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"The Origin of Master Man": When Master Man was a weak, scrawny boy, a wise old doctor gave him a magic capsule, full of vitamins, containing every source of energy known to man: the Vitacap. He grew up to become the strongest man on Earth, and built himself a stone castle atop the highest moun


Quote1 Good old Burton! Too bad I can't write the whole story for him yet. He'll get THAT, when I get MARLOWE! Quote2
-- Ken Wyman, the Devil's Dagger



Appearing in "The Origin of Master Man"

Featured Characters:

Other Characters:

  • Ecalponese Emissary
  • Mayor Doyle
  • Mayor Doyle's Daughter

Villains:

  • bandit chief
    • army of gangsters

Locations:

  • Master Man's castle, atop the highest peak (First appearance)
  • The country of Ecalpon, two hours away from Master Man's HQ

Items:

  • Master Man's Vitacaps (First appearance)

Vehicles:

  • many sedans
  • one bomber (Destroyed)

Synopsis for "The Origin of Master Man"

When Master Man was a weak, scrawny boy, a wise old doctor gave him a magic capsule, full of vitamins, containing every source of energy known to man: the Vitacap. He grew up to become the strongest man on Earth, and built himself a stone castle atop the highest mountain, and from there he sees all evil in the world, and races to destroy it instantly.

One day a stranger from Ecalpon visits Master Man and asks for his help, against an army of gangsters that is taking over his city. With his giant telescope, Master Man confirms his story; sure enough, a bandit army of hoodlums, wearing suits and driving sedans, is storming Ecalpon. Master Man sprints across the countryside and leaps over rivers and gorges, for two hours, and arrives in Ecalpon to confront the enemy. They shoot him with sub-machine guns; the bullets bounce off his chest, and he scatters the gunmen like gumdrops. A bomber flies overhead and drops a bomb on the city's orphanage; Master Man climbs up the building, and catches the bomb, which prevents it from exploding. Gangsters surround the orphanage and set it on fire, endangering a nurse who leaps from a window. Master Man rescues her and then pulls out all of the orphans. A sedan tries to run him down, and the bomber attacks him from above, he smashes both of them with his bare hands. Then he grabs the bandit chief and stuffs him into the local jail; all the other gangsters see this and flee. But on their way out of town they kidnap the mayor's daughter, so Master Man races after them, catches them, konks their heads together and tosses them into a pond, flips over their car, then rescues Miss Dole, carrying her swiftly back to town. Although everybody in Ecalpon urges him to stay, Master man sprints back to his mountain castle home.

Appearing in White Rajah: "The Jeweled Crown of Ramistan"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Sin-Gee, white elephant (First appearance)
  • Old Rajah of Ramistan (First appearance)

Villains:

  • Headhunters

Locations:

  • India
    • Scott Plantation
    • Ramistan (First appearance)
    • Headhunter Territory

Items:

  • Jeweled Crown of Ramistan (First appearance)

Synopsis for White Rajah: "The Jeweled Crown of Ramistan"

On young David Scott's father's plantation in India, David has a horseriding accident and is deftly rescued from a long fall, by a white elephant. After that young David doesn't return to the plantation. He grows up in the jungle, and adapts to it, alongside his friend the white elephant, whom he names "Sin Gee." His father meanwhile searches the jungle again and again, until he becomes convinced that he'll never find the boy alive. Heartbroken, he returns to England.

The boy and his elephant travel around the region, and David becomes famous as a peace-maker, so much so that the old Rajah of Ramistan seeks his counsel, and invites him to his palace. During that visit, there is a break-in, and a team of fanatical headhunter burglars steal the Jeweled Crown of Ramistan. Sin Gee catches one burglar, alive, but the one with the crown gets away. Soon David and Sin Gee are in pursuit. They track the thief back to the outskirts of his home village, but then Sin Gee drops into an elephant trap! David clambers over the stockade and into the headhunter village, but soon gets captured. But by sheer strength he is able to burst his rope bonds, then snatches the crown and runs.

Sin Gee has meanwhile worked his way out of the elephant trap, and now smashes thru the village stockade. The two team up again, and soon return to Ramistan with the crown and one prisoner. The old Rajah is mightily impressed by this feat, and declares that the boy shall be his heir.

