PHANTOM HOUND of CARDIFF MOOR
Real Name: ?? Murdock (first name unrevealed)
Identity/Class: Human (World War 2)
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: His dog
Enemies: Bucky, Captain America (Steve Rogers), his neighbors
Known Relatives: Father and mother (both unidentified)
Aliases: "Gentle Mister Murdock," "a man in dog's clothing," "You dirty maniac!" (as called by Captain America), "the dog that walks like a man"
Base of Operations: His house in Cardiff Moor, somewhere near Camp Lehigh
First Appearance: Captain America Comics#10/4 (January, 1942)
Powers/Abilities: Mister Murdock was an elderly man who seemed rather spry for his age. As part of his ruse, Murdock wore a costume that gave him the appearance of a large man-like dog. The costume had artificial claws, which Murdock used to kill. Murdock also carried a handgun and a blackjack.
Murdock used his trained dog, which was covered with a luminous paint, to stalk his victims.
History: (Captain America Comics#10/4 (fb) - BTS) - Perhaps fifty years earlier, Cardiff Moor was owned by Mister Murdock's weathy parents (Murdock was only an infant at the time). The family's most prized possessions were their beautiful mansion and a huge, magnificent dog.
But difficult times befell the family, draining them of their funds. The family was forced out of their mansion and off the estate. Murdock's father vowed that if his family couldn't live there, then no one would -- he swore his dog would kill all those who remained in Cardiff Moor.
(Captain America Comics#10/4 - BTS) - Using his trained dog and a dog costume, Murdock secretly began his campaign of terror to drive off the residents of Cardiff Moor and regain his family home.
(Captain America Comics#10/4) - Murdock and his dog killed a man who was walking through Cardiff Moor.
(Captain America Comics#10/4 - BTS) - Murdock and his dog attacked another man, but didn't kill him.
(Captain America Comics#10/4) - The next morning, the exhausted man, torn and tattered, staggered into Camp Lehigh and told his story of the attacking dog, begging for the army's help. He was carried off by a soldier, who assured him the police department could take care of everything -- this was all overheard by Pvt. Steve Rogers, who decided he would investigate later as Captain America and hunt down the four-footed terror.
(Captain America Comics#10/4) - That night, Cap and Bucky arrived at Cardiff Moor and spotted the glowing ghost-dog in the distance. As they ran toward it, a long, low whistle echoed through the night and reached the ears of the dog, who turned and slinked away, seemingly disappearing in the foggy darkness.
Cap and Bucky then went to a nearby house (Murdock's), and found Mister Murdock with Mary Scott. Murdock told the two heroes the legend of the area -- of the wealthy family with the large dog who lost their home (...of course, Murdock neglected to mention it was his family), and how the ghost of the dog roamed Cardiff Moor, striking terror and death to all who dwelled there.
Suddenly, they heard a cry for help from outside, and saw the ghost-dog pusuing three of Murdock's neighbors. Cap went outside and threw his shield at the dog before it could pounce, making the dog howl in pain and retreat. As Murdock's neighbors entered his home, Murdock introduced the newcomers as other residents of Cardiff Moor -- Senor Ramos, Miss Primm, and Dr. Willard.
Captain America promised the frantic people that he would clear up the mystery, when suddenly the lights went out. Cap stumbled around for a light switch, and when the lights were snapped back on, Bucky found a note that read: "Death to those who dare to remain on the moor tonight--the hound swears it!" (signed with a paw print).
Cap and Bucky left to investigate, but the others felt they just couldn't stand by and let the two face the hound alone, so they later followed and split up, thinking they could find the hound quicker that way. But as the others searched, Murdock went into a hidden cave and donned his dog-like costume, then he went to prowl the moors and pick the others off one by one.
Captain America and Bucky heard the howling of the hound and Ramos' cries for help, so they ran to assist. As Cap passed under a tree, the costumed Murdock, perched on a branch, leapt on him and stunned him with a blackjack. When Bucky rushed to Cap's aid, the costumed killer scooped up a handful of mud and hurled it squarely in the boy's face. But seeing that Cap was coming to, Murdock ran to finish off Ramos.
Meanwhile, Mary Scott was chased by the glowing dog; as it leapt at its intended victim, Cap tackled it, and man and beast were locked in a ferocious battle. The dog's fangs moved ever closer to Cap, forcing him to break its neck. Bucky discovered that the "ghost" was only a dog covered with a luminous paint. Just then, the costumed Murdock stepped out of the darkness, pointing a gun. Cap knocked the gun from his hand, but Murdock slashed at him with his artificial claws, which Cap blocked with his shield. The killer revealed that Cardiff Moor once belonged to his family, and now it rightfully belonged to him. Captain America avoided another slash of the raking claws and delivered a final knockout punch. Rushing to Cap's side, Bucky unmasked the still form of the killer, and Mary Scott gasped as the madman's identity was revealed to be Mister Murdock.
Cap and Bucky escorted Mary back to her house and told her to let her neighbors know that Cardiff Moor was now free of danger, then they rushed back to Camp Lehigh just as the morning sun began to rise.
Comments: Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.
I'd say that Simon and Kirby were probably influenced by the 1939 film, "The Hound of the Baskervilles", the first movie adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story.
The caption on the splash-page informs us that this story is "Captain America's choice for the spine-chiller of the month -- taken from his own personal files" -- it's "No. 382-F" for anyone who's keeping track.
The idea with a dog covered with glowing paint was seen years later again in Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD I#3 in the form of the Hell-Hound.
Profile by John Kaminski
Mister Murdock/The Phantom Hound of Cardiff Moor has no known connection to:
Murdock's dog (I'm guessing it's a Great Dane) was trained by its master to attack on command. Murdock covered the dog with luminous paint so that it would glow in the dark and have a ghostly appearance. The dog was used to frighten victims, while Murdock did the actual killing.
--Captain America Comics#10/4
Murdock's father and mother
They were a wealthy couple who once owned Cardiff Moor. When they were evicted from their home, Murdock's father swore that his dog would destroy all who dared to live in Cardiff Moor.
--Captain America Comics#10/4
Some of the other residents of Cardiff Moor, they included Miguel Ramos (a writer), Miss Primm (a retired school teacher), Doctor Amos Willard, and Mary Scott. Ramos was later killed by the Phantom Hound.
--Captain America Comics#10/4
Captain America Comics#10/4, p2, pan2 (body shot)
Captain America Comics#10 (January, 1942) - Joe Simon (writer/inks/editor), Jack Kirby (writer/pencils)
Fantasy Masterpieces#6 (December, 1966) - reprint
Last updated: 10/28/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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