"Black Condor: "The Storm Masters"": Doctor and Wendy Foster invent a food concentrate to alleviate wartime food shortages. That afternoon they join their friend Senator Tom Wright in a drive to the midwestern farmlands, and are shocked to find widespread devastation from a series of freakish i
- Well -- I'll be going -- Got work to do !!
- 1 Synopsis for Black Condor: "The Storm Masters"
- 2 Appearing in Black Condor: "The Storm Masters"
- 3 Synopsis for Spitfire: "Mission To Chalons"
- 4 Appearing in Spitfire: "Mission To Chalons"
- 5 Synopsis for Alias the Spider: "The Henderson Murder Case"
- 6 Appearing in Alias the Spider: "The Henderson Murder Case"
- 7 Synopsis for Hack O'Hara: "The Problem of Princess Pershwah"
- 8 Appearing in Hack O'Hara: "The Problem of Princess Pershwah"
- 9 Synopsis for "Ned Brant"
- 10 Appearing in "Ned Brant"
- 11 Synopsis for Madam Fatal: "Sure-Fire Detective Agency"
- 12 Appearing in Madam Fatal: "Sure-Fire Detective Agency"
- 13 Synopsis for Don Q: "The Red Stone"
- 14 Appearing in Don Q: "The Red Stone"
- 15 Synopsis for Tor the Magic Master: "U-Boat Attack"
- 16 Appearing in Tor the Magic Master: "U-Boat Attack"
- 17 Synopsis for "Jane Arden // Lena Pry"
- 18 Appearing in "Jane Arden // Lena Pry"
- 19 Synopsis for The Clock: "Victims of the Fagin"
- 20 Appearing in The Clock: "Victims of the Fagin"
- 21 Notes
- 22 See Also
- 23 Links and References
Synopsis for Black Condor: "The Storm Masters"
Doctor and Wendy Foster invent a food concentrate to alleviate wartime food shortages. That afternoon they join their friend Senator Tom Wright in a drive to the midwestern farmlands, and are shocked to find widespread devastation from a series of freakish inland hurricanes. Farms and towns have been wiped out by cyclones and flooding, many farmers are now destitute.
In the following weeks it becomes apparent that these freak storms are moving across the Midwest towards the Great Lakes area. Dr. Foster volunteers to contribute the Food Pills formula to the public for free, and arranges to broadcast the formula to every chemist in the country, that very evening. But as he steps out of the house, he is confronted by a hideous figure, a robed, skull-faced apparition, with a gun, who demands and receives the written formula. Dr. Foster flees back inside.
That night the Black Condor flies from Washington, D.C., via Lake Erie, to Detroit, where he surveys the area from a tall tower. Out on the lake, an extremely large storm is developing very quickly, until it becomes so big and violent that a tidal wave is kicked up and rolls toward a group of factories on the shore. Black Condor penetrates the cloud cover and finds a large, fast aircraft, emitting at least two different types of rays. He's found his culprit, and attacks, using the Black Ray Pistol to knock out the controls. Below them, the giant wave fizzles out, just short of the shore. The aircraft flees the scene at an extremely high speed, so fast that the Black Condor, who is himself extremely fast, is hard put to catch up.
Aboard the plane is Condor's arch-enemy, Senator Jaspar Crow, along with an aircrew of German-uniformed fliers who speak with American slang, and the robed, skull-faced robber, who is still dressed that way. Crow is in radio contact with Adolf Hitler, who is reneging on their deal. Hitler refuses to pay Crow for the Foster Formula because of his failure to destroy Detroit. About then, the Condor catches up, and very stealthily gets aboard the plane, but he is soon discovered, and a brief fight breaks out. Jaspar Crow ends the fight with a proposition: Hitler has double-crossed him so he'll double-cross Hitler, and sell this plane and its amazing weather weapon, to the Black Condor, for gold. As for the Foster Formula, regrettably it could not be entrusted to a short-wave broadcast, so it is on its way to the Fatherland aboard a submarine. The Condor agrees that, after he has retrieved the formula, he'll buy the airplane.
