Mystery Men & Women:

The H's

  Steve Hagen: 1945, Witty Comics #2 (Chicago Nite Life News). On a sunny day in Steeltown, the residents are suddenly pelted with museum artifacts falling from the sky and feel it's the work of Blastville, trying to scare off their industries. However, scientist Steve Hagen thinks it's something different and sends messages up in the sky in various indian languages by helium balloons. One evening an Aztec man named Azarro visits him, speaking perfect English. In order to escape the conquistadors in the 16th Century, the Aztecs built Stratosphere Island, a city floating more than a hundred miles in the sky via vacuum pontoons. Recently, unrest has broken out between two factions, those who want to stick to traditional ways and garb and others who want to adopt modern customs as on the surface. Lately, it has come to blows, them throwing items at each other, and when they miss… down the items fall onto Steeltown. Even before he arrives they are shot at. Hagen meets Mazd, chief of the Old Time Political Party and Sunbo of the Modern Political Party. The two claim to be best of friends despite being on opposite sides of this dispute. After several attempts on his life, Hagen reveals that both are in cahoots with fostering the unrest and setting the people at each others' throats in hopes to gain control of the island and the world (not really sure how that would work). Hagen gets back to Steeltown just in time to stop them from bombing Blastville with a rocket!
 

Hale the Magician: 1941, Dynamic Comics #1 (Chesler). In 1541, Hale and his father, an impoverished nobleman, are part of the Spanish Conquistadors in South America. They look in disdain at the cruelty of the Conquistadors and seek to aid the Maoni Indians. His father dies but Hale is taken in by Chief Xingu to learn of their ways and succeed him as leader. This tribe has mastered the science of elecricity and magic and when Hale has proven himself, a mighty spear embodying both is made for him. However, another tribesman, Numi, seeks it all for himself. He stabs Hale and is in turn killed by Xingu. Xingu claims that Hale has been given an immortal soul and will rise again, thus he is taken and buried. In the years that follow, the tribe is torn by internal strife, they and their knowledge pass from this world.

In 1941, scientist Henry Starrett and his beautiful daughter hear wind of the legend of an immortal man coming back to life, and find the mountain top tomb and come to investigate. Tired of waiting, Starrett tries to break into Hale's tomb, hoping that will prompt him to waken. It does, but Starrett mysteriously dies in the process (heart attack? mystical sacrifice?). Hearing of America, Hale vows allegiance to the country and what it stands for. His spearhead is much like Ibis' wand, it makes whatever he wishes for come true. No real good images of him in full costume, he has blue cape and cap ala Felix Faust, loose fitting red pants and sash, possibly a shirt, though his torso was flesh colored.

Hale of the Herald: ~1942, Thrilling Comics #25 (Better). Hale is a story- and crime-breaking reporter for the Herald. A little different from his other reporters in that he keeps handy a supply of pills that will turn him invisible. He is helped by his best girl assistant Vickie Dale.
lance hale

Lance Hale: 1940, Silver Streak Comics #2 (Lev Gleason). Lance Hale is one of those heroes, who depending on the source, you'll have a different background. And the reason is that he probably went through more high concepts than most other characters and they all have bits of the truth. He was a space hero. He was also jungle hero superhero who preferred the wilds to civilization. He helped Daredevil in his fight against the Claw and Hitler.

In his first appearance, he's a red-headed soldier of fortune/adventurer/explorer in the African jungles. He meets up with a scientist (named Dr. Grey in the next issue) with a spaceship that will carry the two of them to the stars. He also has an invention that he gives Lance, an arm-band that has a small needle that under exertion will inject a formula that makes the possessor super strong (able to easily lift at least 500 lbs), strong enough to survive the pressures of piloting the space ship. Grey also has a beautiful daughter, Myra. In issue 3, he's fighting King Loti and the spiritmen, with the blurb of the battle to continue in the next issue. However, in issue 4, it's about Hale investigating a diamond mine left to him by his uncle. There he discovers a hidden society of cave-men ruled by the beautiful blond queen Aldia who knew his uncle when he was Hale's age. She gives him the secret of eternal youth, he just has to walk through a magic flame. It transforms him into a physical marvel and he aides the Queen in her battle against the Lizard Men and then escapes to the surface with part of the wealth with which he hopes to aide a good many people on the surface. In some scenes, he still wears the arm-band that Grey had given him. In issue 5, he seems to have no powers and fights a sorceress and then in issue 6 it's back to the jungles of Africa where he dresses as a Tarzan type. Here he rescues Jackie, a young boy about to be killed by a lion. No mention is made of the boy's parents, just that he's lost in the jungles and soon he too is just wearing a loin cloth. They befriend a baby elephant which Jackie names Yamba and rides. As Jackie does not appear in later stories, presumably he was reunited with his parents. Skipping issue 7, in #8 he adopts the jungle-superhero outfit seen to the left. Still no powers, maybe he lost that arm band. At this point, he's as good with various jungle weapons as the best jungle lords and continues in this vein for awhile.

