"Espionage Starring Black Ace: "The Black Spot"": In the mid-1930s, Vlamir Koran, a Hitler look-a-like dictator, conquers first Argentina, then the entirety of South America, sets up his capital in Buenos Aires, and sets his sights on the USA. His banner, trademark, logo, and swastika-substi
- Here Batu, take this to Major Calder. I'm going to lock this wildcat in her stateroom!
- 1 Synopsis for Espionage Starring Black Ace: "The Black Spot"
- 2 Appearing in Espionage Starring Black Ace: "The Black Spot"
- 3 Synopsis for Philpot Veep: "The Big Radio Hoax"
- 4 Appearing in Philpot Veep: "The Big Radio Hoax"
- 5 Synopsis for Chic Carter, Ace Reporter: "The Murder of Max Gorman"
- 6 Appearing in Chic Carter, Ace Reporter: "The Murder of Max Gorman"
- 7 Synopsis for Simple Simon: "The King's Visit"
- 8 Appearing in Simple Simon: "The King's Visit"
- 9 Synopsis for Wings Wendall of the Military Intelligence: "Major Drake Is Missing"
- 10 Appearing in Wings Wendall of the Military Intelligence: "Major Drake Is Missing"
- 11 Synopsis for Archie O'Toole: "Apple of Invisibility"
- 12 Appearing in Archie O'Toole: "Apple of Invisibility"
- 13 Synopsis for Hooded Justice: "Introducing the Invisible Hood"
- 14 Appearing in Hooded Justice: "Introducing the Invisible Hood"
- 15 Synopsis for Clip Chance at Cliffside: "The Baseball Fixers"
- 16 Appearing in Clip Chance at Cliffside: "The Baseball Fixers"
- 17 Synopsis for Captain Cook of Scotland Yard: "The Ghost Express"
- 18 Appearing in Captain Cook of Scotland Yard: "The Ghost Express"
- 19 Synopsis for Abdul the Arab: "The Treachery of Murdock"
- 20 Appearing in Abdul the Arab: "The Treachery of Murdock"
- 21 Synopsis for Hugh Hazzard and His Iron Man: "Iron Monster At Large Again"
- 22 Appearing in Hugh Hazzard and His Iron Man: "Iron Monster At Large Again"
- 23 Notes
- 24 Trivia
- 25 See Also
- 26 Links and References
Synopsis for Espionage Starring Black Ace: "The Black Spot"
In the mid-1930s, Vlamir Koran, a Hitler look-a-like dictator, conquers first Argentina, then the entirety of South America, sets up his capital in Buenos Aires, and sets his sights on the USA. His banner, trademark, logo, and swastika-substitute is the Black Spot [a green O on a black background]; it's displayed everywhere. All of this happens with great swiftness, giving the U.S. government little chance to stop this rising force. Koran sends his entire air fleet on a successful bombing raid at the Panama Canal; the canal locks are destroyed! His saboteurs blow up machines and equipment in the east coast shipyards, but the U.S.Navy drives away Koran's destroyers.
Circa 1938-June: After a brief period of naval skirmishing, the Black Ace is dispatched to deliver a presidential message to Emanuel Hasana, leader of the pro-democracy rebels living under the dictator's yoke. Along the way, via the S.S. Aquaria, he also recovers some Top Secret defense plans from enemy female agent Mara Hani "the famous spy." In Panama, she hooks up with another Koranian agent, and picks up a squad of goons, setting up some ambushes and supply drops, through cities (Calamar Columbia; Matto Grosso on the Guapore River) and jungles. After a lengthy chase there is a shoot-out, in which Black Ace catches a bullet, and Mara Hani gets horribly but nonfatally ripped up by a jaguar.
"A few months later," after Black Ace's hospital stay somewhere in northern South America, we learn that Hasana's patriotic forces have almost completely defeated Koran, and that Mara Hani has died of her jaguar-wounds.
Appearing in Espionage Starring Black Ace: "The Black Spot"
- Colonel Atwater
- Vlamir Koran, the Dictator of South America (First appearance)
- Mara Hani, the famous spy (Only appearance; dies)
- Alfredo (Only appearance; dies)
- Franklin D Roosevelt
- Emanuel Hasana, the Liberator of South America
- John Baxter (Dies)
- Major Calder
- Central America
- South America
- United States of America
- S.S. Aquaria
Synopsis for Philpot Veep: "The Big Radio Hoax"
After watching a movie, detective Philpot Veep complains to Waldo, his friend, that he always takes him to see such bad movies. Waldo explains he would not do that if he could buy a radio, and Veep gives him permission to get one.
At the store, Waldo buys a radio that sounds perfectly and buys it. But once at home he fails to make it work and Philpot Veep discovers it is only an empty box. Waldo can't understand how did he hear it play at the store if it had nothing inside. The two friends go back to the radio store, to find it closed, and full of other swindled customers. Veep decides to visit an apartment above the store, climbs the fire escape, peeks inside, and there he finds the store manager counting his money. They stop him and discover he is a ventriloquist, which allowed him to deceive Waldo and all the other people.
Appearing in Philpot Veep: "The Big Radio Hoax"
- Philpot Veep (First appearance)
- Waldo (First appearance)
- ventriloquist swindler (Single appearance)
Synopsis for Chic Carter, Ace Reporter: "The Murder of Max Gorman"
After the apparent suicide of Max Gorman, the boss of reporter Chic Carter nags him because he lost the scoop while visiting night clubs. But Carter tells him otherwise, in the club he found out Gorman was actually murdered. The reporter receives a phone call from Gloria Gorman, the daughter of the victim, who tells him she has evidence about the murder. Chic Carter goes to meet her but Gloria is kidnapped before he arrives. The reporter visits the "22" Club, where he expects to find information, and there he stumbles upon Rocco and Van Drenn, two gangsters who talk about how they kidnapped Gloria. Chic Carter follows them to a secret hideout, but he is discovered and taken at gunpoint to the lair, where Gloria is also held. The gangsters talk about killing them, but to the surprise of everyone the police arrive, and in the confusion Chic Carter avoids getting shot by Van Drenn, and while the police stop the other thugs, he knocks out the leader. But the fight causes a fire in the hideout. Gloria, Chic and an unconscious Van Drenn are rescued by firemen, and once they are saved the reporter meets Police Detective Monahan, who tells him he followed him because he knew he was the only one capable of solving the case. With all finished, Chic Carter writes his story and sends it to his boss at the newspaper.
Appearing in Chic Carter, Ace Reporter: "The Murder of Max Gorman"
- Chic Carter (First appearance)
- "Pop" aka "Chief", Daily Star Editor (First appearance)
- Van Drenn
- other gangster
- Jimmy Vance
- Gloria Gorman
- Detective Monahan
- many cops
Synopsis for Simple Simon: "The King's Visit"
While visiting his aunt Simple Simon hears from a friend that King Julius of Slobodka will be visiting his hometown of Shickshinny. Simple Simon has always wanted to meet a King, but he is unaware that a group of Chicago gangsters, led by Slaughterhouse Toots, is planning to kidnap the King.
The gangsters blow up the train on which the King is travelling, and Simple Simon is there watching everything, while the gangsters pretend to take Julius to the hospital, Simple Simon appears to help and is also taken with them. Once in their hideout, King Julius himself helps to write his ransom note, and it is delivered to the embassy, the politicians there say they will pay anything to free their King, but it turns out they are broke.
Days later, Simple Simon receives a letter from the mailman and takes it to his kidnappers, the letter comes from Slobodka and refuses to pay anything for the King. Frustrated, the kidnappers free the King and Simple Simon, ignoring his pleas to let him stay with them because he had a great time and they were so nice.
Appearing in Simple Simon: "The King's Visit"
- Simple Simon (Single appearance)
- Slaughterhouse Toots (First appearance)
- four gangsters: Louie, et.al.
- King Julius of Slobodka (First appearance)
- Stanislaus, Secretary
- Iron Mike, Chancellor (via mail)
- Baron, Ambassador
- Boris, Secretary
- passenger train (wrecked)
Synopsis for Wings Wendall of the Military Intelligence: "Major Drake Is Missing"
Appearing in Wings Wendall of the Military Intelligence: "Major Drake Is Missing"
- Military Intelligence
- Wendall's C.O.
- his gang (several die)
- Major Drake, U.S.Army
- Lieutenant Keith
- Pacific Ocean
- secret base on a supposedly deserted isle
- Washington, D.C.
- Military Intelligence HQ
- Bolling Field
- secret gas formula
- Martin M-130 China Clipper seaplane (Destroyed)
- decoy freighter steamship
- U.S.Army scout plane, 1930s model
- several U.S.Navy scout biplanes, 1920s model
- USS Houston, (heavy cruiser)
- catapault-launched scout biplane seaplane, 1920s model (Destroyed)
- 3 renegade fighter planes, modern (one destroyed w/ pilot killed)
- 4 U.S.Army 2-engine bombers, modern
Synopsis for Archie O'Toole: "Apple of Invisibility"
Gil O. Teen has taken over Pyromania and now is designing deposed King Archie's execution. Archie is sentenced to starve to death but he very luckily finds an experimental apple and by eating it becomes invisible. So do his clothes. He escapes from confinement and stirs up trouble between Gil O. Teen and his henchmen. Teen ends up fleeing to the neighboring nation of Spatoona, and Dr. Finkelstein restores Archie to visibility.
Appearing in Archie O'Toole: "Apple of Invisibility"
- Gil O. Teen
- three main henchmen
- Dr. Finkelstein
- Royal Palace
- Dr. Finklestein's laboratory
- Royal Palace
- apple, "filled with nitro-invisibilia"
Synopsis for Hooded Justice: "Introducing the Invisible Hood"
Kent Thurston, former private detective is already "the Invisible Hood" and the arch-enemy of crime, when Inspector Bill Blake calls him to Police HQ for help with this problem: The Maharajah of Raas is visiting America, incognito, offering a million dollars, to recover a stolen sapphire necklace, which worse yet has already been disassembled and fenced. During their meeting, the station's phones start ringing right away, with reports of jewel robberies and burglaries and home invasions. Word has gotten out about the reward, and one or more murderous gangs are trying to reassemble the necklace.
That night, the Invisible Hood, (dressed in a bright red, full-body, loose, baggy, man-burka), pays a visit to one potential home invasion victim, Peter Robinson, known owner of some of the hot sapphires. Hood warns him of the danger, and really needs to; Robinson actually has the gems out of the wall safe and on his desk at this moment. Hood gasses this idiot unconscious and stashes him out of sight, then hides himself. And very soon two armed home invaders (Butch and Spike) show up, and are very pleased to find the gems laying out in plain sight. The Invisible Hood very sneakily follows them to their car, and rides the back of it for an hour, to their hideout in the woods. He sneaks up to a window, and inside are six gangsters and the Maharajah, negotiating a bad deal. A seventh gangster gets behind the Hood, and marches him into the house at gunpoint, and the boss gangster recognizes him, then sends him upstairs with two guards. Hood yanks a rug out from under one of them, then punches the other one unconscious, then catches the four reinforcements on the stairway with a cloud of knockout gas, then punches out the boss gangster. Along the way he grabs all of the stolen sapphires and hands them over to the Maharajah.
The next day Inspector Blake is very annoyed to learn that the hooded vigilante has once again made his police look like saps.
Appearing in Hooded Justice: "Introducing the Invisible Hood"
- the Invisible Hood (First appearance)
- Inspector Bill Blake
- unnamed Boss
- four more gangsters
- Maharajah of Raas
- Peter Robinson
- Invisible Hood's knock-out gas pistol
Synopsis for Clip Chance at Cliffside: "The Baseball Fixers"
Appearing in Clip Chance at Cliffside: "The Baseball Fixers"
- Mrs. Chance
- Bob Brack
- Milltown Sheriff
Synopsis for Captain Cook of Scotland Yard: "The Ghost Express"
Appearing in Captain Cook of Scotland Yard: "The Ghost Express"
- Captain Creig Cook, Scotland Yard
- Officer Kelly, Cook's assistant
- Royal Railways, rival company
- The "Ghost Engineer"
- Continental Railways President
- Brewton, C.R. official
- Donald Kelly, locomotive engineer
- Army pilot
- Sunset Limited
- Trafalgar Special
- small airplane with large searchlight
- Army biplane
Synopsis for Abdul the Arab: "The Treachery of Murdock"
Renegade British traitor Murdock arranges to kidnap Sylvia Simpson and blame it on Abdul. Abdul proves his innocence, pursues and fights Murdock, and throws him off a roof, to fatal effect.
