"Black Condor: "Mysto the Hindu"": Jaspar Crow recruits an extremely capable hypnotist called Mysto the Hindu to undertake a series of fantastic crimes. Under the guise of a traveling vaudeville-type show, Mysto mesmerizes entire audiences, planting post-hypnotic instructions in ordinary citize
Appearing in Black Condor: "Mysto the Hindu"
- Dr. Foster
- Wendy Foster
- Jaspar Crow
- Mysto the Hindu
- Ike the thug
- Washington, D.C.
- War Department
- New York City
- LaGuardia Field
- Plaza Theater
- Regent Hotel
- waterfront docks
- New York Exchange Bank
- The Hope Diamond (reported, not seen)
- Condor's Black Ray Pistol
- fast train from WDC to NYC
- S.S. Evelyn
Synopsis for Black Condor: "Mysto the Hindu"
Jaspar Crow recruits an extremely capable hypnotist called Mysto the Hindu to undertake a series of fantastic crimes. Under the guise of a traveling vaudeville-type show, Mysto mesmerizes entire audiences, planting post-hypnotic instructions in ordinary citizens, causing them to participate in elaborate hoaxes, diversions, and crimes, then have amnesia afterward. Together these two have already stolen the Hope Diamond, several War Department secrets, and some vaults full of currency and furs.
Senator Tom Wright comes across their scheme by accident, at a performance in Washington, and when he snoops around backstage he gets konked out and stuffed into a packing crate. When the show leaves town by train, Tom finds himself crated up in a boxcar, and so transforms himself into the Black Condor and bursts out; his Black Ray pistol makes short work of the car's freight door. Condor flies ahead, to New York City.
In the Plaza Theater, the Black Condor swoops in to disrupt Mysto's performance, grabs Mysto, flies him out and up to a deadly height, and frightens some information out of him. Jaspar Crow is staying at the Regent Hotel, suite 2400. Condor flies him there, then flings Mysto inside thru a closed window, then circles around down to ground level. He changes back into Senator Wright and charges into the hotel. Crow's party take a different exit, and Wright loses some time, then pursues them in a taxi. They lose him again, at the waterfront, but Wright again becomes the Black Condor, flies under a pier, and finds a very large sewer outlet, which he explores. Ahead there is the noise of an explosion, and this leads him to the New York Exchange Bank. Condor flies up thru a manhole, activates an alarm with his ray pistol, then zooms back to the big drainage outlet to ambush the robbers.
In the vault are Crow, Mysto, and a hypnotized bank guard, loading gold into a motorboat. Ahead of the Condor are some bank security cops, who charge in at the thieves, but are put to sleep in mid-step with a single gesture from Mysto. The motorboat zips away, but before it gets to the outlet, Jaspar Crow and Mysto have both left it. When the boat zips out onto open water, some NYPD patrol boats are waiting for them. Still seeking Crow and the Hindu, Condor returns to the bank, then returns and searches the waterfront until he finds Mysto preparing to board a steamship. He again yanks him up into the air, and deposits him in the harbor where the other robbers are being scooped up.
Meanwhile Jaspar Crow has gotten away, again.
Appearing in Spitfire: "English Channel Patrol"
- Jim Lawrence, RAF pilot, Eagle Squadron
- trawler captain
- trawler crew
- 2 Hawker Hurricanes (one destroyed)
- 2 Dornier bombers
- espionage trawler (Destroyed)
- 2 British torpedo boats
Synopsis for Spitfire: "English Channel Patrol"
Patrolling the English Channel in Hawker Hurricanes, Tex "Spitfire" Adams and his wingman Jim Lawrence spot an English trawler, then two Dornier bombers approaching it. Once they get close, a signal lamp is flashed from the trawler's bridge, a recognition signal, and the two bombers bank away without attacking. Tex and Jim swoop in on the Dorniers, but Tex's engine overheats and stalls out, and he's lucky to pancake it onto the Channel surface near the trawler. He waves for help and is brought aboard, and becomes a POW on the spot, as the trawler has been captured and now has a German crew. Under a British flag, the small ship spends its days cruising up and down the English Coast, reporting on the arrivals and departures of ship convoys. The trawler captain very stupidly allows Adams to roam freely abovedecks.