  Rocky Hall, Jungle Stalker: 1941, Rangers of Freedom #1 (Fiction House). Red-headed youth Rocky travels the jungles with a jungle kid of about the same age named Gary Murray (pronouncing his name as Gay-ree). After several issues they are joined by a blonde girl Aimee who adopts a black panther skin bikini to wear.
Captain Halyard: 1941, Captain Aero #1 (Holyoke). "Detective of the sea, Captain Halyard is selected by F.B.I. to block hijacking of munition cargoes being shipped to China." He does this by allowing himself to be shanghai-ed. He's helped by Chinese messboy Pang who's mistreated by the criminal crew.
  Spurt Hammond: 1940, Planet Comics #1 (Fiction House). He's "Spurt Hammond, Planet Flyer," and a young American pilot, later specified as Lieutenant in the "American Interspace Lines", in the far-flung future year of 25,000 where warlords wage war on the moon.
  The Hand: 1941, Speed Comics #12 (Harvey). Similar to Centaur's the Eye, only this time it's a hand and sometimes part of a jacket and shirt-sleeved arm. It can mystically write in the air, operate unseen if it wants and likes leaving little warnings and calling cards with things like "the Hand is quicker than the eye." It will also call forth a red mist that leaves a brand of a hand on the foreheads of crooks, marking them for society. Also called the Big Hand.
  Bill Handy: 1939, Champion Comics #2 (Harvey). Bill Handy is an Olympic champion and has a life ahead of him in law, but gives it all up for the promise of a life of romance and adventure aboard his schooner Polaris. Joining him are an orphaned cousin, Pug, and the giant West Indian Negro Marco. The cruise the seas, becoming a Robin Hood of the sea.
  The Handy Man from Timbuctoo: ~1904. This strip concerns a long-haired and bearded man and his tiger who swim all the way from the jungles of the Niger which took them three weeks. The Handy Man carries a mace and with his long hair and beard, strange clothes and sandles cuts a very distinctive look. Not to mention his tiger who does not talk but otherwise seems remarkably intelligent, and able to walk on hind legs while disguised as a woman, and is even a good dancer. The two stop robbers, rogues, prankster children and generally helping whenever they can teaching moral lessons. Several of these charming strips can be found at Barnacle Press.
  Scoop Hanlon: 1940, Whirlwind Comics #1 (Nita). Scoop is an ace reporter, Stubby his portly cameraman.
  Harbor Patrol: 1946, Seven Seas Comics #1 (Leader Enterprises/Universal Phoenix Features). Sgt. Steve Badger and Squeaky are the heroic cops of the Harbor Patrol. As a second banana, Squeaky is resourceful, strong, and observant, just not quite as good or clever as Steve.
  "Bill" Hardin: 1940, The Arrow #2 (Centaur). Capable Old West sheriff.
 

Chuck Hardy: 1939, Amazing Man Comics #5 (Centaur). Chuck Hardy is a scientist and adventurer, part of a small party of American scientists headed by Professor Kingsley of Portmouth University on the boat "Research" along with his girl Jerry Peterson. A near volcano erupts while the two are exploring the oceans bottom. They are buffeted by the currents and the bottom of the ocean floor gives way and the two find themselves in a strange world of incredible beasts. Chuck and Jerry find they possess superhuman strength when they save a strange native by the name of Mogba from being eaten by a large beast. They are also able to leap great distances in this weird subterranean world. They soon find themselves meeting and befriending King Kurstan of Aquatania and Oxan, a mighty champion that Chuck bests in combat as well as the enmity of Princess Istrid who sees them as lowly inferiors. Aquatanians look much like humans but have a pair of antennae or horns.

