Mystery Men & Women:

The M's

  Ma Jenkins: 1943, All New Short Story Comics #2 (Family/Harvey). Though middle-aged with gray hair, Ma is able to hold her own in a tussle and has a keen detective mind. Twenty five years earlier she adopted 3 boys orphaned in a tragic hotel fire and today each is a capable successful adult: Danny coaches football, Ted a chemistry professor at Midvale College, and Pat pilots a police plane. Under Ma's leadership, the four use their skills to fight crime.
  Mach Duff: 1941, Air Fighters Comics #1 (Hillman). Mach Duff is a junior mechanic for the Army Air Force at Clark Field. He has off the wall ideas and a nose for trouble which together lead him into various adventures with the enemy. His best friend is the ace pilot Power Dive Grant.
Mad Hatter: 1946, The Mad Hatter #1 (O.W. Comics). Grant Richmond is an under appreciated junior partner at the law offices of Fuddy and Bustle. What they don't know is that he also puts on a costume to fight crime as the Mad Hatter. He sometimes announces his presence to crooks shining his hat emblem in a big spotlight against the wall (something that Spider-man did once in a while) as well as sometimes talking in nonsense rhyme and leaving cards with silly little rhymes as well. The lawyers Fuddy and Bustle are extremely absent-minded and somewhat dimwitted. The Mad Hatter has no superpowers, but he's athletic and a good fighter. NOTE: The stories mix tongue in cheek humor with straight-forward super heroics. He would have probably fit right in with Giffen & DeMatteis' Justice League.
  Madam Zero: 1952, Fight Comics #82 (Fiction). A female spy working against the Communists. The narrator of the story, an American secret agent, first encounters the mystery woman in France, but her cases would take her anywhere Communism reared its head and so our generally clueless agent would encounter her undercover in Korea as well
Madame Strange: 1941, Great Comics #1 (Great Comics Publications/Dell). Billed as a spy-fighter, she seems to be a female Doc Savage, exceptionally strong and capable, but not necessarily super-human levels. She is a tough fighter and not above using lethal force in fighting spies such as a grenade or expertly thrown knife.
 

Madelon: 1947, International Comics #1 (EC). Madelon is the blonde French female agent of the International Crime Patrol, reporting to the U.N.

  Madge, the Magician's Daughter: ~1906. Madge is a young girl, the daughter of a real magician with a wand that actually does magic. Trying to help or show off to her friends, she good naturedly always tries to do some trick only to have it go awryoften until her father can come undo it (she uses the wrong words or forgets the right ones to undo her deeds). A wonderful fantastical strip full of mermaids, dinosaurs, birds with women's heads and even pirates. Examples here.
Magic Morro: 1940, Super Comics #21 (Dell). Jack Morrow is a blending of genres, he's both one of those white jungle adventurers but also has magic abilities. His sidekicks are the native Oomla and Hector the lion.

Magician from Mars: 1939, Amazing Man Comics #7 (Centaur). Jane Gem-35 was born to a martian father and terran mother. Combined with the fact that she is exposed to cathode rays as a child, she miraculously developed the ability to change reality with a thought. She used her reality-warping abilities to fight evil and oppression on Mars and Earth, most frequently opposing the villain known as the Hood who wants nothing less than conquering the universe.
Magnet: 1944, Complete Book of Comics and Funnies #1 (Better). Grant Halford is the inventor of the "Geo-Locator", a large device that allows him to locate people by scanning artifacts they have touched. He is helped by his girlfriend Debbie Warrnen and by African strongman Sidi. Sidi was born in an American Consulate in the Congo and thus considered an American citizen. Despite his name, he doesn't have magnetic powers. The Geo-Locator would definitely be useful for finding missing persons. Sidi is also an interesting character in his own right, wearing a leopard head hood and a loin cloth, more visually interesting than the lead character, otherwise treated fairly sympathetic, an ethnic character but not played for laughs
Magno & Davey: 1940, Super-Mystery Comics (Ace). Magno was one of the golden age heroes who never bothered with a secret identity, he was Magno all the time. Ace did this with quite a few of their heroes, never really coming up with origins or identities beyond their superhero personas. Beyond magnetic powers granted, he had great strength and the power of flight and his kid partner Davey had the same. It was revealed in one story that Davey had a sister so he's not related to Magno. Their chief foe was the Clown.
Major Inapak: 1951, Major Inapak Space #1 (Magazine Enterprises). Sci-fi hero whose adventures take place in the futuristic 1980's I believe. What should be noted, by this time, the outer space adventures became a little more realistic to what was known about space and rockets at the time.
Major Mars: 1940, Exciting Comics #1 (Better). This is the comic version of of Better's pulp Captain Future with only his name changed. His robot Grag got to keep his name. Better recycled the name Captain Future for a more traditional superhero.
Major Victory: 1941, Dynamic Comics #1 (Harry "A" Chesler). After his death by a planted bomb, this nameless soldier is taken by two ghostly figures to "Father Patriot", a spiritual embodiment of America born in 1776. Father Patriot brings the man back to life with generic superpowers as Major Victory and outfits him with a mountain top base complete with airplane hanger and wireless shack. Whenever trouble arises, Father Patriot sends his hero out to do battle once more.
Man in Black

Man in Black: 1946, Strange Story (Harvey). In 1957, Harvey would launch a Man in Black comic where the character would serve as a host of the book and other times operating more like the Eye or the later Phantom Stranger as a guiding force to the characters. Also called Fate, Kismet.

Yet, 10 years earlier, there was another Man in Black. Or maybe the same one. He debuted in this one-shot and from there had a couple of appearances in All-New and Green Hornet. Again, he'd reveal another name for himself: Mr. Twilight.