Black Condor searches the ocean for the U-boat, finds it, dives down to it, cuts his way aboard with his Black Ray, retrieves the forumula, and leaves. Meanwhile aboard the weather plane, Jaspar Crow is gloating out loud about how he will get now double-cross the Black Condor, then renegotiate his deal with Hitler from a position of strength. The plane lands, beside a remote swamp. Black Condor lands, and fills a sack with sand and dirt. He then meets with Crow and hands over the gold, but the pilot quickly pushes Condor off the wing and into some quicksand. The plane takes off before Jaspar Crow opens the sack and finds he's been tricked; his tantrum is of great amusement to his henchmen.
Black Condor gets loose by using his Black Ray to explosively shatter a nearby cliffside, causing scores of big rocks to crash into the mire, displacing the quicksand. He resumes his attack on the hurricane plane, punching his way thru the fuselage and into the interior. While he is thrashing the aircrew, Jaspar Crow quietly escapes by parachute. Condor flies the plane, and its advanced weapon-system, back to Washington D.C., lands at a nearby military airfield, changes back to Tom Wright, and turns it all over to the Army.
Shortly later the Foster Food Pills bring much-needed relief to children in the hurricane-stricken areas.
Appearing in Black Condor: "The Storm Masters"
- Dr. Foster
- Wendy Foster
- Condor's Black Ray Pistol
- Foster Food Pills, "... It's an alphabet of vitamins .. and has plenty of energy value ..."
- Hurricane-generating machine, "... a device that causes low humidity areas ... we can cause any kind of storm we wish ..."
- German 2-engine high-altitude reconnaissance airplane
- German U-boat (Destroyed)
Synopsis for Spitfire: "Mission To Chalons"
Tex "Spitfire" Adams, in a light scout bomber, at night, flies a British agent into the interior of France, where the agent parachute-jumps to the ground. Tex glides away from the drop site, reaching a low altitude, then restarts his engine with a roar, and almost immediately overflies a concentration of German troops, who open fire on him, and damage his engine. The plane won't make it back to Britain; Tex bails out.
On foot, in France, Tex makes his way to a road, and soon a column of panzers rolls past, headed for the coast. Tex sneaks a ride aboard the last one, for a long and very rough ride to the coast, but gets a better idea when he spots three Messerschmitt fighters landing in a nearby pasture. While the planes are on the ground, turning to taxi to their hangars, Tex boards the rearmost one, knocks out the pilot, heaves him out of the cockpit, and takes off. He has time for one pass of strafing before another plane is already taking off after him. Before it's off the ground, Tex rakes it with machinegun fire, it crumples and burns.
Tex flies the fighter plane back to England, lands it in a field, and gets captured by a local farmer, who marches him 10 miles to the Eagle Squadron airfield, where the misunderstanding is soon cleared up.
Appearing in Spitfire: "Mission To Chalons"
- Eagle Squadron C.O.
- Chuck Bolton
- British agent
- English farmer
Synopsis for Alias the Spider: "The Henderson Murder Case"
At Arthur Henderson's mansion, at night, Tom Hallaway's chauffeur Chuck impatiently keeps an eye on the house; his boss is inside conferring with Henderson. A scream rings out. Chuck charges into the house, trampling a butler as he goes. Tom is in the library, examining Arthur, who is dead, shot thru the heart. Neither Chuck nor Tom have seen anybody around who could have done the deed.
Tom explains that Henderson had feared being murdered, and knew that Hallaway was the Spider, and had that very morning changed his will, to make Tom his heir, then called him out to his house to discuss it. Also there's a threatening written note, and some cryptic last words from the deceased, but just then a gun-brandishing policeman steps into the room, with Miss Henderson, and tries to arrest Hallaway. Hallaway outsmarts him and outfights him and escapes, with Chuck, out thru a big window. Then Chuck returns to fight the cop while Hallaway changes clothes and searches the grounds for clues to Henderson's murder. Right away he finds a Mauser bullet, lodged in a tree, and deduces that the killer had lined up his shot with the victim between two windows, so the bullet would fly onward out of the house. Based on that, the shot must have come from the woods, across the front lawn.
The Spider explores the woods, and about a mile from the Henderson house he finds an old, large, ramshackle building, that looks to him like a good sniper hangout. While he's nocking an arrow, a rifle shot shears the point off. Spider rapidly sneaks up to the old dump and climbs in a second-story window, where he gets the drop on the rifleman inside, and shoots his hand with a Spider Seal arrow. The high-power rifle drops, and after that it's hand-to-hand grappling, during which, each fighter is surprised to recognize the fighting style of the other. This guy and Hallaway had met up, ten years earlier, in Africa. And he's a good enough fighter to get past Spider's guard and punch him out, but stupid enough to leave immediately without pausing to murder him.
