"Speed Saunders and the River Patrol: "The Murders of Cap'n Scum"": Cyril 'Speed' Saunders works a case where the bodies of dead Chinamen are being found in the bay. Through some investigation work at the pier, Speed notices a cargo ship, The Maria, that never
- Your're right, Doc! These are real Oriental Chinamen.
Appearing in Speed Saunders and the River Patrol: "The Murders of Cap'n Scum"
- Speed Saunders (First appearance)
- Mister Moran
- Hen Velsor
- Joe Plum (Mentioned only)
- Cap'n Scum (Single appearance)
- his crew
- "Maria", cargo ship (captured)
- hired rowboat
- rented catboat
Synopsis for Speed Saunders and the River Patrol: "The Murders of Cap'n Scum"
Cyril 'Speed' Saunders works a case where the bodies of dead Chinamen are being found in the bay. Through some investigation work at the pier, Speed notices a cargo ship, The Maria, that never seems to come into port. He takes out a small boat and climbs aboard the ship only to find a group of no-good crewmen being led by a Captain Scum. The crew tosses Speed overboard, leaving him to swim the three miles back to shore.
With the help of a catboat owned by Jake, Speed trails the Maria to a place where it appears to be making an exchange with another vessel. He sneaks aboard, and overhears Scum negotiating a price with the man from the adjoining ship. Scum was smuggling Chinese laborers to potential buyers and had simply been tossing the sick ones out to sea! Speed successfully arrests Scum and his associate and the case is solved.
Appearing in Cosmo, the Phantom of Disguise: "The Rhangwa Pearls"
- Cosmo (First appearance)
- Captain Burke (Single appearance)
- Taro (Single appearance)
- Gregory Dillingwater (Single appearance)
- Rhangwa Pearls
Synopsis for Cosmo, the Phantom of Disguise: "The Rhangwa Pearls"
In a large mansion, gem-collector Gregory Dillingwater gains possession of the Rhangwa pearls, a priceless bunch of gems. Later on, he receives a note that says the pearls will be stolen from him on the week of the 15th. It is signed by "Taro", a well known thief. After being called, the police captain decides to call Cosmo, the Phantom of Disguise, to help with the case. Cosmo comes up with a plan and explains it to Mr. Dillingwater.
Meanwhile, Taro has easily slipped past the police, and overcomes Buckley the butler. Now disguised in a butler's suit, Taro attempts to poison Mr. Dillingwater by putting a pellet in his drink. Mr. Dillingwater instead lunges at Taro and knocks him to the floor. The "Gregory Dillingwater" that Taro tried to poison was really Cosmo in disguise! The police arrest Taro, and the Rhangwa pearls are now safe in Dillingwater's collection.
Appearing in Bret Lawton: "The Peruvian Mine Murders (Part 1)"
- Bret Lawton (First appearance)
- Spider Malone (not yet named) (First appearance)
- Tim Morgan, mine owner
- his miners
- Fred Collins, chief engineer (Appears only as a corpse)
Synopsis for Bret Lawton: "The Peruvian Mine Murders (Part 1)"
While vacationing in Panama, Bret receives a telegram from his friend, Tim Morgan, who is having some trouble at his mining camp in Peru.
When Bret arrives in Peru, two days later, Tim explains that there have been two murdered men found near the mine. Each victim had a small hole in his neck, but not from any bullet. Soon another body is found, that of the mining company's chief engineer, Fred Collins. An emerald is found next to Collins. The frightened and superstitious natives are refusing to work, meaning Tim may have to close up camp and lose thousands of dollars! Bret wants to search an old mine shaft in the Andes, where Collins was last working. He and Tim travel by horse through the thick vegetation, and into the cooler foothills. As they investigate the mine shaft, an Incan Priest watches from a high mountain-top, a look of malice in his eyes.
Appearing in Bruce Nelson: "The Claws of the Red Dragon (Part 1)"
- Bruce Nelson (First appearance)
- Chinese thugs
- Erick von Holtzendorff (not yet named) (First appearance)
- Sigrid von Holtzendorff (not yet named) (First appearance)
Synopsis for Bruce Nelson: "The Claws of the Red Dragon (Part 1)"
Bruce Nelson was walking the streets of Chinatown one night, when he came across a restaurant sign that depicted a Chinese red dragon. His interest was especially drawn to the dragon's feet, which had seven deadly claws, just like the symbol on his ring. When he went inside, the restaurant was nearly deserted. None of the waiters would even give him a menu... Bruce grew more and more impatient as the minutes passed until he rose to his feet and confronted one of the Chinamen. The Proprietor only replied that they had no menu. Bruce got only a cold shoulder.
