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"Doll Man: "The Death Room"": Young Tim Smith built a radio-controlled 2-cylinder-engined model airplane and tested it in Central Park, where he met Darrel Dane. That day, a Sunday, at the Roberts Laboratory, in Dr Roberts' office, Dane meets Mr Griffin, a hotelier with a seemingly cursed room


Quote1 That's the crate he was just talking about -- I'll set up my guns -- Benny the fool forgot to remount them -- Well, there's only one thing to do -- ! Quote2
-- The Clock



Appearing in Doll Man: "The Death Room"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

  • Grimes (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Timmy Smith (Single appearance)
  • Mr. Griffin (Single appearance)

Locations:

  • New York City
    • Central Park
    • Dr. Roberts' Laboratory
    • Mr. Griffin's Hotel
    • Old Grimes Estate

Items:

  • Grimes' paralyzing gas

Vehicles:

  • Smith's gas-powered remote-control model airplane

Synopsis for Doll Man: "The Death Room"

Young Tim Smith built a radio-controlled 2-cylinder-engined model airplane and tested it in Central Park, where he met Darrel Dane. That day, a Sunday, at the Roberts Laboratory, in Dr Roberts' office, Dane meets Mr Griffin, a hotelier with a seemingly cursed room in his hotel, one in which a series of murders has taken place, always on a Sunday, and always by hanging. Most or all of the victims have been diamond dealers, because this hotel caters to them. Since it's Sunday today, Darrel Dane decides to spend the night in this death room, which he does, hiding atop the canopy of the antique bed, at his fighting size. That night knockout gas is pumped into the room, paralyzing Doll Man, then a secret panel opens and in steps the hideous Grimes, a tall thin hunchback with a noose. Grimes is frustrated to find nobody in the room, suspects a trap, and flees down the narrow black secret tunnel behind the trick wall panel; Doll Man soon recovers from the gas and pursues him, but eventually is stymied by a steel door. Retracing his steps, Doll Man deduces that his quarry has hidden in the foreboding old Grimes Estate, surrounded by a wall topped with high voltage wires. Doll Man runs to Tim Smith's house, breaks into the garage, surreptitiously borrows the model airplane, flies it back to the Grimes Estate, and lands on the lawn. Inside he finds Grimes gloating over his large collection of stolen diamonds, beats him senseless, and leaves him for the police. He then returns Tim's airplane, with a ten dollar bill stuck inside.

Appearing in "Jane Arden // Lena Pry"

Featured Characters:

  • 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 Captain Fortune: "The Wicked Duke"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Will Kentshire, First Officer
    • crew of the "Revenge"

Villains:

  • Duke Edward of Kent

Other Characters:

  • Earl of Essex
  • Lady Essex

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • English Privateer Galleon "Revenge"

Synopsis for Captain Fortune: "The Wicked Duke"

  • Synopsis not yet written.

Appearing in "Joe Palooka"

Featured Characters:

  • Joe Palooka

Supporting Characters:

  • Knobby Walsh

Synopsis for "Joe Palooka"

(newspaper strip reprints)

Appearing in Rance Keane: "Cal Hennings's Rustlers"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Pee Wee Lee

Villains:

  • Cal Hennings (as "Nate Whelan, U.S. Deputy")
    • his rustlers

Other Characters:

  • Local Sheriff

Locations:

  • Southwestern United States
    • Rocky Gulch

Synopsis for Rance Keane: "Cal Hennings's Rustlers"

  • Synopsis not yet written.

Appearing in The Clock: "The Poison Gas Formula"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Benny, O'Brien's airplane mechanic

Villains:

  • Heizer (Single appearance)
  • Fritz (Single appearance)
  • Carl (Only appearance; dies)

Other Characters:

  • Captain Kane

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • O'Brien's Biplane (Destroyed)

Synopsis for The Clock: "The Poison Gas Formula"

Brian O'Brien does some recreational flying in his personal biplane, when he hears a bulletin: a deadly new poison gas has been stolen; the thieves have escaped by air; "a description of the plane follows ..." Almost immediately O'Brien spots exactly that airplane nearby. (Both of these planes are 2-cockpit biplanes with red bodies and yellow wings and tails.) Frustrated by a problem with his plane's machine guns, O'Brien flies into position over the getaway plane, puts on his mask, climbs out on the wing, and dives into the enemy plane, leaving his own plane to crash. There's a fistfight on the getaway plane, one of the two spies falls to his death, the other yields the stolen formula after The Clock safely lands the plane. He also reveals that Heizer, a chemist, has a copy of the formula, and is cooking up a batch of the gas right now, in an old barn on the post road. O'Brien leaves this guy tied to a tree, rents a motorcycle, goes looking for this barn, finds it, and crashes through its doors. Heizer is inside and has just finished a batch of gas and has on a gas mask, so Heizer throws a tube of gas, which floods the room but fails to faze the Clock, who punches out Heizer and leaves him for the cops. O'Brien later confides his theory to Captain Kane, that the Clock's mask had gotten wet, stuck to his face, and filtered out the deadly gas. Kane seemed to accept this explanation with no further questions.

