Premium- The Comic Completist -I Watched Every Comic Adaptation Of 1944 & Found A Captain America You Wouldn't Recognize
Joe Heath is a big fan of comic books and watching things in order. So he made this spreadsheet containing every serial, short, film, television episode, commercial, motion comic, and web series based on a comic book. Now he’s watching them all. Previously, Joe finished the Superman cartoons and watched the first Batman serial. This time, he watches the first ever Marvel Comics adaptation.
Captain America (February 5th, 1944)
Released on Feb. 5, 1944 by Republic Pictures, this 15-part movie serial is based on the Timely Comics (now Marvel Comics) character Captain America created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon.
The serial was directed by Elmer Clifton and John English, the latter of which also directed The Adventures of Captain Marvel.
It was written by Royal Cole, Harry Fraser, Joseph Poland, Ronald Davidson, Basil Dickey, Jesse Duffy, and Grant Nelson. Poland and Davidson had previously written The Adventures of Captain Marvel and Spy Smasher while Fraser had previously written Batman. Cole and Poland would go on to write the Superman serial and Batman and Robin.
This would be Republic Picture’s third comic book serial after The Adventures of Captain Marvel and Spy Smasher. It would also be their last and most expensive serial. It wound up costing over $40,000 more than its original $182,623 budget.
Cast as the title character, Dick Purcell had previously appeared in a decent number of films, but Captain America was to be his last. Some reports indicated that the 38-year-old actor's health struggled thanks to the shoot. He died of a heart attack a few weeks after filming, collapsing in a LA country club locker room after playing a round of golf.