"The Redemption of Major Von Hartz": Major Hart, newly-promoted U.S. Army officer, is secretly an Axis agent named von Hartz, but when two of his spy colleagues approach him one day, he rebuffs them and tells them he quits. They tell him that they've got his father for a hostage, and that he sh
- Well, I've been detective, foot-racer, stunt-man, fire-bug, sword-swinger ... all within about an hour .. now I'll have to be an actor! Come along!
- -- Minute-Man
Appearing in "The Redemption of Major Von Hartz"
- Army General Milton
- Nazi foreign agents
- monocle spy, addressed as "Your Excellency" (Dies)
- cigarette-holder spy
- bartender spy
- three more spies at the Inn
- at least a platoon of uniformed German soldiers
- Major Hart [a.k.a. Major von Hartz]
- Major Hart's father
- Weston's unit's old base
- Wetzel Inn, nearby
- Fort Stonewall, on the coast
- old farm six miles away
- several Nazi submarines (two destroyed)
Synopsis for "The Redemption of Major Von Hartz"
Major Hart, newly-promoted U.S. Army officer, is secretly an Axis agent named von Hartz, but when two of his spy colleagues approach him one day, he rebuffs them and tells them he quits. They tell him that they've got his father for a hostage, and that he should meet them that night at the Wetzel Inn. Private Jack Weston on sentry duty just happens to be nearby and overhear this. That evening he gets permission to go into town, and that night he shadows Hart to the Inn. There, Hart meets up with at least six spies, who show him that they really do hold his father hostage, but father and son are both defiant. Minute-Man jumps into the room and beats up half the spies while the other half run away. They've won for the moment but nothing's really changed as long as the spies hold their hostage.
Soon, at their new lair, the two top spies share a good gloat, and review their big plan, which is to take over the brand-new coastal base Fort Stonewall, which starting tomorrow will be commanded by their stooge Major von Hartz. A fleet of submarines will land and Fort Stonewall will become an advance base for a big invasion.
Private Weston is among the troops transferred to the new base. That night Major Hart goes out in a driving rainstorm to check the fort's sentries, and Minute-Man silently follows him. One Nazi agent approaches Hart with new orders, which are to stand by for the "night of nights". That rat leaves, and Major Hart and Minute-Man have a little talk in which Jack learns that the enemy hideout is at an old farmhouse, six miles away.
The next morning Minute-Man sneaks toward that farmhouse, but is spotted. Three riflemen are sent out to deal with him, but in the woods, unarmed Minute-Man outsmarts and outfights them. He beats some cooperation out of the last one standing, and has the spy sling Minute-Man over his shoulder and carry him to the farmhouse. This ruse gets him close enough to grab the boss spy, and choke some information out of him: old Mr. Hartz is being held in the attic. While Jack runs up the stairs, one spy tells another to start a fire then run away. The fire spreads quickly but Minute-Man finds old von Hartz in the attic and gets him out a window and down a nearby tree in the nick of time. Leaving him hidden in the woods, Minute Man sprints back to the Fort. Soon afterward the old man also returns to the Fort.
That night, the two boss spies arrive at Fort Stonewall, to take over. In Hart's quarters the monocle spy, now dressed in a U.S. Army officer's uniform, reviews their plan: an offshore submarine fleet is waiting for the signal (three lanterns on the battlement) to land a small army of commandos to take over the base, then at sunrise a large Air Corps will arrive and land. This in turn will signal thousands of agents all over America to go into action. It's the Night of Nights! Monocle Spy leaves the room, to get started with all that, and the second he's gone, Minute-Man jumps into the room and chokes down Cigarette-holder Spy. Old von Hartz comes into the room thru the same window, and Major Hart finally turns against his old masters. Not a minute too soon, either, because outside on the parade ground are a large number of traitor soldiers, openly wearing German uniforms and shouldering rifles. But Minute-Man reminds the Hartzes that all the remaining soldiers, still asleep, are loyal.
