In the guise of a Chinese criminal called the Scarlet Seal, Police Lieutenant Barry Moore waged a private vigilante campaign against the criminals of Center City, in the early 1940s.
In 1940, Hollywood actor Barry Moore quit show business, to return to Center City and get a job in a police lab. Barry's father was Captain Pat Moore, head of the Homicide Squad, and they both had some difficulty with their boss, the new Commissioner, a former social worker, who forbade all violent methods. This guy's approach was getting them nowhere, especially with the likes of suspected murderer Bugs Marlone. Thus frustrated in his new profession, Barry fell back on the skills he'd gained in the movie industry, and became a disguised vigilante. With a fake mustache, yellow makeup, and a mandarin outfit, Barry Moore masqueraded as a Chinese gangster, and called himself the Scarlet Seal. This imposture, and the threat of torture, was very effective in breaking down the resistance of Bugs Marlone, who confessed to bribing a police officer. When the accused officer showed up brandishing and shooting, the Scarlet Seal stepped aside and let these two rats gun each other down. He left a scarlet mark on Bugs' forehead, as a calling card, before ducking out.
Over the next few months, Lt. Moore used these methods to bring down a series of dangerous criminals, including Al Regna, the head of a narcotics ring. Moore duped the two different halves of Regna's gang into sneaking up on each other and opening fire. The Scarlet Seal then took Regna back to his own office, where the survivors of the massacre ambushed and gunned down their boss for betraying them. This violent resolution went a long way toward establishing the Scarlet Seal's fearsome reputation in the underworld. Although acting as a vigilante, he deliberately took credit for more killings than he actually committed. However he also killed at least one criminal in a face-to-face shoot-out.
When gangster Nicky Nessen tried to maneuver the Hip Leong Tong into waging war on the On Sing Tong, the Scarlet Seal intervened. He got accepted into the Hip Leong Tong and was able to settle the ginned-up dispute between the tongs, and bring about the prompt return of a stolen batch of weapons. The frustrated Nessen then made an ill-advised attempt to murder the Scarlet Seal, but instead was slaughtered by the Seal's new allies, the members of both tongs.
Over the following months, Moore cultivated his alliance with the town's tong leaders, which worked out well for him in 1941, when he was impersonated and framed for one tong man's murder. The "real" Scarlet Seal proved his innocence to Manchu Sing, leader of the On Sing tong, and in return was assisted greatly in trapping the impersonator, one Shiv Nagol. Nagol tried to shoot his way out of his predicament, which got him shot dead by Lt. Moore, who then rearranged the loot and other evidence to make this shooting look like a suicide. A month later, this underworld connection again was critical to Lt. Moore's success in disrupting a Panasian sabotage plot, aimed at killing U.S. paratroopers on a training exercise.
The Scarlet Seal's crime-fighting career continued until mid-1941, after which there is no further record of his vigilante activities.
Powers and Abilities
- police issue revolver
- Barry Moore made a lot of money in the movie business before he turned to police work, and used some of it to buy a row-house and an adjacent warehouse, in Center City. These he connected with a large hidden door, and established a secret laboratory in the house, while adding a fake storefront at one end of the warehoue, for "WEN AU CHUNG, Importer, Chinese Goods."
- 9 Appearances of Barry Moore (Quality Universe)
- 1 Images featuring Barry Moore (Quality Universe)
- 2 Quotations by or about Barry Moore (Quality Universe)
- Character Gallery: Barry Moore (Quality Universe)