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"Espionage starring Black X: "Famine and Gold"": Several weeks or months earlier, Thalga the Supreme Dictator of Govania has a starving populace, and an insubordinate underling in Marshall Stadt (who looks like Black X, right down to the cigarette and monocle, only with more beard). Thalga's la


Quote1 Over here Lane. I'm the Invisible Hood, out to get rats like you!! Quote2
-- Invisible Hood



Appearing in Espionage starring Black X: "Famine and Gold"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

  • Thalga, Supreme Dictator of Govania
  • Marshall Stadt
  • Captain von Keil (Dies)

Locations:

  • Govania
  • Yadovnia
  • Alaska
    • Timber, Klondike
    • Bering Strait

Vehicles:

  • gold transfer barge
  • gold miner motor launches
  • USN antique torpedo bomber
  • Govanian submarine (Destroyed)

Synopsis for Espionage starring Black X: "Famine and Gold"

Several weeks or months earlier, Thalga the Supreme Dictator of Govania has a starving populace, and an insubordinate underling in Marshall Stadt (who looks like Black X, right down to the cigarette and monocle, only with more beard). Thalga's lame plan to buy food from Yadnovia is no good; the whole treasury has already been spent on arms and purges. Meanwhile in Alaska a gigantic gold rush gets underway (gold is $40/ounce !!); Stadt deploys the Govanian Secret Police on a systematic, territory-wide claim-jumping mission, figuring on six months to develop such a system. Several weeks go by before the murdering and thieving gets started in Alaska, then a week later an FBI agent gets there, then a week later he's dead, but all of this is happening BEFORE Black X gets onto the case, (probably circa 1939-June).

Black X and Batu arrive in Timber, Klondike, and finding a local boxing venue, Black X quickly bullies his way onto the fight schedule, going up against Killer Donovan. His M.O. is to use his wardrobe and that monocle to mislead dumb guys into underestimating him, then he swiftly deftly prevails, both in and out of the ring. All this is a diversion; Batu does the real spying, at the local land office, and finds evidence that whole lot of claim-jumping has been going on.

At Black X's rented apartment, two GSP hoods show up to recruit X for their project; he eagerly joins up, then instructs Batu to arrange for a Navy airplane to arrive at [a particular place and time]. But at the local telegraph office, the telegrapher is secretly a GSP creep, but Batu can read Morse Code and correctly deduces that this guy is talking to a hostile submarine, somewhere off shore. Batu stabs the telegrapher in the hand; the interrupted message alerts the sub commander, Capt. Von Keil that there's a problem in the interior. The Govanian sub meets an anchored gold-laden sea-going barge, near a lonely beach by the Bering Straits. Black X is aboard this barge, snooping, but he soon swims to shore thru the Bering Strait, and within an hour he and Batu are at an airfield, firing up a heavily-armed U.S.Navy torpedo-bomber biplane, painted red and yellow. One direct hit later, no more submarine. Black X has also arranged for a whole bunch of surviving robbed miners to arrive in a flotilla of motorboats; this mob attacks and takes over the barge.

Shortly later, due to food riots in Govania, Thalga is deposed from his Supreme Dictator gig. Marshall Stadt's status is unknown.

Appearing in Clip Chance at Cliffside: "Mystery of the Missing Button"

Featured Characters:

Villains:

  • mugger

Other Characters:

  • Prof. Devlin
  • Red
  • Mrs. Devlin
  • Police Captain
  • Coach Barr (mention)

Locations:

  • Cliffside College
  • Darby College

Synopsis for Clip Chance at Cliffside: "Mystery of the Missing Button"

Clip finds a missing button torn from the jacket of a mugger, whom Clip tracks down, and who ends up in jail. Mugging victim Professor Devlin gets his stolen watch back, and Clip passes Devlin's exam, and gets into the big crucial basketball game in the last few minutes of it, and wins that too.

Appearing in Chic Carter: "Mission In Moravia"

Featured Characters:

Villains:

Other Characters:

  • King Ludwig
  • Princess Maria
  • Moravian Soldiers

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • Ludwig's Staff Car
  • Dornier Bombers

Synopsis for Chic Carter: "Mission In Moravia"

Chic Carter, Ace Reporter, is in Moravia, accompanying King Ludwig and Princess Maria, to inspect a border garrison at Krasnow, on the western frontier, when a sudden attack cuts them off. Chic dons an army helmet and kills a whole lot of invading soldiers. When the shooting has subsided, Krasnow is still held by Moravian forces.

