"The Black Condor: "Jaspar Crow and the Miners"": In Washington DC, Senator Tom Wright sponsors the "Wright Mining Bill," mandating better working conditions for miners, which is voted down and goes back to committee. Pennsylvania mine owner Jaspar Crow opposes the bill, with outright thuggery
- You won't escape this time, Cricket. This is your end ... forever!
- 1 Synopsis for The Black Condor: "Jaspar Crow and the Miners"
- 2 Appearing in The Black Condor: "Jaspar Crow and the Miners"
- 3 Synopsis for Space Legion: "Captured By Captain X"
- 4 Appearing in Space Legion: "Captured By Captain X"
- 5 Synopsis for Wizard Wells: "Out of Thin Air"
- 6 Appearing in Wizard Wells: "Out of Thin Air"
- 7 Synopsis for The Red Torpedo faces "Doom in the Lagoon"
- 8 Appearing in The Red Torpedo faces "Doom in the Lagoon"
- 9 Synopsis for "Jane Arden // Lena Pry"
- 10 Appearing in "Jane Arden // Lena Pry"
- 11 Synopsis for Alias the Spider: "Crushing the Crickets"
- 12 Appearing in Alias the Spider: "Crushing the Crickets"
- 13 Synopsis for "Ned Brant"
- 14 Appearing in "Ned Brant"
- 15 Synopsis for Tor, the Magic Master: "The Counterfeit Plot of Phrogg Zaarn"
- 16 Appearing in Tor, the Magic Master: "The Counterfeit Plot of Phrogg Zaarn"
- 17 Synopsis for Madame Fatal versus "The Blue Cloak Gang"
- 18 Appearing in Madame Fatal versus "The Blue Cloak Gang"
- 19 Synopsis for The Clock: "The Murder of Hy Jakker"
- 20 Appearing in The Clock: "The Murder of Hy Jakker"
- 21 Notes
- 22 Trivia
- 23 See Also
- 24 Links and References
Synopsis for The Black Condor: "Jaspar Crow and the Miners"
In Washington DC, Senator Tom Wright sponsors the "Wright Mining Bill," mandating better working conditions for miners, which is voted down and goes back to committee. Pennsylvania mine owner Jaspar Crow opposes the bill, with outright thuggery directed against some U.S. Senators.
At Crow's mine, the disappointed workers finally rally themselves up for a strike; and the Mayor needs a pretext for sending in the militia, so a company foreman gets mysteriously shot dead one night, and soon the company town is under martial law. That night just outside of town, a secret meeting of the miners' leadership is raided by a hooded goon squad of whip-and-club-wielding fake vigilantes; there's a melee; the Black Condor crashes into the shack and beats down several bad guys; one squealer tells him about a dynamite charge planted at the mine entrance. Just then the charge goes off; now several miners are trapped below ground. Meanwhile two more hooded gunmen sneak into the room behind the Black Condor but he punches them both out, then flies off to the rescue. The "black ray" (firing a red beam) eats a gaping hole in the sheer rocky wall, and the Condor flies in to search for survivors, finding and rescuing at least two. Outside the mine, the torch-waving hooded fake vigilantes are gathering for the next skirmish, but one miner tells the Black Condor where to find some big bags of coal dust, which ignites explosively when he drops it across the bad guys' flaming torches.
Shortly later he visits Jaspar Crow's office, beats up two more large thugs, and tells him, in mid-fight, "... and this is a promise from Tom Wright to put that law through." But when he looks around, Crow is already gone; it's not clear whether the villain heard the hero blurt that out or not. The Condor then calls (from Crow's office phone) the Governor of Pennsylvania, speaking as Tom Wright, and tells him the trouble is over and the militia can be recalled. And later on, the Wright Bill does come up for another vote and this time it passes.
