Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human (World War II era)

Occupation: Nazi agent, leader of false cult

Group Membership: Nazis

Affiliations: His henchmen, Nazi Germany, the People of the Sea

Enemies: Bucky (James Barnes), Captain America (Steve Rogers), Eddie, the King of Lai-Son, Betty Ross, Sally

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Impersonated the King of Lai-Son

Base of Operations: Satan's Reef, Valley Port, USA

First Appearance: Captain America Comics I#16 (July, 1942)

Powers/Abilities: The Hooded Horror carried a spiked mace.

Height: 5'8" (by approximation)
Weight: 150 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black

History: (Captain America Comics I#16 (fb) - The man who became the Hooded Horror was an officer in Nazi Germany. When he learned that a race of amphibious humanoids called the People of the Sea had established a base below Satan's Reef in the coastal US town of Valley Port, he led a German expedition to Satan's Reef and attacked the People of the Sea. The People of the Sea sent their king to negotiate with the Germans but the German commander took the opportunity to seize control over the People of the Sea. Holding the king prisoner, the Nazi officer - now calling himself the Hooded Horror - wore a mask which made him look like the king. With his fellow Nazis similarly attired with masks, green robes and yellow hoods, they took control of the People of the Sea so that Valley Port could be used as a launching site for future attacks on the USA with the People of the Sea as ground forces. In the meantime, the Hooded Horror encouraged the People of the Sea to continue performing their acts of ritual human sacrifice and would lead his henchmen on expeditions to find victims for the ceremonies practiced in the Temple of Lai-Son.

(Captain America Comics I#16 (fb) - BTS) - Two intelligence agents from Washington D.C. were sent to Valley Port to investigate the rash of disappearing people. The Hooded Horror arranged for the two men to be killed in a bus accident.

(Captain America Comics I#16) - The Hooded Horror, his men and some of the monstrous People of the Sea collected Eddie and Sally, a couple who were passing through Valley Port on their way back to college. The couple were presumably sacrificed in the Temple of Lai-Son.

Betty Ross headed to Valley Port with Private Steve Rogers to investigate the two agents who were recently killed. When Betty's bus stopped at a diner, the diner owner dragged the bus driver on behalf of the Hooded Horror. The drugs caused the driver to go off the road; although the driver was killed, Captain America rescued Betty from the bus. Betty went on to Valley Port but by this time, seemingly the town was virtually empty and those who remained were agents of the Hooded Horror; her hotel clerk alerted the Hooded Horror to Betty's survival.

The Hooded Horror and his henchmen kidnapped Betty from her hotel and brought her to the town square to present to the People of the Sea as their newest sacrifice. Captain America's sidekick Bucky had followed his pal to Valley Port and he attempted to rescue Betty but the People of the Sea overpowered him. The Hooded Horror then set an ambush for Captain America and clubbed him over the back of the head with his mace. He prepared to have the Captain brought to his torture chamber where the king had been left. However, Captain America revived and knocked out the Hooded Horror. The king of the People of the Sea related his story to the Captain and formed an alliance with him. Captain America tied up the Hooded Horror in the torture chamber and went with the king to rescue Betty and Bucky from being sacrificed. Angry at having lost their sacrifices and by the Nazi deception, the People of the Sea began rounding up the Hooded Horror's men to sacrifice them. The king encouraged Captain America to use dynamite to destroy his people's temple below Satan's Reef but he intended for the Captain to die in the blast so he could capture Betty Ross and bring her back to Lai-Son with him. However, Bucky knocked out the king and put him back in the torture chamber next to the Hooded Horror. The two men were still there when Captain America dynamited the temple.

Comments: Created by Manly Wade Wellman, Al Avison, Syd Shores and George Klein.

At the time of writing, this is the only Marvel Comics story known to have been authored by pulp writer Manly Wade Wellman, whose comic book work was mostly found at publishers Fawcett and Quality (but see comments on George Brinner). Wellman seldom spoke about his career in comic books -- he didn't think too highly of them.

This story definitely reads like something Wellman would have published in Weird Tales.

In some places, Lai-Son is spelled "Laison." Confusingly, Lai-Son is the name of both the kingdom of the People of the Sea and the name of the goddess whom they worship.

The people who stole the gold of the People of the Sea appeared to be Vikings - they wore horned helmets. Their story might have been set as late as the 11th century but the story does suggest that the people of Valley Port might be the descendants whom the People of the Sea have been searching for - when their ships first appear one onlooker cries, "I wonder... is... is it from the island that made our ancestors so rich centuries ago!" In the real world, the Vikings did land on the east coast of Canada so it's possible that the Marvel Universe's Vikings founded Valley Port. Valley Port is certainly on the east coast of the USA but the state is unidentified. Given Wellman's Lovecraftian overtones, I would imagine it's somewhere in New England.

Are the People of the Sea yet another Atlantean offshoot? With the green skin it sure seems like they could be bunch of Lemurians who turned into beach bums.

Official Index to the Marvel Universe: Avengers, Thor & Captain America#4 (September, 2010) says that the goddess Lai-Son may be one of the Gods worshipped by the Gor-Tokians that became the Lava-Men @ Avengers I#306 (August, 1989) and that the Vikings who visited the Laisons may have arrived in the same exploration wave, circa 1000 CE, as the Vikings seen in Marvel Comics Presents I#63/4th story, who established the Vinland colony but were later slain or vampirized by Varnae.

Profile by Prime Eternal.

