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Smash Comics Vol 1 23

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"The Ray: "The Beetle and the Tongs"": Happy and Bud go to Grand Central Terminal to interview an arriving movie star. Happy leaves his notebook with Bud and leaves in a hurry, because he's seen an old informant, "the Beetle." Happy chases Beetle into a tax


Quote1 What an ordeal... and what a hangover! Now, fork over the bean-shooter! Quote2
-- Midnight



Appearing in The Ray: "The Beetle and the Tongs"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Bud

Villains:

  • at least six thugs
  • The Beetle (First appearance)
    • his hired pilot/gunner
  • Long Woo (Dies)

Other Characters:

  • Tom Lum
  • Mike Finnegan

Locations:

  • Chinatown

Items:

  • Bud's Ray Ring (First appearance)

Vehicles:

  • 2-engine commercial airliner
  • 1-engine private observation plane

Synopsis for The Ray: "The Beetle and the Tongs"

Happy and Bud go to Grand Central Terminal to interview an arriving movie star. Happy leaves his notebook with Bud and leaves in a hurry, because he's seen an old informant, "the Beetle." Happy chases Beetle into a taxi and follows him in, and Beetle spills some info: The "Bloody Angle" might see some action that night. At the next corner Happy jumps out, and he meets up with Bud, who has meanwhile gotten some kind of story from the movie star.

That night on a Chinatown rooftop, The Ray stakes out the "Bloody Angle," infamous site of the worst battles of the Tong Wars. An old Chinese man walks along Doyer Street, and is set upon by three thugs. The Ray swoops in and violently disperses them. The old man is Tom Lum, and he is a target because he carries important contracts from a weapons supplier, which these thugs have now stolen. He believes that a San Francisco Tong boss, Long Woo, is behind his troubles.

Meanwhile back at Terrill's apartment, Bud gets kidnapped by a gunman, but not before he puts up a good fight. He momentarily blinds the thug with a brilliant flash from his "Ray Ring," but inevitably the stronger, better-armed punk prevails. Bud is soon on an airliner bound for California, with Tom Lum's contract in his coat pocket. Bud knows he's being closely watched by the armed thug, but guesses correctly that he'll be too stupid to grow suspicious when Bud flashes his Ray Ring out thru the airliner window. In the city below, The Ray is leaping from roof to roof, searching for the home base of the thugs, when he happens to look up and see the light flash, then rides it up to the airline clipper.

Behind and above this plane, a small, fast monocoupe plane keeps pace with it, and the Beetle is aboard this spy plane. When he sees the Ray get near the bigger plane, he has his pilot dive down and shoot a machine gun at him! Ray flies right at the attacking plane and applies a charge of high-powered magneto ray, which stalls the engine. Beetle and his pilot both bail out, but the Ray destroys Beetle's chute, then catches him, then flies him over to ride, with him, on the tail of the departing airliner. They fly to San Francisco.

At landing time, still on the airliner's tail assembly, the Ray tells the Beetle to go ahead with his plan, but cautions him to see to Bud's safety, or else. Then he flies away.

Bud and his papers are escorted by thugs into the heart of Chinatown, to the palatial home of Long Woo, where they meet the Beetle, also flanked by thugs. There is a giant Buddha idol in the room. Long Woo is delighted to receive the contracts, and now directs his henchmen to do away with Bud, but Beetle intervenes, wait wait, the kid has done a good service and maybe he can do more. Beetle lays it on kind of thick, but the Ray really did put a good scare into him. Long Woo decides to put the boy under the hypnotic spell of the Dragon's Breath Incense, but Beetle complains about that too. Long Woo's had enough backtalk at that point, and starts choking the Beetle. The eyes of the large Buddha idol start flashing, and The Ray appears in the room. He beats up all the thugs but wily old Long Woo escapes and shuts a heavy iron door behind himself.

Bud sees this happen and runs to the door, but Beetle warns him that it's electrified, then the Ray really electrifies it, until it shatters with a deafening roar. The room behind the door bursts into flame, and Long Woo staggers out of it, then falls down dead. The Ray grabs up Bud and scrams them out of there. Beetle escapes the fire but not the police, who seem to be quite familiar with him already. The fates of the thugs are unclear. Reporter Happy Terrill shows up with his notebook, and dutifully writes down Officer Mike Finnegan's completely-made-up story of having single-handedly captured the gang.

