The roots of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) go back to the very first issue of Marvel Comics in October 1939. That issue introduced, among other characters, The Sub-Mariner and The Human Torch. The second title published by Marvel Comics was Daring Mystery Comics in January 1940.
Long forgotten in the chain of Marvel comic superheros are a group from Daring Mystery Comics #8 (January 1942) that rival 1999’s underappreciated cinematic spoof Mystery Men starring Ben Stiller as “Mr. Furious.”
Peter Noble was a Navy officer who miraculously survived the tragic sinking of his submarine. Using newly discovered powers of an ability to breathe underwater he finds an undersea civilization called Neptunia and promptly proceeds to defeat its leader. The Neptunians hail Peter as the reincarnation of their hero, The Fin. Appropriating the persona, Peter creates a costume and wields a magic sword that not only cuts through anything but also prevents him from aging. He becomes King and marries Nia, making her Queen of Neptunia.
The Fin washed out of Marvel Comics after just three issues.
Likely the only anthropologist superhero, Elton Morrow discovered an amazing blue diamond on an archaeological dig in Antarctica. While returning from the excavation, a German U-boat blows up his ship shattering the diamond. In the process pieces of the diamond become embedded in Elton’s body – miraculously giving him the powers of solidity and hardness.
The Blue Diamond shined brightly for just two issues, but was dusted off more than three decades later as a member of the Liberty Legion (Marvel Two-In-One Annual #1 (1976)).
Captain Daring was a Secret Service agent in the 31st century. For those counting, that was 1,059 years in the future from the comic’s publication. In that distant time, Captain Daring and Susan Parker lead wild adventures defending the U.S. against attackers from an underground city and fighting evil Nazi figures re-awoken after centuries spent in a frozen cave.
Captain “Daring” dared to make just two comic appearances (changing his name to Captain Dash for one final appearance in Comedy Comics #9 April 1942).
Jerry Carstairs’ superhero persona was The Thunderer. His girlfriend Eileen Conroy was, like many golden age comic characters, a newspaper reporter. The general public never suspected timid, puny civilian radio operator Jerry was using his position at the FCC to generate crime fighting leads. Having constructed a costume capable of creating a sonic scream The Thunderer could deafen criminals and foil plots by flattening buildings with sound waves.
The sonic scream quickly softened to just a whisper, surviving for only two issues. Jerry Carstairs renamed himself the Black Avenger for one more appearance in All-Winners Comics #6 (Fall 1942).
Lt. John Watkins was the real life identity of Citizen V. The Englishman became Citizen V after suffering an injury and being left behind during the retreat from Dunkirk, France. Lt. John awoke alone on the French battlefield to miraculously find himself with super human strength and speed. Citizen V used this power to strike fear in the enemy by placing “V” symbols throughout German occupied France.
Citizen V himself, however, was placed on the shelf by readers, appearing in just to issues.
Last but not least, golden age female superhero Silver Scorpion achieved the stingingly low number of just three comic appearances. Her full Daring Mystery Comics #8 appearance is covered here.