When they help Queen Irena, she gives Chuck a magic crossbow: When used for just purposes, it always hits its mark, when used for unjust, the culprit dies a sudden death. Accompanying them from that point is also Jumbo, one of her diminutive subjects with pincer hands who developed a strong loyalty to Oxan and his friends.

  Hy Hardy: 1940, Exciting Comics #1 (Better). An adventurous newsreel cameraman.
  'Chute' Harmon: 1941, Cat-Man Comics#2? (Holyoke). "High on an unknown mesa somewhere in the west is the base of the famed Flying Legion. Led by 'Chute' Harmon, famous test pilot and stunt-flyer. Their Amazing feats of daring bring them the applause of an admiring world. The Flying Legion gives aid to those in distress and keeps vigil over America's lonely borders." Other members of the Legion go by the nicknames of Wolf, Slip, Piston (their mechanic and engineer possibly)
  Harry Hotspur: 1947, Crown Comics #8 (McComb). During the troubled reign of Queen Elizabeth in the 16th Century, her minister Sir Francis Walsingham organized a secret police to protect queen and country. One of his best agents was the dashing Harry Hotspur for his education, prowess with weapons and his diplomacy. NOTE: While there was a real Harry Hotspur, made famous by Shakespeare, his time was the 14th Century not the 16th.
  Hurricane Hart: 1940, Rocket Comics #1 (Hillman). Captain of the schooner Nancy Kay, looking to solve a riddle that leads to some buried treasure but is betrayed by his men lead by Da Gama. He finds the treasure in an underwater cave and the traitors are presumably drowned when they dive after it, not knowing that the incoming tied will flood the cave.
  Ted Hart: 1946, Sparkling Stars #10 (Holyoke). Hart is a Lieutenant Detective and is the ace detective of the force. Has a skunk streak of white  in his otherwise brown hair.
  Jack Harvard: 1938. Cocomalt Big Book of Comics #1 (Harry "A" Chesler). Jack is the chief pilot of what seems to be an airline company. As such, he is flying solo on a test flight for one of the planes when he encounters a "sky menace" as an army plane goes nuts and its two occupants bail out. He picks them up, one of whom is unconscious, but as he is flying back, the other reveals himself to be a spy. A little daring flying and he is able to overpower the man.

Dan Hastings: 1937, Star Comics #1 (Centaur). Dan Hastings is a Lieutenant with the International Earth Squadron in the future having all sorts of adventures.

1944 Dynamic Comics 8 (Chesler). A Flash Gordon ripoff, Dan is the personal rocket navigator for Dr. Carter and is in love with Carter's daughter Gloria. In issue #19, a rare thing occurs, the hero actually proposes to the girl. He stumbles over the words, but she agrees to marry him.

NOTE: It's not all that unusual for characters to jump companies during the golden-age, often with some minor changes.(see Lt. Lank and the Clock for other examples). Dan Hastings was also published by MLJ so he and Phantom Lady may hold the record for being at 3 different companies during this time. Often, the particulars with Hastings changed (much as Phantom Lady had some subtle and not so subtle costume changes with each company), though he remained a space sci-fi hero in all his incarnations..

