The logo for the first instalment of this serial boasts that it is “a thrilling tale of privateers, pirates, and the Spanish Armada”. There is privateering, and the Spanish are the bad guys (though there is no massive fleet at any point). There is no piracy whatsoever, and I did not personally find it thrilling.
On the plus side, there is a wealth of accurate detail, and some very nice art.
The story is set in 1586, and opens with Lord Barlow and his daughter Marjorie boarding the Bonnie Bess to go battle the Spanish. Barlow (who thinks bringing his daughter to war is a good idea) is disgusted by the apparent cowardice of Kendal Quick, who refuses to get on board, but after Quick saves the ship from Spanish saboteurs, and Barlow learns that that was his reason for staying behind, he forgives the lad. After they capture a Spanish Man of War, Barlow and his daughter head back to England and he makes Kendal captain of the Bonnie Bess.
After a gap of one issue, the story resumes months later, as Captain Quick seizes a Spanish ship, only to discover Marjorie on board, heading to Spain to marry the ship’s captain, Velasquez. When more Spanish ships come to attack the Bonnie Bess, Quick surrenders, rather than take the chance Marjorie will be killed in the battle. He is taken as a captive to Cadiz, and but escapes once they land. He finds an old friend there, Pierre Dufoe, and together they disguise themselves as Spanish soldiers.
He has learned, though how is not clear, that Barlow is being held captive in the palace of the Governor of Cadiz, and Marjorie is being forced into marriage to save his life. A preposterous series of coincidences allow Quick and Dufoe access to Barlow, and his entire imprisoned crew. Quick frees them all and then duels Velasquez to the death.
Worse than all the coincidences at this point in the story is the way Quick’s outfit drastically changes from issue to issue. One instalment ends with him bursting into the Governor’s dining hall dressed as a conquistador, and the next instalment opens with the same scene, but now Quick is wearing his sailor garb. This happens three or four times in succession.
This serial concludes in issue 12, as Quick, Marjorie and Barlow head back to England, and the two lovers plan to marry.
After another one issue gap, the story picks up as Quick is summoned to London by Queen Elizabeth, who knights him, but refuses to allow him to marry, instead sending him off to the Caribbean. Quick sails to Jamaica, but is once again captured by the Spanish and brought to Cartagena. Once again he escapes, and joins forces with the natives. Together they build an entire warship, arming it with cannons the natives have stolen from the Spanish, and defeat the fleet in Cartagena.
Quick returns to Jamaica, to discover Marjorie has sailed out to join him and marry there, but the Spanish have sent ships to follow him and lead an attack on Port Royal. Quick lures them into a trap, and Jamaica is saved, though Marjorie gets shot in the battle.
After a three issue gap, during which Marjorie recovers from her injuries, the wedding day is finally here, but once again Elizabeth intrudes (by messenger) and sends Quick to New England.
The story jumps wildly at this point, I suspect some instalments were not published, as in the very next issue Quick is saving Miles Standish from a siege by the natives under the leadership of Dark Owl. Against Standish’s advice, Quick nurses the strongest of the native warriors, Tall Eagle, back to health and has him lead him to Dark Owl’s camp. Quick tries to persuade Dark Owl to stop attacking the settlers, but Dark Owl insists Quick must prove that whites are equal to natives in a series of challenges. Quick agrees, and triumphs through all of them. The final instalment ends with Dark Owl insisting Quick must prove he can stand up to torture, and has him bound to a tree.
Since the series ends there, it’s apparent the natives simply tortured the guy to death, and poor Marjorie is left in Jamaica, drinking rum and getting high while waiting forever for Quick to return
Capt. Quick: New Comics 1 – 2 (Dec 35 – Jan 36), 4 -11 (Mar – Dec 36)
New Adventure 12 (Jan 37), 14 – 20 (Mar – Oct 37), 23 – 26 (Jan – Apr 38)