"Black Condor: "The Secret of the Hills"": Far out on the Northwestern Rail Line is a secret switch, that can divert a train into a hidden tunnel, and Axis agents are in control of it. Three troop trains have already been vanished. FBI is baffled.
- No .. the Spider will .. the one person the Yellow Scorpion fears! Give me a hand in changing, Chuck .. we have no time to lose!
- 1 Synopsis for Black Condor: "The Secret of the Hills"
- 2 Appearing in Black Condor: "The Secret of the Hills"
- 3 Synopsis for Spitfire: "Rangoon, Burma Road"
- 4 Appearing in Spitfire: "Rangoon, Burma Road"
- 5 Synopsis for Don Q: "The Island of Dread"
- 6 Appearing in Don Q: "The Island of Dread"
- 7 Synopsis for Pen Miller: "Sharp-witted Extortionists"
- 8 Appearing in Pen Miller: "Sharp-witted Extortionists"
- 9 Synopsis for "Jane Arden // Lena Pry"
- 10 Appearing in "Jane Arden // Lena Pry"
- 11 Synopsis for Hack O'Hara: "In the grip of the Butcher"
- 12 Appearing in Hack O'Hara: "In the grip of the Butcher"
- 13 Synopsis for Alias the Spider: "The Yellow Scorpion Strikes
- 14 Appearing in Alias the Spider: "The Yellow Scorpion Strikes
- 15 Synopsis for Tor, the Magic Master: "In the Jungles of Panama"
- 16 Appearing in Tor, the Magic Master: "In the Jungles of Panama"
- 17 Synopsis for "Ned Brant"
- 18 Appearing in "Ned Brant"
- 19 Synopsis for The Clock: "The Knife Throwing Gang"
- 20 Appearing in The Clock: "The Knife Throwing Gang"
- 21 Notes
- 22 Trivia
- 23 See Also
- 24 Links and References
Synopsis for Black Condor: "The Secret of the Hills"
Far out on the Northwestern Rail Line is a secret switch, that can divert a train into a hidden tunnel, and Axis agents are in control of it. Three troop trains have already been vanished. FBI is baffled.
In Washington, Black Condor surprises J. Emory Glover by volunteering to go investigate. He flies out west, where he befriends a hobo, and together they find the train-stealing switch, and a tunnel that leads them to an underground armaments plant, and coal mine, manned by the missing troops. Condor lets himself and his ally get captured, in order to get close to the operation's boss, Dimler. There's a short fight, and a chase, which the Black Condor ends by using his Black Ray Pistol to fuse a door lock. He melts some prisoners' chains with the Black Ray, and soon frees enough U.S. troops to begin to engage the many uniformed enemy troops in the plant.
The mining tunnel begins to fill with coal gas, but Black Condor just keeps shooting the incredible weapon (now firing red rays) and severing hobbles and manacles, until a critical mass of freed troops are able to push back the enemy, and to assemble a train of railcars, and fire up one locomotive. That train just backs right out of the tunnel, and the villains can't stop it.
A few days later, this Nazi operation has been cleaned up, and in Washington, D.C., J. Emory Glover introduces his old friend Senator Thomas Wright to his new friend, the still-unnamed G-man who worked with the Black Condor, while disguised as a hobo.
Appearing in Black Condor: "The Secret of the Hills"
- Herr Dimler
- dozens of uniformed troops
- J. Emory Glover, FBI
- fake hobo FBI agent
- captured U.S. troops
- Washington, D.C.
- Northwestern Rail Line
- secret side-track in a tunnel in the hills
- secret armaments plant / coal mine / sabotage base
- secret side-track in a tunnel in the hills
- Condor's Black Ray Pistol
- three stolen troop trains
Synopsis for Spitfire: "Rangoon, Burma Road"
Tex "Spitfire" Adams and his mechanic pal Chuck have been granted transfers, from Eagle Squadron to the American Volunteer Group, to fight Japanese invaders in Burma, and they arrive in Rangoon aboard a British supply ship. There they meet Tex's old pal Clipper Davis, and join up with his squadron, and drive out to his jungle airbase, beside the Burma Road.
Hours later a small Japanese air raid strikes Rangoon, and the squadron takes off in pursuit. Tex is issued a plane, a Brewster Buffalo, but it needs fuel and ammo. While the ground crew gets it ready, a squadron of nine Mitsubishi dive bombers arrives and attacks the airfield. Adams gets airborne and shoots down three of the light bombers, while gunners on the ground take out a fourth. The remaining five dive bombers converge to attack Tex, and things get dicey, but he's able to shoot down one more plane before getting shot down himself. He lands on a stream in the jungle, while the four bombers regroup to work over the A.V.G. airfield. But by that time, the main body of fighter planes is returning to the field, and they wipe out the raiders in a matter of seconds. Spitfire meanwhile has gotten his plane run aground on a sand bar in the river, which is full of crocodiles. But before long he's back among the fliers, and looking forward to plenty of action ahead.