The Hooded Horror should not be confused with:

Eddie & Sally

Eddie and Sally were a young college-age couple who were traveling through Valley Port on their way back to school but had the misfortune of being picked by the Hooded Horror to be captured and sacrificed. Eddie and Sally's fates are unrevealed but they were presumably put to death by the People of the Sea as an offering to Lai-Son.

--Captain America Comics I#16

The Hooded Horror's Henchmen

The Hooded Horror's henchmen were all Nazi agents who dressed in green masks, green robes and yellow hoods to help masquerade as members of the People of the Sea. They helped the Hooded Horror collect humans for sacrifice to the goddess Lai-Son. When Bucky and Betty Ross were liberated from the sacrificial altar, the People of the Sea began performing sacrifices on the henchmen. Many of the henchmen were either killed in ritual sacrifice or died when Captain America set off dynamite inside the temple.

--Captain America Comics I#16

The King of Lai-Son

The King of the People of the Sea was descended from the very queen who had first made contact with humanity and continued his people's fruitless search for the humans who had wedded their women then fled with Lai-Son's gold. The King's search brought his fleet to Valley Port, where they conquered the town and built an elaborate temple beneath Satan's Reef, where they indulged in human sacrifice. The Nazi forces of the Hooded Horror learned of the People of the Sea and launched an attack on them. When the king attempted to discuss terms, the Hooded Horror took him prisoner and impersonated the king in order to lead the People of the Sea on behalf of Nazi Germany.

Captain America found the king in the Hooded Horror's torture chamber and released him. The king helped the Captain rescue his friends Betty Ross and Bucky from being sacrificed in the temple then he advised the Captain to use dynamite to destroy the temple. However, the king secretly intended for the dynamite to kill the Captain so he could take Betty as his mate and return with her to Lai-Son. Bucky knocked the king out and tied him up next to the Hooded Horror. Bucky warned Captain America about the potency of the dynamite. The king appears to have been above ground when the temple under Satan's Reef was destroyed.

--Captain America Comics I#16 (16 (fb), 16

The People of the Sea

Originating on the island of Lai-Son (named for the goddess whom they worshiped), the People of the Sea came in two varieties - the very human-like variety (left) whose green skin was the only thing to set them apart from humans and the "monsters" (right), who were more amphibian-like in appearance. Although both groups were shown to be adept swimmers, it is unrevealed whether they could breathe underwater. Some centuries ago, the People of the Sea met a band of human sailors who visited Lai-Son. Desiring the people's gold, the sailors married their women then loaded the gold into their ships and departed. The queen of the People of the Sea demanded they find the men responsible for having broken their marriage vows.

By 1942, the People of the Sea had gone to Valley Port in the USA and established a base beneath Satan's Reef, capturing people from the surface to sacrifice in rites performed for their goddess. The Hooded Horror investigated their murders and secretly captured their king, assuming his identity so he could turn the People of the Sea into allies of Nazi Germany. Eventually, their ceremonies were disrupted when the king and Captain America prevented Betty Ross and Bucky from being sacrificed. The Hooded Horror's henchmen were sacrificed instead. Captain America subsequently set off dynamite inside the underground base, killing many (if not all) of those present; presumably other People of the Sea survived on the island of Lai-Son.

--Captain America Comics I#16

The Queen of Lai-Son

Many centuries ago, the Queen of Lai-Son was leader of the People of the Sea when they had their first known encounter with humans. When the captain of the visiting humans proposed marriage between his sailors and the women of the People of the Sea, the queen agreed and she married the captain. However, after the marriage ceremonies the sailors loaded all of the People of the Sea's gold into their boats and set off. The queen vowed that they would find the sailors, not so much because of the stolen gold but because the sailors were not honoring their marriage vows.

By 1942, the king of Lai-Son was the direct descendant of this queen.

--Captain America Comics I#16 (fb)

Since she married the human captain, it's possible her descendants had some human blood in their genes.

The Temple of Lai-Son

Located beneath Satan's Reef, the Temple of Lai-Son was established in Valley Port by the People of the Sea as their home. They would kidnap people from the surface and bring them below to their temple to be sacrificed to the goddess Lai-Son. The sacrificial altar rested before an immense statue of the goddess. The underground base had one major entrance at the top of Satan's Reef and a secret passage which was known only to the king. While impersonating the king of Lai-Son, the Hooded Horror used the underground base for his own purposes. Captain America destroyed the temple with dynamite, killing many of the People of the Sea.

--Captain America Comics I#16

images: (without ads, as reprinted in Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Captain America Vol. 4, 2010)
Captain America Comics I#16, p13, pan1 (Hooded Horror, main)
Captain America Comics I#16, p16, pan6 (Hooded Horror, unmasked)
Captain America Comics I#16, p2, pan2 (Eddie & Sally)
Captain America Comics I#16, p9, pan6 (henchmen)
Captain America Comics I#16, p18, pan7 (King of Lai-Son)
Captain America Comics #16, p19, pan6 (People of the Sea)
Captain America Comics I#16, p2, pan6 (People of the Sea's monsters)
Captain America Comics I#16, p15, pan7 (Queen of Lai-Son)
Captain America Comics I#16, p11, pan1 (Temple of Lai-Son)

Captain America Comics I#16 (July, 1942) - Manly Wade Wellman (writer), Al Avison (pencils), George Klein and Syd Shores (inks), Stan Lee (editor)

First posted: 05/23/2020
Last updated: 05/23/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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