Appearing in Wings Wendall: "The Hijacked War Planes"

Featured Characters:

  • Wings Wendall

Supporting Characters:

  • Spinner Benson
  • General Harrison, Chief of Intelligence

Villains:

Other Characters:

  • C.O. of Stanley Field

Locations:

  • remote Atlantic island
  • Stanley Field

Items:


Vehicles:

  • large number of U.S.-built 2-engine bombers
  • Wendall's Bullet Plane
  • several enemy submarines
  • large number of U.S. fighter planes
  • one hundred U.S.-built heavy bombers
  • squadron of enemy "suicide" fighters

Synopsis for Wings Wendall: "The Hijacked War Planes"

The U.S. government sends a large number of warplanes to Britain but when they arrive, they begin bombing. Afterward they fly onward to the interior of Europe. The next night they return and bomb again, and now the planes are marked with the insignia of the dictator nation. Hundreds more planes are due to be sent over, soon.

Gen. Harrison dispatches Wings Wendall to find out where the pilots were swapped out. In the Bullet Plane, Wings and Spinner scout the route of the stolen planes. One island refueling stop has some submarines at its pier, so, problem found. Wendall reports his findings at Stanley Field, and persuades the commanding officer to go along with an unorthodox plan ...

Soon a mighty air armada of USAAF fighter planes follows Wendall to the refueling base, attack it, and bomb the submarines, then land, and recapture the base. A large number of aerial bombs are found, and made ready for loading. That done, the Army pilots fuel up and return to Stanley Field, before the arrival of the next 100 heavy bombers. As the big planes fuel up, Captain Wendall persuades the bomber crews to go along with an unorthodox plan ...

Soon the fleet of bombers retraces the course of the earlier stolen planes, and the gloating dictator of the aggressor nation is jubilant. But then all across his nation, factories, air bases, and shipyards are bombed. The dictator orders a "suicide squadron" into the air, but Wendall in the Bullet Plane is able to shoot them down one by one until they're gone. After that, all the bombers plus the Bullet Plane return to Britain.

Appearing in The Jester: "The Hundred Grand Hobo"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Sergeant Mulligan

Villains:

  • Limpy
  • Gus
  • Hank

Other Characters:


Locations:

Items:

  • Quinopolis throwing doll

Vehicles:



Synopsis for The Jester: "The Hundred Grand Hobo"

Detective Mulligan pursues a killer who's stolen $100,000 from the downtown bank. The killer, Limpy, gets away thru a disguised doorway in an old cellar, and hooks up with his partners, Gus and Hank. Limpy disguises himself as an old hobo, and departs with the loot, while Gus and Hank stay around to meet the cops, who are probably already on their way. Hiding around a corner, The Jester overhears all this. He steps into the room and fights the two hoods, grease cans versus hand guns, and wins. Then with the bad guys knocked down but not apprehended, he tells them a fib about Limpy and the loot, then leaves.

The Jester sprints to a nearby police station, breaks in thru a skylight, punches out Sgt. Mulligan, punches out a guard at the holding cell, then releases all the hobos in the jail. All but one of them scatter, the one he wants is the one that is in there just to establish an alibi. Jester tells Limpy what he told Gus and Hank, then beats him up and drags him out of the jail. On a long rope, the Jester dangles Limpy over an alley, easy prey for cops OR disgruntled ex-partners. Or so you'd think, but it still requires a few helpful clues from the Jester, before two dolts like Hank and Gus manage to find him. Ditto for Mulligan. And before the detective or the crooks get to Limpy, the Jester gets himself into position on the rooftop above him. He pulls Limpy out of the way, just before Hank starts shooting at him, which happens right in front of Sergeant Mulligan; Gus and Hank are busted. Mulligan understandably believes that the Jester is in cahoots with these weasels, and climbs to the roof in pursuit of him. But on the roof he only finds rookie cop Chuck Lane.

Appearing in The Purple Trio: "The Ghost Town Bandits"

Featured Characters:

  • The Purple Trio
    • Tiny Todd
    • Warren
    • Rocky Hill

Supporting Characters:


Villains:

  • Wolf Fang
  • Slim
  • Pedro

Other Characters:

  • vaudeville show producer
  • self-styled "ghost"
  • kidnapped guy

Locations:

Items:


Vehicles:

  • very old automobile
  • luxury passenger train

Synopsis for The Purple Trio: "The Ghost Town Bandits"

The Purple Trio perform a show in Sweet Cactus, Arizona, but can't get paid because the show producer doesn't have any money. He really doesn't, they go thru his pockets and everything. So they hitch-hike out of town, but the only ride they get is in a rickety antique auto with a gloomy driver, and the only place it takes them is to an empty bunch of tumble-down shacks, out in the desert. The driver tells them it's a ghost town, and that he himself is a ghost, then drives away, laughing like a loon.

