"Black Condor: "The Eagle Battalion"": A series of merchant sailing ships mysteriously return to their home port of Ceylon, minus their cargoes and crews; there, for superstitious reasons, local citizens board the ships and set them afire. In the crowd is the Black Condor who flies aboard one s
- Men who fly like that are only found in fiction — it can't be done! We're going to find out how, and bring him down to Earth!
- 1 Synopsis for Black Condor: "The Eagle Battalion"
- 2 Appearing in Black Condor: "The Eagle Battalion"
- 3 Synopsis for Red Torpedo: "The Lone Shark"
- 4 Appearing in Red Torpedo: "The Lone Shark"
- 5 Synopsis for Madam Fatal: "Madam Fatal Goes to the Circus"
- 6 Appearing in Madam Fatal: "Madam Fatal Goes to the Circus"
- 7 Synopsis for Space Legion: "Revolt!"
- 8 Appearing in Space Legion: "Revolt!"
- 9 Synopsis for "Ned Brant"
- 10 Appearing in "Ned Brant"
- 11 Synopsis for Alias the Spider: "The Experiment of Dr. Corsica"
- 12 Appearing in Alias the Spider: "The Experiment of Dr. Corsica"
- 13 Synopsis for "Jane Arden // Lena Pry"
- 14 Appearing in "Jane Arden // Lena Pry"
- 15 Synopsis for Lee Preston of the Red Cross: "Saving the General"
- 16 Appearing in Lee Preston of the Red Cross: "Saving the General"
- 17 Synopsis for Wizard Wells: "The Talking Light"
- 18 Appearing in Wizard Wells: "The Talking Light"
- 19 Synopsis for The Clock: "The Jay Bird"
- 20 Appearing in The Clock: "The Jay Bird"
- 21 Notes
- 22 Trivia
- 23 See Also
- 24 Links and References
Synopsis for Black Condor: "The Eagle Battalion"
A series of merchant sailing ships mysteriously return to their home port of Ceylon, minus their cargoes and crews; there, for superstitious reasons, local citizens board the ships and set them afire. In the crowd is the Black Condor who flies aboard one such ship and searches it for clues to what happened; he finds bits of wahilla plant, which is found only in the Danger Islands.
On Danger Island itself, a despot calling himself the Sapphire King has a trained flock of gigantic eagles (at least 14 of them), and a crew of armed men, and has been abducting the crews of merchant ships, for slave labor in his sapphire recovery operation. In a cavern at the island's shore, the sailors are fitted with deep-sea helmets and forced to dive and dig for gems, in a deep, dangerous "sapphire pool," inhabited by one or more very aggressive giant octopus.
The Black Condor arrives, enters the bad guys' citadel, and beats up at a series of guards, hears groans from downstairs, finds a dungeon full of starved and beaten slaves. They rejoice at his arrival and he promises to help them; a squad of riflemen arrives; the Condor smacks them about then races away to rescue the other prisoners, but one guard has held onto his rifle and shoots him in the back. The badly wounded Black Condor is thrown into a poorly guarded room and he flies out through a window; the Sapphire King sees this and calls out his battalion of the giant eagles. In an aerial battle the Condor manages to kill two of these monsters by hand, then unholsters his Black Ray and "shatters the sky with blazing death," then his wounds and exhaustion overtake him and he falls to the ground. Seeing his entire air force wiped out in a matter of minutes, the Sapphire King has lost his nerve, and grabs his stash of gems, to hide them in another cavern on the same island, but the Condor overtakes him, and uses his Black Ray to collapse the cave onto him, then recovers the sapphires, gives them to the surviving divers, and helps them return to Ceylon.