  Man of Might: See Dash Dixon
Man of War: 1941, Liberty Scouts #2 (Centaur). Mars, the God of War, admires Germany's warlike ways and creates a hero for them; however, he accidentally plops the hero in America and thus the hero takes on all of the noble attributes of America. Man of War has no other identity to call his own.He has "the strength of Hercules, the speed of Mercury, the wisdom of Zeus...and the powers of all the other gods." Another comic told this version: that Mars was dissatisfied with Germany and her slow progress to destroy and so sends Man of War to help America in order to punish Germany. With the power of the gods, Man of War is able to appear and disappear in explosions, even one as small as a revolver going off.
Man O' Metal: 1942, Reg'lar Fellers Heroic Comics 7-28 (Eastern Color Printing). Steelworker Pat Dempsy is accidentally covered with molten steel. Instead of being killed, through an "in explainable chemical reaction of the skin-texture" Dempsey's body becomes blue and flames sprout all over his body (meant to represent the molten metal perhaps) whenever he's exposed to flames or electrical current. In this state he's bulletproof and has super strength. He gave up his steel working job and became a "famous independent operator" fighting crime and spies for the government. The strip was provided by Wonder Woman artist H. G. Peters.
  Van Manhattan: 1947, International Comics #1 (EC). Van is leader of the UN's Crime Patrol. As such, his adventures and enemies are would be conquers, threatening nations. He's assisted by Joey Gowanus of Brooklyn and his secretary andlove interest.
  Mann of India: 1940, Reg'lar Fellers Heroic Comics #1 (Eastern Color Printing). American Chickering Mann is a writer and adventurer living in India and getting into all sorts of trouble with a local flavor.
  Jack Manning: 1944, Mystery Comics #2 (Better). Two-fisted young scientist. working in the laboratory of The Plastic Corporation of America assisting Dr. Hargrave. He uncovers an undercover Nazi agent.
  Manowar:1940, Target Comics #1 (Novelty). "During the great war in South America, a hill rose from a dead volcano. Dr. Simms investigating the phenomenon finds a cave and Manowar, the White Streak. After convincing Simms that he Manowar is the last of the servants dedicated to preserve peace and breaker of war mongers, he departs to mete out justice to the dictator Don Ruizen who sent innocent men to war because he wanted mere oil wells..." He's presented as a great robot of the Council of Utopia, a long dead civilization, to wage war against those that wage war for profit and selfish gain. After stopping Don Ruizen, he travels with Dr. Simms to America where eventually he adopts a human look and the identity of Dan Sanders, FBI agent. Later, he also partners with the Red Seal. His main power seems to be able to shoot destructive beams of electrons from his eyes. While the strip was called The White Streak, at least in the early adventures, he was actually called, "Manowar" and "Manowar, the White Streak."
mantoka
Mantoka, Maker of Indian Magic: 1940, Funny Pages #34 (Centaur). In the American West, an American Indian is bitten by a rattlesnake during a shaman directed ritual. Afterwards he discovers that he is able to become smoke or stone, change his own shape, the shape of other objects, freeze and set things afire. Despite the garb, the story implies that this is the modern day West as he trips an electronic eye that triggers a cage door to slam shut.
Marga: 1940, Science Comics #1 (Fox). According to the caption, Marga the Panther Woman had been "inoculated with the traits of a black panther" which gives her speed, agility, claw-sharp fingernails and a bit of blood lust. In her first few adventures, she travelled with Ted Grant, an aviator who had a futuristic airplane suggesting her adventures were at some point in the future. Eventually, she became a more traditional jungle-gal, picking up a former police dog she named Homer in her adventures. In the same adventure, a mad scientist trying to turn her into a winged beast only managed to grant her super-strength, strong enough to bend iron bars.
  Marietta: 1948, Authentic Police Cases #5 (St. John Publications). Slinky Marietta is a capable detective and adventuress who uses her wits to mimic magical powers such as a ring that releases a gas made from red pepper that stings the eyes, that she tells the crooks is “Powder of the Dragon's Scales” which will unveil the shadow world and reveal ghosts. She is also strong enough to break chains with some effort. In a US occupied zone in Europe, she comes to the aide of her friend Nancy, whose father, the Viscount, died a year earlier but whose money is missing. Guided by his ghost, she finds the money and unmasks his killers, his so-called faithful housekeepers Rebecca and her father. NOTE: Marietta is a re-colored and re-named adventure of Lady Satan from 1946, Red Seal Comics #18 (Chesler) where she has magic powers, including the strength of 20 men.
Marksman: 1941, Amazing Man Comics #23 (Centaur). Chief of the Secret Service trains his son John Courage from childhood to be a force against evil until he's perfect with any kind of projectile. Courage fights for the law as both a lawyer and the super accurate Marksman. Not to be confused with the Quality hero of the same name.
  Spike Marlin: 1939, Speed Comics #1 (Harvey). Spike is a two fisted seaman but also a Secret Service man. His would be girlfriend is Mazie, the beautiful blonde waitress at his favorite diner who turns him down more often than not. Other than the text mentioning him to be with the Secret Service in issue #2, the only clue that this man is not your average sailor is that he doesn't seem to be working any ship in particular or holding down any real job other than hanging out at the lunch wagon and getting involved in fights.
  Martan the Marvel Man: 1939, Popular Comics #46 (Dell). Martan is from the planet Antaclea with his wife Vana, come to Earth on their honeymoon. However, they discover Earth is in trouble with not so kindly aliens, turning their vacation into an unscheduled adventure. Martan has super strength, telepathy and advanced alien technology as well as the indispensable aid of his wife Vana.
  Jane Martin: 1940, Wings Comics #1 (Fiction House). Jane Martin is a heroic war nurse and capable pilot in her own right, flying a Red Cross plane. Her fiance is the pilot Tom Raleigh.
  Mack Martin: 1948, Super-Mystery Comics v7 #5 (Ace)?. Ace dark haired private investigator. His capable secretary is the blonde Gertie.
  Speed Martin: 1940, The Funnies #45 (Dell). Speed Martin is an adventurous newsreel cameraman who finds himself fighting the war and having adventures as much as filming them with his buddy Mickey .
  Wild Tex Martin: 1937, Western Picture Stories #1 (Centaur). Years earlier Martin's father was killed by a man that went on to becom town sherriff of Dusty Forks. The son grew up to be called  “Wild Tex” as he's willing to fight and use his six-shooters to get justice. Martin catches the man that killed his father and with his capture, Martin is made the new sheriff. Dusty Forks is primarily a sheep-town with Martin being one of the only cattlemen
Marvelo: 1940, Big Shot Comics #1 (Columbia). Marvelo is the "Monarch of Magicians." Walked around in a white dinner suit and turban, had a cool pointy black goatee. His Chinese servant Zee wears a leopard skin and helps out. His chief opponent is Ramun, the evil one. Unlike many magic heroes, he does not say his spells backwards but uses the catch-all magic word "Kalora!"
  Marvin the Great: 1946, Atoman #1 (Spark Publications). Marvin Smith is an unassuming man, hen-pecked at home by a domineering and dismissive wife. However, when he pulls a book of Mars from the bookshelf and says the magic word "Mars" while wishing he had the powers of the Roman god, he is transformed into a powerhouse hero. He still looks mostly like his meek self except for he's decked out in a suit of armor stylized along the lines of a Roman Centurian with a big letter "M" on his chest-plate. He can fly, invulnerable to bullets, and apparently above average vision. While this seems to be his only appearance, the story indicates that this isn't his first outing as a superhero. A light-hearted humorous strip.
Marvo the Magician: 1940, Sure-Fire Comics 1-3, Lightening 4-13. A stage magician with real magic powers, he went around solving crimes decked in a tuxedo. He was often aided by his intelligent yet strangely drawn monkey Tito.
  Marvo 1.2 Go+: 1940, Superworld Comics #2 (Komos Pub). In the year 2680, Marvo is the son of a great scientist and though he's only 15, he's inherited his father's intelligence. Since he has the status of "+" which is normally reserved for elite adults, he is able to learn while he sleeps through use of the "super-hypnobioscope". He goes on the usual Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers adventures saving Earth and the universe from interplanetary menaces.
Mask: 1940, Exciting Comics #1 (Better Publications). DA Tony Colby is blinded by criminals. After he secretly regains his sight, he becomes a mystery-man. He has no overt super powers, but he's mighty good in a fight and good with his guns. He only wore the shown owl mask a time or two, the rest of the time, it was a more generic mask, colored purple or orange. The Mask is an adaptation of the pulp hero the Black Bat (having to stay clear of any bat-themes purportedly due to an agreement with DC over him and Batman hitting the streets almost simultaneously). The story from the first issue is otherwise a very faithful retelling of the Black Bat's origin. Just as the Major Mars story following is an adaptation of a pulp Captain Future storyline. The Mask has the same assistants as the Black Bat: girlfriend Carol Smith (Baldwin in the pulps), his man friday Silk, and general tough side-kick Butch O'Leary.
  Masked Angel: 1940, Miracle Comics #1 (Hillman). After gangsters killed his father Detective Inspector John Oates, Steve Oates dedicates his life to wiping out crime as the Masked Angel. As the Masked Angel, he's hunted by the police and criminals. He uses a gun, but captures the criminals alive if possible. He's helped by Jack Quinn, an ex-War buddy (which war is not specified) and who acts as his chauffeur. His brother John has their father's old job, thinks Steve is wasting his life as a playboy and has vowed to capture the Masked Angel. Meanwhile, Steve likes to torment him with notes and such signed with drawing of an angel. The Masked Angel wears a simple brown suit and a black domino mask. Sadly, this was the only appearance of an interesting pulpish character.
  Masked Blackjack: 1948, Authentic Police Cases #4 (St. John Publications). In the spring of 1947, Tom Barton's gun is stolen and then used in a bank holdup before he reports it stolen. Wanted by the police, he goes on the run, adopting several identities, though the best known is as the Masked Blackjack, a tough, two-fisted hero waging war against the underworld. Tom and his kid brother Jerry eventually catch the men involved and clear his name. NOTE: This is a recolored and re-named  reprint of the Gay Desperado from Punch Comics #13.
Masked Marvel (I): 1939, Keen Detective Funnies v2 #7 (Centaur). Little is known about the man behind the mask of the first Masked Marvel. He operates out of a mountain top headquarters, has many super devices, and has three lieutenants by the code names of ZL, ZR, and ZY who wear green masks. Not always obvious, he possessed limited super-strength, mind-reading skills and some invulnerability (able to survive being in a house that is blown up). ZL is killed during one of the missions.
 