The Trio holes up in an abandoned store, but when they look out the window they see cowboys riding by. One cowboy has an inert body slung across the front of his saddle. And there, in the same room with them, is a very sneaky Indian, with a big knife. Rocky punches out the Indian, but then the cowboys come inside, and the boys just have barely time enough to hide. The cowboys are very surprised to find Wolf Fang, their Indian partner, laid out on the floor like that. Warren uses ventriliquism to sow confusion amongst them, but Tiny laughs so hard he falls out of his hiding place. He still manages to slip out of the store before the bad guys can spot him. He slithers up thru a loose board in the front porch, unties the bad guys's horses, and rides away, clinging to the unseen far side of one horse. Back inside the store, Slim and Pedro find Warren and Rocky's hiding place, but all that gets them is a fistfight, which they're losing, until they pull their guns. Rocky and Warren back up against the wall, which is so old and rotten that it collapses. The kidnapped guy wakes up in the midst of all this. The cowboys on foot chase Warren and Rocky, shooting six-guns at them, until Tiny rides back onto the scene, with two pistols, and shoots them both. They're just wounded, and are brought back to Sweet Cactus aboard one horse, with the Trio riding the other one. It turns out that there's a two thousand dollar reward for the capture of Slim and Pedro. The Purple Trio are next seen leaving the area in the lounge car of a luxury train.

Appearing in Midnight: "Doc Wackey"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

Other Characters:

  • Mr. Mills, banker (becomes infant)
    • bank employee (becomes infant)
    • bank guard (becomes infant)
  • Doble Assetts

Locations:

  • Big City
    • UXAM Radio
    • Big City National Bank
    • City Trust Co.
    • Doble Assetts's skyscraper penthouse

Items:

  • Wackey's Youth Capsules
  • Vacuum Gun

Vehicles:

  • Dave Clark's sedan
  • Doc Wackey's sedan (Destroyed)

Synopsis for Midnight: "Doc Wackey"

At the Big City National Bank, half-crazed old Doc Wackey applies for a payment of $100,000, in return for the restoration of the youth of the banker, Mr. Mills. Mills laughs uproariously, and while he does so, Doc pulls out a pea-shooter and shoots a capsule into Mills's open pie hole. Suddenly Mills is younger, then smaller, then in under a minute he stabilizes at the size and age of an infant. Wackey picks up the desk phone and directs Mills's minions to bring a lot of money into the room. When the cash man from the vault room arrives, and opens his yap to express surprise at Mills's absence, Doc shoots a youth-inducing pellet down his gob, too, and he also becomes small and inarticulate. Wackey departs with a jaunty demeanor and a sack full of cash.

Five more banks are robbed in just this same way, over the next several days. Dave Clark reads about this in the papers, and decides to hang around a nearby bank, all day every day, until something suspicious happens. So he observes from a cafe across the street from City Trust Co., when Doc Wackey runs out of the bank, pursued by a security guard, who gets turned into a baby in mid-chase. Wackey piles into a car, and Dave hands a kid thirty dollars and takes his bicycle, then uses his Vacuum Gun to tow himself along behind Wackey's getaway car. Wackey gets away anyway; he's got a big drawbridge and moat in the driveway of his big chateau.

That night, Midnight and Gabby pay a visit. Using the vacuum gun, Midnight gets them across the moat, but as soon as he gets on the grounds, a trap door opens. Midnight and Gabby slide down a chute into a cell. Doc Wackey is surprised to see him, and even more surprised to get shot with the vacuum gun, and reeled in to pocket-picking range. Gabby gets the cell door key, and soon he and Midnight are out, but while Wackey is bragging, at length, about the value of his amazing invention, he also palms his pea-shooter and tags Midnight with a capsule. Midnight shrinks down to baby size; Gabby freaks out.

