Public Domain Super Heroes
Fu Manchu

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 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


  • 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.
  • 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