Masked Marvel (II): 1940, Gunsmoke #1 (Youthful). According to one source, he's Chet Fairchild, the son of oil millionaire Colonel Carlton Fairchild, brother to the beautiful Marion, and all around fop. On the side, Chet wore a skull mask in addition to cowboy garb to fight the bad guys in the Old West. HOWEVER, according to the GCD, his alter-ego is Slim Crane. It is possible that both are correct as the Golden-Age comics were not always consistent with the details.

  Masked Ranger: 1954, Masked Ranger #1? (Premier Magazines). Old West masked cowboy type.
Masked Rider I: 1939, Best Comics #1 (Better). It is possible that this Masked Rider is the same as their pulp western hero (who started years earlier and outlasted their comic heroes) in which case he's secretly Wayne Morgan.
  Masked Rider II: 1940, Startling Comics #1 (Better). Bronc Randall is a modern day cowboy hero wearing all black outfit and mask. It is possible that the stories were a bit conflicted on the time period.
Masked Pilot: 1939, Popular Comics #40 (Dell) He's just that, a masked mystery pilot fighting various enemies of freedom. Only his loyal hard-hitting assistant Tom knows his secrets.
  Ace Mason:1940, Bill Barnes Comics #1 (Street & Smith). Ace Mason is a flier for alternately the "Flying Secret Service" or the "Intelligence Bureau". Stubby Logan is his best friend and gunner.
  Joan Mason: 1940, Blue Beetle #4 (Fox), 1944 All Great Comics (Fox). In addition to busy bodying Dan Garrett and having to be rescued by his super powered alter ego the Blue Beetle, Joan's nose for trouble involved her sniffing out and solving other crimes, with the help of officer Mike Manigan. Joan's editor is McPherson of the "Daily Planet".
Kinks Mason: 1940, Fight Comics #1 (Fiction) Deep sea diver and adventurer. With his special clear diving helmet, he finds lost water-breathing races and all sorts of adventures in the oceans. Eventually his adventures took on a more realistic tone and he got himself a pet seal named Battler as a pal, rescuing him from a man that was whipping him.
  Mars Mason: 1940, Speed Comics #7 (Harvey). A hero of the Inter Planet Mail System, ie a heroic sci-fi mailman.
  Scoop Mason: 1940, War Comics #1 (Dell). Scoop is a foreign war correspondent and Sleepy Samson is his assistant. His rival reporter is the beautiful and daring Judy Jackson.  In War Stories #5 it changes for Scoop's reporting career is over as he is in the Naval Reserve and gets called up to report to a Destroyer for active service and starts doing double duty with Naval Intelligence.
  Spike Mason: 1941, Prize Comics #16 (Prize). Spike is an undercover Naval Intelligence officer.
  Masquerader: 1947?, A-1 #7 (Magazine Enterprises). Private Detective Hank Smith has a talent for disguises and apparently is known as the Masquerader when undercover (at those times, he puts forth effort to not being unmasked by the police and others). He's helped by his girlfriend, Chris.
Meteor Martin: 1941, Amazing Man Comics #25 (Centaur Publications). Ace pilot of the Moon Patrol. Drawn by Basil Wolverton