Appearing in Flash Fulton: "The Texas Oil Fire"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Gabby, newsreel boss
  • Andy, sound man

Villains:

  • Nick
  • Tony

Other Characters:

  • Patton, oilfield firefighter

Locations:

Synopsis for Flash Fulton: "The Texas Oil Fire"

Two arsonists start a gigantic oilfield fire, near Clarksville, Texas, which is still blazing the next day, when Flash Fulton and his sound man Andy arrive from New York. Flash is old pals with Patton, the boss of the oilfield firefighters, and he gets access to the fire, plus an asbestos suit. Nick and Tony the firebugs are still around, concealing evidence, and when they see Flash filming the scene, they hastily arrange a impromptu 'accident' for him, but it fails, as Fulton narrowly avoids being smashed by a falling steam dredge boom. When he sets up his camera again, on the other side of the fire, the arsonists try to sneak up on Flash and Andy, with clubs. They're bad at sneaking, but they do manage to knock out Andy, before Flash beats both of them senseless. Then Flash drags Nick into a shanty and beats a confession out of him.

Appearing in Hugh Hazzard and his Iron Man: "The Emerald of Erin"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Commissioner Hunt

Villains:

  • Boss Spiro (Only appearance; dies)
  • Lippy (Only appearance; dies)
  • Baldy (Only appearance; dies)
  • Dead-Eye (Only appearance; dies)

Other Characters:

  • B. B. Moss (Single appearance)
  • police (some die)

Locations:

Items:

  • Emerald of Erin

Vehicles:

  • S.S. Acqua
  • two rented airplanes

Synopsis for Hugh Hazzard and his Iron Man: "The Emerald of Erin"

Hugh Hazzard makes changes in Bozo's design so he can control him from the inside, and also outfits the robot with a telescopic eye, and goes up against a gang of jewel thieves (Boss Spiro, Lippy, Baldy, & B. B. Moss), stealers of the famous “Emerald of Erin.” At one point, these tools have successfully invaded Hugh Hazzard's penthouse and knocked him out and COULD HAVE just shot him, but instead they go to the extra trouble of stealing Bozo off the roof, and sticking Hugh inside Bozo, and then dropping it in the river. Shortly later, none of them are still alive.

Appearing in Captain Cook of Scotland Yard: "Dirigible of Doom"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • the Chief

Villains:

  • two spies (Apparent Death)

Other Characters:

  • Intelligence Chief
  • Air Force Commandant

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • Helium Blimp

Synopsis for Captain Cook of Scotland Yard: "Dirigible of Doom"

Captain Cook defeats two desperate spies who have already failed to stop the sale of a helium supply to the Royal Air Force, and who learn the hard way that a helium-filled blimp won't catch fire like the older blimps did. They end up cornered by Cook, on a blimp, two miles out to sea, and attempt to escape by parachute.

Appearing in Abdul the Arab: "Framed for Murder"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Hassan

Villains:

  • Khabar
    • his desert raiders

Other Characters:

  • Tommy
  • Denny (Dies)
  • Patrol Post Commander

Locations:

  • Desert of Khar
    • British Patrol Post
    • Najhar, town

Synopsis for Abdul the Arab: "Framed for Murder"

Desert raider Khabar frames Abdul Ibn Bey for the murder of a British archaeologist. Hassan, Abdul's loyal and tireless right-hand man, snoops around the crowded town of Najhar until he overhears Khabar boasting of this ploy, then follows him out of town, jumps him, beats a confession out of him, and drags him back to the Patrol Outpost, just in time to save Abdul from hanging.

Appearing in John Law, Scientective: "The Sound of Death"

Featured Characters:

  • John Law

Supporting Characters:

  • June Carter

Villains:

  • The Avenger

Other Characters:

  • Roger Carlin
  • Joe Kane

Locations:

  • Carlin's Factory

Items:

  • Avenger's ultrasonically-activated skin-penetrating toxin.
  • Scientective's Cyclatron

Synopsis for John Law, Scientective: "The Sound of Death"

Wherever and whoever he is, the Avenger is still working his way through his victim list of industrialists and tycoons. Number four on the list is Roger Carlin, President of Vitasav, the popular skin ointment. The Avenger has tampered with a large quantity of Vitasav, then handed it out as free samples, pretending to be Carlin. This version of the ointment was concocted in such a way that, when a specific sound was played, the ointment would react by sinking into the customer's skin, with toxic effect. So sales have crashed and lawsuits are pending and Carlin's business is on the brink of ruination, plus, during his meeting with John Law, a very large and very angry mob shows up and storms the manufacturing plant! John Law calls Joe Kane at the municipal airport, and Joe sends an autogyro, in which Carlin and Law escape the invading mob.

The next day John Law questions victims' families and local pharmacists until he halfway figures out how the Avenger is doing these murders, then that evening while he's conferring with Roger Carlin, a package arrives, containing a phonograph record and a tube of Vitasav. Carlin idiotically allows himself to be taunted into applying the Vitasav, while the record is playing, and is stricken by the toxic effect. This provides the clues that the Scientective needs to figure out the Avenger's modus operandi. That's when the Avenger walks in, with a baggy hood over his head, and a handgun.

The Avenger gets the Scientective into a uniquely-contrived deathtrap, from which he escapes, by smacking his head against an electrical switch (controlling a "cyclatron" that he keeps in his office), hard enough to throw the switch and knock himself out. Other than that, the tactic works perfectly, and Law, tied to a chair, lays unconscious but safe on the floor until the next morning when June shows up and unties him. Then he sets up an experiment/demonstration to show Roger Carlin how the Avenger's complicated murder scheme works. Presumably some lawyers and reporters will soon get Carlin's reputation cleared. But the Avenger has long since left the building.