Two patrolling torpedo boats happen along, and Tex gets onto one bridge wing, where there's a mounted machine gun, and opens fire on the British boats. The captain ineffectually shoots at Tex, who now turns the gun and rakes the wheelhouse, then the bridge, while the torpedo boats charge in to attack the trawler. A big deck gun is brought to bear, but the torpedo boats are too dodgy and quick. Tex dives over the side, from the bridge wing, and soon is picked up by one patrol boat. A torpedo is launched at close range, and the trawler goes down.
Appearing in The Clock: "The Gelton Gang"
- Captain Kane
- Officer Coogan
- Clip Gelton
- Clap Gelton (Dies)
- 4th thug
- bank courier (Dies)
- security guard (Dies)
Synopsis for The Clock: "The Gelton Gang"
The Gelton Gang embarks on a cross-country crime spree, from Chicago to Buffalo to Boston to New York. They lay low for a week, planning a few more big crimes. Leaving Clap Gelton at their hotel, Clip and a henchman ambush a bank courier and a security cop, kill both, and steal a briefcase full of bonds. They get away, and regroup at their hotel.
Now that Clip and Spike are "hot" they can't go out in public for a while, but Clap wasn't in on that day's stick-up, so he strolls out for some recreation. Right away he encounters temptation, a guy who does a poor job of concealing his money, and out comes Clap's pistol. He tells the guy he's going to kill him anyway, but just then Brian O'Brien happens along, masks up, steps in, disarms Clap, and punches him out.
Two hours later in their hotel room, Clip and Spike hear a radio news report, that Clap Gelton has been caught by the Clock, tried to escape, and was shot dead by police! Clip is enraged, and sends out Spike to find the Clock and lure him back to their hotel. An hour later Spike returns, beaten to a bloody pulp, with the Clock hot on his heels. They douse the lights, unholster their guns, and set an ambush. Soon the Clock arrives, and with his bare fists just mows thru the three of them. Then he calls Captain Kane, and leaves.
Appearing in Tor the Magic Master: "The Bugs"
- Slade's editor
- U.S. Coast Guard fliers and riflemen
- Eastern Seaboard, USA
- genetically-engineered beetles
- gelatin torpedo (biological weapon delivery device)
- Nazi submarine
- USCG flying boat
Synopsis for Tor the Magic Master: "The Bugs"
A widespread infestation of crop-eating beetles afflicts the Eastern Seaboard. Chemists struggle in vain to develop a poison to kill them. Jim Slade takes some photos at a devastated farm, forms a suspicion about the origin of these bugs, and changes into his Tor tuxedo. Shrinking himself to one inch in height, Tor examines a damaged vegetable plot, finds a straight pin, encounters a beetle, and is barely able to kill it with the pin. Finding some beach sand clinging to the dead bug, Tor goes to the nearby seashore and surveys the scene. As he is watching, a torpedo zooms in from the sea, bounces onto the beach, opens, and expels millions of beetles!
Tor conjures a flock of talking seagulls to gobble up the bugs, which they quickly do. But when Tor tries to examine the torpedo, it dissolves; it was made of gelatin, and melts away with no trace. Enabling himself to hold his breath for an hour, Tor walks into the ocean for a look around. He finds a U-boat. Growing himself to one mile in height, Tor scoops up the sub with one hand and deposits it on shore. He then becomes Jim Slade, and snaps photos of the sub, the approaching Coast Guard patrol plane, and the subsequent arrest of the U-boat crew.
Appearing in "Jane Arden // Lena Pry"
- Appearances not yet listed
Synopsis for "Jane Arden // Lena Pry"
(newspaper strip reprints)
Appearing in Don Q: "Rudolph's Oil Formula"
- Little Pierre (First appearance)
- Agent Z-10
- German fliers and soldiers
- Professor Rudolph (Dies)
- British Foreign Office
- airport manager
- Lisbon, Portugal
- 18 Dock Street, Rudolph's laboratory
- London, England
- Marseilles, France (destination, not reached)
- Don Q's private plane (wrecked)
- Spies' rented plane (wrecked)
- commercial airliner
- airport manager's private plane
- 20 German fighter planes (six destroyed)
Synopsis for Don Q: "Rudolph's Oil Formula"
In Lisbon, "City of Spies", Professor Rudolph develops a formula for making oil out of common products, but the first time he tries to sell it, he's murdered and robbed. Don Q has also been dispatched to bid on Rudolph's formula, not knowing that it's too late. He flies his private plane from Britain to Portugal and, while landing at Lisbon Airport, by absolutely pure coincidence, collides on the runway with the small plane in which Rudolph's two killers are trying to leave the country. They stupidly pile out and confront him, and quickly are punched until they flee. One of them drops a notebook but quickly scoops it up and escapes while Don Q is guffawing at them.