Jim Hatfield: 1940, Exciting Comics #1 (Better Publications). Jim Hatfield is a Texas Ranger in the Old West and based on their pulp character who starred in one of if not the longest character pulps.
  The Hawk: 1937, Feature Funnies #3 (Quality) Note: After issue #12 of Feature Funnies the Hawk jumped over to Jumbo Comics for Fiction House. In the 17th Century, the Hawk is an escaped galley slave who brings together a group of other escaped slaves to become the freedom fighting pirates Hawks of the Seas. He is helped primarily by Fluth and the Native American Sagua.
  Spin Hawkins: 1941, Pocket Comics #1 (Harvey). Spin is an ace pilot and writer always looking for adventure.
  Captain Frank Hawks: 1938, Crackajack Funnies #1 (Dell). Captain Frank Hawks is a famous aviaor. He and his young pal Jack run afoul of a dope smuggling gang lead by Rico. He's helped by the mysterious cloaked and robed figure known as the Hood who is revealed to be Jean, Governor Strong's neice and who was supposed to be part of the gang.
  Hap Hazard: 1940, Sure-Fire Comics #1 (Ace). Hap is a clumsy news copy boy/photographer for The Daily Star who manages to stumble his way through various adventures.
  Headless Horseman: 1939, Amazing Mystery Funnies #19 (Centaur). Miss Betty disguises herself as a cowboy without a head and rides the plains of the Old West scaring the criminals and fighting for justice.
  Heap: 1942, Air Fighters Comics #3 (Hillman). German ace Baron Eric von Emmelman is shot down during World War One. He lands in a swamp and merges with the "dreary vegetation" to become hulking and nearly mindless muck monster.
  Hell's Angels: 1944, Sparkling Stars #1 (Holyoke). See Lank Strong under "S".
  Hugo Hercules: ~ 1902, Chicago Tribune: Hugo is one of the earliest proto-superheroes. Appearing in comics by William H. D. Koener, he was a man of incredible strength. Able to outfight a bear, tow several railway cars, lift a fire-engine, and wield a cannon like a gun, often with a "just as easy" comment. He also appeared to get younger and better looking as the strip progressed, though he remained a very burly shaped man. In addition to showing off his great strength in helping people and being the consumate gentleman, he rescued other Sunday comic stars from a fire in the January 2, 1902 strip, a very early instance of the comic strip crossover. Several of his strips can be found at Barnacle Press

Hip Knox: 1940, Superworld Comics (Komos). As a baby, Hip Knox is abandoned on Professor Knox's doorstep. The Professor revives the near dead baby with special operations on eyes, head, and heart. The child grows up with large eyes and a swollen head and able to hypnotize anyone with a glance.

His arch-enemy is Eric McFadden, an old enemy of the Knox family who is apparently aware of the Professor's experiments and has thus spent his life making himself resistant to hypnotism.

  His Highness: 1937. Funny Pages v2#4/14 (Comics Magazine Co/ Centaur/Chesler). King Louis is the boy king of Kaspiana. As such, he is the center of plots and conspiracies. He is sheltered from the common people and is unaware that his chancellor Von Strumen is using his position to heavily tax the common people and the army to keep them under control. To the point that revolution is close to completely break out and revolutionaries actually kidnap the young king. Loyal to the king is the captain of the guards Eric Hagart, veteran of past battles, but still a young enough man to fight.
The Hood: 1941, Catman #5 (Holyoke). FBI Agent Craig Williams is the Hood. He has anti-gravity powers (though he still uses a parachute, go figure) and is good with his fists. After awhile his flying ability seems forgotten. With issue #22, other things change. He seems to be a major in the US Army with a girlfriend named Betty Lou in Hollywood. One later issue (#23), he's a Commander Major Craig Wood with a blonde girlfriend by the name of Ray, issue 25 he's Major Craig Reynolds and in issue 29 he's Major Tom Wood. His girlfriend is named Rae Herman. In issue #23 he reports to a Colonel Quinlan. Charles Quinlan did quite a few of the covers and was the artist on the Cat-Man feature for awhile. Speculation: at the end of the story in #22, there's a blurb "apologies to Ray Hermann" and considering that in the following issue his girlfriend is named "Ray". Further research revealed that were was a Ruth "Rae" Herman (sometimes spelled Ray Hermann) involved in publishing comics under the publishing name Orbit. She was part of a group of publishers that in the late 1940s to get the industry to self regulate by forming the ASSOCIATION OF COMICS MAGAZINE PUBLISHERS (ACMP)

Hooded Wasp: 1940, Shadow Comics #7 (Street & Smith). A scientist turned hero whose costume while yellow is very un-wasp like. He fought crime with his junior partner Jim Martin, aka the Wasplet. He eventually got a female partner as well, Babe, the Honey Wasp. None of them had any special powers or gadgets and little was gone into their personal lives. An amazingly effective hero for a back-up character and so little known today, lasting at least until late 1943.

