Public Domain Super Heroes
Fu Manchu

Real Name

Dr. Fu Manchu

First Appearance

The Zayat Kiss (1912)

Original Publisher

Cassell & Co.

Created by

Sax Rohmer


Dr. Fu Manchu was a Chinese criminal mastermind who preferred to use the arcane arts rather than guns or explosives. He 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[]

Public Domain Golden Age Appearances[]

Public Domain Film Appearances[]

  • The Mystery of Dr Fu Manchu (1923)
  • The Further Mysteries of Dr Fu Manchu (1924)


  • All of Fu Manchu's pre-1929 books are in the public domain as well as the Avon comic The Mask of Dr. Fu Manchu #1 in the United States.
  • His daughter Fah Lo Suee first appears in The Hand of Fu-Manchu and is referred to as the Lady of Si-Fan, however, her name was only revealed in Daughter of Fu Manchu (1931).
  • Dr. Fu Manchu's name is still trademarked by Rohmer's estate. Both Marvel and Alan Moore have gotten around this by calling Fu Manchu by another name or not mentioning his name.

See Also[]