|Creator:||Edmond Hamilton (novels), Toei Animation (animés)|
|Date(s):||1940-1944 novels (published in "Captain Future - Wizard of Science")
1945-1946 novels (published in "Startling Stories")
|Medium:||novels, animated series|
|Country of Origin:||United States (novels), Japan (animated series)|
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"Captain Future" is the brain child of Edmond Hamilton, an US pulp writer. In the 40ies, a time where many super heroes (Superman, Batman, etc.) came to see the light of day, Hamilton created his maybe most well-known character - Curtis Newton, a brilliant scientist, who, under the nom de guerre "Captain Future" chases interstellar criminals together with his three-man crew. In 20 epic adventures (and 7 short stories), Future and his men (Grag, the robot, Otho, the android, and Prof. Simon Wright, the "living brain") are fighting evil, righting wrongs and serve up justice in the universe - that's space opera at it's finest.
Between 1940 and 1944, 17 novels were published in the "Captain Future" magazine ("Captain Future - Wizard of Science" resp. "Captain Future - Man of Tomorrow").
Due to paper shortage during WW II, the magazine was cancelled so that between 1945 and 1946 three more novels were published in the "Startling Stories" magazine.
7 short stories (also published in "Startling Stories") completed the cycle in 1950/51.
For a complete bibliography, see the ISFDB link below.
Hamilton's CF stories were mostly unknown in Europe and might have fallen into oblivion, had not TOEI Animation digged out this treasure and turned it into an animated cartoon series in 1978/78. The animé was intended for export and aired in Europe 1980/81 where it became a big sucess (especially in France, Germany, Italy and Spain). But also in Latin America ("Capitan Futuro") and some Arab countries ("Faris alh-Fadhaa"), the series was very popular.
In contrast to that, Toei experienced great difficulties to sell its products in the US and withdrew from this market by mid of the 80ies.
Although dubbed as "based on the stories of E. Hamilton" (thus suggesting a kind of free interpretation of the original stories), the Animé sticks quite closely to the novels.
Unfortunately, the German version has been edited heavily so that nearly a quarter of the animated material is missing. Until today, there is no uncut German version available on DVD; fans who'd like to see the complete episodes are advised to get hold of the French version.
When "Captain Future“ aired 1980/81 in Europe, it provided an entry to the SciFi genre for many fans: Since it was dubbed in a way that was suitable for smaller children, people who loved the series quickly turned to other SciFi shows such as Star Trek or Star Wars when growing older.
Although many of them did not forget their fondness for the animé which had introduced them to other fantastic universes, this also is a reason that there are actually few "hardcore" fans of "Captain Future“.
- ISFDB Hamilton bibliography at the isfdb
- CF at Robert Weinberg's Site short overview including a collection of CF pulp covers
- CF at PulpGen
- Futuremania, CF Infobase Teil 3 A (accessed Nov. 2015)
- ISFDB, Edmond Hamilton - Summary Bibliography (accessed Nov. 2015)
- translated "Space Knight"
- Sean Leonard, MIT, "Progress Against the Law: Fan Distribution, Copyright, and the Explosive Growth of Japanese Animation"