Don Q hails a taxi, driven by Little Pierre, and visits Rudolph's lab; it's a shambles, Rudolph is dead, and the formula is clearly missing. But by great good luck, Little Pierre turns out to have just minutes earlier carried those self same murderers from this house, in his taxi, to the airport, where they, then he, met Don Q. They speed back to the airport, but the spies have already left. Don Q borrows the airport manager's fastest plane, and takes off in pursuit of the spies, who are headed for Marseilles. Don Q also brings Little Pierre along, and hires him to be his valet. They overtake the passenger liner, and Don Q hails the pilots by radio, warning them about the murderers on their plane. But those murderers are already at the cockpit door, and now take over the plane, with an ultimatum for Don Q: leave the area or they will start killing passengers!
Don Q hands off the control stick to Pierre, who flies just above the passenger liner, onto which Don Q leaps in mid-flight, and kicks his way inside, thru the surprisingly flimsy fuselage roof. One spy recognizes Don Q by name, and shoots at him from close up, but misses, and gets punched out. The other spy, Agent Z-10, uses the airliner's radio to call his home base and have some fighter planes dispatched. Twenty Messerschmitt 109s arrive almost immediately. Z-10 puts on a parachute, opens a hatch, and bails. Don Q follows suit.
Meanwhile Little Pierre is having just a terrible time flying the speed plane, and is upside down, struggling with the unfamiliar controls. He fires the machine guns as he randomly careens around the airspace, inflicting surprisingly heavy casualties on the Luftwaffe fliers. He sees where Z-10 and Don Q have landed, and that German soldiers are closing in on them. Don Q overpowers Z-10 and recovers the formula. Pierre makes an extremely bumpy landing, retrieves Don Q, takes off, and flies to London.
Little Pierre is later awarded a Victoria Cross, and it turns out that this adventure was his first time in an airplane. Don Q faints when he hears this.
Appearing in Red Torpedo: "The Black Shark's Amphibian Tank"
- Red Torpedo (Final appearance)
- seagoing armored tank
- Red Torpedo (Submarine) (Final appearance)
Synopsis for Red Torpedo: "The Black Shark's Amphibian Tank"
Appearing in Madam Fatal: "The League of Hunted Men"
- Tubby White
- Scrappy Nelson (First appearance)
- Mycroft Leech (Scrappy's Step-Uncle)
- League of Hunted Men
- seven or more thugs
- Lawyer Snead
- New York City
- Doom Mansion
- Main & Vine
Synopsis for Madam Fatal: "The League of Hunted Men"
A crime wave sweeps the city, and Richard Stanton's young friend Tubby White finds out a little bit too much about it, and is right on the verge of being rubbed out by two gangsters, when Stanton happens along. Civilian identity or not, Stanton steps right in and makes a melee of it; the pistol-packing thugs are driven off by the retired actor's bare fists. Tubby has learned that their other friend, Scrappy Nelson, has been kidnapped and stashed at Doom Mansion. Stanton goes home and changes identities, then as Madam Fatal he teams up with Tubby to check out Doom Mansion, out in the countryside, by night.
While they approach the scary old place on foot, a car full of thugs comes along to intercept them. After a short scuffle, Madam Fatal slips away, with two thugs searching for her, leaving Tubby in the clutches of two other thugs. Tossed into the basement of the deserted mansion, Tubby and Scrappy compare notes: the big secret IS Doom Mansion, itself, being used as a hide-out by the "League of Hunted Men". Scrappy's step-uncle Mycroft Leech is behind it.
At midnight some killers are sent in to the cellar, to finish the two boys, but they're prepared for this treachery and there's another melee. Meanwhile upstairs in the mansion, an inheritance-swindling deal between Mycroft Leech and Lawyer Snead is disrupted by the sudden appearance of Madam Fatal. Many thugs rush into the room, and Madame Fatal simply beats them silly, until all are fallen. Uncle Mycroft escapes, by diving off a balcony into a tree, but he vows to return.
Scrappy has inherited Doom Mansion, and he and Tubby plan to team up with Madam Fatal to fight crime.