A car was suddenly heard parking outside, and Bruce watched as a couple entered. A pretty young woman with her father, both of them being treated as honored customers by the staff. Bruce noticed that the father wore the same kind of ring he himself had on! The Chinamen treated the pair to a grand feast at the table, but the woman complained of feeling eeriness about the place. The waiters were also now serving Bruce, though they seemed in a hurry to make him leave... But Bruce's curiosity now overwhelmed his hunger, and he continued to watch the couple. Without any more delay, the Chinese took action! Two Chinamen wrapped a sheet of silk around the father and daughter's faces, and proceeded to tie them up, while another did the same to Bruce !
Appearing in Gumshoe Gus: "The Gotlotz Jewels"
- Gumshoe Gus
- Mr. Reeves, Butler
- Mrs. Gotlotz
- Police Commissioner
- Gotlotz Jewels
Synopsis for Gumshoe Gus: "The Gotlotz Jewels"
Gus is a detective who isn't as good at his job as he believes. The police chief tells Gus to go to a party at Mrs. Gotlotz's house and keep an eye on the jewels. When he gets there, he accuses the butler of using an alias ("What other name do you use besides 'Butler'?"), and mistakes his reflection in a mirror for a suspicious character.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Gotlotz is dancing with a gentleman when the clasp on her jewel necklace breaks. Not wanting to abandon her duties as a hostess to put them away, she hands them to the man for safe-keeping. When Gus spots the gentleman walking away with the pearls in hand, he takes out his club and whacks him in the head, knocking him out. Gus asks the Butler who the gentleman is, and the butler replies in horror that it's the chief of police!
Appearing in Bart Regan, Spy: "The Balinoff Case (Part 1)"
- Bart Regan,(First appearance) (also as "Captain Markham")
- Sally Norris (First appearance)
- Olga Balinoff (First appearance)
- Bart's unnamed bosses
- Secret Service Butler
- one Taxi and two Limousines
Synopsis for Bart Regan, Spy: "The Balinoff Case (Part 1)"
Bart Regan is a Federal Agent, who gets fired from his job, but in reality is recruited to be a spy with the Secret Service. Thus he must leave his past behind, including his fiancée, Sally Norris. But she won't give up so easily. She heads over to his residence, but she has to have the taxi driver chase him because he has just left on his first assignment, disguised as Captain Markham. The assignment is to go to a party hosted by Olga Balinoff, who is suspected of using her charms to worm valuable Army secrets out of young officers.
At the party Olga and Bart are talking and Sally enters. A common friend of Sally's and Olga's introduces the two and Sally pulls Bart away from Olga, and onto the dance floor. While she is confronting him, the butler (another secret agent) cuts in, freeing Bart to get back to Olga. After a discussion between Bart and Olga, in which he lets out that his superiors tell him everything, they go back to her apartment for drinks, again chased by Sally.
Upstairs, Olga slips a pill into Bart's drink while downstairs Sally is fighting with a taxi driver who won't let her go without paying even though she left her wallet at the party.
Appearing in Eagle-Eyed Jake: "The Gotrox Pearls"
- Eagle-Eyed Jake (Single appearance)
- Mrs. Gotrox (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Eagle-Eyed Jake: "The Gotrox Pearls"
Eagle-Eyed Jake takes a sleuth class by mail-order. Then Mrs. Gotrox's jewels, valued at $500,000, get stolen. All the best sleuths and local cops try to solve it but fail, so they hire Jake. He solves the case by realizing that the jewels never existed, and neither did the thief. Mrs. Gotrox had just wanted to see her name in the papers.
Appearing in Buck Marshall: "The Bar S Rustlers"
- Buck Marshall (First appearance) (also as "Sam Wilson")
- his posse
- Sanders, Bar S owner
- Rawhide, Bar S cowboy
- other Bar S cowhands
- Volk, Circle Bar 8 owner
- Western United States, 19th Century
- Circle Bar 8 Ranch
- Bar S Ranch
Synopsis for Buck Marshall: "The Bar S Rustlers"
Buck Marshall is a range detective who gets an assignment for a sheriff he knows, but in an area he doesn't. Calves are being rustled by the Circle Bar 8 ranch from the Bar S ranch. Buck goes undercover as Sam Wilson on the Bar S Ranch, and after a quick shootout with a man named Rawhide, gets a job to mend a fence, which is on the border of the two ranches. He comes upon some hombres who are branding a calf. As he starts to follow, the sudden crack of a rifle shot stops him in his tracks.