Master Key: 1941, Scoop Comics #1 (Harry "A' Chesler). Wealthy man about town Ray Cardell gains x-ray vision (which eventually progressed to also being like Superman's heat vision or could even paralyze opponents) during an accident that irradiated him. There are two versions of his origin as in one story, he's blasted by rays as he looks through a telescope and in a later one he is caught up in an explosion in a lab accident. Often the beams from his eyes come only from a single eye at a time. In one story, it's established that the right eye burns while the left is what he uses for his x-ray vision. Of course, he does more than just that with his eye beams depending on the story. He wears no mask, but he isn't public with the fact that Ray Cardell is the mystery-man Master Key. Interestingly, several of his stories were reprinted in Authentic Police Cases, only with him as generic non-powered detectives.

  Master Mystic: 1940, Green Giant #1 (Pelican). This mystery man has mastered the power of "mind over matter" which he uses to stamp out evil. He makes his headquarters in a tower at the "top of the world". His power allows him to fly, make his body immune to the elements (such as the immense cold of the Arctic), project his voice/thoughts over distances, move at great speed, telekinesis. While fighting the gigantic Rango, he suspends boulders in air, change himself into vapor and back again, creates a missile out thin air, and ultimately is able to melt the villain as if made from wax by emitting liquifying rays from his mighty brain which strike Rango in the head and penetrate to his brain. Master Mystic wears a hood and generic tight superhero costume. As the strip was colored in red, an actual color scheme is impossible to ascertain, he was colored head to foot in the same tone of solid red.
  Rick Masters: 1941, Bang-Up #1 (Progressive). Rick is a foreign war correspondent who travels the world with his assistant, the stocky and balding Skinny Dane.
  Maureen Marine: 1944, Blue Circle Comics #2 (Enwil) “A victim of a Nazi submarine attack upon her father’s fishing vessel, Maureen Marine was drowned -- only to be revived by Father Neptune and given the power to live under water! The little girl is then made Queen of Atlantis!” And, with the help of Father Neptune, she must command her undersea forces to defend her new kingdom against the undersea Miromen of Miroland. What's a little creepy is that there are no females in this kingdom, the Queen is the only one.
  Tex Maxon: 1939, Wonderworld Comics #1/2 (Fox).In issue 1, he's Tex Dawson. For the first nine issues, he's your typical cowboy hero. While he's called the Phantom Ranger in issue 10, the final panel blurb refers to him as the Phantom Rider. It's hard to tell if he has a mask as the Phantom Ranger, the art is unclear and everyone seems to know him as Tex.  Sure enough, in issue 11, he's the masked and cloaked Phantom Rider. In later issues, he'd look a bit more like the Lone Ranger copy that he is. His horse is named Streak.
  Thom McAn: advertising for Thom McAn shoes. Thom is a young boy who owns magic bazooka shoes which he can use to rocket at great speeds (he travels to Tokyo in no time at all. He can also use the flames from them as a weapon. He is aided by a little imp named "H" who speaks in blank ie silent word balloons.
  Ace McCoy: 1940, Sure Fire Comics #1 (Ace). Famous adventurer of the air, traveling the world for adventure with his pal and mechanic Bill Regan.
  Kay McKay: 1941, Banner #3 (Ace Periodicals). Kay McKay is an air hostess on World Wide Airlines out of Mexico City. Since she's a comic book heroine, she has all sorts of adventures. She's resourceful and good with a gun.
  Zulu McNeil: 1941, Wings Comics #11 (Fiction): An Irish boy that has grown up in the African jungles and serves with a British base there, he has been given the name of "Zulu". When the Nazis rouse up the local Zulu tribe, McNeil uses his knowledge of the local tribes as well as his piloting and two-fisted fighting skills to sway the Zulus to aid them in fighting off the Nazis.
  Mekano: 1944, Wonder Comics #1 (Better). Bill Foster invents the giant robot Mekano which he controls and sends after some no good Nazis in his one outing. By story's end, Mekano can not only be directed by voice commands from Foster, but even seems to have developed the ability to perform independently. Foster is taken with reporter Sandra Kent and young Tommy Clark provides the kid sidekick angle.
Menace: 1945, Top Spot Comics/K O Comics (Gerona). At Monster Pictures, Dennis Temple makes a living as the tough bad guy in movies, but he's also the hard-boiled masked hero the Menace. Temple is engaged to movie actress Rita Wilson.
Micro Face: 1943, Clue Comics #1 (Hillman). One of my favorites here. When gangsters gun down his brother, radio engineer Tom Woods puts together a strange costume to bring them to justice. His mask is a technological wonder with goggles that give him x-ray vision, ear pieces that amplify his hearing and a mouthpiece that amplifies his voice as well as giving him super-ventriloquism. Which must have aided him slinking through the night unseen, given his somewhat gaudy appearance. Though he fights criminals, the police think of him as another crook for the most part. An odd-ball look and some great art that at times seem to have the noir-ish Eisner feel make this a fun strip.
  Mickey Magic: 1945, Crown Comics #2 (McCombs). “Mickey, descendent of great magicians dating from witchcraft days, has inherited a natural talent for tricks and magic. For his amazing and entertaining feats of magic, Mickey has been nicknamed by his friends, “Mickey Magic”. “ Mickey is 16, orphaned and lives with his Aunt Kate when he doesn't find himself traveling. His constant companion in his adventures is Trixy, a black scottie. Mickey seems a little short for his age, and despite the build-up of the intro text, his magic tricks consist of stage magic, not real magic.
  Midnight the Black Stallion: 1941, Jumbo Comics #25 (Fiction). Midnight is a spirited black colt with a white star on her forehead. During a harsh winter in the Badlands, his mother is killed by a cougar but he's rescued by Rick, the adult son of a forest ranger returning home from a distant school. Rescued again from a pack of coyotes, he's taken in and trained.