The next morning, Tom Hallaway shows up at Arthur Henderson's lawyer's office, and explains that Henderson had changed his will, naming Hallaway as his heir, as a ploy to protect his adopted daughter. She was being threatened by some note-writing extortionist, who now turns out to be Henderson's half-brother, a top-notch marksman, who also turns out to be this very same shyster lawyer. The villain points a gun at Tom, who nonchalantly advises him to look across the street. There on a rooftop are two uniformed cops and Henderson's adopted daughter, also a top-notch markswoman, and her scope rifle, aimed at the lawyer. On further advice, the lawyer stands very very still. The police are on their way, Hallaway makes some mocking remarks, and leaves.
Appearing in Alias the Spider: "The Henderson Murder Case"
- Chuck, the chauffeur
- Arthur Henderson's lawyer
- Arthur Henderson (Dies)
- Henderson's butler
- Henderson's adopted daughter
- Henderson's daughter's cop boyfriend
- Hallaway's customized "Spider Seal" arrows
Synopsis for Hack O'Hara: "The Problem of Princess Pershwah"
Appearing in Hack O'Hara: "The Problem of Princess Pershwah"
- Officer McCarthy
- Princess Pershwah
- James, chauffeur (Dies)
- Prince Pershwah, East Indian prince
- Shandar, bodyguard
- O'Hara's hack
Synopsis for "Ned Brant"
(newspaper strip reprints)
Appearing in "Ned Brant"
- Ned Brant
Synopsis for Madam Fatal: "Sure-Fire Detective Agency"
While Scrappy and Tubby are showing their kid-built detective office to their friend Richard Stanton and his friend Detective Duffy, and while Duffy enjoys a good laugh at the boys' expense, a speeding sedan side-crashes another car, then zooms onto the lot. In the back of it are some guys who grab Scrappy, drag him into the car, then take a few inaccurate pistol shots at the other three, and zoom away. In the crashed car is a dying FBI agent, who says a few cryptic words then perishes.
Stanton returns home, changes clothes, and drives his coupe back to the detective clubhouse to pick up Tubby. Madam Fatal has figured, from the FBI man's last words, that the villains are hiding in a lighthouse by New York Harbor. They arrive there, and at first nobody is around, until two pistol-packing spies show up to confront the pair. Madam Fatal bludgeons them both with his stout walking stick, but gets sucker-punched unconscious. Tubby meanwhile searches the darkened lighthouse until he blunders into Scrappy and they mistakenly fight each other, until they figure out who's who.
This lighthouse has a long corridor in it, or under it, and a prison cell at the end of it. Scrappy and Tubby, scouting the place, find one thug beside the cell door, jump him, open the cell, and find the bullet-wounded lighthouse keeper inside. He tells them about a radio upstairs, which the bad guys are using to report to Germany, on British ships as they leave the harbor. The light in this lighthouse interior is very bad, and the boys make use of this, using a spare suit of clothes, to create the illusion of a ghost. The superstitious cowardly spies panic at the sight of this, and flee. As each gets out the door, the lighthouse keeper clobbers them with a club, until only the unpanicked boss spy remains, but this one has his gun out. That's when Madam Fatal reenters the fray, with his cudgel, to disarm and disable the villain. Shortly after that, acting on an anonymous tip (from Richard Stanton), Detective Duffy arrives with a squad of cops, and takes charge of the scene, while enduring some good-natured ribbing from Scrappy and Tubby, who turn out to be quite the capable spy-catchers after all.