Appearing in Invisible Justice: "The Helium Hijackers"

Featured Characters:

Villains:

  • Superintendent Lane (Single appearance)
  • Gang leader
  • Slug

Other Characters:

  • Commander Stone (Single appearance)
  • team of G-Men

Locations:

  • U.S. Naval Helium Fields

Vehicles:

  • Helium Truck

Synopsis for Invisible Justice: "The Helium Hijackers"

Kent Thurston as the Invisible Hood thwarts a crooked scheme to hi-jack the government's helium supply, one truckload at a time, and smuggle it out of the country. Superintendent Lane, at the Helium Fields, is the gang's inside man. Commander Stone USN, Kent Thurston's friend, meets the Invisible Hood for the first time.

Appearing in Wings Wendall: "The Munitions Smuggling Case"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Villains:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • USAAF 2-engine attack plane
  • SS Rio Queen, illicit freight steamship

Synopsis for Wings Wendall: "The Munitions Smuggling Case"

Wings goes up against a group of smugglers trying to move weapons to Europe from New York. Agent B-10 discovers them, and gets killed. Wings flies a fighter plane and attacks a well-armed freighter; he definitely kills at least one AA gun-crew; he gets shot down and captured by the smuggler crew. Wings is press-ganged into coal-shoveling duty, but he floods the stoke hold with live steam from the boiler exhaust valve, fights his way out of there and picks up a pistol along the way, then kills a couple more guys, while the superheated steam from the engineroom works its way into the cargo hold full of ammunition. Soon there's a ship-crippling explosion, then a USN destroyer shows up to tidy up. Capt. Wendall orders this ship to hurry to NYC, where he visits the Harbor Master's office and gets enough info to pin the smuggling on the warehouse at Pier 9, and a few phone calls later there's a police raid, in which Wings kills yet another of these guys. Soon the survivors are marched away at gunpoint by the police.

Notes

  • Bozo the Iron Man:
    • Hugh Hazzard gets knocked unconscious, for at least the 3rd time in his career.[1][2][3]
  • Chic Carter:
    • The nation invading Moravia is never named.
    • The enemy bombers look like Dornier DO-17s (only painted red and yellow), with black crosses on the wings.
    • The enemy warplanes in this story, and indeed all of the warplanes in all of these stories, plus the submarine in last issue's Bozo story, are painted garish red and yellow.
  • Espionage:
    • Black Ace is back to being called Black X.
    • We learn that Black X wears a monocle to hide the wound, of having that eye poked out, amid other tortures, by an old enemy, years ago.
    • This bit of back-story, told by Batu, is news to Black X's boss, who is addressed in this chapter as "Major" and as "Chief", but with no last name.
    • In Black X's first adventure, in Feature Funnies #13 Oct 1938, there was an unnamed enemy agent who looked just like Black X. Marshall Stadt looks just like that guy.
    • Story seems to be set in 1939-June. The preliminary bouts are getting fought in Europe, as the lesser dictatorships (and fake countries) get rolled up into the (real) Third Reich. It's WWII beginning now.
    • In the Quality Universe, the Axis Powers included: Aryania, Austria, Barbaria, Bothnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Darmania, Dunland, Germany, Govania, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Jarmania, Kampfland, Latavia, Nordicha, North Germany, Romania, Tokoya, Tuvania, and others.
  • Wings Wendall has two monocle-wearing villains in one story: the captain of the smuggler crew and the manager of their pierside warehouse.
    • Capt. Wendall flies a USAAF 2-engine 1-tail attack plane, resembling a yellow and red deHavilland Mosquito, with U.S. markings.
    • The conquest-mad dictator looming symbolically over his marching ranks of coal-scuttle-helmeted troops looks just like Adolf Hitler except for a Van Dyke beard. And his nationality is not named in this story.
  • Also appearing in this issue of Smash Comics were:
    • Philpott Veep: "The Affair of the Fabricating Bridegroom" by John Devlin
    • Small Stuff, by John Devlin
    • Archie O'Toole: "King Horace of Spatoonia" by Will Eisner
    • Wun Cloo: "The Counterfeit Thousand Dollar Bills" by Gill Fox
    • Sportraits: "Archie San Romani" by Gill Fox
    • "The Master of Mu" (text story) by Robert M. Hyatt
    • Interesting People: "George Daynor of Vineland, New Jersey" by Stookie Allen

Trivia

  • Will Eisner signed his Espionage stories as "Will Erwin" and his Archie O'Toole stories as "Bud Thomas".
  • George Brenner signed his Clip Chance stories as "Scott Sheridan" and his Hugh Hazzard stories as "Wayne Reid".
  • Art Pinajian signed his Invisible Justice stories as "Art Gordon".



See Also


Recommended Reading

  • None.


Links and References