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Smash Comics Vol 1 17

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"The Ray: "Music Hath Charm"": Happy Terrill investigates some ship sinkings, suspecting Dock Commissioner Jennings of being in on the mischief (which he is). By following the commissioner, the Ray is able to learn that a clarinetist named Stradivous, operating at a remote lighthouse, is using


Quote1 So it was Jennings and this creepy guy! hmm .. We'll have to wait till morning to take 'em in. Can't risk sailing in the dark. Quote2
-- Policeman with submachine gun



Appearing in The Ray: "Music Hath Charm"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Villains:

  • Dock Commissioner Jennings
  • Stradivous

Other Characters:


Locations:


Items:


Vehicles:




Synopsis for The Ray: "Music Hath Charm"

Happy Terrill investigates some ship sinkings, suspecting Dock Commissioner Jennings of being in on the mischief (which he is). By following the commissioner, the Ray is able to learn that a clarinetist named Stradivous, operating at a remote lighthouse, is using hypnotic music and conventional radio waves to mentally control first the radiomen then the crews of the targeted cargo ships. The Ray saves a ship loaded with gold from crashing, by turning off its engines, then, using his powers in an innovative new way, un-hypnotizing the crew. Then he visits the lighthouse hideout of the crooks, and gets captured, but Stradivous has carelessly left the transmitter on, and his music draws a police boat to the lighthouse.

Appearing in "Chic Carter and the story of The Mole"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Officer Monahan

Villains:

  • The Mole

Other Characters:


Locations:

Items:

  • Crown Jewels of a European country

Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Chic Carter and the story of The Mole"

A famous royal European gem collection is moved to New York and publicly displayed. One rude creepy bearded guy elbows his way to the front of the crowd and gloats out loud about how soon these pretty gems will be his, then departs. Back home in his old brownstone dwelling, the creep removes his beard and spectacles and hat, then gloats some more (“Ha! With my boring machine, I will have no trouble!”), and starts calling himself “The Mole.” He’s got a giant drilling machine vehicle, with an x-ray guidance system, that he’s going to use for a jewelry heist. He navigates this thing to the very large vault where the gems are being stored overnight, bursts up through the floor, steals the gems, and escapes.

The next day smart-alecky reporter Chic Carter has some questions for Officer Monahan, the overnight guard, when the same bearded creep from yesterday’s display session shows up. Monahan calls a squad of cops down on him, but he runs away, but soon more cops arrive from a new direction, and he shoots one of them, then ducks into an alley and removes his fake beard, then blends into the crowd. This works, the cops run right past him, then Chic Carter, chasing the cops, runs up and gets directions, from the Mole himself. But Chic quickly forms a suspicion, then steps on a pair of discarded glasses and a fake beard, jumps to the correct conclusion, and starts stalking the villain, back to his laboratory. He breaks in, catches the Mole red-handed with the stolen loot, and jumps onto him for a long, violent fight, in which some handrails and furniture get broken and a chemical fire ignites. The only escape is via the crazy-looking boring machine, so Chic loads the knocked-out Mole, and the jewels, into the vehicle, figures out how to operate it, navigates it to the police station, bursts in through the floor, and turns everything over to the police.

Appearing in Invisible Justice: "The Gaston Necklace"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Villains:

  • Jason White, jeweler, aka Rufus Kane, pawnbroker
    • Jarvis, chauffeur
    • Blake, autogiro pilot
    • at least two other thugs

Other Characters:

  • Inspector Battle

Locations:


Items:

  • the Gaston Necklace

Vehicles:

  • S.S. Castria

Synopsis for Invisible Justice: "The Gaston Necklace"

For months now, police have been baffled by a ring of international gem smugglers, but jeweler Jason White now has a tip for Inspector Battle and his friend Kent Thurston: check out old Rufus Kane, the new pawnbroker along the city’s waterfront. White also has a foreign agent who reports that the famous Gaston Necklace has been stolen and that the thief is enroute to NYC aboard the S.S. Castria. That night, Kent Thurston visits the waterfront pawnshop at closing time, gets invisible, and observes (and rides along) as Kane comes out, converses with his chauffeur (Jarvis), is driven to a vacant lot, converses with his pilot (Blake), who gets aboard an autogiro and flies away, with the Invisible Hood riding along, and Kane staying behind.

The craft flies out to sea for an hour, and then the S.S. Castria comes into view. Blake silently lands the autogiro on the main deck, no lookout spots this, and even less does anybody notice the Invisible Hood creeping about, until he grabs a steward by the throat and half-tricks / half-chokes him into telling which stateroom the smuggler is in. When he gets there, the door is already open, and a man with a dagger is standing over a dead man, gloating out loud. Hood figures this guy for Kane’s henchman, and invisibly grabs him, but the killer shoulder-throws him into a bulkhead, then flees toward the autogiro. He makes it, and tells Blake to take off; neither of them notices as the Invisible Hood grabs the landing gear and rides along.

