the present it is still manned by men in Roman Legionaire armor and robes. Congo helps them recover a treasure stolen and foil the plots of Killer Gool.
Invisible Dick: 1922 Rover #1 (English weekly). When his sister May catches the measles, young Dicky Brett is sent to live with his uncle Peter Knowles, a noted scientist and collector of antiquities. One day while locked in the fossil room, Dick removes the stopper from a bronze bottle from ancient Egypt. Inside the bottle were a number of shining yet pungent pellets constantly shifting color. Taking a whiff of them, Dick finds himself enveloped by a vapor and turns invisible. The effect is only temporary, and using the said pellets he promptly scares away a burgler with a floating skull. The burglar is blamed for the bottle disappearing while Dick uses it to get into all sorts of mischief and pranks. For awhile, he and the old black watchdog Bruno also stay with his rich Aunt Fannie and Uncle Frank Walters.
Keeper of the Dread Sword: 1948; Adventure #1215 (D.C. Thomson & Co., Great Britan). In the Asian countries of the Middle East, there's the great Dread Sword of Tarka. It can cut through fine silk or mighty steel. Only one man is allowed to wield it, a masked man known only as the Keeper. The sword will bring death to any who try to grab it by the hilt without wearing the protective gauntlets. Rajah Nizam Khan is one of those that greatly desires the weapon and even manages to steal it and the gauntlets for a little while. But, he too falls to the mysterious death when grabs it instinctively while not wearing the gloves. In addition to protecting the sword, the Keeper will work for what appears to be Western secret agents. The mysterious valley also hosts giant birds large enough to carry a man through the air. I think the "V" on his mask is meant to be two scimitars, crossed at their hilts.
Wolf Magee: ~1936, Adventure (D.C. Thomson & Co., Great Britan). Wolf Magee is the foe of the Scorpion, a masked criminal head of the greatest criminal organization in America. In addition to being quick witted, Magee makes use of disguises, smoke grenades and even has a beat up looking car that actually conceals not only a powerful motor but other tricks such as with the hitting of a couple of buttons, the sides will rise, making it appear like a delivery van!
Red Hood: as the "Red Hood": April 11, 1936; Adventure #754 (D.C. Thomson & Co., Great Britan). Joe Royal aka Rocky Mountain Joe is a troubleshooter for a company and wanders from California to Alaska to make sure things run smooth for their holdings of mines, ranches, etc. When he comes up against a gang of crooks with a mysterious leader running a protection racket over businesses of 5 towns in British Columbia, he becomes the Red Hood in order to trap the gang and uncover their big shot. He's good with his fists, guns and a black whip. Joe is 6 feet tall, wide shouldered but lean bodied and wears a coon-skin cap.
Will-o'-the-Wisp: ~1950 Knockout (English weekly). Around the turn of the 19th Century, in London operated the mysterious masked man Will-o'-the-wisp. Said to fear nothing and never turn away from someone in trouble, no one realized he was in reality the dandy Beau Brummell. Note: Beau Brummell was a real person, noted mostly for dressing well and his friendship with the upper echelons of society including the future King George IV. Like many whose exploits and lives became larger than life, he became a popular character to draw upon in fiction.
Gool: Adventure (D.C. Thomson & Co., Great Britan). A popular name for villains for this magazine. It first shows up as the name of a witch doctor chief villain in "The Revolt of the Terrible Ten Thousand" whose plans for the Lost Valley of the Mountains of the Moon are foiled by engineer Jack Handy and Tarza, the large Zulu warrior. The Valley is slowly dying as their water supply is running out. Gool hopes to make Handy, his father, and other captured white men to supervise them building a tunnel under the mountains from which his ten thousand warriors will conquer and plunder. Twelve years later, the next Gool also faces a white man, a large Zulu warrior over the fate of a hidden society as Killer Gool wants a treasure hidden in Ophar, a lost Roman Legion city and must face Congo King and Umtala.
Scorpion: ~1936; Adventure (D.C. Thomson & Co., Great Britan). This Scorpion is the masked mastermind of a vast criminal empire in America. His crimes are foiled by detective Wolf Magee.