Mighty Man
Mighty Man: 1940, Amazing-Man Comics #5 (Centaur). In the 1800's, a group of pioneers entered a secret valley where they settled. Although they appear to have died out, one of their children survived. Mighty Man stood 12 feet high and possessed incredible strength. Found by some travelers, with them and alone he traveled the country helping others and fighting crime. In issue 12, a doctor notifies Mighty Man of a discovery where he can treat an animal and it can control its size, able to grow or shrink as desired. He treats Mighty Man and gives him a stretchable suit (identical to his regular clothing), but the doctor is later murdered for his discovery. The following issue, Mighty Man had developed the size changing skill to the point that he not only shrank or grew but also to expand just parts of his body much like the later Elasti-Girl of DC's Doom Patrol as well as change the features of his face. When a young but inexperienced woman gained great strength to become Super-Ann, Mighty Man would often secretly help her.
Minimidget: 1939, Amazing-Man Comics #5 (Centaur). An un-named man and his girlfriend Ritty are shrunk to only 6" tall by mad scientist Dr. Barmell who was looking to create a whole bunch of mini-men. He somehow (hypnosis perhaps) forced his creation to commit murders with a poisoned needle. The shrunken man is eventually captured in a mousetrap and Barmell is slain but the couple are stuck in their shrunken state. They turn their misfortune into an advantage against crooks and are able to get around in toy planes and such. After a trip to the year 3000, they gain a large (around 7 ft tall, judging by scale) robot-man they call Big Boy. NOTE: Some sources list Minimidget as being Jack Rhodes. Jack Rhodes is one time adventure strip in the very same comic that debuted Minimidget. As far as I know, there is no in-story reference to the characters being the same person.
  Minute Man: 1943, Red Dragon (Street & Smith). Also called Mr. Minute Man, Thorndyke fought crime assisted by a non-DC Hour Man (not sure of the accuracy of this since DC's Hour Man apparently had an aide named Thorndyke, but this is the info from Jeff Rovin's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SUPERHEROES but I'm unable to verify from an independent source at this time). While this isn't the same Minute Man as from Fawcett's comics, it is by Binder who also did a lot of work at Fawcett.
  Peg Miller: 1941, Samson Comics #6 (Fox) When her father, 30 year veteran as a detective for the police, is killed while working on a firebug case, Peg Miller joins the police force to continue his work and catch the killer.
  Jerry Minton: 1937, The Comics (Dell).  Boatswain Jerry Minton was ordered to the Arctic Patrol Coast Guard to train for his own command.
  Miraco the Great: 1941, Amazing Man Comics #23. Miraco is a magician and mystic who has some magical powers, and mastered hypnosis and discovered a secret of mystical super strength. He is the star of Dolan Circus, friends with high wire man Frank Webb, his fiance trapeze artist Donalda and enemy of Franzetti, the trainer of the gorilla Colossus and is secretly in love with Donalda and thus tries to kill Frank and Miraco. Miraco has a sidekick in Eddie but his exact relationship to the rest are ill-defined. Miraco looks a bit like Mandrake: dark hair, mustache and tuxedo although when he goes into physical action, he does strip down to just t-shirt and slacks.
Mirror Man
Mirror Man: 1940, Tip Top #54 (United Features). Head of the Alder Academy, Dean Alder possesses a magic robe that when he walks through a mirror he becomes only a shadow and turns back to normal the same way. When he's in his shadow state, he cannot hold or touch anything, but somehow he is still able to use this dubious ability to fight crime. When normal, he does carry a gun though.
  Miss Espionage: 1944, Power Comics #3 (Narrative). When the beautiful spy Mata Hari of WWI was killed, she claimed she'd return that she could never die. This claim was echoed by her still free co-hort Von Bruno. In the waning days of WWII, it seemed to be true as Von Bruno worked with a woman who looked just like that famous spy. Major Smithson is tasked to capture her and lays a clever trap. He kills Von Bruno but manages to take the woman alive. She claims that she's the daughter of the original and learned too late what kind of men the Nazis really were. However, Smithson lets his guard down and she escapes. She vows to repay the debt of her and her mother and become a force for good: Miss Espionage, the international detective.
 

Miss Liberty: 1944/1945, Miss Liberty Comic Book #1 (Burten Magazine Distributing Co.). Publishing info from GCD which notes a discrepancy in the date on the cover and on the inside indicia. By appearances, Miss Liberty is a teen-age girl. She only appears on the cover by the logo. The insides of the book have the appearances to be reprints from MLJ, or at least the large cover image is of Steel Sterling.

 

Miss Masque: 1946, Exciting Comics #51 (Better). Miss Masque was in reality debutante Diana Adams. Her costume originally was a red top, skirt, mask, cape and hat with golden "M"s on her top and hat. Later she had a bare midriff, short sleeves, and a different hat. She was from the detective school of heroes, no powers but decent in a fight and not above carrying and using a gun.

Miss Masque's adventures didn't last very long, she spent 5 issues in EXCITING, a few back up appearances in the Fighting Yank's and Black Terror's home mags, and then over to AMERICA'S BEST COMICS from #23 (1947) to 31 (1949). Then she was gone for a few decades.

Despite a brief run, she had a pretty good presence, thanks to the wonderful covers by Schomburg showing off her assets. The brevity of her run has more to do with timing than anything else. By 1946, superheroes were on the way out, though by this time Better had better artists. But, it was cowboys and jungle girls that were proving more popular. Indeed, she was replaced by Judy of the Jungle on EXCITING.

