Public Domain Super Heroes

Fu Manchu

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Fu Manchu
From Avon's The Mask of Dr. Fu Manchu #1

Real Name

Dr. Fu Manchu

First Appearance

The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu (1913)

Original Publisher

Methuen (Book)

Created by

Sax Rohmer


Dr. Fu Manchu was a Chinese criminal mastermind who preferred to the arcane rather than guns or explosives. He used had numerous thugs, robbers, and secret societies, such as the Si-Fan under his thumb. Fu Manchu armed his forces with not only hand to hand weapons such as knives but also strange animals or chemical weapons. He funded his plots through drug trade and human trafficking.

His enemies included British police commissioner Denis Nayland Smith and his assistant Dr. John Petrie. Petrie functioned like Dr. Watson writing/narrating Smith's adventures and Smith worked like Sherlock Holmes, but not possessing the same deductive reasoning as the great detective. Smith couldn't outsmart Fu Manchu and only defeated him through sheer determination. Both foes begrudgingly respected each other and believed a man should stand by his words.

Public Domain Literary Appearances

Copyrighted Literary Appearances

  • Daughter of Fu Manchu (1931)
  • The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)
  • The Bride of Fu Manchu (1933)
  • The Trail of Fu Manchu (1934)
  • President Fu Manchu (1936)
  • The Drums of Fu Manchu (1939)
  • The Island of Fu Manchu (1940)
  • The Shadow of Fu Manchu (1948)
  • Re-Enter Fu Manchu (1957)
  • Emperor Fu Manchu (1959)

Public Domain Golden Age Appearances


  • All of Fu Manchu's pre-1923 books are in the public domain as well as the Avon comic The Mask of Dr. Fu Manchu #1 in the United States. All post-1923 works are copyrighted by Rohmer's estate and the name is trademarked by the same. Both Marvel and Alan Moore have gotten around this by calling Dr. Fu Manchu by another name or not mentioning his name.

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