Appearing in The Black Condor: "Jaspar Crow and the Miners"
- Jaspar Crow (2nd appearance)
- The Black Condor's "Black Ray" Pistol
Synopsis for Space Legion: "Captured By Captain X"
Appearing in Space Legion: "Captured By Captain X"
- Space Legion
- Captain X
Synopsis for Wizard Wells: "Out of Thin Air"
Wizard Wells and Tug are driving home in an open car when a flag man tries and fails to stop them (because Wizard, at the wheel, has some lingering suspicions from his previous episode), and then around the next bend the road is blocked by a monstrous armored tank, maybe four stories tall. Wizard and Tug are assaulted and detained by a large number of uniformed men, "by the right of the Double Cross!" They're taken to a nearby cavern, which is packed with normal-sized tanks and some Stuka bombers, plus a supply of some terrible new gas, which the Double Cross killers plan to use against New York City the next day. Recognizing the famous Wizard Wells, they allow both men to live if Wells will come work for them in their underground laboratory; Wells takes that deal, over Tug's objections. First he requisitions some thermos bottles for storing liquid air, which with a few mechanical adjustments, he extracts from an ordinary electric refrigerator. That night Wizard jumps a guard, punches him out, gives his gun and belt to Tug. They sneak out of the cave and build a wood fire, extract some charcoal, grind it up, add it to the bottles, and Tug puts the bottles back in the cave, in a plainly visible location, while Wiz distracts the guards into chasing him on foot outside. Wiz eludes the guards, sneaks back to the cave, borrows Tug's captured pistol, and shoots one of the thermos bottles visible at the cave's mouth, which causes an explosion, which brings down the entire cave, completely destroying all the 5th columnists and their weapons.
Appearing in Wizard Wells: "Out of Thin Air"
- Double Cross fifth columnists, a small army of them (Dies)
- Stuka-resembling dive bombers (Destroyed)
- Panzer-resembling tanks (Destroyed)
Synopsis for The Red Torpedo faces "Doom in the Lagoon"
The Red Torpedo has returned to Oriental waters, where a Mongol submarine has just sunk an unarmed neutral merchantman. Lockhart gets his navigable torpedo airborne and drops a bomb on the sub, destroying it. Afterwards he withdraws to a small island, hides his ship in a bayou, naps briefly, and awakens to find native drummers and dancers performing, only on closer examination, Jim discerns that the dancer is actually spelling out a message in semaphore code; it's about a fuel supply for an attack on Manila. A low-flying Mongol airplane has been monitoring the dance. In his red costume and mask, Jim is eventually spotted in the foliage, and a bunch of natives capture him. They might or might not recognize the Red Torpedo, but they don't like him, and they tie him to a stake in the lagoon at low tide for execution by drowning.
That night as the water rises almost to his nose, a bearded white man swims into the lagoon and unties Lockhart. His rescuer turns out to be another former naval captain and an escaped prisoner of the Mongolians; they team up and go to work. The oil supply mentioned earlier is on this same island and carelessly guarded; Red Torpedo and his new ally disarm and capture two sentries, steal four drums of oil to a location above the enemy's airfield, then leave them tied and gagged in the jungle. When daylight comes, a squadron of "Mongolese" 2-engine bombers arrives and lands; while the pilots are refueling, Lockhart and the other guy set fire to their oil drums and roll them off the cliff, where they ignite all the other oil stored at the cliff base, plus the bombers. Red Torpedo and the other guy depart in the Red Torpedo, to warn the garrison at Manila.
Appearing in The Red Torpedo faces "Doom in the Lagoon"
- unnamed ex-POW
- Mongolese Armed Forces
- native collaborators of the Mongolese military
- Red Torpedo (Submarine)
- Mongolese submarine (Destroyed)
- Mongolese 2-engine bombers (some destroyed)
Synopsis for "Jane Arden // Lena Pry"
(newspaper strip reprints)
Appearing in "Jane Arden // Lena Pry"
- Jane Arden (across top halves of pages)
- Lena Pry (across bottom halves of pages)
Synopsis for Alias the Spider: "Crushing the Crickets"
Trapped by the notorious Cricket in a hideout on the fifth floor of a hotel, the Spider avoids his doom by jumping out of the window, as guns blast away at him. He breaks his fall by dropping through a canopy, walks back into the hotel, grabs a drunk out of a phone booth, steals his suit and fedora, and returns to the fifth floor, where the Crickets are scrambling out of the building; he falls in among them, and gets into a car with three of them. As they're driving away one of them wises up, but the Spider quickly beats two of them unconscious and carjacks the driver with his own gun, telling him to keep going to the meeting place, which is an old mill on a narrow road, in the woods. The Spider jumps out, and lures the Crickets to search for him in the woods, where he nonfatally picks them off one at a time, for awhile, then runs inside the mill, finds The Cricket using the radio to call for reinforcements, and beats him up; four more thugs run into the room, he beats them up, then uses the radio to call for some cops. So gangsters and cops are converging on the old mill, inside which The Spider is nonfatally picking off gangsters one by one; the melee intensifies then tilts in favor of the cops as Halloway traps a bunch of the Crickets in his "web" gimmick, then corners The Cricket, tells him he's finished, and shoots! We don't see the arrow strike, but we have seen The Spider kill a bunch of guys in earlier episodes, and this is the last time we see The Cricket.
