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"Black Condor: "General Korn"": Cornelius Stark has invented a new kind of remote-controlled bomb. Senator Wright, General Korn, an Army major, and their driver arrive, in a big sedan, at Stark’s heavily fortified and well secluded home. They are very surprised to find the gate open, as well a
- I've been bombarding this salt for 24 hours in the cyclatron. I wonder what will happen when I swallow some, Tug?
- -- Wizard Wells
Appearing in Black Condor: "General Korn"
- Dr. Foster
- Wendy Foster
- General Korn
- his gang
- the hobo impersonator
- at least five other thugs
- his gang
- Jaspar Crow (Flashback only)
- Cornelius Stark (Dies)
- Senator Todd
- remote control bombs
Synopsis for Black Condor: "General Korn"
Cornelius Stark has invented a new kind of remote-controlled bomb. Senator Wright, General Korn, an Army major, and their driver arrive, in a big sedan, at Stark’s heavily fortified and well secluded home. They are very surprised to find the gate open, as well as the front door. Inside they find Stark, dead, strangled. Tom Wright checks out the house and grounds, finding no clues, but in the yard he encounters an elderly hobo, just hiking along the fence, seemingly deaf and seemingly harmless. The general calls Tom back to the car; the police are on their way; time to go.
That evening Senator Wright puts in long hours in his office in the Capitol Building, puzzling over Cornelius Stark’s murder. Doctor Foster shows up at his door and takes him away to a meeting, with Senator Todd, about the inventor’s death. Meanwhile in a bad part of town, the elderly hobo lurches along, surveying the city’s tall buildings and raving out loud about knocking them down with a touch of his fingers. Then he does so, using a remote control device to set off a large number of powerful explosions. About ten big buildings fall down. En route to their meeting, in Foster’s car, Foster and Wright see this, park the car, and approach the nearest fallen building on foot. The hobo from Stark’s yard is inexplicably on the scene, but as soon as Tom sees him he vanishes quickly.
Later that night, Wright disguises himself as a broken-down hobo, then goes strolling through the slum areas of the city, until he randomly encounters the mysterious tramp. The tramp flees down an alley, and when Tom follows him, he’s jumped by at least five thugs. Wright fights with the full fury of the Black Condor but still isn’t really winning, and he gets head-konked unconscious with a big club. The gang drags him away to a small shack outside the city, where one of them notices the costume under Wright’s raggedy tramp-disguise shirt, gets suspicious, and yanks off the Condor’s tramp clothes. One gangster, only, is masked, and better-dressed than the others, and this one is the boss, who is very upset that the Black Condor has showed up here, knocked out or not. The old beggar pulls off his latex mask, under which is the grinning young face of a wanted killer (unnamed). The masked boss and the Black Condor exchange remarks, and each of them quietly forms a suspicion about the other’s real identity, then the masked boss directs his thugs to hang the Condor from the shack’s rafters.
They hang him up by his wrists, and leave, then the masked boss tells him that the gang’s next big move is to blow up the U.S. Senate with a remote control bomb. Then using a candle stuck in the neck of a bottle, he lights the fuse on a bundle of dynamite, then leaves. But he has very carelessly left the candle within reach of the Condor’s feet, and after performing a difficult contortion, the Black Condor frees himself by burning through the wrist-ropes, then leaps out the window just as the dynamite detonates. Three gloating thugs return to the fallen-down house to confirm the kill; Black Condor swoops down and snatches two of them up to a scary great height, and drops them, then swoops back down and grabs the third thug, who is the fake hobo, and flies away with him.
Meanwhile in the U.S. Senate, some very important legislation is being debated, at great length, when the proceedings are interrupted by a voice, coming from some hidden loudspeakers, gloating about how the lawmakers are all about to be blown up. In a dingy alley nearby, and visible from the air, the masked boss is speaking into a microphone, and handling a remote-control device. Just as he’s about to push the button, the Black Condor soars onto the scene, tells the boss a quick distracting lie about there being a bomb planted in his pocket by his own guys, thus gets close enough to pummel him into submission. The masked boss turns out to be General Korn.