She was part of Dr. Weir's Vault of Heroes that were brought out of mystical hibernation to help Fem Force and has appeared fairly regularly in the AC universe since then.

Another version of her was revived with other of the Better/Nedor/Standard heroes as part of Alan Moore's Tom Strong and Terra Obscura worlds (the imprint is even called America's Best Comics). Now calling herself Ms. Masque, she figured prominently in the two mini-series that chronicled their adjustments to the modern world. However, in her case the focus of attention was on her dating and sex life, having dated the Black Terror, a grown up Tim, and then lastly having a relationship with the Fighting Yank's adult daughter. Have to wonder though, some time had obviously passed for the various heroes, yet Ms. Masque certainly didn't look that much older.

In Dynamite's SUPERPOWERS, she is captured in the urn which has darkened her a bit. She may have some kind of "plague" powers (ala Poe's Masque of the Red Death) and now calls herself Masquerade.

miss victoryMiss Victory

Miss Victory: 1941, Captain Fearless #1 (Holyoke). Stenographer Joan Wayne lives and works in the nation's capitol, Washington DC. She further proves her love of this country by putting on a patriotic costume to go after crooks and threats to democracy. One story mentions that she spent years of training in the circus as an aerial performer.

She has long been a mainstay of AC Comics and Fem Force. There, she was revealed to have received some variation of a super-vitamin and trained by a Doc Savage type.

Mr. Death: 1940, Keen Detective Funnies #20 (Centaur). Mr. Death is one of comics' true mystery-men. He appears in time to save "TNT" Todd's life and help capture the crooks and leaders of the One Thousand and One. He seems to magically appear and disappear, with only his frightning voice remaining. He claims to be able to kill with just a touch of his hand, but with the crooks cowled, this isn't followed up on. Despite his skull-face, his hand underneath the robes is very human looking. More about Mr. Death was promised the next issue, but he wasn't in the following issue and soon after Todd would become a superhero himself.
  Mr. District Attorney: 1939, The Funnies #35 (Dell). The otherwise nameless District Attorney. is an incorruptible crusading D.A. and detective. His secretary is Miss Rand. He's helped by Detective Harrington. NOTE: Based on the radio show by the same name.
Mr. "E": 1941, Dynamic Comics 9-23 (Harry "A" Chesler). "E" had a subterranean temple beneath his home where he appealed to statue of the wise and powerful god of ancients King Kolah for guidance and assistance. Kolah would present Mr. "E" with visions that led him to criminals and give him "tiny messengers" to help him. They were small gnome-ish creatures who could assume the shapes of many creatures and they also worked to keep Mr. "E" out of trouble wreaking gremlin like mischief against the criminals. One of the gnomes has the unlikely name of "Butch." In earlier stories he was blonde, but later ones he had black hair.
  Mr. Lee: see "Mr. Ree".
Mister Midnight: 1939, Silver Streak Comics #1 (Comic House). When wealthy sportsman Neil Carruthers cries out, "Stop time!" time doesn't actually stop but clocks do. Somehow, he thinks this is a good enough of a talent to put on his best clothes and mask and fight crime. He leaves behind a card with a clock with the hands set at midnight.
  Mr. Minute Man: See Minute Man above.
  Mr. Miracle: 1941, Captain Fearless (Holyoke). An unknown man jumps off a bridge to commit suicide. However, he's rescued though near death and taken to Professor Rietz who uses him for an experiment and treats him for near twenty hours with his "mind ray." Before the man can come to, the professor is attacked by Sango for the plans and shot. When the unknown man comes to, he sees the dying professor who tells him how he now has the power to perform miracles and he should track down Sango. The man discovers that he has all sorts of powers, the ability do various comicbook magic such as changing guns to snakes and birds, suspending crooks in air, altering his clothes and looks, appearing and disappearing in puffs of smoke, etc. Calling himself Mr. Miracle, he tracks down Sango. He wears a suit and a gray/purple hooded cloak.
  Mister Mist. 1940, O.K. Comics #2 (Worth Carnahan).  Adventurous son of an American manufacturer Roy Gates is caught in a snow storm while flying across India. Luckily, he's saved by some natives who take him into an underground city. Their high priest teaches him to become “master of the mist” which basically is a power of super hypnosis.  The story ends with him winging his way back home to use his secret knowledge in the fight against evildoers.
Mr. Murdo: 1946, Atomic Thunderbolt Comics #1. (Regor). A nonchalant dapper private detective, William Powell without Myrna Loy. The cape is more just part of his evening wear for warmth than any kind of costume.
mr. mystic
Mr. Mystic: 1940, Spirit Section (Fox). Ken is stranded in Tibet where a council of seven lamas proclaim him to be a man of prophecy. They brand his forehead with a mystical symbol that imparts the mysteries of life to him (in other words, catch-all magical powers) and send him forth into the world to combat evil. His fiance is Elena. NOTE: Online sources cite that Mr. Mystic was created by Eisner and drawn by Bob Powell in 1940, basing him on Yarko, an earlier character that was being syndicated overseas. However, there is a Yarko that is identical with Mystic that was started in 1939 also for Fox Comics and was being concurrently published as the Mr. Mystic strips, also done by Eisner and Powell.
mr. nobody
Mr. Nobody: 1944, Terrific Comics #1 (Et-Es-Go ((Holyoke?))). Mr. Nobody is a hat and trench coat Shadowy detective solving strange crimes as well as serving as narrator of mystery stories.
  Mr. Q: 1940, Cyclone #1 (Bilbara Publishing). Mr. Q is a master detective and of disguise. He has a high forehead and receding hairline, wears reading glasses so might be of middle age. He is wealthy and has an Asian valet by the name of Ying and a german shepherd named Satan

Mr. Q II: 1943, Green Hornet #11 (Harvey). The mystery man Mr. Q seems to have mystical powers, appearing and disappearing in clouds of smoke, preferring to operate behind the scenes, helping others get the credit for solving crimes. However, he's really Operative 17 of the FBI and chief of a squad of investigators. With extensive training in criminology, athletics and chemistry, he grew bored with a desk job, simply directing other agents. So he developed the costumed persona of Mr. Q, the 17th letter of the alphabet. He uses smoke pellets and a gun that shoots knockout darts in his subterfuge as a being of mystery.