Appearing in "Ned Brant"
- Ned Brant
Synopsis for "Ned Brant"
(newspaper strip reprints)
Appearing in Alias the Spider: "The Candlewood Inheritance"
- Skeleton (Apparent Death)
- lawyer (Dies)
- Elaine Martin
- five other heirs
- Candlewood Castle
- adjacent swamp
- underground river
- Hallaway's customized "Spider Seal" arrows
Synopsis for Alias the Spider: "The Candlewood Inheritance"
Candlewood Castle was transplanted from England and reassembled, stone by stone. It had a bad reputation. Fifteen years after the death of the last owner, the heirs are reassembled in the library, and receive the news that all but one of them is to be disinherited. Before the final heir can be named the lights are doused, the lawyer is murdered, and a laughing skeleton in a hooded green robe is in the room with them, putting a match to the will. One heir yanks out a pistol and shoots at the apparition, but it has already gotten behind him, with a knife. Before the ghastly figure can strike, a Spider Seal is shot into the wall between them. The Spider has arrived! The ghostly figure vanishes again.
The Spider scales the outside of the stately mansion and from the roof he surveys the grounds, spotting a moving light beneath a flagstone walkway. The walkway leads to the family mausoleum. Spider stunts his way to the ground then sprints to the tomb, arriving inside just before a trap door opens in the floor, and the Skeleton arrives. It has the real will, in one bony hand; the papers burned in the library were a hoax. Talking to himself out loud, the Skeleton notes that Elaine Martin is the final heir and therefore must be its next victim. Spider steps into view, ready to shoot, and backs the Skeleton up against a wall, but that brings it within reach of a secret lever: a steel partition drops between them from the ceiling, and Spider's half of the room is soon flooding with poison gas. He uses a Spider Seal to start a fire in the room's wooden ceiling. The fire gets out of control very quickly and much of the mausoleum is destroyed. Spider pursues Skeleton down the tomb's secret tunnel, to the house. There the Skeleton grabs young Elaine, and drags her along as the chase continues. Elaine thrashes about, enough to bump the Skeleton against the wall a lot of times, leaving traces of phosphorescent paint that the Spider can easily track.
The tunnel leads them to a sub-cellar of the main castle, where the Skeleton means to throw Elaine into an underground river. The Spider pounces on him, knocking loose his hood and mask, plus knocks the Skeleton into the river. Elaine thinks she recognizes the grim figure as her late Grandpa Martin. The Spider tells Elaine a quick but detailed story about five generations of the Martin family, and a succession of murderously insane secret relatives, and ends by telling her that's she's now the owner of Candlewood Castle.
- Black Condor:
- The Hope Diamond is stolen in this story. Unlike about a thousand other "world-famous gems" that appear and get stolen and recovered in the comic book stories of this era, there really is a Hope Diamond.
- Tom Wright gets head-konked unconscious.
- Mysto the Hindu is not known to be connected or related to any other Mysto.
- This episode is Jaspar Crow's eighth clash with the Black Condor. At the end of it, the crafty old crook is still at large and still a U.S. Senator.
- Don Q meets Little Pierre for the first time. Pierre will later be a recurring sidekick.
- Don Q recovers Rudolph's formula for making oil out of common products. It is never established that the formula actually works. This formula is never mentioned again.
- Madam Fatal's villain Mycroft Leech vows to return, at the end of this story, but he never does.
- This is the final Golden Age appearance of the Red Torpedo of the Quality Universe. His otherworldly counterpart on Earth-Two next appears in the DCU in All-Star Squadron #31.
- English warplanes have bright blue bodies and yellow wings; German warplanes are green.
- The outcome of Jim Lawrence's fighter plane attack on the bombers is not resolved. Once Adams' engine trouble begins, they are not seen or mentioned again.
- Tex gets clipped on the ear with a German bullet.
- Also featured in this issue of Crack Comics were:
- Henry Kiefer signs his Red Torpedo story as "Drew Allen".
- Write your own review of this comic!
- Discuss Crack Comics Vol 1 20 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the Crack Comics series
- Images from Crack Comics Vol 1 20
Links and References
- Crack Comics #20 Jan 1942, incomplete issue, missing part of page 5 of the Tor story, also missing the Red Torpedo story.
- same issue, different scan, includes 1st page of Red Torpedo story.