Still playing the part of a mole agent, Major Hart assembles his garrison; he's been tipped off that the non-commissioned officers are all in on the Nazi scheme. Hart marches these non-coms into a basement, and Minute-Man slams and locks the big door behind them. This happens right in front of Monocle Spy, and he is momentarily flummoxed. Minute Man yells for all the rest of the fort's company to wake up and muster out, with rifles, which they rapidly do. A short melee, with hardly any shooting, soon has the spy troops captured. The boss spy is shot dead with his own pistol, while failing to take out Minute-Man. On the fort's seaward wall, Minute-Man and the Major find the three-lantern signal already in place. Just off shore several submarines have surfaced and are advancing toward the fort. Artillery is brought to bear and two submarines are sunk, the others withdraw. Hart calls General Milton for reinforcements.
Afterward, Minute-Man keeps quiet about Hart's brief career as a spy. General Milton keeps Minute-Man quiet about the whole thing, lest a war may result.
Appearing in "Boss Shuker"
- Shuker, crooked political boss
- Nazi agents
- boss agent
- big crewcut hoodlum (Dies)
- several more henchmen
- boss agent
- Gloria (Shuker's secretary)
- State House security guard
- Hotel Shuker (his skyscraper HQ)
- two armored cars
- autogyro aircraft
- Army fighter plane
Synopsis for "Boss Shuker"
Riding a train into the big city, Private Jack Weston sees a young man get grabbed by two hoodlums, and he confronts them. One of them pushes Jack aside, so he changes clothes, right there in the passenger car, and then in his Minute-Man identity he wades into the punks, and beats them until they jump off the train to escape him. Minute-Man has some questions for the young man, who in close-up, looks like a girl posing as a young man. Her name is Gloria. She's here from "over the state line," where a corrupt political boss named Shuker had run for governor and lost, then looking to make a comeback by means of a recount, has made a dirty deal with some shady agents of an unnamed foreign power. She was working in the outer office at the time, heard too much, fled, got caught, and was being brought back to her home state on this same train. Minute-Man decides to go back with her and take down these weasels.
One hoodlum has climbed a telephone pole, jacked in a headset, and called their boss, warning that a "star-spangled walloper" is on his way to town. The boss responds by sending one big crewcut hoodlum to the State House, to steal the real ballots and substitute the fake ones, by any means necessary including violence. Shuker is shocked to hear this, but his new boss spells out the new facts of life for him, and he falls in line right away.
That night at the State House, security is light, as Minute-Man and Gloria (still dressed as a guy) arrive on the grounds. Very soon the big hoodlum, plus two uniformed security guards, arrive in an armored car. Gloria recognizes the truck as belonging to Shuker's company. The disguised gangsters knock out one guard and proceed inside. Minute-Man sends Gloria to Shuker's garage, to steal another truck just like this one; she goes. Soon the crooks finish loading their armored truck with the real ballot boxes, and drive away, with Minute-Man riding along on their rear bumper. They quickly arrive at the Hotel Shuker and roll into the basement garage. One guard is left with the truck as the others report to the office. Minute-Man chokes this guard unconscious, ties him up, and brings him along as he steals the armored truck, which he drives back to the State House, where he meets up with Gloria and her armored truck. They then very quickly unload all of the genuine ballots back into the State House, and re-steal all the fake ballots, load them into the second armored truck, and return it to Shuker's garage. Only in the meantime, the knocked-out old security guard has recovered his wits, and called in an alarm, so a large number of cops are chasing Minute Man and Gloria as they race back to Shuker's joint.
The bad guys see the noisy police-chase arriving at their HQ, overreact, barricade the doors and windows, and get ready to shoot it out with the police. In the garage, Gloria tries to get out of the shooting zone, but is quickly caught, and dragged off to the boss's office. Shuker recognizes the "kid" as Gloria his secretary. While the bad guys are squabbling over what to do about it, Minute-Man steps into the room, and talks some smack. The boss agent and Shuker escape while the big crewcut hoodlum engages Minute-Man. That fight takes a few minutes to resolve, but it ends with crewcut running and Minute chasing. Up the firestairs they go, to the roof of the skyscraper, arriving just too late to prevent Shuker and the boss agent from escaping, with hostage Gloria, in an airplane. Also the agent has started a time-fuse which will soon detonate a series of bombs that they've thoughtfully planted in Shuker's building. Still they find time to exchange a few more punches before Jack punches the bigger man over the decorative wall, and a long drop to the street. Right then the explosives all go off, and the building shatters. Minute-Man is flung across the street and catches a flagpole.