Appearing in "Enter: The Devil's Dagger"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Sandra Cole (First appearance)
  • Pat Gleason, former prizefighter, Wyman family's chauffeur (First appearance)
  • Burton, City Editor of the Daily Blade (First appearance)

Villains:

  • Jeff Marlowe (First appearance)
    • two henchmen

Other Characters:

  • Professor Simon Craig, inventor
  • Jean Craig, daughter of Professor Craig

Locations:

  • Carterville
    • Daily Blade
    • Emerson House
    • Wyman Estate

Items:

Vehicles:

  • Wyman's regular sedan
  • The Speed Ghost, Wyman's high-powered, bulletproof, blue & yellow, convertible coupe

Synopsis for "Enter: The Devil's Dagger"

Ken Wyman, scion of Carterville's wealthiest family, turned down an executive position at his father's bank, preferring instead to work as the star reporter at the Daily Blade. Secretly Wyman is also the Devil's Dagger, hated enemy of the underworld and Carterville's best friend.

Carterville's underworld is run by Jeff Marlowe, who one day sends a threatening note to Burton, the City Editor, Ken's boss, at the Daily Blade, warning him to print nothing about Professor Simon Craig's recently-invented diamond-making machine. This of course has exactly the opposite effect, and soon the Blade's star reporter is on his way to do some snooping, but no sooner does he leave the building than he spots his girlfriend Sandra Cole being manhandled by some lowlife, right there on the sidewalk. Ken steps in and punches the lout, who flees. Sandra rides home in Wyman's car, heavily hinting along the way that Ken should go to work for the bank and marry her.

Wyman drops off Sandra then drives to Prof. Craig's house, and arrives just as a pair of thugs are threatening the inventor and his daughter, demanding the plans for his diamond-making machine. Wyman punches one thug and both flee; he follows them in his car; they lead him to a former hotel, turned gas station, called the Emerson House. Wyman fast-talks his way inside, looks around, and listens in as Marlowe berates his craven henchmen and announces his plan. That night he'll re-visit the Craigs himself.

Back at his family's palatial estate, young Wyman gets together with Pat Gleason, the chauffeur, and they prepare for that evening's adventure. Pat is an ex-prizefighter, Ken is packing a revolver, and they're traveling in the Speed Ghost, with the Devil's Dagger at the wheel. They arrive at the Craigs' house just as Marlowe is leaving; Dagger steps inside to check on them; they're tied up but unharmed, and Marlowe has gotten away with the plans for the diamond-maker. The Speed Ghost soon arrives at the Emerson House. While Pat calls the police, the Devil's Dagger invades the hideout, pins the stolen plans to a wall with a thrown stiletto, and mixes it up with the henchmen, while Marlowe escapes thru a trap door. The police arrive and corral the henchmen, but the Devil's Dagger gets away.

The next morning Editor Burton calls Wyman in early, to write up the story of the Marlowe Gang's latest scrape with the Devil's Dagger.

Appearing in Morton Murch, the Hillbilly Hero: "The Island of Felicia"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Mrs. Murch, Morton's Maw (First appearance)

Villains:

  • Enemy Aviators

Other Characters:

  • Queen Silva, of Felicia (First appearance)

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • Murch's Home-Made Balloon

Synopsis for Morton Murch, the Hillbilly Hero: "The Island of Felicia"

One day for no apparent reason Morton Murch, of Hoopieville, West Virginia, builds himself a makeshift gas balloon, from blankets and a bathtub, gets aloft in it, encounters very strong winds, and is very soon blown far out to sea. In the South Atlantic Ocean, Murch discovers a floating island kingdom called Felicia, and makes friends with Silva, the Queen. Felicia is propelled across the ocean by a giant engine harnessing volcanic gasses, and most of her people's artifacts are made of molten flexible glass. Wild animals stroll the streets of the gleaming city. Silva wants Morton to teach her people the secret of flight!

Murch experiments with the volcanic gasses, and helps in developing glass munitions, but before very much progress gets made, a formation of enemy war planes arrives to attack the city. Morton invents and quickly directs the construction of a very large, invisible, glass net, then gets aloft in his gas balloon, and ensnares the enemy planes in it. Most or all of the enemy fliers are captured alive. Queen Silva proclaims Murch to be the national hero of Felicia, and plants a royal smooch on him. Still, Morton feels homesick, and pines for Hoopieville.