Appearing in Black Condor: "The Eagle Battalion"
- several giant eagles
- at least one giant octopus
- Sapphire King (Dies)
- Several guards
- the Danger Islands
Synopsis for Red Torpedo: "The Lone Shark"
The mysterious sea marauder, the Lone Shark, operating an underwater ship from a secret dock, uses a powerful vacuum cup device to attach his craft to passenger liners, then using suction gloves and shoes he boards and robs them. The Red Torpedo uses his "Aquavis" instrument to locate the Lone Shark, who uses a similar device to detect the Torpedo, flees, and escapes by releasing an oil slick onto his pursuer. Stalemated, both submariners surface, Red to rechart his navigation system and Lone to seethe in frustration as a new liner sails onto the scene. Via "Aqua-Audio," the Lone Shark challenges the Red Torpedo to meet him, in two days, at latitude 37°, longitude 103°. This is of course an elaborate ambush, wherein Lone tries to trap Red between a reef and a very large field of naval mines; Red catches a huge break when a really large fish randomly blunders onto the scene and prematurely detonates one mine and sets off a chain reaction. Lone tries the oil-slick tactic again, but this time Red is equipped with high-powered lamps that cut through the cloud of oil. Lone launches a torpedo; Red outmaneuvers it and spears it on the tip of his sub's narwhal-style bowsprit, then uses the torpedo to blow Shark's sub out of the water. After a bit of swimming and fighting, Lone Shark is captured alive, and turned over to the Harbor Police at Norfolk.
Appearing in Red Torpedo: "The Lone Shark"
- Lone Shark (First appearance)
- Red Torpedo's "AquaVis" detection system
- Lone Shark's equivalent detection system
- Red Torpedo's & Lone Shark's "Aqua-Audio" communication systems
- Red Torpedo
- Lone Shark's unnamed one-man sub (destroyed)
Synopsis for Madam Fatal: "Madam Fatal Goes to the Circus"
Richard Stanton attends a circus performance in his Madam Fatal disguise; a lion gets loose; Madam places himself between the cat and a small child, Patsy Roberts, just before some trained circus animal wranglers arrive to get the lion under control. He thus befriends some circus performers plus Patsy and Patsy's nurse; Patsy's father is a wealthy banker. Meanwhile the circus is broke; performers haven't been paid for weeks; Surat the magician quits after an argument with Mo Black the manager. Then somebody who, in the dark, looks like Surat attempts to kidnap young Patsy; Madam Fatal intervenes but loses the scuffle, then rallies and pursues, plus deduces (from a yanked-off piece of fake beard) that the bad guy is only disguised as Surat. This turns out to be correct; the circus manager turns out to be the abductor. He and his henchman Slug flee the circus, in Black's own car, pursued by Madam Fatal and two circus performers, Cyclops and the General, in a borrowed car. At an old shack out in the country, the three allies do some sneaking and fighting and rescuing, ending up with Patsy safe and four kidnappers subdued. Afterward Madam Fatal tells Cyclops and the General that he's going to buy the bankrupt circus, and put them in charge of it.
Appearing in Madam Fatal: "Madam Fatal Goes to the Circus"
- Cyclops (First appearance)
- The General (First appearance)
- Mr. Black
- two more thugs
- Patsy Roberts
- Cyclops' sister, Patsy's nurse
Synopsis for Space Legion: "Revolt!"
Appearing in Space Legion: "Revolt!"
- Space Legion
- Gulla (Dies)
- Gulla's niece
Synopsis for "Ned Brant"
(newspaper strip reprints)
Appearing in "Ned Brant"
- Ned Brant
Synopsis for Alias the Spider: "The Experiment of Dr. Corsica"
Women are being kidnapped for a mad doctor's experiments, by a giant thug (Grego). One cop chases the kidnapper into an alley, and gets stabbed dead, then The Spider shows up, shoots an arrow at him, and misses. The giant throws a knife and severs Spider's bowstring, then grabs up his hostage and almost outruns him too, but is shadowed to his hideout, an old warehouse. The Spider re-strings his bow and breaks into the warehouse, getting shot at almost right away by (at least 5) thugs. He gets among them, then punches each of them out. He finds a laboratory and recognizes "that crazy Dr. Corsica who just escaped from a foreign prison." The girl hostage is strapped to a chair and soon some toxin will be injected, but now The Spider has got the drop on Corsica, but now Corsica, being crazy, just does not care about that, and meanwhile Grego the giant thug sneaks into the room via a secret panel and headkonks Hallaway, alias The Spider, unconscious.
Spider wakes up, chained to a wall, while Grego tows a caged gorilla into the lab, while Corsica hypnotizes the girl, who is already injected with the toxin. She's going into the cage to fight and defeat this gorilla, according to Corsica, and this will prove his formula correct. Spider snaps his chains, recovers his bow, nocks two arrows, and shoots the gorilla dead. But Grego has a gun and regains control of the room, dropping Spider and the girl through a trapdoor into a featureless cell, then dropping a heavy grate in place over it. The ceiling is too high for Spider to leap, but after some thought he uses his arrow bag straps and essentially invents a climbing-rope arrow, shoots it into the grating, then reaches the top of the room, and bends some iron bars, and escapes. Then he fights and beats both Grego and Dr. Corsica, frees the still-unnamed girl from the cell, conducts her to his car and loans it to her, then returns to ensure that Corsica and Grego are locked up.