About an hour later, they fly along a river to a wharf with piers and barges, filled with sand and coal, where they land. I.H. watches as Blake and the dagger man step into the shabby little wharf office, where Kane and two more henchmen await, and he listens to them gloat for a moment or two, then opens the door and walks in, talking smack. Kane douses the only light in the room and tells his men to fill the room with lead. Then he slips out the back door, gets in a motorboat, casts off, and departs. The Invisible Hood has followed, closely enough to catch a rope trailing from the boat, and grimly hangs on until Kane reaches a seemingly-abandoned boathouse, farther up the river. Next we see a car pull away from the boathouse.

The next morning at the docks, Jason White, Inspector Battle, and Kent Thurston compare notes, then Battle and Thurston converse more privately. Thurston asks Battle to “reveal” to White that they have learned that Kane is innocent, and to observe his reaction. The inspector plays along with this, and that night they stake out White’s house, where Rufus Kane shows up unexpectedly, with a gun, but Kent Thurston punches him out, and reveals that Kane and White were both the same guy all along. Also, Inspector Battle doesn’t believe there’s really such a guy as the Invisible Hood.

Appearing in Espionage Starring Black X: "Sabotage Strikes the Aviation Factories"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Col. Atwater, Black X's boss

Villains:

  • Maxel, a corrupt mechanic
  • unnamed factory superintendent

Other Characters:


Locations:

  • the Speed-Ace Corporation aircraft factory

Items:


Vehicles:



Synopsis for Espionage Starring Black X: "Sabotage Strikes the Aviation Factories"

Saboteurs are targeting the aircraft factories; important parts keep going missing at the Speed-Ace Corporation. Black X meets his boss at Secret Service HQ. Black X dba Joe Adams, mechanic, goes to work at the Speed-Ace factory, and he soon stages an industrial accident as a ruse to draw out a spy (Maxel), and works that spy to draw out the spy ring, and by the end of p.3 they're buying his story (but still have Maxel watching him). "Several weeks pass, and Black X has made several successful thefts." He assembles enough clues to pretty-legitimately deduce that the factory superintendant is "the head" of the spies, and barges into his office (followed by Maxel) to confront him, that conversation devolves into a 3-against-X fistfight, which he quickly wins. Two random workers investigate the noisy chair-breaking fight, buy into Black X's version of things completely, and presumably the FBI is on their way to back up his story and round up these spies.

Appearing in "Magno meets Mary Wallace"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Villains:

  • Steve Recka, slumlord
    • Monk
    • three other thugs

Other Characters:

  • Mary Wallace, city worker

Locations:

  • 218 West 37th St

Items:


Vehicles:



Synopsis for "Magno meets Mary Wallace"

Mary Wallace is making a survey of slum conditions, and is startled to find the building to be in better shape than expected, needing only superficial repairs. From an alley, a knife-wielding murderer (Monk) sneaks up on her from behind, but is suddenly drawn up into the air, punched in the face, and dropped into a pile of garbage boxes, by Magno, who follows up with some questions and more punching. The knife-man claims he was only trying to scare Mary away, and admits that he works for Steve Recka, the slumlord, who according to Mary, is trying to get his own buildings condemned. Magno helpfully telephones Recka and arranges for a meeting between Miss Wallace and Mr. Recka, but first Recka sends a trio of stooges to “fix up” the stairs and fire escapes in one of his properties, and arrange to have one wall fall down. But Magno is on the windowsill eavesdropping, and catches all of these instructions. He magnetically rides along as two cars full of “fixers” go to the target building, and he lets them get started taking down one stairway before he confronts them, and one short melee later they’re all inert. Soon Recka and Wallace show up and tour the building, with Recka silently fuming about the amount of damage that’s left undone, until they meet Magno, who shows Recka his knocked-out henchmen and makes clear what will happen to him if he doesn’t get some painters and carpenters into this place, very quickly. Recka caves, and promises to fix the place.

Appearing in "Wings Wendall versus Warak of Barbaria"

Featured Characters:

  • Wings Wendall

Supporting Characters:

  • the Chief, Wendall's boss

Villains:

  • Warak, dictator of Barbaria (Apparent Death)
  • General Rygor
  • Listra

Other Characters:


Locations:

  • Barbaria

Items:


Vehicles:

Synopsis for "Wings Wendall versus Warak of Barbaria"

Led by the dictator Warak, the long-scorned nation of Barbaria develops a fleet of giant “flying wing” aircraft (transports for troops, tanks, and artillery), and prepares to go to war against the USA. Meanwhile the U.S. Ambassador to Barbaria is seemingly-accidentally killed, but Wendall’s boss, the Chief, is certain that he was actually murdered, and that Barbaria is concealing a modern weapons program.

Wings Wendall is appointed Ambassador to Barbaria, and a few weeks later arrives by steamship at that country, where he is personally greeted by Warak and his cabinet. Wings plays dumb and pays attention, and decides the Chief is right. That night he sneaks into Warak’s personal quarters, with a flashlight and a silencer-equipped pistol, both of which he puts to good use, killing one guard and finding some blueprints for the “flying wing” aircraft.