Wackey has an untested antidote for the youthification serum, in powder form, which might cure OR kill the test subject. Wackey locks Gabby and baby Midnight back in the cell, and leaves. But a vacuum cleaner is just barely in reach of Gabby's long tail, and he snags it, re-rigs it a little bit, then uses the vacuum to suck up all of the antidote powder and blow it directly into Midnight's baby face. It works, AND it doesn't kill him. Soon Midnight is using a vial of acid to set them both free of the cell, and off they go in pursuit.

At the skyscraper penthouse of financier Doble Assetts, Midnight and Gabby break in and interrupt Wackey's shakedown. At the very sight of them, Wackey leaps out a window, but he's got a parachute. Midnight has a Vacuum Gun which he uses to work his way quickly down the side of the building; Wackey gets to the ground first and drives away, but Gabby, driving Dave's car, is soon in pursuit. Midnight leaps aboard Wackey's car, which goes out of control, and plunges off the side of a bridge into a river.

Midnight drags Wackey out of the river. They have a brief conversation about morality, and at the end of it, Doc Wackey has become Midnight's new partner in vigilante adventuring.

Appearing in Espionage Starring Black X: "The Temple of Mars"

Featured Characters:

Villains:

  • Temple of Mars, a fascist group bent on overthrowing the U.S. government
  • Romano, the group's leader
    • his six top lieutenants
    • two pistol-wielding uniformed guards, (one named Lef, one not named)
    • two stiletto-wielding thugs
    • unnamed assassin, operatic tenor
    • Luigi Piscato, fascist agent and operatic baritone (Dies)
  • Madame Doom
    • her chauffeur

Other Characters:

  • Sandra Sanders

Locations:

  • New York City
    • opera theater
    • 11-29 Riverview Drive, in the nearby countryside

Synopsis for Espionage Starring Black X: "The Temple of Mars"

Famed international agent Black X escorts Sandra Sanders, glamour girl of the year, to a performance at the opera, during which baritone Luigi Piscato is stabbed to death by the tenor, with a prop lance. Piscato was an alien agent and Black X has been shadowing him. He abandons his date and leaps from his box onto the stage, in pursuit of the killer, who gets away while Black X dukes it out with his 2-man knife-wielding back-up team. One of them drops a matchbook with some writing inside it: "Temple of Mars 11-29 Riverview Drive". While Black X examines this, a panel in the wall behind him silently opens, and Madame Doom is behind it; she wordlessly drops her bracelet into the room, silently closes the panel, and leaves undetected. When he sees it, Black X recognizes the bracelet as Madame Doom's, and is intrigued. He dashes out the front door of the opera house, just as a chauffeured limousine is pulling away; Madame Doom is in the car, Black X jumps in and relieves her of her handgun, she says nothing. Black X orders the driver to drive to 11-29 Riverview Drive. This takes them down lonely dark roads in the country to a blank cliff face, but the cliffside swings open allowing the car to pass inside. Black X ties up Madame Doom, who says nothing, and leaves her in the car as he gets out to explore. The chauffeur tries to run away on foot, but Black X punches him unconscious. Behind one wall panel he finds two uniformed pistol-packing guards. They initially believe Black X to be "another sucker" sent there by Madame Doom, but Black X quickly knocks out both of them. Investigating further, Black X finds a balcony overlooking a conference table with seven uniformed fascists seated around it, gloating about Luigi Piscato's silencing, and exclaiming "Viva Romano!" Now it's time for them to start their real work, except it seems like most of that real work has already been accomplished, because the leader pulls out a control button which is wired to explosive mines set in every major American aerodrome, and with one push of this button he means to disable all of America's defenses, which in turn will end American support for Britain's defenses. Waiting until this dramatic moment to push this button proves to be a big mistake, as Black X leaps onto the table, yanks the wires out of the buzzer, and dishes out sufficient mayhem to lay out most of the the assembled enemy agents. Two of them grab him and get ready to toss him into a large vat of sulphuric acid that they just happen to have nearby, but Black X rallies up and knocks them into the acid pit instead, leaving only Romano still on his feet to face Black X. This cliffside hideout has a telephone, with which Black X calls the New York office of the FBI. They wait around, and after the feds show up, Black X returns to the car to check up on Madame Doom, but she has by this time quietly escaped.