Human Meteor: 1940, Champion Comics #6 (Small Press/Harvey). Duke O'Dowd starts off as a typical Texan in the Foreign Legion where he gets embroiled in various adventures. In Bavakuria he meets Wah Le, the ancient ruler of that Tibetan... city? province?. Wah Le gives Duke the wonderbelt. Through super-science, the belt gives Duke various super powers such as super strength, speed, flight and a "contra-magnetic field" that repels metal, though vulnerable to wood. Wah Le also has a "televox" that allows him to remotely view things from Tibet and communicates with Duke via a televisor wrist watch. On at least one occassion, Duke also carries an explosatom gun. Duke takes the belt with him back to America where he fights crime when he's not working as a taxi driver. Duke is assisted by shoeshine boy Toby, who discovers the Human Meteor's civilian identity.
  Hunt Bowman: 1942, Planet Comics #21 (Fiction). In the year of 1975, Voltamen have conquered the Earth and enslaved most of humanity, making Earth a "Lost World". Hunt Bowman and Lyssa are part of the pockets of humanity that are fighting back. Hunt is a good archer as his name suggests as well as a fighter.
  Inspector Clict Hunt: 1946, Sparkling Stars #12? (Holyoke). Hunt is an ace detective. He's helped by his girlfriend Arizona Lee, a glamorous singer/dancer.
  Thurston Hunt: 1936, Detective Picture Stories #1 (Centaur). Mustached plain-clothes detective on the police force.
  Larry Hunter: 1940, Wham Comics 2. (Centaur). Despite his relative youth, Larry Hunter is a psychology professor and brain expert and conducting work on a thought receiver device. On a dark and stormy night, he is detoured on a back road and ends up at the home of Dr. Z. Dr. Z arranged it because he's an international spy working along the same lines and thinks between the two of them, they can be successful. Z has a large servant called Hagor and a beautiful young woman named Mary Brown as prisoner and subject for some of his other experiments. Hunter is able to conceal his completing the device and uses it to rescue Mary as well as sending Z to his doom by picking up his thoughts on how to work a trapdoor. Hunter decides to continue using the thought receiver to fight crooks and spies.
  Hurricane Harrigan: 1941, Cat-man #1 (Holyoke). Hank "Hurricane" Harrigan is a modern American cowboy born and raised in the Texas panhandle. Bored with life and an avid reader of Kipling, he saves his money and goes adventuring in India. His sidekick is a young Indian boy called Skeebo.
  Hurricane Kids: 1939, Popular Comics #41 (Dell). "Shipwrecked on an unmapped island, Dave and Alan Burnham found themselves among monstrous beasts that belonged to past ages" Among their adventures, they make friends with stone-age savages, fight giant gorillas, find a motor cruiser and rescue an old sea captain and ex pirates. And they help advance the stone-age tribes to fight off enemy tribes and dinosaurs
  Dick Hurston: 1940, Fantoman #4 (Centaur). Plain clothes detective Dick is billed as the sleight of hand sleuth. He's extremely capable at picking pockets and such tricks as well as some talent at hypnotism and a crack shot. His assistant is Mike.
  Hydroman: 1940, Re'glar Fellers Heroic Comics 1-29 (Eastern Color Printing). One of Bill Everett's several water based heroes. Bob Blake's scientist friend discovers a formula that allows him to become liquid and control water and travel through different water sources, one time materializing out of an ink pen. Blake is accidentally doused with the stuff and once the process is shown to be reversible, he agrees to it being injected in his bloodstream. Later, he also invents a bullet proof material that makes up his outfit. His girlfriend is Joyce Church. In some later cases, he teams up with Rainbow Boy and is helped by the scientific knowhow of Professor Zander and his asian servant Lal. Zander knows Bob is Hydroman as well as the secret identity of Rainbow Boy. Likewise Police Chief Lambert seems to be in on their secrets and sends a case or two their way. Hydroman's powers in the post-Everett issues have to be activated by water, making him similar to the company's other heroes Man O'Metal, Flintman and Music Master, who to trigger their powers have to be in contact with the element their power is based on (fire, metal/sparks, and music respectively).
  Hyper, the Phenomenal: 1940, Hyper Mystery Comics #1 (Hyper Publications). Hyper is Don-Vin, an inventor of incredible inventions and possesses super-human strength. With the Mento-Meto device he can pick up the thoughts of Portreeve, the Chief of the Secret Service when he needs him. His Neogas helmet allows him to fly and his Magno-Hydro gloves can attract or repel all metals. In his one mission, he must rescue the beautiful Winifred aka 2Y of the Secret Service as well as oppose the plans of the dangerous Delores and Ashknif.