Appearing in Shipwreck Roberts: "The Diabolical Doctor Drown"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • "Deep Sea" Doodle (First appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Mr. Jones, President, Transoceanic Steamship Company

Villains:

  • Doctor Drown, Super Scientist (First appearance)
    • Romez, hunchback henchman (First appearance)

Monsters:

  • two mutated aquatic "Brontosauruses"
  • Giantocrab
  • Colostopus

Locations:

  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • 500 miles off shore
    • wreckage-strewn sea floor
    • Doctor Drown's Yacht "Ghost", (airtight, palatial, and deeply submerged)

Items:

  • Drown's Detectograph
  • Roberts's Electric Sizzler Torch
  • Roberts's Protectogun

Vehicles:

  • Roberts' Depthosphere, super submarine

Synopsis for Shipwreck Roberts: "The Diabolical Doctor Drown"

Shipwreck Roberts runs a diving and salvage operation, based at Charleston, South Carolina, and gets hired by the Transoceanic Steamship Company to investigate some suspicious recent sinkings. Roberts and his assistant, "Deep Sea" Doodle, embark in his super submarine, with windows, out to the site where the ships have disappeared, about 500 miles out. In their dome-helmeted deep-diving suits, they descend in a compressed air chute to a safety zone on the ocean floor, protected by chemicalized air, shot from the sub. They find a sunken wreck, with obvious torpedo damage to its hull.

Doctor Drown has been monitoring this site with his Detectograph, and he's got some trained, giant, reptialian sea monsters, that are capable of following spoken directions, which he dispatches to bring back these interlopers. Roberts and Doodle have meanwhile located an un-stolen safe, still aboard the otherwise completely looted shipwreck. The monsters attack them, but Roberts has a special weapon for repelling large predators, and it drives them away, but they also grab and remove the safe. Roberts heads to the super submarine to grab a Protectogun, but before he can do so, they are attacked by a Giantocrab. Before it can kill the divers, Doctor Drown arrives, and shoos away the grotesque monster, then invites Roberts and Doodle aboard his submerged yacht, the "Ghost."

Doctor Drown gloats about his scientific break-throughs and his successful ship-looting racket, and steps in too closely to Roberts as he does so; he gets knocked out and so does his hunchbacked henchman Romez. Shipwreck and Deep Sea escape from the Ghost, but soon Doctor Drown has regained his wits, and sent his "Brontosauruses" after them. The monsters capture them both alive and carry them back to the submerged yacht, then Drown's Detectograph alerts him to the approach of another merchant ship. Drown and Romez pay too much attention to setting up their next torpedo shot, and not enough to their prisoners, and once again get jumped on and beaten up. Roberts smashes the controls for Drown's antiship weapon, while Doodle makes the captured villains put on their diving suits, to take a trip to the mainland. They march back toward Roberts's super submarine and almost make it, but Drown calls in another monster, a Colostopus! Shipwreck and Deep Sea barely escape in the sub, but lose their prisoners in the process. As far as Shipwreck Roberts is concerned, this is not over.

Appearing in Bill Crane, Frontier Marshal: "The New Marshal of Big Savage"

Featured Characters

Supporting Characters:

  • Marshal Ned Crane (Dies)
  • Helen Wright, Assistant (First appearance)
  • Mesquite Mike, Deputy (First appearance)

Villains:

  • Jim Trask (First appearance)
    • Jake Whipple, his enforcer (First appearance)
      • rustler gang
      • fugitive gang
      • bandit gang

Locations:

  • Old West
    • Big Savage
      • Red Eagle Saloon
      • Sheriff's Office
      • Big Savage Bank

Vehicles:

  • stage coaches

Synopsis for Bill Crane, Frontier Marshal: "The New Marshal of Big Savage"

  • Synopsis not yet written.

Appearing in "Introducing Mr. Clue"

Featured Characters:

Villains:

  • Police Chief Flynn

Other Characters:

  • Mayor Roger Brett (Dies)
  • Tony Terror
  • Tommy
  • Bill

Locations:

  • a large, eastern city

Synopsis for "Introducing Mr. Clue"

  • Synopsis not yet written.

Appearing in Streak Sloan: "Boy Newsreel Reporter"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Dugan, Sloan's Editor (Behind the scenes)

Villains:

  • Black Jack Bannon, Scourge of the Arctic Circle
    • his crew

Other Characters:

  • Cap Wabash, whale oil ship skipper
    • his crew
  • Coast Guard Cutter Commander
    • his crew

Locations:

Items:

  • half a million dollars worth of whale oil

Vehicles:

  • Wabash's square-rigged sailing whaler
  • Bannon's cutter
  • USCG cutter
  • Bannon's submarine

Synopsis for Streak Sloan: "Boy Newsreel Reporter"

Streak Sloan shoots some newsreel footage aboard a sail-powered whaling ship, off the coast of Alaska. The ship is robbed by Black Jack Bannon, who steals half a million dollars worth of whale oil and departs in his cutter. Bannon observes Sloan and his camera, aloft in the rigging, photographing the crime, but thinks nothing of it as he motors away.