The next morning Warak takes a general’s advice and assigns Listra, a glamorous lady spy, to attach herself to the new ambassador and learn everything he knows. Wendall meanwhile is still in the palace, unarrested and unconfronted, and when a staff car pulls up at the front door, Wendall punches out the chauffeur and takes his place, and his hat. Listra observes this from an upstairs window. A few minutes later Warak and one staff officer (General Rygor) get in the car, and direct the trip through a remote section of Barbaria, then halts it at the end of a road near the foot of a mountain. A big camouflage door opens, and they proceed inside the mountainside, into a vast airplane hangar, containing at least one vast airplane, the four-engined V-winged “flying wing.” All three men get aboard, and fly to a previously-evacuated small town, for some bombing practice. The town is quickly and efficiently destroyed, and the giant plane returns to the secret base, where Listra awaits it. She mocks Warak for taking a spy along on his inspection tour, ratting out the chauffeur as Ambassador Wendall, who now escapes, punching out a mechanic and stealing a small fighter plane, which is armed with incendiary bombs. He bombs the hidden airdrome, setting it ablaze, but Warak (no coward, he) races to take the controls, takes off, and flies the precious prototype plane towards the sea, with Wendall pursuing in the single-engine, open cockpit fighter. He’s out of ammunition but not out of ideas; he crashes his fighter into the big transport, parachuting free at the last second, and lands in the ocean, very fortunately near the course of an American steamship, which soon picks him up. So a few weeks later Wings and his boss are amused to read the newspaper story about the mysterious aircraft pieces that washed ashore on the coast of Barbaria.

Appearing in "Hugh Hazzard versus the Wizard"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Villains:

  • the Wizard (Apparent Death)
    • Biff (Dies)
    • Hack
    • two other henchmen

Other Characters:

  • delivery pilot

Locations:

  • Western Fair

Items:


Vehicles:

  • open-cockpit, 2-seat biplane, for gem delivery
  • miniature, explosive, remote-control biplanes

Synopsis for "Hugh Hazzard versus the Wizard"

In a secluded house on the fringe of the city, The Wizard’s gang is falling apart, bickering among themselves, broke, bored, and cranky. One guy figures the Wizard has some big score planned for the near future, so he’s stringing along, but one hot-head, Biff, has had enough. Just as he’s stomping out, The Wizard steps in, explains that the gang’s safety depends on them all being thought dead, then clinches his argument with two shots, killing Biff. And sure enough, he has got a plan, a big one, which he now reveals to his surviving henchmen. He’s got some working, motorized model airplanes, each packed with enough dynamite to blow a hole in an armored car (or so he claims), and right now they’re going to go rob Carter’s jewelry store. Half an hour later, there they are, and a model plane veers out of the sky, crashes into Carter’s display window, and explodes. The gang scoops up a fortune in diamonds, and escapes. Over the next few days, they do three bank robberies.

Hugh Hazzard reads about all this with concern, then spots a story about a gem exhibit for tomorrow, at the Western Fair, and decides to Bozo up and patrol the air lanes around the fair. At noon the next day, the mail-plane carrying the gems arrives; the crooks are watching, and the Wizard launches one of his models at it. Bozo zooms in to intercept it, but before he can get there, the delivery pilot spots the model, dives his plane, and avoids the collision. The Wizard doesn’t recognize Bozo, but prudently redirects the first plane to target Bozo, then launches a second model plane at the delivery plane. The first model hits the flying robot, but does no damage whatsoever, while the second model is rapidly overtaking the delivery plane. Bozo pours on the speed and still won’t be able to overtake the small plane, but he does catch the big plane, by the landing-gear axle, and uses his weight to snatch it down out of the path of the bomb plane. Then Bozo outmaneuvers the small plane, hits it, and again is undamaged, and he spots the bad guys on the ground. He lands, and robot-punches two thugs, buying the Wizard time to get his car started, but Bozo catches the car, which has a trunk filled with explosives, and flings it a few dozen yards, to an explosive landing, in which the Wizard is apparently killed.

Notes

  • The Ray:
    • Another online source lists both Stradivous and Jennings as "dead," in this story, but the art is ambiguous and the dialogue of the police, who shot them both with a submachine gun, does not clinch this diagnosis. One or both felons might be dead, or badly wounded, and still require delivery to police HQ.
  • Espionage:
    • This is 2-in-a-row stories with no Batu. He'll be back soon, but he hasn't done any telepathy since Smash #15 Oct.40.
    • Internal and prior timeline evidence in the Black X series suggest that this story takes place circa 1940-Oct.
  • Wings Wendall:
  • Also featured in this issue of Smash Comics were:
    • Purple Trio: "Mystery of the Five Talking Mummies", by Alex Blum
    • Scarlet Seal: "Al Regna", by Harry Francis Campbell
    • Abdul the Arab: "The Medici Candle", by Bob Powell

Trivia



See Also


Recommended Reading

  • None.


Links and References

Superboy Vol 4 69
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