Appearing in Alias the Spider: "Crushing the Crickets"
- The Cricket (Apparent Death)
- the Crickets
- the Crickets
Synopsis for "Ned Brant"
(newspaper strip reprints)
Appearing in "Ned Brant"
- Ned Brant
Synopsis for Tor, the Magic Master: "The Counterfeit Plot of Phrogg Zaarn"
Jim Slade, a press photographer, gets chased by two thugs, across a rooftop and over the far edge, onto a parapet, through an open window, and away into the building, he escapes. Back at the newspaper office, Jim's got a hot story; he knows who has been flooding the market with counterfeit money! It's Phrogg Zaarn, financed by a foreign power, making perfect bills. That night Jim takes his miniature camera and drives his car out to Zaarn's country home, parks in the woods, changes into his tuxedo, and walks through the woods to Zaarn's house. While he's looking over the house a thug sneaks up behind him but makes enough noise that Tor turns and puts a hypnotic whammy on the big oaf, who now walks aimlessly onward. Tor sneaks up to a window and gets photos of Zaarn meeting with Zenzo Shimizu, the foreign consul. Then a trapdoor opens, dropping Zor down a slippery chute into an alligator pit, but with a quick gesture, Tor creates a couple of sides of beef, and distracts the reptiles with them, then finds an old hot air vent, which takes him directly to the room where Zaarn and Shimizu are making their deal. Pushing out the grill, the magician leaps into the room, letting the consul escape for the time being, he chases Phrogg Zaarn into the cellar, where his workers are printing more counterfeit bills. Tor puts a restraining whammy on these gazebos, then photographs them with their equipment, and gets Zaarn in the picture. Leaving all of them trussed up downstairs, Tor heads for the front door, where he meets the first two thugs who were chasing him before, returning just now to report their failure. They panic at the sight of the magician, but it's too late to run because just now the cops arrive. Tor sits in an easy chair, smoking a cigarette and watching their discomfiture, then just as the cops enter the room, Tor fades away! Later at the Daily Press office Jim Slade gloats aloud, in front of reporters, about his great luck in being around just as that magician showed up.
Appearing in Tor, the Magic Master: "The Counterfeit Plot of Phrogg Zaarn"
- Phrogg Zaarn
- Zenzo Shimizu, a foreign consul
Synopsis for Madame Fatal versus "The Blue Cloak Gang"
At midnight on a lonely street in the heart of a great metropolis, a broker is murdered and robbed of a half million in securities, by having a poisoned blue cloak thrown over him, which is then left at the scene of the crime. (*).
The next midnight, for an unrelated reason, Richard Stanton and his newsboy friend Jimmy are expecting to meet Jimmy's friend Danny (Dan Rogers, a stage magician), but instead are accosted by a gunman; Stanton punches out the gunman; two more gunmen show up and Stanton gets knocked down with a blackjack; faking unconsciousness he hears "Slug" tell "Mike" that their new hideout is in the Colonial Warehouse, while they abduct Jimmy.
One hour later the bent figure of Madam Fatal hobbles up to the warehouse, headkonks a guard with his walking stick, and hides him behind some crates. He climbs up a ladder and skooches along a ledge until he finds Jimmy, who tells Madam that the bad guys have also got Danny, very unwillingly working with them under some kind of threat. Madam Fatal finds four or five of them planning the next day's big crime, then swings on a rope from an upstairs mezzanine into the midst of them, kicking and laying about him with his walking stick; the crooks counterattack by throwing a blue cloak over Fatal but he parries it with the stick; then Madam and Dan run up the stairs to rejoin Jimmy on the mezzanine. The pursuing bad guys are discombobulated by Dan's tactic of rolling heavy barrels down the stairway onto them, then are surprised as Madam Fatal climbs out of one barrel and attacks from behind; soon the Blue Cloak Gang are all defeated.
- (* = The cloaks are adapted from a magic-show prop which has oxygen tubes woven into its fabric; the killers simply substitute poison gas for the oxygen supply.)
Appearing in Madame Fatal versus "The Blue Cloak Gang"
- Dan Rogers, a stage magician
- the Blue Cloak Gang
Synopsis for The Clock: "The Murder of Hy Jakker"
One day rival gang leaders Hy Jakker and Big Boy Broge accidentally meet on the sidewalk, and talk smack at each other until Hy punches Big. One week later Broge walks into a police station and reports (to Captain Kane) the theft of his gun (permit # 7391). And one week from that day, at Jakker's apartment building, Jakker is gunned down by a killer who unknowingly loses his gun in his haste to escape, and it turns out to be Big Boy's missing gun. Brian O'Brien calls this "the most perfect alibi any crook ever had," then declares that Broge's gun was never stolen at all, and sets out to prove it. The Clock's plan: a) get the gun from the police, then b) try to scare Broge into confessing.
a) Leaving Pug and the car at the curb with the motor running, The Clock climbs into the police station through an open window and sneaks through the corridors to Captain Kane's office, searches through file drawers until he finds and steals Broge's gun, then in interrupted by Kane's return, and flees the building. One police car pursues; Pug gets around a corner and lets out The Clock, unseen, then drives away for awhile and lets himself be caught, then plays dumb. The cops fall for his act and don't even take him in for questioning; Pug departs, straight back to O'Brien's apartment, with the cops not following him.
b) Along with Broge's gun, The Clock also stole a photo of Hy Jakker, which Pug uses as a guide to disguise himself as the dead man. They go to Broge's hideout, and split up. The Clock punches out one guard, then sneaks into the house, then gets sneaked up on, and is headkonked unconscious. Pug sneaks in through the cellar, and finds The Clock, conscious and unguarded, locked in a cell with a face-sized open window in the door. The cell lock is too strong, so Pug's impromptu plan is to borrow The Clock's mask, go back outside, find Broge inside, and tap on a window until Broge sees him. Broge sends henchman Butch to the cellar to check on the cell; Butch doesn't just look into the cell (in which the unmasked Clock would be visible), but enters the cell, and is punched out by The Clock. Then Clock and Pug confer one last time, before The Clock confronts Broge in his living room; Broge points a gun at him; disguised Pug steps in and shoots the gun out of Broge's hand; Broge freaks out when he sees Hy Jakker return, and blurts out a confession, and faints. The Clock opines that the police will now have no problem getting him to talk.
Appearing in The Clock: "The Murder of Hy Jakker"
- Pat "Pug" Brady
- Big Boy Broge
- Hy Jakker (Dies)
- Alias, the Spider: Tom Hallaway body count is now > 14.
- Black Condor:
- The first name of the villain of the first story is spelled "Jaspar" in the story. Other online indexes present it as "Jasper."
- Black Condor's Black Ray Pistol, in addition to its paralysis, engine-killing, and concussion effects, is also capable of partially disintegrating a rock cliff. For this effect, the beam is red.
- In this issue, The Clock is knocked unconscious with a blunt instrument for the (at least) 3rd time in his career.
- Red Torpedo:
- In Quality Comics' comic books of 1940 and 1941, the Mongolians were a military threat rivaling that of Japan.
- Jim Lockhart's body count now = 5 submarine crews + 1 battleship crew + 1 guy.
- Tor: The last name of the villain in the fifth story is spelled "Zaarn" in the story. Other online indexes present it as "Zaran."
- According to Wizard Wells, the Miracle Man of Science, liquid air and charcoal combine to form an explosive that's four times as powerful, and twice as delicate, as TNT. In the third story of this issue, Wells kills several hundred Fifth Column soldiers, using this explosive.
- Also appearing in this issue of Crack Comics were:
- Wizard Wells' assistant is Tug; Brian O'Brien's assistant is Pug.