When the whaler reaches port, Streak talks his way aboard a Coast Guard cutter, joining the ongoing hunt for this Arctic pirate, Black Jack Bannon. On a tiny island they find a secret harbor, and the landing party almost captures Bannon, but is outnumbered, and they end up as prisoners themselves. Bannon gloats as he gives them all a tour of his under-ice tunnel, his secret salmon cannery, and his submarine, which he uses to make the thousand-mile transit to Beringia, where he sells his loot to a foreign power. Bannon boards the sub and prepares to depart, but the Coast Guard cutter has by this time found the secret water cave, and sailed into it. There is a brief exchange of deck-cannon and machine-gun fire, and Bannon flees on foot, Streak chases him, and they both fall into the freezing water, where Sloan overpowers and captures Bannon.

Bannon's base has been mined with evidence-destroying explosive charges, and capturing Bannon hasn't disarmed the bombs, so Sloan gets some swell footage of Bannon's base blowing up, as the Coast Guard carries them back to Alaska. Later Sloan's newsreel film becomes important evidence in convicting Black Jack Bannon, and also enjoys a long run in the movie theaters.

Appearing in El Carim: "The Search For Harrington Grey"

Featured Characters:

Villains:

  • kidnapper boss
    • four thugs

Other Characters:

  • Harrington Grey
  • Jane Grey

Locations:

  • Theater
  • Grey Estate
    • "Phantom Castle"

Items:

  • El Carim's Spectograph: It would transform a missing person's written name into radio "vision waves," then record its findings on El Carim's monocle. But the Spectrograph is not yet perfected, and without "distance waves," the early model Spectrograph can not place the person's location.
  • El Carim's bulletproof monocle, attracts bullets.
  • El Carim's powerful magnet, attracts bullets and rifles. World's most powerful hand-held magnet.
  • El Carim's magic rope , adjusts its own length on verbal command.
  • El Carim's Arrestor, renders people motionless.

Synopsis for El Carim: "The Search For Harrington Grey"

El Carim, Master of Magic, in his turban and tuxedo, is relaxing in his dressing room after a performance, when he gets the news that millionaire Harrington Grey has been kidnapped. Just then Jane Grey shows up at El Carim's door, to beg for his help. El Carim has invented the Spectograph, and by writing the name of the missing person on a slip of paper, and inserting it into a slot in the machine, and inserting his monocle into another slot, El Carim gains a means of observing Mr. Grey's whereabouts. Jane looks into the monocle, and is very upset to see two thugs beating up her father, in his own living room. El Carim and Jane hurry to her home, but everybody is gone, then a man shows up at the window and fires one pistol shot into the room.

El Carim's monocle is bulletproof, and it attracts bullets; this shot is drawn off its trajectory, and bounces harmlessly off El Carim's eyepiece. El Carim and Jane follow the fleeing gunman, who runs to a large wicker basket at the base of a tall, sheer cliff, gets in, and is hauled up to a phantom castle at the top of the cliff. To follow him, El Carim conjures a length of rope, and by saying the magic word "EXTENDO," adjusts the length to reach to cliff top, then uses it to get himself and Jane to the top. It's guarded by riflemen who open fire on them, but El Carim reaches into his cummerbund and whips out the world's most powerful magnet, which redirects the bullets, and disarms the guards. Infuriated, they charge in anyway, and El Carim instantly paralyzes them with his Arrestor. But as they search the castle, El Carim and Jane are jumped by two more thugs, who knock El Carim unconscious, and throw them both into a dungeon, where they find Jane's tied-up father Harrington Grey.

The gang leader wants the magic word for unparalyzing his two frozen thugs, and he slaps El Carim around until he seemingly gets it, and walks outside to try it. (The word he gets is "MELIKA" but the real word is "SEGHIR".) No sooner is he gone than El Carim exerts his secret escape technique, to magically animate the ropes so that they untie themselves. Then he uses the Arrestor to freeze the remaining thugs, and their boss, and to free the Greys. He marches the thugs to the wicker basket at the edge of the cliff, loads all five of them into it, then lowers them to the ground by hand. He follows them, carrying Jane, from the cliff-top to the ground, by saying the magic word "GROUNDO."