Mr. Ree: 1944, Blazing Comics #1 (Enwill Publishing). Mr. Ree is a plain clothes police detective as well as an amateur stage magician, so he puts his magic trick knowledge to use in helping solve crimes. Among his tricks, he had a gun concealed in his armpit designed to shoot anyone in front of him when he raised his hands straight up. For a couple of issues he went by the name of Mr. Lee.
mr. risk
Mr. Risk: 1942, Our Flag Comics #5 (Ace) "If in dire peril, call Mr. Risk. Dangerfield 7-7777. No Case too Dangerous, No Risk too Great." A non-costumed two-fisted adventurer/investigator aided by an Oriental Indian partner named Abdul. An above average strip out of Ace and lasted 7 years though moving from title to title. One of his foes was a Two-Face-ish female. The reason for his daring is mentioned in his first appearance. He is an individual born without fear.
  Mr. Twilight: 1944, Super Magician v3n5 (Street & Smith) Kenshaw Reed takes his cue from the Shadow and dresses in purplish hat and cloak when he goes in action.
  Mister Twister: 1941, Green Hornet Comics #6 (Temerson/Helnit/Contintental).  Mr. Twister is actor Jim Hains who joins the FBI. He uses his acting and make-up skill to disabuse himself as an old man with a twisted cane from where he gets his name. Only his boss knows his secret. NOTE: Sounds suspiciously like Mr. Whiskers.
  Mr. Universe: 1951, Mr. Universe #1 (Media) Born to Mary Turner in Rose Dale, Ohio, the man that would become the wrestling champion and sensation originally studied archaeology at the Academy of Science in Greece. His favorite food is apple pie and cheese if you're wondering. He's a physical sensation as well as possessing a quick and analytical mind. He ends up travelling the world to solve problems in and out of the ring. He's helped by his misanthropic banana loving pal Scarcely and his manager the cigar chomping Jeff Clayton. Wears normal clothes mostly, though in the ring with his red hair, blue trunks and red cape he looks a bit like Quality's Hercules only with weight-lifter wrist bands NOTE: Minus a few specifics, and this strip could easily be Doc Savage with his aides Monk and Ham. Ross Andru did the art chores for some of the stories and was the artist for Marvel's color Doc Savage comic.
mister whiskers
Mr. Whiskers: 1942, Four Favorites #4 (Ace Periodicals). Jim Clay belongs to that sub-set of heroes who are formerly actors and uses their skills to become heroes. In this case, he joins the FBI and adopts the dual identity of Mr. Whiskers, trading his clean-shaven dark haired looks for a white whiskered beard. His double identity is known only to his superior Chief Foster. He is good in a fight and carries a cane as part of his disguise.
  Mr. Zero: 1943, Super Magician v2n6 (Street & Smith)
  Mitey Powers: 1940, Superworld Comics #1 (Komos). In the future, Mitey Powers is a space hero and leader of Earth forces first against Martians hiding out on our moon and later super giants from Jupiter.
  Mnemo: 1941, Super Magician Comics v1n8 (Street & Smith). Billed as the mind wizard, Mnemo is a stage magician who astounds audiences with his talents of memory and deduction. His talents are put to the test when he must figure out who killed the owner of a set of toy trains. Ok, so he's not quite Superman.
M'sieu L'Epee: 1945, Hi-Lite Comics #1 (E.R. Ross). Combine D'Artagnan with Zorro and you get M'sieu L'Epee. Andre, the Comte de Dijan, is the leader of the Royal Guard of King Louis of France. When the situation demands, he discards his foppish alter-ego to become "M'Sieu L'Epee".
Moon Girl
Moon Girl: 1947, Animal Fables #7 (E.C.). Move over Wonder Woman, here comes Moon Girl! Borrowing heavily from that heroine, even having the same publisher in Max Gaines though a different company, Moon Girl is the Princess of the Moon in the remote and exotic kingdom of Samarkand. Like Atalanta of Greek myth, she has sworn to only marry a suitor that could best her, which is complicated by her possessing a mystic moonstone that makes her near invincible. So, when she predictably defeats Prince Mengu, she regrets it later and sets out to find him. Which she does, in America where he has taken the name Lionel Manning and is coaching student athletes. She adopts the name Clare Lune and becomes a teacher at the same school. On the side, the two also fight crime as costumed superheroes.
Moppo: 1943, Champ Comics #25 (Harvey). Moppo is a marionette. When a murder happens in front of the window he's displayed in, he breaks his strings and tracks down the killer, a German agent aboard a u-boat. He manages to retrieve the plans the agent stole before the sub is sunk and returns them to the Navy. Then he returns back to his store window. He's expensive, on sale for $125 and there's no explanation for his coming to life.
  Gary Morgan: 1941, Spitfire Comics #1 (Harvey). Gary is another foreign correspondent who travels the world supposedly reporting on the war, but getting into more trouble being the story than reporting it. He is helped by his assistant and girlfriend Miss Watson.
  Pack Morgan: 1940, Detective Eye #2 (Centaur). Pack is referred to by superlatives such as the super detective and the super sleuth. He investigates an explosion at a munitions factory and discovers a masked villain and his assistant Oscar, a hunchback (described also as also being a dwarf but he seems normal sized) with a lair hidden below. The masked man is revealed to be Durgo, the night foreman, an agent of a foreign power. In addition to being an able detective, Pack is more than capable in a fight. He even tries to bring Durgo in alive, but the man dies from his injuries sustained from a fiery car crash.
  Jerry Morris: 1939, Silver Streak Comics #1 (Lev Gleason). Before the Claw was opposed by heroes like Dare-devil or the Ghost, chemist adventurer Jerry Morris and would-be romantic interest Eloise Pearsall, America's only female ambassador had to foil his piracy and plans on the remote Pacific island of Ricca.
  Mory Marine: 1940, Colossus Comics #1 (Sun). Mory is a Marine and a tough two-fisted fighter. His girlfriend is the dark-haired Sally and his buddy is the rotund Chubby who is also a Marine.
Mosquito: 1941, Air Fighters Comics #1 (Hillman). Lt. Steve Stanton is unusual in that his scientist father raised him 20,000 feet up on the side of Mt. Aconcauga, Chile. This has had the effect that he can breathe at altitudes that would otherwise prove fatal. He's also on the small side and a skilled pilot so the other fliers call him the Mosquito . He works for the Border patrol
  The Mosquito (II): 1945, Camera Comics #6 (U.S. Camera). The Grey Comet is sent to make contact with the “Mosquito”, a leader of a Chinese guerrilla outfit. He's surprised to discover the Mosquito is a beautiful Asian woman who leads from a throne in a cave. She's named the Mosquito because her band stings the Japanese invaders ceaselessly. He helps them plan a raid on a suicide pilot camp and even saves the Mosquito's life in the fight, for which he is rewarded with several kisses.
Moth: 1940, Mystery Men #9 (Fox). Through the mechanics of his costume, this otherwise non-powered hero could fly. He was willing to use lethal force for in at least one adventure, he rather gleefully bombed the headquarters of a mad scientist. After 4 adventures, Fox was threatened with litigation from DC over the character's supposed similarity to Batman and he was changed to the Lynx.
 