Appearing in Spitfire: "Rangoon, Burma Road"
- Chuck Bolton
- Clipper Davis
- American Volunteer Group mechanics and gunners
- the Burma Road
- AVG airfield
- British supply ship
- 4 or more A.V.G. Brewster F2A Buffalo fighters
- 9 Japanese Mitsubishi Ki-51 light bombers, at Burma Road attack (Destroyed)
- 2 more Japanese light bombers at Rangoon (Destroyed)
Synopsis for Don Q: "The Island of Dread"
A Pan-American Clipper plane is lost at sea, with the U.S. Secretary of State aboard it. Don Q is appointed to replace him. Secretary Cordell had been on his way to an important conference in South America, so immediately Don Q charters an airplane and flies to Rio De Janeiro, with Li'l Pierre, his valet, at the controls.
Near Guiana, they encounter antiaircraft fire, and must bail out. They parachute to the ocean surface, and are quickly picked up by a disguised Nazi raiding ship. After some fisticuffs, and some shooting, the two get control of the forward deck gun, and use it to sink the ship.
After that, they spend a night and a day at sea, floating on a wooden hatch cover. They wash up at an evil-looking island, and as they come ashore, a beautiful woman with a rifle shoots Don Q in the arm! She turns out to be the old Secretary of State's private secretary; they too had been shot down, at this very place. Worse yet, since that time, Secretary Cordell had been carried off by a beast-like monster! Don and Pierre explore the island and encounter the "monster" who turns out to be a long-stranded maniac, driven mad by isolation. Don Q punches him off a cliff. The former Secretary of State is found, tied up in a cave, and soon the band of castaways has built a signal fire on the beach, which attracts a U.S. submarine, and they are rescued.
Appearing in Don Q: "The Island of Dread"
- Li'l Pierre, his valet
- raiding ship captain
- uniformed sailors and troops
- James Cordell, Secretary of State
- his private secretary
- the President (by telephone)
- stranded maniac (Apparent Death)
- Pan-American Clipper
- chartered 2-engine long-range airplane
- disguised Nazi raiding ship (Destroyed)
- U.S. submarine
Synopsis for Pen Miller: "Sharp-witted Extortionists"
Appearing in Pen Miller: "Sharp-witted Extortionists"
- Chop Chu, his houseboy
- 2 others
- Hotel Detective
- Gary Harewave, movie star
- Inspector Naylem
- Thumble Hotel
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 Hack O'Hara: "In the grip of the Butcher"
Appearing in Hack O'Hara: "In the grip of the Butcher"
- Officer O'Grady
- the Butcher
- the Gurley Gang
- "Scoop"'s girlfriend
- "Scoop" the reporter
- slaughterhouse, outskirts of town
- O'Hara's hack
Synopsis for Alias the Spider: "The Yellow Scorpion Strikes
Walking around in a defense housing area of the city, Tom Hallaway and his chauffeur Chuck bump, carelessly and literally, into their old enemy, the Yellow Scorpion. This villain was eavesdropping on some overly talkative defense workers, and now uses teargas to escape from this encounter. Tom changes clothes and pursues him on foot, as the Spider! Chuck meanwhile runs home to fetch the Black Widow.
Scorpion and his minions almost escape in two cars, but the Spider wrecks one car, then scales an apartment building, gets a good position on the roof, and resumes shooting arrows at the gang, then does some crazy stunts to get back down to street level and attack them again. The Spider's deadly web, a constricting net of rubber, entangles and kills four of the enemy agents, but the Yellow Scorpion escapes.
Chuck arrives in the Black Widow and picks up the Spider, who has guessed the Scorpion's target. They race to the Navy Yard at 160 mph, then split up. Chuck forcibly takes over a Civil Defense post, and uses the air raid siren to black out that whole section of the city. Spider meanwhile races down the construction pier, where a brand new battleship has just been launched. He spots a speedboat, with torpedoes strapped to both sides of it, racing toward the battleship. He shoots one arrow at a control button on the battleship's bridge, causing the General Quarters klaxons to sound, then he makes a seemingly impossible swinging leap, into the speedboat, which he then struggles to turn about. Sharpshooters aboard the battleship give him one or more bullet wounds while he does so, but he manages to veer the kamikaze past the big ship's hull; the torpedoes blow up in the open part of the harbor. By this time, the Yellow Scorpion has long since escaped the area.
Later at Tom Hallaway's home, a doctor patches his bullet wounds, and he's already anxious for another crack at the elusive Yellow Scorpion.
Appearing in Alias the Spider: "The Yellow Scorpion Strikes
- Chuck, his chauffeur
- Hallaway's doctor
- New York City
- Navy Yard
- Spider's archery equipment
- Spider's Web, (constricting weapon)
- The Black Widow (does 160 mph, downtown)
- Kamikaze speedboat
Synopsis for Tor, the Magic Master: "In the Jungles of Panama"
A Japanese expeditionary force establishes a beach-head encampment on the coast of Panama, and barters with the local Indians. This takes several weeks.