Appearing in Spin Shaw: "Jasper Orin, Gun Runner"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Shaw's detachment of Navy Pilots

Villains:

  • Jasper Orin
    • his smuggling gang: Red Gordon, others

Other Characters:

  • Mike, Spin's Army Officer Friend

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • U.S.Navy antique fighter planes
  • Orin's cargo plane
  • Orin's B-17 Flying Fortress

Synopsis for Spin Shaw: "Jasper Orin, Gun Runner"

The onset of war and resulting Arms Embargo has driven up the price of illicit armaments. Notorious gun smuggler Jasper Orin has sped up his operation, and now is flying weapons from Oklahoma to Mexico. Working from an Army airbase in Texas, Captain "Spin" Shaw commands a crack squadron of Navy fighter pilots, on a patrol, which encounters one of Orin's freight planes. By radio they order the plane to land but the smuggler pilot tries to run for it. Spin Shaw fires a few rounds into their fuselage and they give up. But that's all the giving up they do, none of them squeals on their boss.

The next day, Orin sends a different plane along the same route; it's a B-17. This time the smugglers knock down one patrol plane, and escape into Mexico. Capt. Shaw decides he needs to infiltrate the smuggler gang.

A week later in Mexico City, calling himself "Tom Smith," Shaw gets himself hired by the smuggling operation. Smith's first mission is to fly the B-17 back to Orin's airbase near Oklahoma City, and Orin himself comes along for the ride. Spin sends a coded message to the Army Air Corps, and his patrol squadron takes off on an intercepting course. When they meet up, Jasper Orin pulls a gun on "Smith," and orders him to run for the border. Spin ignores him and keeps losing altitude, but when the gunnery stations on the Flying Fortress open fire on the approaching fighters, Shaw yanks the 4-engined behemoth into a loop maneuver, knocking all the gunners loose from their weapons. Before that's complete, he's out of his seat and pummeling Orin, who doesn't even manage to get off one shot. Meanwhile the giant aircraft is spinning earthward, out of control. Jumping back to the stick, Spin idles the engines and brings the bomber into a long glide, soon making a very bumpy but mostly safe landing, in rural Texas. The gang is soon rounded up.

Afterward Spin enjoys giving his Army pals a good ribbing, about how well his Navy fliers performed.

Appearing in "Ned Brant"

Featured Characters:

  • Ned Brant

Supporting Characters:

  • Bud Shekels

Synopsis for "Ned Brant"

(newspaper strip reprints)

Appearing in Charlie Chan: "The Dr. Croft Ruby Mystery, Part 2"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Kirk Barrow (Final appearance)
  • Gina Lane (Final appearance)

Villains:

  • Ali Abu, Indian Prince (Behind the scenes)
  • Lawrence Trent, Croft's nephew

Other Characters:

  • Dr. Croft
  • Claudia Gaylord, Croft's sister
  • Wicker, Croft's butler

Locations:

Items:

  • "pigeon blood" rubies

Synopsis for Charlie Chan: "The Dr. Croft Ruby Mystery, Part 2"

(newspaper strip reprints)

Appearing in Reynolds of the Mounted: "The Escaped Convicts"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Reynolds' C.O.

Villains:

  • Blackie
  • Mike

Other Characters:

  • Red Brown
  • Widow Brown
  • RCMP Pilot, also named Jim

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • RCMP long-range airplane

Synopsis for Reynolds of the Mounted: "The Escaped Convicts"

  • Synopsis not yet written.

Appearing in "Mickey Finn"

Featured Characters:

  • Mickey Finn

Supporting Characters:

  • Uncle Phil

Synopsis for "Mickey Finn"

(newspaper strip reprints)

Notes

  • Last issue for Charlie Chan.
  • In Doll Man, everybody at Roberts' Laboratory is at work on Sunday, including the owner, his daughter, and their star chemist Darrel Dane; something important must be happening there.
  • After this issue, The Clock next appears in Crack Comics #1 May 1940, and continues there until Crack Comics #35 Autumn 1944.
  • Last issue for Slim & Tubby.
  • In Spin Shaw:
    • A newspaper headline says: "WAR DECLARED! U.S. to enforce Arms Embargo!"
    • Spin and his squadron fly open-cockpit fighter planes with fixed landing gear, and the smugglers have got a Flying Fortress.
  • Also featured in this issue of Feature Comics were:
    • "Big Top" (newspaper strip reprints) by John Devlin
    • Mortimer Mum by Bill Sakren (bottom halves of the "Toddy" pages)
    • Toddy by George Marcoux (top halves of the "Mortimer Mum" pages)
    • Off the Record by Ed Reed
    • "Lala Palooza" (newspaper strip reprints) by John Devlin
    • Slim and Tubby: "Episode 31" (newspaper strip reprints) (Final appearance) by John J. Welch
    • "Magic on the Rink" (text story) by Robert E. Jones
    • The Bungle Family: "Open Season On Car Salesmen" and "Friends" (newspaper strip reprints) by H.J. Tuthill
    • They're Still Talking: "About Mike McTigue's Grand Display of Gameness", by Bob Zuppke and R.W. Depew
    • Dixie Dugan (newspaper strip reprints) by J.P. McEvoy and J.H. Striebel
    • Rube Goldberg's Side Show (newspaper strip reprints) by Rube Goldberg

Trivia

  • Will Eisner signs his Doll Man stories as "William Erwin Maxwell".



See Also


Recommended Reading

  • None.


Links and References