Appearing in Invisible Justice: "The Blue Death"

Featured Characters:

Villains:

Other Characters:

  • Barnum
  • one prison guard (Dies)

Locations:

  • Barnum's mansion
  • Welfare Island Prison
  • Crystal Queen's mansion

Items:

Vehicles:

  • motorboat

Synopsis for Invisible Justice: "The Blue Death"

One of Kent Thurston’s wealthy friends, Mr. Barnum, is the very proud owner of the legendary Blue Crystal, which is reputed to have hidden powers, which nobody has been able to access. This conversation is interrupted by a home invasion, as the Crystal Queen and three hench thugs barge in with guns drawn. She believes that her partner, Caglio the Magician, can make the gem’s deadly powers become real, enabling her to rule the world. She shoots and wounds Barnum, while one thug knocks Thurston unconscious with a blackjack; the bad guys get away with the gem.

When they regain consciousness, Thurston gets Barnum to a hospital then obtains a speedboat and rushes over to Welfare Island, where Barnum has told him that Caglio is imprisoned on a murder charge. Kent puts on his Invisible Hood outfit, docks his boat at the prison, and sneaks inside. Meanwhile Caglio is receiving a visitor, the Crystal Queen, who has managed to smuggle the Blue Crystal into the prison. True to his boast, Caglio is able to activate “the blue death,” and kills one guard (who turns blue and falls down dead), to start their escape. He explosively demolishes one wall of the prison yard, then they run to the dock, where the Queen wants him to help her steal Kent Thurston’s boat. They escape, but the Invisible Hood has leapt onto the boat, and he rides along with them for hours, until they reach the Queen’s palatial hideout.

No sooner are they inside than the two plotters start squabbling over the gem, but the Invisible Hood steals it from both of them. But Caglio uses a buzzer, built into the Queen’s desk, to call a squad of four thugs into the room. The Invisible Hood beats up all of them, while the Crystal Queen guns down Caglio, but in the scuffle he drops the dangerous gem, and Caglio is able to grab it. The Hood has gotten between the two criminals, when Caglio shines the “blue death” onto the Queen, but he is unharmed because of his invisibility. To stay that way, he jumps out a window, just before the Blue Crystal erupts explosively, blowing up the whole mansion. Kent Thurston has a long swim ahead of him.

Appearing in The Scarlet Seal: "The Human Bronzes"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Captain Tim Moore

Villains:

  • Morta

Other Characters:

  • Bernice Fonda (Dies)
  • five other missing persons (all dead)
  • Police Commissioner

Locations:

  • Police HQ
  • Morta's studio
  • Ajax Employment Agency

Synopsis for The Scarlet Seal: "The Human Bronzes"

Bernice Fonda has been kidnapped and her very influential father wants her found, pronto. Captain Tim Moore and his son Lieutenant Barry Moore have been assigned the case. Bernice was last seen on her way to visit Morta, a new sensation on the art scene, about whom little is known. He's famous for his extremely realistic bronze statues. Tim and Barry visit Morta, and in his studio there is a lifesize bronze statue of the missing Miss Fonda. Lt. Moore hands Morta a photo of Bernice; he confirms that she's the girl who posed for his statue, and hands it back. Moore later collects Morta's fingerprints from the photo, and sends them to the FBI.

The next day, it turns out that the FBI does have Morta's prints on file, ever since his Army service, as an embalmer, during WWI. Capt. Moore's investigation ties into a wave of missing persons reports, which in turn leads him to the Ajax Employment Agency, where the manager confirms that a guy matching Morta's description did hire some of those missing people. When Lt. Moore tries to get a search warrant from the Police Commissioner, he is rebuffed. Barry repairs to his secret laboratory, changes clothes and applies make-up, brings along a camera and some flash powder, leaves via a secret door thru the neighboring building, and emerges as The Scarlet Seal.

Working by night, the Scarlet Seal breaks into Morta's studio via the skylight, finds nobody on the main floor, then sneaks down to the basement, where he finds electrolytic vats, embalming equipment, and Morta hard at work. Seal forms a hunch and confirms it, by lifing one bronze statue, which he should not be able to do. Time to go, he heads for the door, but Morta intercepts him and has a gun. He's caught the infamous wanted criminal the Scarlet Seal, so Morta dials the police, while the Seal quietly spills some flash powder on the floor. Led by Capt. Moore, the police arrive in ten minutes, but before any arresting can happen, the Scarlet Seal reveals that he knows the whereabouts of Bernice Fonda. The Captain and his cops check out his story and it holds up: Morta has been murdering, embalming, posing, and copper-plating people, and now is busted. Scarlet Seal meanwhile escapes by igniting the flash powder, with a pistol shot, and leaving while the cops are blinded.