Appearing in Alias the Spider: "The Experiment of Dr. Corsica"
- Dr. Corsica
- An unnamed girl
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 Lee Preston of the Red Cross: "Saving the General"
Appearing in Lee Preston of the Red Cross: "Saving the General"
- General Miller
Synopsis for Wizard Wells: "The Talking Light"
A committee of hard-squeezed businessmen hires Wizard Wells to get evidence linking "Rags" Rollin's protection racket to corrupt municipal politician Cal Kearney. With help from the phone company, Wells impersonates a telephone repairman, gets into Kearney's office, plants a microphone in the light fixture, plants a capsule in the water cooler, and returns home to labor all night over a strange piece of apparatus. Next morning, Wells rents an office, overlooking Rollin's office, sets up his apparatus there, and leaves Tug in charge of it, to await Kearney's arrival. He seems to already know for sure that Kearney will be showing up this particular night. He does, and once he goes inside, Wells gets out of his parked car, breaks into the building, goes to the basement, cranks the heat up to some uncomfortable level, and is just leaving when he's caught by one of Rollin's gunmen. There is a fight on the basement stairs, in which Wells knocks out the thug and steals his gun. He bursts into Rollin's office just as Kearney flees the room (locking the door behind him), then holds Rollin at gunpoint while he makes a series of phone calls. Several conversations later, the committee members all arrive, plus Cal Kearney, plus some police, and Wells plays a recording of Rollin's meeting with Kearney. Rollins and Kearney stick to their story that Kearney wasn't there that night; but Wizard Wells has brought a Geiger-Muller Counter, which reveals radioactivity in Kearney's skin. Because the capsule Wells placed in the water cooler contained radioactive salts, and Kearney drank some, when the building's heater got turned way up. This news upsets Kearney who whips out a pistol and guns down Rollin, prompting the police to shoot him dead on the spot.
Appearing in Wizard Wells: "The Talking Light"
- Rags Rollin (Dies)
- Cal Kearney (Dies)
- one thug
Synopsis for The Clock: "The Jay Bird"
Using a cable harness and an airplane, the Jay Bird seems to defy gravity, swooping out of nowhere, robbing and murdering, then escaping again and again. Using a telescope, the Clock works out how he's doing it, and he and Pug go after him, in Brian O'Brien's biplane. They find Jay Bird's biplane in mid flight, and maneuver above it, then the Clock leaps from the plane onto Jay Bird's harness, and chokes him out. Jay Bird's pilot Spike tries to shoot down Pug, get shot dead himself, and falls out of the plane, with Jay Bird and the Clock still dangling below it. Pug works his way out onto the wing and dives onto the other plane, gets inside, takes control of it, works the cable apparatus to retrieve both men, then safely lands the plane.
Appearing in The Clock: "The Jay Bird"
- Pat "Pug" Brady
- Jay Bird
- Spike (Dies)
- Thomas Hallaway, Alias, the Spider gets knocked unconscious with a blunt instrument; this may be his first concussion.
- The Black Condor gets his first bullet wound in this issue's story.
- The Clock:
- The Clock packs a gun in this issue, shoots at the Jay Bird twice, misses.
- For the second time, Brian O'Brien jumps out of his own airplane. The first time he did this Feature Comics #31, April 1940, he simply allowed the plane to crash. This time he brought a back-up pilot, who also jumped out, allowing his plane to crash.
- The Red Torpedo:
- Red Torpedo's main recurring villain first appeared, in this issue, dba the Lone Shark, and later changed his code name to the Black Shark.
- The Lone Shark's chosen dueling place, latitude 37°, longitude 103°, is in the southern Indian Ocean, due west of the southernmost part of Australia.
- In the previous issue Crack Comics #4, we saw the Red Torpedo's vessel directly contact an exploding naval mine and survive undamaged. We have however not seen it encounter several dozen such mines at once.
- This issue of Crack Comics also featured:
- Crack Comics #5 is the first comic with the Quality Comics logo on it.