The next day’s newspapers feature Korn’s arrest and confession. It turns out (according to Korn) that Korn was the real inventor of the remote control device, and hired Stark as a front to sell it to the government, then murdered Stark for failing to sell it, then planned to blow up all the senators who had voted against buying it.
Appearing in Tor, the Magic Master: "The Evil of Krenko"
- Krenko, foreign agent (Dies)
- Nizni (Dies)
- 1 other hench (Dies)
- Kodiak Field
- Evening Standard office
- incendiary machine gun, accurate at 3 miles
- Slade's waterproof camera
- flatbed truck
- Slade's open-top roadster (Destroyed)
- USN destroyer
- Krenko's submarine (Destroyed)
- commercial airliner
Synopsis for Tor, the Magic Master: "The Evil of Krenko"
From Kodiak Field, Alaska, an advanced new machinegun prototype is stolen by Krenko, a foreign agent. Jim Slade is on hand as Krenko's truck leaves the base, and he forms a suspicion, changes (manually, not magically) from his reporter suit into his tuxedo, and follows the flatbed truck, in his open-top roadster. Krenko and his crew set up the stolen machinegun, which fires incendiary rounds, and use it to blow up Slade's roadster. Tor flies to safety; the spies drive to Nome.
In the dock section of Nome, near the Black Bear Bar, Tor spots and recognizes Krenko, follows him to a meeting with his henchmen, and snaps some photos for his publisher. Then Tor magically darkens the building, and watches as the spies flee out a back door, taking the machinegun with them. One henchmoron blurts out to another that they're leaving in Krenko's submarine. Tor reports all this, from a payphone, to the duty officer at Kodiak Field, then some other calls get made, and soon a U.S.Navy destroyer is laying mines outside of Nome Harbor. Meanwhile at the docks, Krenko's crew is struggling to load the machinegun aboard the very small submarine; Tor surprises them by walking across the water, then hops aboard the sub. Tor magically ruins the hoisting machinery; the machinegun plops into the harbor. Nizni rushes at him with a knife; Tor snaps a photo of him, then jumps overboard and sinks. Then the sub hits a mine.
Back home, Jim Slade's photo story makes the front page of the Evening Star but his editor has a few questions for him, about how he got them.
Appearing in Red Torpedo: "Black Shark Sells Out"
- Mongolese military officers
- Black Shark
- Pacific Island Native girl
- South Seas
- unnamed island
- two torn halves of a $1000 bill
- Red Torpedo (Submarine)
- Black Shark's U-boat (Destroyed)
- Mongolese "Mosquito Boat" (Destroyed)
Synopsis for Red Torpedo: "Black Shark Sells Out"
Still in the South Seas, making trouble for the Oriental Totalitarians who are overrunning the area, Jim Lockhart meets a Pacific Island Native girl, who guides him to a good eavesdropping spot. He overhears as the Black Shark cuts a deal with some Mongolese military officers. The deal is that Shark will eliminate the Red Torpedo for $1000. Torpedo pulls a pistol and walks into their secret cave, and has his new friend take the money from the bad guys. Black Shark tries to use her as a human shield, then abducts her as he flees, while Red Torpedo beats up all the Orientals.
Black Shark carries the girl to the island's South Bay, where his submarine is moored, and stows her aboard it, then goes out into the woods to set a trap for the Red Torpedo. He sets up a deadfall. Red spots the gag, triggers it anyway, eludes the heavy falling log, then pretends to be smashed beneath it. Black falls for this, and gets close enough that Red can jump up and beat some info out of him. Learning the girl's whereabouts, Red Torpedo returns to his own Red Torpedo, flies to the Black Shark's sub, frees the girl, then destroys Shark's U-boat. Black's Mongolese partners have sent a PT boat to the scene; Red destroys that too, by dropping bombs on it.
The recovered $1000 will go to the Red Cross.
Appearing in Wizard Wells: "Salt of Doom"
- foreign agents
- Josef (Dies)
- 2 others
- Jonas Adams (Dies) (Behind the scenes)
- Elaine Adams
- Wells's Cyclatron
- plans for advanced new torpedo
Synopsis for Wizard Wells: "Salt of Doom"
Wizard Wells experiments with some high-potency radioactive salt, to find out what it will do.