Jim Slade's editor sends him to Panama, ostensibly to photograph the San Blas Indians, but mainly to see if there is any Japanese monkey business going on. This also takes a few weeks, but eventually Jim makes some friends among the San Blas. One friend shows him the Japanese bivouac area; it's pretty big. Jim tries to rally the San Blas against the Japanese, which is a lot to ask, but he promises them that Tor, the Magic Master will help them, and suddenly they're all on board! Jim in his pith helmet and jodphurs steps into the dense undergrowth, and out steps Tor in his tuxedo and cape.
The Japanese get word from their scouts of the coming attack and dig in to defend their position. For the first few moments it seems as if numbers, spears, and blow-guns could actually prevail, but the Japanese open up with machine guns and throw grenades. So then looks like a short fight, but then the Magic Master steps onto the scene, and with a spoken spell renders all the Japanese gunpowder inert. It now comes down to machetes and spears versus bayonets, with not enough bayonets, so the Japanese troops retreat to their steamship. Jim Slade gets good photographs of much of this. With a spoken spell, Tor turns the small ship into a carnivorous, ship-sized, talking turtle, and it gobbles up the soldiers one at a time until they're all gone.
Afterward Jim remains in Panama at least long enough for his photos to get published and the newspapers to get shipped down to Panama; he's very pleased with the story.
Appearing in Tor, the Magic Master: "In the Jungles of Panama"
- Slade's editor (Behind the scenes)
- San Blas Indians
- young Choco
- small Japanese steamship (transformed)
Synopsis for "Ned Brant"
(newspaper strip reprints)
Appearing in "Ned Brant"
- Ned Brant
Synopsis for The Clock: "The Knife Throwing Gang"
In a deserted warehouse on the waterfront, a bored and nervous gang of knife-throwers hides out, and passes the time with knife-throwing target practice. They're pretty good.
Meanwhile at his home, Brian O'Brien, in his tuxedo, reads up on the knife-throwing gang's exploits, wonders when they'll strike next, and wonders why Butch isn't back home yet. A timely radio news report tells him that the gang has just gotten their tenth victim. Butch shows up and tells Brian that she knows where the gang is hiding. He puts on his mask, and they go there in O'Brien's car, but approach the warehouse on foot; one guard gets punched out before they enter. It's dark inside, and they stick close together, but the bad guys are ready for them and snap on the lights just before attacking. The Clock punches two of them out of the fight, but gets clubbed on the head and knocked out. Butch squares off with the gang's boss, pastes him a good one, then runs away while his head is still ringing. As she flees farther into the warehouse, she tosses crates and things into the bad guy's path, then gets into a good hiding place. When another thug shows up with a gun, she drops a crate onto his head.
Meanwhile the Clock has recovered consciousness, and is confronted by three knife-throwers, in their makeshift throwing range. They talk smack about target practice, but he just jumps in and punches them out, one, two, three. Then the boss thug runs into the room, and he brings a gun. But Butch is right behind him, and flips his own hat over his eyes, making enough of a distraction for the Clock to one-punch this last guy out also.
Appearing in The Clock: "The Knife Throwing Gang"
- Knife-Throwing Gang
- New York City
- O'Brien's elegant home
- waterfront warehouse
- O'Brien's sedan
- Black Condor:
- In "The Secret of the Hills", Dimler and his troops wear swastikas with the points backward, but in the captions they are called "Nazis."
- Dimler wears a monocle.
- J. Emory Glover and the Black Condor seem to be meeting for the first time, in their one scene together.
- This issue's Black Condor story is the last one to be drawn and inked by Lou Fine.
- The Clock receives yet another blunt instrument head trauma in this issue.
- Don Q:
- In "The Island of Dread", the raider captain, and his Third Reich troops, wear normal swastikas.
- Much like the famous secret agent Black X, Don Q has a monocle and an airplane-pilot/valet.
- Don Q gets a bullet wound in this story.
- The boss Nazi in Washington D.C., Pretzer, is still free and undetected, at this story's end.
- Alias the Spider:
- Add four spies to Spider's body count.
- The Spider introduced a new bulletproof costume, last issue. In this story, he seemingly gets at least one more bullet wound. Last issue he was being shot with handguns, this issue he is shot with military rifles; it may be that his bulletproofing is simply less effective against the higher-velocity ammunition.
- This is the fourth time the Spider has been shot. He's previously taken bullets in Crack Comics #7 (at least two rounds), and Crack Comics #9, also Crack Comics #18.
- The Yellow Scorpion is still at large, at this story's end.
- Tex Adams' new unit is the American Volunteer Group, more famously known as the "Flying Tigers", although that name is not used in this story.
- Add four dive bombers to Spitfire's score.
- Also appearing in this issue of Crack Comics were:
- Jack Cole signed his Slap Happy Pappy story as "Ralph Johns".