By taxi and commandeered military aircraft, with an Army pilot dragooned into assisting, Minute-Man gets airborne in a fighter plane, which quickly finds and overtakes Shuker's autogyro. The bad guys land, figuring to lie their way out of the jam. It's their story against Gloria's and they suddenly all want to go see the authorities about it. That doesn't work out for them; Minute-Man's got several hundred pounds of twice-stolen ballots, stashed in Shuker's own truck, with which to incriminate them. Also there's the testimony of the fake security guard, now the sole survivor of Shuker's friends' gang. And also there's the futile last-minute knife attack, in front of witnesses, that the boss agent makes, in trying to silence that guy's story. And that's that, all surviving agents end up in custody, and Private Weston returns to his unit.
Appearing in "Illyria, Queen of Spies"
- General Milton
- unnamed sergeant
- small detail of U.S. soldiers
- unnamed sergeant
- Lady Illyria
- unnamed henchman
- unnamed old chief of Barracoon tribesmen
- several dozen Barracoon tribesman
- Gulf of Mexico
- Barracoon Island
Synopsis for "Illyria, Queen of Spies"
The U.S. Government has bought the island of Barracoon from Mexico, and means to turn it into a fortified naval base. General Milton makes sure that Private Weston is assigned to the detail sent to check out the island.
Illyria, Queen of Foreign Spies, learns of this, and hatches a plan to stir up some ancient voodoo deviltry, and thwart the U.S. takeover. Bringing along one henchman, Illyria flies her airplane to Barracoon, knows where a good landing place is, and knows the location of the ancient Cave of the Gods, where the local people secretly worship. They get inside this place, and Illyria also knows the ancient drum rhythms of the island people’s call to war. As she expects will happen, this stirs up the native people, oppressed by invading white men for 400 years, and they rally up for a big fight. They all run to the cave and without even looking inside just declare themselves ready to follow the instructions of the gods. Illyria tells them to strike for liberty!
The occupying force shows up, and the soldiers encounter the very hostile natives. Harsh words lead to fisticuffs which leads to shooting. The troops take over the strongest-looking house in the town and fortify it. The stand-off lasts for hours, while the drums work their magic. Pvt. Weston is sent out to do a perimeter check, and on his way out he changes clothes, then fights some of the indigenous warriors, in a tree, but falls out of it and is half-stunned; he gets captured. Because of his odd attire, the warriors tie him up and take him to the Cave of the Gods, and throw him inside.
Minute Man and Illyria recognize each other, they have some history. With no prompting at all, she tells him her plan, which is that after the natives have wiped out the small detail of U.S. soldiers, her own nation will send a much larger force to take over the island. Then she leaves to perform a voodoo dance for her native followers, while her henchman plays his drum and taunts Minute Man. In her skimpy costume and unusual headgear, Illyria’s dancing inspires the warriors, plus she distributes a lot of rifles, and sends them off to wipe out the detachment. Then the henchman drags Minute Man down farther into the cave, where there’s an underground waterfall, and throws him in.
Minute Man survives the impact, and very luckily for him he’s tied up with rawhide strips, which stretch when they’re wet, so he gets loose, and swims around until he meets an alligator, which he defeats by jamming a big rock down its gullet. Then he clambers about until he finds his way out of that part of the cave, and finds Illyria’s henchman’s drum, abandoned. He uses it to pound out a warning in Morse Code. The soldiers are ready, by the time the native mob, led by Illyria in person, arrives for their big attack.
The first wave of attackers takes heavy casualties, and they all fall back and surround the house. Illyria approaches under a white flag, encouraging the Americans to surrender and save their own lives. The sergeant in charge rebuffs this offer, so she sends her henchman to use her airplane to bomb the U.S. position. But by this time Minute Man has gotten from the cave to the landing strip, and catches the guy while he’s still arming up the plane. Minute Man leaps aboard just as it’s leaving the ground, then grabs the pilot right out of the open cockpit. The pilot still manages to kick Minute Man loose, and he drops off, but catches the axle of the landing gear. He works his way over to where the bomb is mounted, and pries it loose, then drops it, timing the drop to hit Illyria’s position. The henchman is back in the cockpit by this time, and is horrified to realize that Illyria is probably dead. Then Minute Man climbs back onto the cockpit and again grabs the pilot out of it, while the plane dives toward the Gulf of Mexico.