Meanwhile Jonas Adams has gotten murdered by foreign agents, who then pursue his daughter Elaine, but she gets to Wells's apartment building ahead of them. She bursts into Wells's lab and enlists his help in safeguarding the blueprints for a new type of torpedo, one that can't miss. While Tug steps out to lock up the lab, and encounters three spy thugs, Wizard stashes the plans in his cyclatron, and swallows a heavy dose of the radioactive salt. The thugs get past Tug and Wells stalls them for 15 minutes, then puts on some rubber gloves, turns off the cyclatron, removes the plans, and drops them on the lab table.
One thug (Josef) picks up the plans, which are now charged with a painful jolt of electricity; he drops them into his jacket pocket. Wells touches the other two agents on the backs of their necks, blue sparks appear, and the agents fall down. Wells scoops up one of their dropped pistols and flicks off the light switch. In the darkened lab, Josef shoots and misses. Wells shoots and doesn't miss, because of the luminous electrified plans in Josef's pocket. Wells is now electrically charged, so when Elaine tries to hug him, she gets knocked out, and when he touches a lightbulb it lights up.
Appearing in "Jane Arden // Lena Pry"
- Jane Arden (across top halves of pages)
- Lena Pry (across bottom halves of pages)
Synopsis for "Jane Arden // Lena Pry"
(newspaper strip reprints)
Appearing in Alias the Spider: "The Phony Resurrectionist"
- A chemistry professor (Dies) and his gang
- Grekko (Dies)
- two more henchmen
- John Stuart
- Mary Stuart
- Thomas Stuart
- Stuart Estate
- The Black Widow (the Spider's car), runs silently
Synopsis for Alias the Spider: "The Phony Resurrectionist"
Late at night, some creep is hiding out in a southern cemetery and digging up bodies. The Spider shows up and shoots at him, scaring him away from one new grave, that of John Stuart. Spider decides to visit Stuart's family, zips over to the Stuart Estate, and eavesdrops on a conversation between Mary and Thomas Stuart, in which Thomas decides to pay somebody $25,000 to bring John back to life. Spider returns to the cemetery, where he finds John Stuart's grave open and empty. He follows some footprints which lead him to a dead end, then finds a trapdoor gadget leading to a stairway leading to a dimly lit tunnel running beneath the cemetery. He finds three guys and a coffin, stops, and eavesdrops on them. The boss, a former chemistry professor, sends Grekko back to John Stuart's grave; Thomas Stuart has agreed to show up there at 2:00 AM. Then he has his other four henchies hide out in an ambush. They split up, and the Spider hunts them down and punches them out, one at a time.
The professor waits in an underground room with John Stuart's body. Soon Grekko shows up with blindfolded Thomas Stuart, who has brought $25,000 in cash, as agreed. Spider shoots the money out of Stuart's hand, then tells him what he's figured out: John is in a temporary state of rigor mortis, induced by a chemical concoction. This absurd-sounding theory is validated as the professor yanks out a pistol and tries to shoot the Spider. Spider is quicker, and shoots the professor in the hand, just before Grekko jumps on him. While they fight, the professor opens a trapdoor, knocks out the elder Stuart with a pistol butt, and prepares to throw him into a 500-foot opening. The Spider throws Grekko down that hole, then tackles Stuart onto safe ground, while knocking the professor into the hatch.
Appearing in "Ned Brant"
- Ned Brant
Synopsis for "Ned Brant"
(newspaper strip reprints)
Appearing in Madam Fatal: "The Gypsy Murder"
- Madame DeFarge (Dies)
- Jim Graves
- Demo (Dies)
- three gypsy jail guards
- two more gypsies at the cave
- Gypsy Village, near Jim Graves' country mansion
- the blue cave
- "River from which none return"
Synopsis for Madam Fatal: "The Gypsy Murder"
Richard Stanton's wealthy friend Jim Graves has a mansion in the country, from which vantage they both look down across a nearby Gypsy encampment, and enviously remark about the campers' carefree lifestyle. But in the camp, things are not so laid back. Pretty Maria wants to marry Felipe, so to get rid of Felipe, his jealous rival Bastani has his light-fingered friend Goro steal Felipe's dagger, then uses it to murder the girl's old friend Demo. By pure luck, Richard Stanton happens to be strolling around that part of the village, alone, just as the murder happens. He lunges and grabs the knife-man but gets punched unconscious before he can even get a good look at him.