Appearing in Abdul the Arab: "The Capture of Princess Bardia"

Featured Characters:

  • Abdul the Arab

Supporting Characters:

  • Hassan

Villains:

  • Kibur (Dies)
    • his riffs

Other Characters:

  • Pooch, Abdul's niece
  • Princess Bardia
    • her caravan

Locations:

  • Arabia

Animals:

  • horses

Synopsis for Abdul the Arab: "The Capture of Princess Bardia"

Hasan, the dour Turk, spends some time babysitting Abdul Ibn Bey's very mischievous and annoying niece, Pooch, who is armed with a lasso and a suction-cup archery set. Pooch talks like a 1940s American kid; everybody else is quite formal.

Meanwhile out on the desert, Kibur the Thief and his raiders attack a caravan, and abduct Princess Bardia (dressed like a harem houri) right out of her howdah. Hasan and Pooch, out recreationally riding, find Kibur's camp, accidentally, and get captured by a sentry. Pooch is imprisoned in a tent with the Princess while Hasan is buried up to his neck, out in the hot sun. Princess Bardia, in her diaphanous harem outfit, applies her seductive wiles to a tent guard while Pooch sneaks out to help Hasan. She steals a horse and gallops away, to Abdul's courtyard bringing back Abdul and a lot of mounted reinforcements. These arrive just as Kibur is striking camp and preparing to flee with all this gang, and Kibur ends up fleeing alone. Abdul pursues him alone, while his troops capture Kibur's troops, and dig up Hasan. Hasan, Bardia, and Pooch all get horses and join the chase. Hasan finds Kibur and Abdul wrestling on the ground, with Kibur just about to kill Abdul with a dagger, and Pooch manages to throw a lasso over Kibur's neck, which Hasan then breaks with one sharp tug. Then Pooch and Hasan sit by, disgusted by the "mushy stuff," as Abdul and the Princess make out.

Appearing in Chic Carter: "The Black Death"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Monahan

Villains:

  • Holt, as The Black Death

Other Characters:

  • Foster (Dies)
  • Worthington (Dies)
  • Dr. Parker

Locations:

  • Daily Star

Items:

  • Black Death's calling cards

Synopsis for Chic Carter: "The Black Death"

Chic Carter, crime reporter, visits Detective Monahan at his office, to bother him for crime news. There isn't any, except, wait, just then, three wild-eyed wealthy-looking gentlemen (Mr. Foster, Mr. Worthington, and Dr. Parker) rush into the office, demanding protection from the sender of three threatening letters, who signs as "The Black Death." Monahan assigns some police to guard each of them, and to escort them out of the building, to their homes.

That night at Foster's estate, two cops are on the ground outside as a shadowy figure slips past them, and climbs a tree, outside of Foster's window. It's a guy in tights with a cape and a mask; he breaks in thru the window and confronts Foster, who is frightened out of his wits. He introduces himself as the Black Death, then murders Foster with a poison blowgun dart, then leaves a card in his hand, and leaves undetected. Monahan arrives at the scene, then Chic Carter shows up, gets the facts, and leaves.

Carter spends some time in the Daily Star's files, piecing together the clues and events, until he works out the shady back-story linking Foster, Worthington, and Parker, and from this he deduces that the Black Death is (young) Mr. Holt . Meanwhile the Black Death breaks into Worthington's modern apartment, via a skylight, gets past at least three cops, and murders Worthington, then leaves undetected.

Parker gets kidnapped. Chic Carter hears about it, calls Monahan to meet up with him at the late (old) Mr. Holt's mansion, races there ahead of the cops, breaks in, and gets down to the wine cellar where the Black Death is right in the middle of murdering Dr. Parker by hanging him. The killer shoots a dart at Carter but misses, then gets punched out. Soon Monahan arrives and takes charge of the scene.