Mother Hubbard: 1941, Scoop Comics #1 (Chesler) Your typical fairy tale witch crone, only she uses her magic for good

  Mundoo: 1940, Green Giant #1 (Pelican). Mundoo of the Northwest is a wolf-dog hybrid. Raised by a vet and belonging to Pop Rogers and his daughter Helen, he is presumed dead when he and Pop are missing for two months. Instead he's found by government surveyor and part-time trapper Bob Havens. Mundoo bears a wound from a glancing bullet wound and while the two men walk him through the town they see Helen with a rogue called Hawkins who had been trying to romance her. Mundoo attacks Hawkins and while dying the man confesses to killing Rogers and shooting Mundoo in hopes of getting the rights to Rogers' gold mine.
  Mark Murdock: 1940, Super-Mystery Comics v1 #2 (Ace). Fighting District Attorney.
  Jimmy Murray: 1936, Funny Pages v1#3 (Centaur). Jimmy and sister Norrie's father got a line on the whereabouts of "the Sapphire Eye of Sekhmet", a jewel that will allow the user to see through solid objects, with which they could discover all sorts of hidden tombs and relics. They head to Egypt and run afoul of the criminal the Silver Fox and Jimmy meets the beautiful Princess Nadja who he falls for.
music master
Music Master: 1942 Re'glar Fellers Heroic Comics 12-26 (Eastern Color Printing). John Wallace is a talented violinist but also a bit of a two-fisted adventurer. When violin maker Papa Antonini has discovered the secret varnish of Stradivari that enables him to make exact copies of those famed violins, he fears for his life and comes to see the young violinist. An attack does come and Wallace is mortally stabbed by a violin bow. Papa Antonini has a bigger secret, he possesses a set of pipes (like those of the Satyr Pan) from Egypt that when he plays them, it saves Wallace's life and attunes him to all music. Antonini claims for Wallace they are the pipes of life, but for evil they will be the pipes of death. True to his fears Antonini is murdered and Wallace must track down the killers as the Music Master (as well as coming into ownership of the dachshund Paganini who's gone in later stories). In some ways, Music Master is not too different from the same comic's Hydroman or Fox's Flame, only his medium is music. He can instantly teleport to musical signals as well as use music to fly and even make it do things by using physical manifestations of musical notes (such as using notes as tools and weapons, or a whole sheet of them to tie up the bad guys). When there isn't any music around, he plays on the pipes and uses them much as Green Lantern uses his ring or the modern day Songbird uses her voice. He is drawn in a bit more realistic style in his first couple of stories, complete with longish hair, an oddity for heroes of the time, but in keeping with the stereotype of his creative profession. He doesn't wear a mask and makes no effort at keeping a secret identity. It's really just the later depictions of him able to use the actual visual representation of musical notes as solid objects that makes him look a bit ridiculous. That and before long he gains the amazingly annoying hep sidekick named Downbeat. Where's the Joker when you really need him?
  Mustang Jack: 1948, The Texan #1 (St. John).  “Mustang Jack Clarke trusted his own sixgun more than frontier laws when Justice was at stake. From harsh experience he knew that lawmen were often as quick with a hanging rope as outlaws were with blazing guns. So when a raven-haired ranch gal warned that he was wanted for murder, Mustang Jack looked for trouble from both sides of the Law!”
  Mysta: 1945, Planet Comics #35 (Fiction House). Mysta is a heroic beauty located on the moon who first got rid of Mars, the god of war. After booting him out of his own strip, she went on to fight all sorts of alien despots and menaces with the aid of her robot.
  Mystery Man: 1939, Mystery Men Comics #5 (Fox). Son of the mayor, athletic and handsome Richard Alden gives the appearance as a lounge-about and ne'er do well. In reality, he's the mystery man called Mystery Man, one of the most wanted men in the city (he exposes and captures criminals though he seems to request rewards and no mention is made of what he does with the money). As the Mystery Man, he wears a gray top hat, suit and gloves (the artwork shows it as blue, but it also says the villain of the piece is Dr Death when he's Mr. Death in the story) and he's a crack shot with the gun that he carries. As Richard, he constantly snacks on peanuts and has his eye on reporter Gail Blanch who isn't overly fond of him. Least not until she lifts a bag of peanuts out of the coat pocket of the Mystery Man.
  Mystery Rider: 1948, Exciting 60 (Better). Rick Howard rode as the Mystery Rider wearing a red shirt and black domino mask, making him look a lot like depictions of time of the Lone Ranger. I'm sure that was just coincidence. His girlfriend was Lila Halliday.
Mystico
Mystico: 1940, Startling Comics #1 (Better). A mummy of a priest of Ra is brought back to life by a mad scientist who perishes when the building subsequently collapsed. The priest garbs himself in modern clothes and calls himself Mystico and sets out to fight injustice. He has great mystical powers that allow him to do whatever the story demands. Sometimes billed as "the Wonder Man".