When Stanton comes to, a small crowd has gathered, and is just now arriving at the conclusion that Felipe has inexplicably murdered his old friend Demo, because look, there's his dagger left at the scene of the crime. The main accuser is Madame De Farge, who is now anxious for Maria to have a talk with Bastani. Nobody there has any questions for Stanton, or seems to want his help, but just from watching this, Stanton has got the mystery halfway solved, and he quietly slips away, to change clothes, and solve the rest of it.
That night, dressed near-exactly like Madame De Farge, Madam Fatal spies outside her wagon's window, as Madame and Bastani go over the progress of their plan. Maria is on her way to the Blue Cave, to meet somebody who supposedly wants to help Felipe, and Bastani's henchmen are on their way to meet her there. Then tomorrow Felipe will be thrown into the River From Which None Return, and Bastani will be free to marry Maria, and will reward Madame handsomely. Then Bastani spots Fatal in the window but by the time he gets to the door Madame Fatal has moved on to another wagon, the prison wagon where Felipe is held. Impersonating Madame De Farge, Madame Fatal uses trickery and violence to take out three armed guards, springs Felipe, and sends him running to the Blue Cave.
Madame De Farge observes this, lays an ambush, jumps Madam Fatal, and there's a granny fight, at the end of which Madame De Farge has been kicked loose to tumble into the River From Which None Return, which turns out to be some black slime, into which she sinks with echoing cries, and is gone.
Meanwhile Felipe has arrived at the cave and gotten jumped by three guys (one of whom is Goro), who drag him inside to confront Bastani, and Maria. But Madam Fatal, impersonating Madame De Farge, in the poorly lit cave, confesses to Madame's crimes and implicates Bastani in the process. Bastani throws a dagger at Madam, who dodges it, then Felipe leaps upon him and there's another fight, which Bastani soon loses. In the background, the other two gypsies are seen either dragging him away or helping him escape, and Goro is not seen at all, as Felipe and Maria and Madam enjoy a good chortle over the success of Madam's ruse. And later Richard enjoys another good laugh with Jim about the carefree life of the Gypsies.
Appearing in Space Legion: "Rock Braddon vs. Captain X"
- Legion Commander Ray Crosby
- Space Legion
- Curly Travis
- Space Legion
- Captain X
- her Chief Engineer
- two other crewmen
- Treasury Commander
- Treasury staff
- Space Legion Headquarters
- small planet, between Mars and Jupiter
- Interplanetary Treasury
- X's Spaceship
- Travis's S.L. Fast Patrol Ship
Synopsis for Space Legion: "Rock Braddon vs. Captain X"
In the middle of the night, wanted outlaw "Captain X" breaks into Space Legion Headquarters, and into Capt. Rock Braddon's quarters. X abducts Braddon at ray-gun point, and marches him out of the base, to his spaceship, and away. Rock is traveling in the spaceship's brig. Captain X's plan is to raid the Interplanetary Treasury, and X needs Braddon's help to do it.
At Space Legion HQ, Commander Crosby finds out about their departure from an eyewitness. Requiring absolute secrecy, Crosby dispatches the witness, Curly Travis, in pursuit of Captains X and Braddon. Both are troubled by the idea of Rock Braddon's apparent treason.
Captain X's ship arrives at the "planet" (really has to be an asteroid) where the Interplanetary Treasury resides, and fakes an emergency in order to get clearance for landing. Braddon isn't impressed, because there's no way even he can get the hunted fugitive Captain X into the Treasury. Capt. X removes her whole-head-concealing mask and shakes out her hair. Rock is flabbergasted. Her entry plan is to have Braddon pass her off as his new wife. He bluffs his way past the duty officer, who sets the "honeymooners" up with some guest quarters, inside the Treasury building. Capt. X is pointing a conceled ray-gun at Braddon's back the whole time, but nobody notices.