Appearing in Madam Fatal: "Sure-Fire Detective Agency"
- Madam Fatal (Final appearance)
- Sure-Fire Detective Agency
- Scrappy Nelson
- Tubby White
- Detective Duffy
- Crane, FBI agent (Dies)
- lighthouse keeper
- New York City
- New York Harbor
- New York Harbor
Synopsis for Don Q: "The Red Stone"
Sir Cedric Besford and his diplomat friend Don Q travel by train from Afghanistan to India, to deliver the legendary "Red Stone" to the Rajah of Jaunpur. Cedric tells Don the stone's story, in which Kublai Khan sent a messenger to accept the famous stone, from the earlier Rajah of Jaunpur, and the intrigue and murder that took place along the way. In this tale, a messenger and a slave girl each got murdered, and the great ruby ended up in the hands of the villainous Tartar prince Tebet, and it later was lost along with Tebet's life, in a Tartar raid. For a thousand years after that, the stone was lost in obscurity, until recently a British expedition had found it. Now a great advance in Indo-British diplomacy would be made by the ruby's return to the people of India.
The train's engineer is killed by a sniper, and a big boulder has been placed on the track; a destructive crash derails the train. Riflemen open fire from both sides of the track, and Sir Cedric is mortally wounded, but hands off the stone to Don Q, who takes off on foot. A lot of running and shooting and evading follows, until Don Q manages to grab one hillsman, knock him out, and steal his clothes. He finds a village, which turns out to be the home of the bandit gang. He meets a woman who offers him some wine, which turns out to be drugged, and the next thing he knows he's the prisoner of Chief Tebet and his secret boss Captain Von Hardt, with the wily woman present.
Don Q surprises them all by correctly guessing (based on his own instant theory about history repeating itself) that the girl's name is Aijurac! Meanwhile Von Hardt is admiring the smooth, round, Red Stone, which catches the light in the room and has a mesmerizing effect on Aijurac. She flashes back to an earlier life, mystically discerns that Tebet is her destined murderer, whips out a dagger, and in a frenzy kills him. Von Hardt shoots Aijurac, which distracts him just long enough for Don Q to one-punch him out.
A week later Don Q delivers the ruby to the rajah and it's a great diplomatic coup. He breaks the Fourth Wall and addresses the reader, to reveal that in America he would completely discount the ruby's backstory, ".. but this is India, the LAND OF MYSTERY !!!"
Appearing in Don Q: "The Red Stone"
- Tebet I, Tartar prince (Dies) (Flashback only)
- Aijurac I, slave girl (Dies) (Flashback only)
- Aijurac (Dies)
- Chief Tebet (Dies)
- many bandits
- Capt. Von Hardt
- Kublai Khan (Cameo) (Flashback only)
- his messenger (Flashback only) (Dies)
- Sir Cedric Besford (Dies)
- Rajah of Jaunpur
- Great Ruby of Jaunpur
- steam-powered passenger train (wrecked)
Synopsis for Tor the Magic Master: "U-Boat Attack"
On the North Atlantic Ocean a British destroyer engages a German submarine, with Jim Slade along to photograph the encounter. The Brits fire and miss with a depth bomb, then the Germans fire back with a magnetic mine, which does not miss. The destroyer snaps in two and sinks; Slade is very fortunate to be blown clear and to land in the water near a deck raft. Now he decides it's time to intervene.
The U-boat surfaces to shoot any survivors, and Tor the Magic Master magics himself onto the topside, then makes himself bulletproof with a reverse-spoken spell. When small-arms fire fails to take him down, the commander orders the boat to submerge. Tor counters by freezing that section of the ocean surface, immobilizing the sub. Nearby several dozen English sailors are treading water, and happily join Tor aboard his ice raft. The Brits get to work on prying open the sub's topside hatches, and soon have done so; they swarm inside. After some close quarters fighting, the Brits are in charge of the sub. They change course for Iceland.
The U-boat captain has meanwhile radioed for help from the sea raider Von Scharn, a fast warship disguised as a tramp steamer. The Von Scharn arrives on the scene, but the lookouts spot the English-uniformed sailors atop the conning tower, and reverses course to withdraw from the scene. Tor commands the submarine to fly like an airplane, in pursuit. One shot from the U-boat's deck cannon takes out the fake-freighter's bridge, and the crew immediately surrenders. Tor changes back into Jim Slade, and snaps a lot of photographs. The English sailors are curious about the disappearance of the magician, but Jim has no helpful info for them.