A month later, the kidnappers have all been tried and convicted and are serving long prison sentences. El Carim continues to develop his Spectrograph, hoping to incorporate "distance waves" into its operation.

Appearing in Rick O'Shay: "Showdown With Sidi-Ahmed"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Mekki

Villains:

  • Sidi-Ahmed
    • his renegades

Other Characters:

Locations

  • Northern Africa
    • Nador, Colony of Franconia

Items:

Vehicles:

  • The Red Flash, O'Shay's airplane

Synopsis for Rick O'Shay: "Showdown With Sidi-Ahmed"

In the African Colony of Franconia, a rebellion is led by Arab chieftan Sidi-Ahmed, who enjoys success after success, destroying Franconian fortifications and airfields, and ambushing patrols, all across the territory. Globe-trotting American soldier-of-fortune Rick O'Shay, and his Arab servant Mekki, are drawn to the conflict.

Mekki gathers intel by hanging out in a dingy cafe in the Native Quarter of the colonial town, and thus learns of the rebels' next plan. Rick recruits a crew of volunteers at the Franconian barracks, and tells them to wait one week before looking for him. Then he and Mekki pile into O'Shay's airplane, the "Red Flash," fly 1000 miles, hide the plane, climb across a range of mountains, and march into a forest. A leopard attacks, and O'Shay grapples it to death. The dead leopard wears a collar with a tag, marking it as Sidi-Ahmed's.

Mekki spots Sidi-Ahmed's lonely mountain cabin hideout, and Rick spots a tripwire, across the trail to the cabin. With a pistol shot he trips the wire, which detonates a landmine. The noise attracts a swarm of rebels who overwhelm Rick and Mekki, and drag them away to see Sidi-Ahmed. This desert chieftain has got a crystal ball, and inside it are four Franconian soldiers, alive, and shrunken to a tiny size.

Sidi-Ahmed then puts a bowl of water on the floor near a housecat, which tastes it, and is suddenly grown to the size of a tiger, but the big cat flees from the large fire in the room, over which Rick and Mekki are soon suspended. Rick escapes by bursting his bonds with sheer muscle power, frees Mekki, grabs the bowl of special water, frees the soldiers from the crystal sphere, and gives them the water. The soldiers and their uniforms all grow back to their normal sizes. They escape the hideout, return to the plane, and fly back to the Franconian army post. Sidi-Ahmed and his troops attack the fort, and after a shoot-out there is a lot of close-quarters fighting, amidst which Sidi-Ahmed and Rick O'Shay duel it out with scimitars. The chieftain is captured alive, and is imprisoned in Nador.

Notes

  • Devil's Dagger: Professor Craig's Diamond-making Machine might or might not work; we never find out.
  • El Carim: The correct magic word for releasing people from the paralyzing influence of El Carim's 'arrestor' is "SEGHIR."
  • Master Man maintains his superhuman strength, speed, and durability, by taking tablets called Vitacaps.
    • This origin story tells us nothing about how he maintains his supply of them. They are described as "magic," but this seems to not be literally true. He got his first one from a kindly old doctor, whose name we are not told. He doesn't actually ingest any Vitacaps in the non-flashback part of this story.
    • Also untold is Master Man's home base; the story tells us only that he lives atop the "highest mountain," which might or might not be in America.
    • As a lad, young Master Man was unsuccessful at American-style football, implying that he is based in America.
    • Ecalpon is either a small country or a large city. The invading gangsters wear business suits and drive civilian sedans, but they have one bomber.
  • Morton Murch's villains, Felicia's air-raiding enemies, have no named nationality, and their uniforms are never visible.
  • Rick O'Shay's loyal servant Mekki has previously accompanied him on adventures all over the world. This is their first published appearance.
    • Sidi-Ahmed had a size-changing potion. Nobody thought to steal his supply of it, or beat the formula for it out of him, or anything. It's never mentioned again.
  • Shipwreck Roberts: Doctor Drown had an assortment of monsters, including mutated undersea dinosaurs, a giant crab, and the Colostopus. As shown next issue, Drown also had a "mechanosaurus".
  • Streak Sloan: "Beringia" is a foreign port, on the Bering Sea, where smuggling takes place. Story doesn't reveal whether it's Russian, Japanese, an isolated city, or a coastal nation.
  • White Rajah: "Sin Gee" means "Big Elephant".
  • Also appearing in this issue of Master Comics were:
    • "Sooner or Later" (text story)
    • Master Puzzlers

Trivia

  • No trivia.



See Also


Recommended Reading

  • None.


Links and References