Soon Captain X returns to her spaceship, puts on her mask, and directs her crew: one guy guards Braddon and the other two accompany her into a sub-ventilator room. X plans to introduce knockout gas to the ventilation system, then loot the Treasury. The Treasury Commander gets an SOS sent out before collapsing, and Curly Travis in his pursuing patrol ship receives it. He's a thousand miles away, and will be there in an hour.
In his cell, Rock Braddon waits until his guard, responding to a signal, starts to put on his gas mask, then jumps him, takes the gas mask, and escapes. He catches up with Captain X at the big vault door, just as she's getting it open. Shots are exchanged, then fisticuffs. By the time Travis arrives, Braddon has the bad guys all arrested and ready to transport. He and Curly both hope that this evidence will clear Rock's pending desertion charges.
Appearing in The Clock: "The Crab's Extortion Plot"
- Pat "Pug" Brady
- Captain Kane
- Officer Dolan
Synopsis for The Clock: "The Crab's Extortion Plot"
A gangster plans to wreak havoc on the city unless his demands for ransom money ($5 million) are met by midnight. Captain Kane sends cops instead of money to the designated deserted house, but "the Crab" has expected exactly this response and has set a deadly trap. He blows up the house, killing (at least 3) cops. While the ruins are still burning, a small plane flies over the area and sky-writes a message from The Crab, addressed to Capt. Kane: No more fooling around.
Two days go by. Captain Kane doesn't know how to contact the Clock, but then the Clock walks into his office. In fact, two Clocks show up, the second one being outside the window. But before that conversation can even get started, a cops runs in with a message from the front desk, sent by The Crab: he still wants $5M, leave it at the end of Pier 13. Both Clocks now know what Kane knows, plus when Brian Clock meets up with Pug Clock in the alley behind the station, Pug has been busy; he's caught the Crab's messenger, trussed him up, suspended him from a telephone pole, and questioned him, getting an address: 23 Droop Street. They drive directly there, no reinforcements, no planning, no nothing. They break in thru a skylight and immediately are in a close-quarters fight with at least four thugs, which they eventually win.
The police meanwhile have staked out Pier 13, where nothing happens.
- Alias, the Spider: Tom Hallaway's body count is now > 16.
- Black Condor:
- At this point in his career, Tom Wright’s secret identity as the Black Condor was known to his fiancee’s father, Dr. Foster, and not known to his fiancée, Wendy Foster.
- Ten tall buildings in Washington, D.C. were knocked down, presumably killing and injuring hundreds or thousands of local people. It was never mentioned again.
- Between pages 5 and 6, the old shack outside the city becomes a large Victorian-style house.
- We never learn the name of the young wanted murderer, dressed as an old hobo.
- The Clock:
- Brian O'Brien and Pat "Pug" Brady are about the same size and shape, and have done this mutual impersonation trick several times before.
- Red Torpedo"
- This story's military villains are "Oriental Totalitarians"; last issue's R.T. story's villains were named as "Mongolese". Nothing here specifically identifies them as "Japanese", and they have a pre-existing grudge against the Red Torpedo, therefore these guys are Mongolese.
- Jim Lockhart's body count now = 1 PT boat crew, 5 submarine crews, 1 battleship crew, plus one sentry.
- Tor: This issue Jim Slade's employer is the Evening Standard newspaper. Last issue it was the Daily Press.
- Wizard Wells:
- "Cyclatron" is spelled that way in the story.
- Wizard Wells's body count now = (Josef the foreign agent) + (1 cavern full of Fifth Columnist soldiers)
- Also appearing in this issue of Crack Comics were:
- Molly the Model, by John Devlin
- Slap Happy Pappy, by Jack Cole
- Rube Goldberg's Side Show, by Rube Goldberg
- Off the Record, by Ed Reed
- They're Still Talking: "About That Breath Taking Olympic Finish", by Bob Zuppke and B. W. DePew
- Snappy, by Arthur Beeman
- "The Fire Moose" (text story), by Larry Spain
- No trivia.
- Write your own review of this comic!
- Discuss Crack Comics Vol 1 13 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the Crack Comics series
- Images from Crack Comics Vol 1 13
Links and References
- Crack Comics #13 June 1941, entire issue online