Appearing in Tor the Magic Master: "U-Boat Attack"
- Destroyer crew
- U-boat crew
- Sea Raider crew
- North Atlantic Ocean
- British destroyer (Destroyed)
- German submarine
- KMS Von Scharn, infamous sea raider
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 The Clock: "Victims of the Fagin"
A radio news report informs Brian and Butch that a gang of very young pickpockets is at work in the city. After a short argument, Butch reluctantly stays behind while Brian visits Captain Kane at the Police Station, but before he goes, she annoyingly plays a trick on him, with a novelty-store fake hand. Kane tells O'Brien that kidnapped children are being drugged and trained as pickpockets, but not much more is known. Their dialogue hints that Kane may know or suspect the Clock's real identity. O'Brien returns home for some more bickering with Butch (she wants to carry a gun, he's not having it), then they set out to find the mysterious Fagin gang.
Not yet masked, Brian strolls thru a slum area, with no real plan, just looking for whatever clues turn up. Butch keeps up as best she can, but while O'Brien is scouting ahead, she gets grabbed and yanked behind a fence. Soon in the Fagin's hideout, she is injected with a deadly drug, and wobbles around in a tizzy while being hypnotically programmed for thievery. But Butch has fooled the villains by using her fake hand to receive the injection, and as soon as they turn her out to go stealing, she returns to O'Brien's place.
After a fruitless seach for Butch or any part of the gang, a very frustrated Brian returns to base, and is surprised to meet Butch there. She tells him what she's learned, and it's a lot. She leads the Clock back to the Fagin hangout. Before they go, Butch nonchalantly arms herself with a sack of razor-studded potatoes. In the alley behind the hideout, the Clock orders her to stay put, then sneaks in thru the back door. She immediately leaves and sneaks in thru the side door. She finds the bad guys first, and throws some razor potatoes at them until they flee. By sheer bad luck, they encounter the Clock in the process of running away from her!
Appearing in The Clock: "Victims of the Fagin"
- Captain Kane
- Fagin's gang, "Dipsy", et.al.
- New York City
- Park Avenue
- slum area
- fake hand
- hypnotic drug
- Black Condor:
- At the previous story's end, Jaspar Crow was plunging towards the pavement, outside Shane Tower. We are never told how he survived this predicament.
- This episode is Jaspar Crow's tenth clash with the Black Condor. At the end of it, the treasonous old toad is still at large and still a U.S. Senator.
- The crew of that U-boat are definitely dead, after having their hull sliced open while submerged.
- Foster Food Pills were invented as a food concentrate, to send to war-torn countries.
- Also at the end of this story, the storm-generating machinery, and the high-altitude spy plane are in the possession of the U.S. military authorities. These likewise are never seen or mentioned again.
- The Clock:
- This is the Clock's first adventure in his new, Spirit-style domino mask. Covers will not begin to reflect this change until Crack Comics #25.
- Brian O'Brien is identified as living on Park Avenue, in the opening caption.
- The ambiguous dialogue between Brian O'Brien and Captain Kane somewhat implies that Kane may know or suspect the Clock's real identity, but then again, it's hard to overstate what a complete dolt Captain Kane is, most of the time.
- The Fagin's brainwashing formula is described as a "deadly drug" but none of the child victims are reported to have died from it.
- Don Q
- This story is set in 1942; Pakistan and Bangladesh did not yet exist as independent nations.
- In the Quality Universe, the Khasi Hills were on British India's northwestern border with Afghanistan. In our universe, and probably in most DC parallel universes, the Khasi Hills were on British India's northeastern border with Burma.
- Last issue for Madam Fatal.
- Classic 1942 Crack Comics caption: "Stanton becomes the dreaded Madam Fatal ...."
- Across the bottom of the last page of the last Madam Fatal story runs a blurb: "More of Madam Fatal in the next issue of CRACK COMICS." But no.
- Alias The Spider:
- The late Arthur Henderson knew Tom Hallaway's double identity, and so did his daughter's boyfriend. It seems likely that lots of people knew it. Like many of Quality's superheroes (see also: Black Condor, Captain Triumph, Doll Man, Magno, Miss America, Phantom Lady, and Wildfire), the Spider was inexplicably able to maintain a dual identity, without even covering or disguising his face.
- Tor, the Magic Master:
- Classic 1942 Crack Comics dialog: "There goes another English boat to the bottom -- It's time for me to put on my mustache and cape!"
- The U-boat captain has no monocle, but he does wear an eye-patch.
- Also featured in this issue of Crack Comics were: