It’s Daredevil release weekend, so many of you are no doubt binge-watching the new season of the show Slate’s Jack Hamilton called the best superhero television show he’d ever seen. But the only cure for the post-binge-watch hangover is the hair of the dog. And that’s a problem: There’s not even a new Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. until Tuesday. But there’s no need to panic. There’s one Marvel series you probably haven’t seen, streaming in its entirety for free right now. There’s a catch, though: It’s from 1944 and it’s terrible.
Marvel wasn’t even Marvel when it let Republic Films make the first film using their characters; it was still going by Timely Comics. But Captain America was already the Captain America we know and love: puny Steve Rogers, transformed into a super soldier by the military. Or at least, that’s who he was in the comic books. In Republic’s serial, for no good reason, he was the alter ego of a district attorney named Grant Gardner, played by Dick Purcell. (When Timely Comics complained about the changes to the character, Republic politely told them to stuff it.) Besides, plenty of other Marvel Cinematic Universe favorites were there: the Scarab! Police Commissioner Dryden! Bart Matson!
OK, so maybe those characters are not Marvel Cinematic Universe favorites. Maybe it’s disconcerting to see Captain America carry a gun instead of a shield. Maybe watching Captain America and the Scarab battle over a super weapon called the “dynamic vibrator” is unintentionally hilarious. Maybe the whole thing feels like it was written for another character and Captain America was shoehorned in at the last minute. But what’re you going to do, not binge-watch a Marvel show? Let’s not kid ourselves—you just watched an entire season of Daredevil. The whole series is easy to find on archive.org, but here’s a taste of that sweet, sweet Marvel fix you crave: