"Firebrand: "Boss Slane, Traitor"": Oil has been found in northeastern Oklahoma and Rod Reilly's father's friend Wilton had been preparing to make some poor farmers very wealthy by buying their land at a fair price, but instead he's gotten shot in the head, with his body left slumped across the
- If any of those poor folks are burned to death, you'll pay with your life, Slane!
- 1 Synopsis for Firebrand: "Boss Slane, Traitor"
- 2 Appearing in Firebrand: "Boss Slane, Traitor"
- 3 Synopsis for 711: "Rock Gatty's 'Impossible' Killing"
- 4 Appearing in 711: "Rock Gatty's 'Impossible' Killing"
- 5 Synopsis for Chic Carter: "The Hand of Biro"
- 6 Appearing in Chic Carter: "The Hand of Biro"
- 7 Synopsis for Plastic Man: "The Pinball Racket"
- 8 Appearing in Plastic Man: "The Pinball Racket"
- 9 Synopsis for The Mouthpiece: "The Escape of Fatso Dowd"
- 10 Appearing in The Mouthpiece: "The Escape of Fatso Dowd"
- 11 Synopsis for Phantom Lady: "Framed For Kidnapping"
- 12 Appearing in Phantom Lady: "Framed For Kidnapping"
- 13 Synopsis for Human Bomb: "The Purple Mist"
- 14 Appearing in Human Bomb: "The Purple Mist"
- 15 Notes
- 16 See Also
- 17 Links and References
Synopsis for Firebrand: "Boss Slane, Traitor"
Oil has been found in northeastern Oklahoma and Rod Reilly's father's friend Wilton had been preparing to make some poor farmers very wealthy by buying their land at a fair price, but instead he's gotten shot in the head, with his body left slumped across the wheel of his car, parked on a grade crossing of a railroad track, with a train coming. Rod and his fiancee Joan are zooming around the countryside in Rod's roadster looking for Wilton, and arrive just in time to see a train crash into Wilton's car. Rod inspects the debris and ascertains what really happened. Soon Rod and Joan find themselves pursued and shot at by another car. Rod drives onto a covered bridge and drops back beside the pursuing car then sideswipes it through the bridge wall and into the river below. The pursuing driver, still armed, leaps clear and continues shooting at Rod who, still unarmed, closes in and punches the gunman until he too falls into the river; Rod believes that this guy will drown and complains that he'd have rather turned him in to the police. Then without notifying the police, Rod drives home to the Reilly Estate and reports these events to "Emerald Ed" Reilly and Slugger Shea. Ed had gotten a tip from the FBI that Wilton's life was in danger, hence Rod's road trip.
Minutes after this conversation, Rod and Slugger roll out Rod's sleek fast plane from the Estate's backyard hangar, and fly to Oklahoma with Slugger at the controls; observing this, Joan also boards a plane and follows them, staying just out of sight. Slugger daringly lands the plane in an oil derrick field; Rod has changed into Firebrand and gets out; he's immediately challenged by a three-man posse of riflemen; Firebrand knocks down, and out, all three with a single punch, then goes on foot to snoop around while Slugger takes off to observe from above. Firebrand encounters a pitiful procession of displaced Okies, with overloaded jalopies and horses carrying their possessions, driven from their homes by the local political boss, Slane, who has manipulated the local tax laws to drive them off their land. Firebrand tells them to return to their homes and that he's going to settle matters with Mr. Slane; some of them buy this, some don't. At Slane's office ("Ozark Oil Co."), Firebrand punches out another rifle-toting guard then barges in on a meeting between Slane and Fritz Kritzar, who demands that Slane hurry up and start pumping oil because his country's U-boats need oil. Also there's a secret pipeline running from this part of Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast. Fritz pulls out a pistol but Firebrand is quicker and knocks him out with one punch. This amuses Slane, whose men have already started a large prairie fire, expected to burn the shacks of the local farmers. Firebrand leaps out the office window, dragging Slane along behind him by the collar, and leaving Kritzar behind on the floor, which turns out to be unwise. At the local firehouse, Slane's worthless grafting employees are laughing about the big fire, until Firebrand sweeps in and violently commandeers their antique firetruck, while also flinging Slane inside it and tying him up, then zooms off to get between the fire and the village. Suddenly at least two cars are pursuing it, with tommy guns blazing, then even more suddenly Slugger swoops down and strafes them with machine guns, killing at least one guy. That's when Joan's plane also flies onto the scene; Slugger recognizes her plane, then another thug manages to shoot it down with a submachine gun; it crashes. Slugger is engrossed in the action below and doesn't see this happening, not that there's really anything he could do about it. The bad guys try to run Firebrand's firetruck off the road with an armored car but this backfires on them and they crash (FB: "Wow! The coroner will need a basket to pick them up!").
Firebrand and his firetruck reaches the area where the farmers are trying to fight the prairie fire with shovels and hand tools, and they use chemical foam to get it under control, but then the remaining thugs attack them, with guns. Firebrand leads the countercharge, and the unarmed farmers seem to be winning. Kritzar shows up and unties Slane; they flee in a car, but Slugger flies by overhead, slow enough for Firebrand to grab a landing-gear wheel, then Slugger maneuvers over the getaway car allowing Firebrand to drop onto it and dish out some more punches. The car crashes; Slane is killed. State troopers show up and Kritzar is arrested. Outside the door of Slane's office, a flaming torch is placed: the mark of Firebrand.
Then Firebrand and Slugger reluctantly approach the wreckage of Joan's crashed airplane, afraid of what they'll find, but Joan scrambles out of some nearby trees, in which her parachute had gotten tangled.
Appearing in Firebrand: "Boss Slane, Traitor"
- Joan Rogers, Rod's fiancee
- "Emerald Ed" Reilly, Rod's dad
- Slugger Shea, ex prizefighter, Rod's manservant
- (For these first few issues of this series, this guy's last name is "Shea," later it changes to "Dunn.")
- Boss Slane (Dies)
- Fritz Kritzar
- Slane's thugs
- Slane's corrupt firemen
- Kritzar's thugs
- Mr Wilton, Ed Reilly's friend (Dies)
- a railroad engineer
- two state troopers
- the Reilly Estate
- Wherever it is, it's four hours away, by fast airplane, from Ozark Wells.
- Ozark Wells, Oklahoma
- in eastern Oklahoma.
- Rod's airplane
- single-engine two-seat low-winged fighter plane, blue
- armed with machine guns
- Joan's airplane
- single-engine two-seat high-winged observation plane, red (wrecked)
- single-engine two-seat high-winged observation plane, red (wrecked)
Synopsis for 711: "Rock Gatty's 'Impossible' Killing"
Rock Gatty, big time hoodlum, arrives for a 5-year stretch in Westmoor prison, and the very next day a new guard, Spike, starts work there. Spike secretly lets Gatty out of the prison that night; Gatty motorboats into town and murders one of the two witnesses whose testimony put him in stir, then returns and sneaks back into the prison. The next day, Dan Dyce, prisoner #711 eavesdrops on a conversation between Spike and Rock, and figures out what's going on, and that night #711, dressed in his distinctive outfit, escapes from the prison, and tails Gatty into town. At the second witness's apartment house, #711 climbs the fire escape and breaks in to the target's apartment, and when Gatty shows up to do the murder, he photographs him, with a calendar in the shot, showing that day's date. Then he beats up Rock until Rock runs away, which #711 lets him do. The next day the Warden has some questions for Gatty, and while Gatty's lying his way around them, an envelope is tossed in through the open window, containing a photograph that exposes Gatty's story for the fiction it is. Then #711 walks into the office, suggesting that the new guard Spike should be answering some questions too. The warden doesn't seem to have any questions for #711.
Appearing in 711: "Rock Gatty's 'Impossible' Killing"
- Warden of Westmoor Prison
- Rock Gatty
- Harry Klare (Dies)
- John Hilt
- Westmoor Prison
Synopsis for Chic Carter: "The Hand of Biro"
Chic Carter, Police Reporter, knocks off work for the day and takes out his girlfriend Gay Nolan to a concert, but unfortunately along the way she gets a headache, but fortunately along the way is Chic's friend Dr. Dave Blair's private hospital, so they stop in there for a headache cure. Inside the hospital one patient, Dr. Grimes, is exhibiting some pretty advanced dementia; he's trying to run medical experiments on his fellow patients, seeking the elixer of youth, believing himself to be guided by "the hand of Biro," a medieval spirit. Grimes shoots a guard, locks Blair and a nurse in one room, and takes over the hospital, assisted by a very insane hunchbacked orderly named Torg. As Chic and Gay arrive at the place, an overly excited man in a tuxedo runs out and tries to flee the hospital, claiming to be Sigmund Arno, famous pianist, but Torg subdues him and takes him back to a treatment room, while Dr. Grimes guides Gay into an examination room. Chic just happens to turn on a radio right then, and there's a news report about the disappearance of Sigmund Arno; Chic jumps to the obvious and correct conclusion, and promptly changes clothes. He's now "The Sword," and he's got a sword that up until now he's kept concealed in his belt. He bursts through a door, knocking it off its hinges, and is shot at by a pistol-packing orderly, whom he knocks out with the pommel of his sword, then bursts through a second door and rescues Gay from being shot up with who-knows-what kind of formula, by flinging his sword through the shoulder of Dr. Grimes's doctor-shirt, pinning him to a wall. Grimes yells for Torg, who lurches menacingly into the room, but gets knocked out with one punch, just before Dr. Grimes triggers a trap door under Carter's feet, dropping him into a pit. Meanwhile Dr. Blair has called the police, and a carful of them now arrives and charges into the hospital. They knock down a 3rd door, into the room where Dr. Blair is kept, tied up, and free him. Meanwhile Dr. Grimes has got Gay strapped down to an examining table and is again preparing to shoot her up with some madscience juice. Meanwhile in the pit, The Sword mixes some powders that he carries with him, producing a big smoky explosion, and also gets himself out of the pit, and also turns his cape into a cowly-looking hood, and pretends to be "Biro," in which guise he confronts and denounces Grimes. This shakes up Grimes so badly that he tries to flee the hospital, only Torg is standing in a doorway between him and the exit, so he yanks out a pistol and shoots Torg, twice, which upsets Torg so much that he pulls out a big knife and seemingly kills Grimes. The viewer's angle is ambiguous, but when Detective Monahan crashes into the room, knocking a 4th door off its hinges, he believes that Grimes and Torg are both dead. The Sword is wanted by the police, so he eludes them by climbing, with Gay, out a window down a makeshift rope made of bedsheets, but not before The Sword leaves behind a mocking note, in rhyme, for Detective Monahan. In their getaway taxi, The Sword pretends to not be Chic Carter, but Gay is absolutely not fooled by this and says so.
Chic Carter appears as The Sword for the last time in this issue.
Appearing in Chic Carter: "The Hand of Biro"
- Gay Nolan
- Dr. Dave Blair
- Detective Monahan
- Dr. Grimes (Apparent Death)
- Torg (Apparent Death)
- one other henchman
- Sigmund Arno, famous pianist
Synopsis for Plastic Man: "The Pinball Racket"
Undercover lawman Eel O'Brian chats with his old pal Baldy Bushwhack (owner of a truly outlandish Yiddish accent) about the pinball machine racket. [Pinball machines apparently are illegal in this town at this time. Every character acts as if that's normal.] Baldy boasts that he has got some microphones planted somewhere in Police HQ and now receives advance warning of upcoming raids, so his henchies can hide the machines (he's got over 200 of them) before the cops arrive at any given establishment. Later at Police HQ Captain Murphy is extremely frustrated; he's had his men raid 60 stores and found zero pinball machines, plus he's extremely annoyed that he has to rely on the very annoying Plastic Man to solve his precinct's toughest cases; just then Plas shows up and gives him some jazz about that last point. Murphy's pride gets the better of him and he gives P.M. an ultimatum: Plastic man must solve at least one big case per month or lose his badge. Plas boasts that he'll have the pinball racket wrapped up in one hour, or Murphy can fire him, and Murphy happily takes that bet, then starts regretting this the minute Plastic man leaves the room, because truly he can ill afford to lose Plastic Man's talent. Meanwhile Baldy Bushwhack has been alerted that Plastic Man is on his way, and this really shakes him up; there's no other lawman he even takes seriously. Baldy sets some traps. When P.M. enters Baldy's hideout through an upstairs window, B.B. throws a switch and Plas is knocked out by an electrified plate in the floor. Baldy tries to finish him off with a sledgehammer but this bounces back on him quite painfully, so the and two of his henchmen drag Plas out to a road construction site and Baldy runs over him with a steam roller. This wakes him up, and after playing possum for a minute, Plastic Man quickly lassos the whole gang and carries them away to the police station, then has some fun taunting Captain Murphy about winning their bet.
Appearing in Plastic Man: "The Pinball Racket"
- Captain Murphy
- (Formerly it was "Captain Murphey" but now has stabilized as "Captain Murphy.")
- Baldy Bushwhack
Synopsis for The Mouthpiece: "The Escape of Fatso Dowd"
Penitentiary lifer Fatso Dowd jumps a prison guard, steals his pistol, and breaks his skull with it, then escapes via a tunnel that he'd been working on for some time before that. He goes on a one-man crime wave of muggings and robberies, and shoots at least one more cop along the way, and hides out in the mountains upstate. District Attorney Bill Perkins disguises himself in a blue business suit with a fedora and a domino mask, and calls himself "the Mouthpiece," then he drives out into the country to search for Dowd. By what seems to be absolutely pure luck he pulls up at one lonely old house to ask if any suspicious characters are in the area, and Fatso Dowd answers the door wearing a fake beard. Casually lighting a cigarette, the Mouthpiece sets fire to the fake beard, exposing Dowd's identity and instigating a fistfight, which he loses. Dowd tosses the unconscious Mouthpiece into a back room, where the house's real owners (Mr. & Mrs. Wagner) are held, then drives to town in the Mouthpiece's car to do some crimes, and promising to kill them all when he gets back. So while he's gone they escape, by prying loose some boards in the roof. They chop down a tree, to land in a curvy place in the winding road that leads to the house, and on his way back Dowd crashes into it. The unarmed Mouthpiece jumps onto the armed Dowd as he's crawling from the wreckage, and beats him up pretty good, then the Wagners tie him up and the Mouthpiece calls in the cops.
[Perkins' wrecked car is apparently abandoned in the woods or at least is not mentioned again, but it's mentioned early on the D.A. has an "official car" that he uses at work, so apparently this doesn't raise any questions at his office.]
Appearing in The Mouthpiece: "The Escape of Fatso Dowd"
- Detective O'Flarity
- Fatso Dowd
- Dan and Sarah Wagner
- a farmhouse in the mountains upstate
Synopsis for Phantom Lady: "Framed For Kidnapping"
One evening, returning from a defense committee meeting, Sandra Knight (a senator's daughter) and Don Borden (works at the State Dept) take a shortcut through the park and get jumped by two spies; Sandra gets head-konked with a pistol butt and knocked out; Don puts up a fight but gets punched out and hits his head on a rock. Sandra rallies up as the bad guys' car pulls away, and she finds a key ring on the ground, then catches a cab home, and changes clothes. Her secret-identity costume does not include a mask.
The Phantom Lady goes driving in search of Don in her convertible; soon the cops are chasing her, and she deduces that she's been framed for Don's abduction. She careens around a series of corners and shakes the cops, then drives for an hour until she reaches a remote peninsula on Chesapeake Bay. She's suspected for a long time that there was a spy nest around here, so therefore this is probably where Don is. (If she's gotten any clues from the key ring, we're not told about it.) Finding a gloomy old stone mansion that she recognizes as the Jackson Place, Phantom Lady vaults over the stone wall into the yard, but large vicious dogs run out to attack her. She shines the black flashlight on them and they run away, yelping and cringing, but making enough noise to alert the spies inside. One guy at a window points a submachine gun at her but she blinds him with the black light, then uses the keys from the park to get in the front door. Inside one room Don is getting worked over by the spies, trying to get some diplomatic codes from him. P.L. shines her black light on them, which scares them into fleeing, and she unties Don, but they've only fled into the next room and now ambush the couple, swatting the black light out of Sandra's hand. She gets knocked down and he gets tied up again, but there's the black light just laying on the floor, so she picks it back up and turns it on the plotters, while Don bursts out of his ropes by sheer strength and punches out the spies. He looks around and the Phantom Lady is gone and suddenly the police burst in, acting on a telephone tip from "some dame," which makes Don think of Sandra.
Appearing in Phantom Lady: "Framed For Kidnapping"
- Washington, D.C. area
- One Barclay Boulevard = Sandra's home address
- Old Jackson Mansion, on a remote peninsula on Chesapeake Bay
Synopsis for Human Bomb: "The Purple Mist"
Roy Lincoln is at his fiancee Jean Caldwell's very fancy house in Washington DC when he receives a message calling him to the White House to meet with the President. He walks there, in his civilian business suit, with his hands in his pockets; nothing explodes, but he is wearing gloves. On his way out Jean bets him a new hat that it will take him more than an hour to get back there for their date. On his way up Pennsylvania Avenue, Roy sees a big cloud of purple mist, almost filling a side street, but discounts it as some sort of optical illusion. At the White House Roy is ushered into the President's presence, in the library, by a very young looking page boy, in a bellhop uniform. President Roosevelt wants Roy to accept a job managing a new chemical laboratory in Washington, but Roy is too preoccupied to answer, by a threatening note that's laying out in plain sight on the President's desk. The note mentions a "purple mist," and Roy jumps to the correct conclusion, snapping his fingers in excitement; nothing explodes. He runs out of the library, bowling over the pageboy who's been eavesdropping at the door; the kid drops a pair of purple glasses and a beaker of some purple goo. Roy helps him to his feet then sprints to the main door, pausing only to change into his white Human Bomb suit. Sure enough there's a big purple cloud pouring in through the front door; Roy runs back and finds the pageboy threatening the President. Roy kicks his ass, exactly literally, then punches him out, removes his own hood, and tries on the purple glasses. This enables him to spot three SS-uniformed gunmen in the mist cloud; he flings a chair at them, grabs the President, ignores his objections, and hustles him out of the room, then rejoins the melee, throwing regular punches at the bad guys. Then through a window he sees that the President's getaway car is surrounded by armored cars, so now he takes off the gloves and exerts his explosive power, killing all three of the hit team, then runs outside with a pair of purple glasses for the President's chauffeur. The President's bulletproof car is making a pretty good getaway until one armored car tries to block the escape route, but the Human Bomb blows it up. This happens two more times and then the presidential car is zooming away from downtown DC, which is now pretty much filled up with purple mist. H.B. advises them to head to Fort Dix and send some troops back, in case he needs help with the clean-up. Returning to the fight, he finds a panzer tank and explodes his way into it, finding the Nazi leader inside, and threatens to explode his head unless he orders his troops to stand down, which he does, and which they do. When the U.S.Army arrives, the Human Bomb directs them to a spot by "the Patomac River" where the defeated assassins are waiting. At 8:00 the next morning, Roy Lincoln turns up at Jean's house, carrying a hatbox, and endures some ribbing from Jean.
Appearing in Human Bomb: "The Purple Mist"
- Jean Caldwell, Roy's fiancee
- unnamed White House pageboy infiltrator
- three gunmen (all die)
- several armored-car and tank crews (several die)
- high-ranking Nazi officer
- President Franklin D. Roosevelt
- and his chauffeur
- purple mist, chemically produced
- purple glasses, for seeing through the purple mist
- The Pinball Racket is reprinted in Plastic Man Archives Vol. 1.
- This issue features the final appearance of Chic Carter's secret identity, "the Sword."
- Firebrand: Boss Slane's death seemingly negated all of his legal maneuverings in gaining control of the townspeople's farms, or something. One state trooper summed things up: "Slane's dead? Then corruption in these parts is dead too."
- Also appearing in this issue of Police Comics were:
- Eagle Evans: (The Double Agent) by Clark Williams
- Steele Kerrigan: (The Motorcycle Cop Murder) by Al Bryant
- Dick Mace: "Pearls of Peril" (text) by Robert M. Hyatt