Appearing in Abdul the Arab: "The Treachery of Murdock"
- Ali Bey
- outlaw horsemen
- gun runners
- Murdock (Dies)
- Col. Simpson
- British cavalry
- Sylvia Simpson
- Yemen (described only as Arabia)
- Nedjab military post
- fast sedan (Destroyed)
Synopsis for Hugh Hazzard and His Iron Man: "Iron Monster At Large Again"
An unnamed iron robot was created by the crazed criminal Dr. Von Thorp. He sent his robbing, killing, baby-stealing creation to terrorize the city. At one point in his crazy plan he called the cops on himself, faked his own death, un-faked it, and snuck out of his own house.
The police called in Hugh Hazzard to foil Von Thorp. Commissioner Hunt tried to reach H.H. by phone, all evening, and couldn't, so he resorted to his old trick of getting his attention, which had never failed before, he shot a flare from the roof of Police HQ. Hazzard managed to stow himself away inside the robot, which led him back to Von Thorp's hideout, where he confronted and defeated the mad fiend. Afterwards, Hugh learned that the robot was destined for a watery grave. That night, yachtsman Hazzard shadowed the police boat, snuck aboard, stole the robot, stowed it aboard his own boat, all undetected by the crackerjack police of this town. Hugh named the robot "Bozo," his new partner.
Appearing in Hugh Hazzard and His Iron Man: "Iron Monster At Large Again"
- Commissioner Hunt
- Inspector Burke
- Chief Blane
- Dr. Von Thorp (First appearance)
- Mr. Coroner
- New York City
- Police HQ
- 220 Elm Place, Von Thorp's base
- New York Harbor
- police boat
- Archie O'Toole is continued from Feature Comics #22.
- Captain Cook was last seen in Feature Comics #22.
- First issue for Chic Carter, Ace Reporter.
- Carter does not carry a gun, at least in this story.
- Carter works at the "Daily Star" in New York City.
- Carter smokes cigarettes. Monahan smokes cigars. Also the villain, Van Drenn, uses a cigarette holder. Almost nobody in this story doesn't smoke.
- Clip Chance was last seen in Feature Comics #16.
- Espionage, Starring Black Ace:
- Prior issue for this feature was Feature Comics #22.
- For no apparent reason, Black X is now billed as "Black Ace." After four more issues of this, it just as quietly changes back to "Black X".
- Based on earlier episodes, Black Ace's part in this issue's story seems to probably begin circa 1938-June.
- One caption says "a few months later" for Black Ace's hospital stay, at the end of this episode. This keeps happening, in this series, causing several stories to span several months apiece. This is why the estimated dates of these first few stories are set so far in advance of "publishing time."
- At the end of this episode, which spans several months, almost all of South America has been conquered, twice, and is now controlled by the forces of Emanuel Hasana. The world history of the early 20th century is very different, in the Quality Universe, from the histories of "nearby" universes such as Earth-Two or Earth-S.
- A series of floating air and naval bases are built, dotting the coasts, from San Diego and Key West, northward. This is not yet the invincible "Caldwell Line" of ocean fortifications, but is an ambitious step in that direction all the same.
- Black Ace gets nonfatally bullet-wounded this issue, and will again, next issue.
- Colonel Atwater looks very much like Major Murdock, who in turn looked very much like Major Gale.
- Invisible Hood:
- In this initial appearance, this feature is titled "Hooded Justice". Next issue the title changes, permanently, to "Invisible Justice".
- The Invisible Hood packs a knock-out gas pistol.
- First and last issue for Simple Simon, by Ed Cronin
- Wings Wendall uses "G-2" as a callsign, implying that his branch of "Military Intelligence" is the U.S.Army.
- Another source identifies this story's villain as "Balov", but the dialogue and captions do not support this.
- The villain seems to be an independent civilian gangster outlaw, with no obvious foreign sponsor, such as an Axis Power or Mongolia.
- Also appearing in this issue of Smash Comics were:
- Will Eisner signed his Espionage stories as "Will Erwin" and his "Archie O'Toole" stories as "Bud Thomas".
- George Brenner signed his Clip Chance stories as "Scott Sheridan" and his Hugh Hazzard stories as "Wayne Reid".
- Art Pinajian signed his Invisible Justice stories as "Art Gordon".