Meanwhile the Sheriff and Sanders go to the Circle Bar 8, to confront Volk, about an accusation made by Sanders. That conversation breaks up when Volk punches Sanders in the jaw, and the sheriff arrests him.
At the other ranch, Buck follows the sound of the shot, and finds a dead man. He follows the horse prints and finds a broken bush, cut up ground, soft yellow clay, and a horseshoe. He takes the body back into town where Rawhide confronts him about being in cahoots with the rustlers. He says no, and takes them to the scene of the crime. He deduces that the killer's horse will be wearing a new shoe. Sanders wheels his horse and starts to run away, but the Sheriff shoots him out of his saddle. A reward awaits Buck when they get back to town.
Appearing in Slam Bradley: "The Streets of Chinatown"
- Slam Bradley (First appearance)
- Shorty Morgan (First appearance)
- Sergeant Kelly (First appearance)
- Fui Onyui (First appearance)
- China Mob
- Captain Frawley (Single appearance)
- Mimi the dog (Single appearance)
- Rita Carlisle (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Slam Bradley: "The Streets of Chinatown"
While tangling with a Chinese mob, Slam Bradley is interrupted by some policemen and Sgt. Kelly, raiding the gang's hide-out. Captain Frawley has summoned Slam to take on Rita Carlisle's case, which turns out to simply be guarding her prize, pet dog, Mimi. Slam turns down the job, but outsources it to Shorty, who is desperately trying to become partners with him.
While Shorty is on the job, driving with Rita, she sees an antiques store in Chinatown that she visits. After about an hour of waiting in the car, Shorty gets suspicious that Rita hasn't returned yet. Leaving the dog behind, Shorty checks the shop but does not find her and is told to leave by the very unfriendly Chinese owner. Shorty calls up Slam to tell him about the situation. They both make their way through the shop, and some hidden catacombs underneath it, and rescue Rita from the clutches of Fui Onyui and his China Mob. After Shorty stops Fui Onyui from making his getaway, by using tar to stick him to the floor, Slam officially declares Shorty as his new partner and rudely says goodbye to Rita, after they share a kiss.
- Published by Detective Comics, Inc..
- At this time, More Fun Comics and New Adventure Comics were still being published by "Nicholson Publishing Co., Inc."
- The entire issue was reprinted in Millennium Edition: Detective Comics #1.
- First appearance of all characters, and all stories are comics, with no text articles or fiction.
- Many of the stories from this issue are rendered in black and white.
- Bret Lawton: "The Peruvian Mine Murders" is rendered in black and white. Next issue, "The Peruvian Mine Murders (Part 2) is rendered in color.
- Bret's old friend is named "Tom Bradley" in next month's episode, but is "Tim Morgan" in this one.
- Bruce Nelson has his adventure in Chinatown, San Francisco, as noted in page 1, panel 2, caption. Next issue, Bruce, and Chinatown, are located in New York City, as noted in panel 14, Bruce's dialog, and panel 17, caption. Also the villain's lair is located on the South Shore of Long Island, as noted in panel 56.
- Eagle-Eye Jake: "The Gotrox Pearls", by Alger, is written in rhyme, in a style similar to that of Dr. Seuss.
- Gumshoe Gus: "The Gotlotz Jewels", by Bill Patrick, is another humor strip.
- Slam Bradley: "The Streets of Chinatown" was reprinted in the The Greatest Golden Age Stories Ever Told.
- Fui Onyui from the Slam Bradley story is featured on the cover to this issue.
- Fui Onyui appears next in Detective Comics #22.
- Members of Fui Onyui's gang are referred to as Celestials. This was a common term used to describe laborers of Chinese origin during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
- Slam Bradley operates out of Cleveland, Ohio, the home town of series creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
- During the late 1930s, Cleveland became analogous for the fictional city of Metropolis, the base of operations for Siegel and Shuster's most famous creation, Superman.
- From the 1860s until the 1930s, Cleveland, Ohio, had a Chinatown section, albeit smaller and less famous than the ones in San Francisco and New York City. It was largely gone by the 1960s.
- After this issue, Speed Saunders drops out, to return in Detective Comics #3.
- Also appearing in this issue of Detective Comics was:
- Silly Sleuths by Fred Schwab
- Bart Regan smokes cigarettes, Bruce Nelson smokes a pipe, and Speed Saunders smokes a pipe.
- Russell Cole signed his Eagle-Eyed Jake strip as "Alger".
- Fui Onyui recognizes Slam Bradley, and blurts out his name, the very first time he sees him.
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