They both survive the crash, and Minute Man rescue-swims the hench-pilot away from a swarm of sharks and onto dry land, where he cows him into cooperating. Meanwhile the U.S. soldiers charge out to follow up on the bomb blast that scattered the warriors. Before the last few tribesmen can be wiped out, Minute Man arrives, with his newly-cooperative pilot friend, who confesses to the whole scheme. After that, all that’s left is for the sergeant to wonder where Pvt. Weston has been, this whole time.
Also meanwhile, paddling away in a canoe, Illyria is stewing about this new defeat.
Appearing in "The Servants of Korozan"
- Japanese agents
- Korozan (Dies)
- his gang
- sacrificial swordsman (Dies)
- his gang
- Korozan (Dies)
- Senator Barr
- Judy Barr
- Pvt. Weston's unit's base
- spy hideout nearby
- ugly pagan idol
Synopsis for "The Servants of Korozan"
Japanese agents kidnap Judy Barr, daughter of pro-armament legislator Senator Barr, seeking leverage over him. This takes place in the Service Club, on the Army base. The abductors get away clean, and Private Jack Weston gets blamed for Miss Barr's disappearance, and is locked in a cell. When no-one is looking, he changes into Minute-Man, then breaks out. He returns to the Service Club, which is now deserted, and takes a careful look around. He finds a secret panel in one wall and checks it out. A Japanese spy konks him in the head with a club, but it doesn't knock him out, they fight, the spy runs, Weston chases him, right into an ambush. Minute-Man has pistol-wielding enemies on three sides of him. Korozan dramatically enters the room and commands his servants to capture Minute-Man alive. He fights his way past them and comes to grips with Korozan, who is a skilled fighter, and who gets a scarf wrapped around Minute-Man's eyes right away. More henchmen pile on and Jack gets knocked out, properly this time.
Meanwhile and elsewhere, Senator Barr is angrily berating everybody and he wants some results pretty quick.
Minute-Man wakes up, tied up, unsupervised, in a hot basement with the coal-furnace door standing wide open. He gets to work on his escape, which is accomplished mostly through brute force, then he crashes thru a burning wall, and out of the basement.
Korozan has a grandiose throneroom in his secret lair, in which he commands his captive Judy Barr to write a letter to her father. She scoffs, until Korozan removes his big floppy hat, revealing his face full on. Judy is horrified and her resistance crumbles. She writes the letter, but now her usefulness is ended. Korazon commands that Judy should be sacrificed to the terrible pagan idol in the back of his throne room. That's when Minute-Man comes crashing thru the wall, disarms the sacrificial swordsman, and kills him with his own blade. Also the idol breaks into pieces and falls apart. Minute-Man squares off with Korazon for a final duel; Korazon throws aside his hat but Jack doesn't flinch at the sight of him. Korazon breaks Minute-Man's sword but Jack wields the hilt to fatal effect, stab-throwing Korazon across the room, to land head-first in the furnace door.
To get himself and Judy out of the spy hideout, Minute-Man disguises himself as the late Korazon, and bluffs his way past the remaining henchmen. He dupes them into showing them the way out, and while they're on the way out, a search party of soldiers, personally led by Sen. Barr, arrives at the house. The henchmen are all arrested and Judy is reunited with her father. She tries to introduce him to Minute-Man, but he has already departed, leaving behind only a handwritten note. He hurries back to the guardhouse and breaks in; nobody has noticed his absence; he changes back into his uniform, and in the morning, after the real story comes out, he's released.
- General Milton knows Jack Weston’s secret identity but nobody else does.
- In The Redemption of Major Von Hartz, two more submarine crews are killed.
- In Boss Shuker, Minute-Man punches one thug over the wall and off the roof of a tall building, to fatal effect.
- In The Servants of Korozan, Minute-Man kills a guy with the guy's own sword, then kills the guy's boss.
- Also featured in this issue of Minute-Man was:
- "Triumph of Time" (text story), by Gerry de la Ree
- No trivia.
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- Discuss Minute Man Vol 1 1 on the forums
- Cover gallery for the Minute Man series