Appearing in Bozo the Robot: "Karl Zoff's Double"

Featured Characters:

Villains:

  • Karl Zoff, accused saboteur
    • two henchmen, Paul and another
  • Kurtz, his attorney

Other Characters:

  • Mr. Fox, involuntary impersonator
  • Judge

Locations:

  • New York City
    • Federal Building
    • Waterfront
    • 19 Dock Street, Zoff's hideout

Items:

Vehicles:



Synopsis for Bozo the Robot: "Karl Zoff's Double"

Accused munitions-plant bomber Karl Zoff, awaiting trial, is able to post the $100,000 bail, which startles the judge. Karl has a monocle, a crewcut, a Katzenjammer accent, and an oily attorney. Those two leave the Federal Building, and almost immediately encounter a guy who looks just like Karl, and right away Karl has a new plan: He'll kidnap this guy, and set him up to take his place in prison, (if he gets convicted, which he expects to). The Attorney, Kurtz, is aghast at this, but Zoff quickly bullies him into going along with it. They shadow the guy to his house, then leave.

Three days later the trial has been held, and Zoff has been convicted and sentenced to 10 years, to be served at the brand new Penal Island prison, starting that same night. Back at his hide-out, Karl Zoff shares a good laugh with his minions, at his doppelganger's misfortune. Kurtz the attorney had kept this guy (Mr. Fox) quiet by drugging him through the whole trial, but now Kurtz knew too much. Two goons are sent to visit Kurtz, head-konk him unconscious, take him to the waterfront, and throw him off a pier. By pure luck, Hugh Hazzard happens to be nearby, standing in the shadows, to witness this, and as soon as the henchmen leave he dives into the harbor to fish out the victim. He gets the lawyer out of the water and gets the story out of the lawyer, including a new wrinkle: Zoff plans to blow up the prison on Penal Island, that very night, in order to give himself a more permanent alibi for his next series of crimes.

Hugh Hazzard puts on the Bozo Robot and flies to 19 Dock Street, Zoff's hideout, briefly lands and eavesdrops enough to confirm Kurtz's warning, then flies out to Penal Island. There he finds only one guard, and one prisoner, because the place is brand new. He warns the guard about the bomb; they evacuate, just in time. The ensuing explosion not only destroys the prison utterly but also erases the island from the face of the ocean.

Bozo meets up with the prison guard at a pier on the waterfront, and turns Mr. Fox over to him, instructing him to get Fox to the Federal Building. Bozo will be along shortly with some evidence. Then the robot flies to Zoff's home and crashes in thru a wall, smacks down two henchmen plus Zoff, and zooms them away to the Federal Building. A few minutes later, Zoff, Fox, Kurtz, and the prison guard are all in front of the judge, and the Judge again sends Zoff away for a long time. Bozo the Iron Man meanwhile flies away.

Notes

  • Black X: "Temple of Mars"
    • Madame Doom has no dialogue in this story. Neither does Sandra Sanders.
    • The tenor-singing murderer of Luigi Piscato apparently escapes, and isn't mentioned again after page 2.
  • Bozo The Robot: Opening caption: "As a result of the present world crisis, a new penal institution has been erected on a small island, off the Eastern Coast of the U.S."
  • Chic Carter: In the 1st panel of the 1st page, Detective Monahan is reading Smash Comics.
  • The Jester still has a skull stenciled on the front of his costume.
  • Midnight: "Doc Wackey"
    • Dr. Wackey's first name was not revealed until Smash Comics #32, March 1942.
    • He becomes Midnight's partner by the end of this story.
    • A diagram of Midnight's Vacuum Gun is shown in this story.
    • Gabby wears stilts when he's driving Dave's car, to reach the pedals.
  • Purple Trio: Wolf Fang seems to have gotten away, or at least was not among the prisoners brought back to Sweet Cactus at the end of the story.
  • The Ray: "The Beetle and the Tongs"
    • Bud's Ray Ring is introduced in this story.
    • The Beetle might or might not know that Happy Terrill is the Ray. He seems to have a good working arrangement with Terrill, as a reliable informant, but he tried really hard to murder the Ray.
    • The Beetle's pilot apparently escaped. We last saw him bailing out of his crippled plane; the Ray didn't go after him.
  • Wings Wendall: "The Hijacked War Planes"
    • The "insignia of the dictator nation" = a black X in a black circle with a blue background.
    • The beleaguered democracy isn't named, explicitly, but it's got what looks like Trafalgar Square in its capital city.
  • This issue of Smash Comics also featured:
    • Wun Cloo, by Jack Cole
    • Archie O'Toole, by John Devlin
    • "Beeskrieg" (text story) by Robert M. Hyatt

Trivia

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See Also


Recommended Reading

  • None.


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