"Espionage Starring Black Ace: "Taneo the Saboteur"": The Black Ace is up against Basil Taneo, the European saboteur, who is waging a campaign of bomb-planting (@ the Buffalo Arms Plant, @ Newport Navy Yard, @ Jacksonville Missouri Munitions Plant) and labor unrest, against the US high-speed rea
- Major, I'm going to play a wild hunch. The next big "job" should be the Cross-Country Flyer going between New York and Frisco. Get me a passage on it!
- — Black X, in his tuxedo
- 1 Synopsis for Espionage Starring Black Ace: "Taneo the Saboteur"
- 2 Appearing in Espionage Starring Black Ace: "Taneo the Saboteur"
- 3 Synopsis for Archie O'Toole: "Depression in Crime"
- 4 Appearing in Archie O'Toole: "Depression in Crime"
- 5 Synopsis for Chic Carter: "Troops Clash in Moravia"
- 6 Appearing in Chic Carter: "Troops Clash in Moravia"
- 7 Synopsis for John Law, Scientective: "The Mystery Mile"
- 8 Appearing in John Law, Scientective: "The Mystery Mile"
- 9 Synopsis for Wings Wendall: "Wings Over New York"
- 10 Appearing in Wings Wendall: "Wings Over New York"
- 11 Synopsis for Clip Chance: "Rivalry with Ray Snort, Part 3"
- 12 Appearing in Clip Chance: "Rivalry with Ray Snort, Part 3"
- 13 Synopsis for Invisible Justice: "Tom Bradley Missing"
- 14 Appearing in Invisible Justice: "Tom Bradley Missing"
- 15 Synopsis for Abdul the Arab: "The Phony Abu Adem"
- 16 Appearing in Abdul the Arab: "The Phony Abu Adem"
- 17 Synopsis for Captain Cook of Scotland Yard: "The Explosive Gas Smugglers"
- 18 Appearing in Captain Cook of Scotland Yard: "The Explosive Gas Smugglers"
- 19 Synopsis for Flash Fulton: "The Doomed Dam"
- 20 Appearing in Flash Fulton: "The Doomed Dam"
- 21 Synopsis for Hugh Hazzard and his Iron Man: "The Plot to Destroy Bozo"
- 22 Appearing in Hugh Hazzard and his Iron Man: "The Plot to Destroy Bozo"
- 23 Notes
- 24 Trivia
- 25 See Also
- 26 Links and References
Synopsis for Espionage Starring Black Ace: "Taneo the Saboteur"
The Black Ace is up against Basil Taneo, the European saboteur, who is waging a campaign of bomb-planting (@ the Buffalo Arms Plant, @ Newport Navy Yard, @ Jacksonville Missouri Munitions Plant) and labor unrest, against the US high-speed rearmament program. On board the Cross Country Flyer, Ace spots Taneo (he recognizes everybody in this one coach EXCEPT Taneo, is how), and observes as Taneo detrains at Gloville Junction, after leaving behind a timebomb in his luggage; Ace defenestrates that through a closed window. Next day he and Batu detrain at Salt Lake City, and drive out to the Falcon Aircraft Factory, to check it for bombs; they catch a bomb-planter but can't find the bomb until Batu does some telepathy; thus another timebomb is flung through another closed window. Wait this bomb-planter IS Taneo; how'd he get to SLC ahead of the fastest p-train in the country? Ace gets his arm broken in a pipe-fight, and Taneo gets knifed dead by Batu. Black Ace now has documents proving Taneo's status and identifying his national employer; once again Ace destroys the evidence, in the interest of preserving peace. At story's end, the USA becomes so well-armed and powerful that all the nations in Europe decide to make peace rather than risk war with America. They must have changed their minds later on. At the end of this adventure, Black Ace still has a broken arm.
Appearing in Espionage Starring Black Ace: "Taneo the Saboteur"
- Major Gale
- Basil Taneo (Dies)
- Taneo's many spies and assassins
- Buffalo, New York Arms Plant
- Newport, Rhode Island Navy Yard
- Jacksonville, Missouri Munitions Plant
- Washington, D.C.
- Gloville Junction
- Salt Lake City
- The Cross Country Flyer, a high-speed transcontinental luxury passenger train
Synopsis for Archie O'Toole: "Depression in Crime"
Appearing in Archie O'Toole: "Depression in Crime"
- Killer Casey
- his former gang
Synopsis for Chic Carter: "Troops Clash in Moravia"
War Breaks out in the little kingdom of Moravia, and Chic Carter is sent to get the story. He gets to Brennburg aboard the last train permitted into the country, and the local military authorities are not pleased to see him arrive.
That night Carter walks the streets of the town, and is challenged by a Moravian officer, with a pistol, but before Chic can even react, the guard is mowed down by a volley of gunfire. Carter flees the scene and almost immediately runs into an abduction: right there in the street, four thugs are muscling the kingdom's Princess, Maria, into a big sedan, and driving away. A squad of Moravian officers, personally led by the tiny nation's king, arrives just barely too late, and they arrest Chic for questioning. Soon the king is recruiting Chic to attempt a rescue of Maria.
The king is persuaded by Carter to keep quiet about the kidnapping, and they plan a ruse, to test the king's growing suspicions about his cousin, Duke Boris. There is a Grand Ball that evening, and Chic is supplied with a disguise in which to attend it. When Boris arrives at the ball, Chic is pretty sure he recognizes him as the leader of the kidnap gang. The sudden arrival of a ragged peasant disrupts the dance, and he shouts an ultimatum to the king: abdicate, or Maria dies! The king refuses. In another corner of the ballroom, Chic Carter and Duke Boris are bandying words, then brandishing swords, as each has now recognized the other. They fence, as the other guests scatter, and Carter gets cut up a bit, but runs the Duke through with a foil. Mortally wounded, Boris reveals the hiding place where Maria is held. The king and his troops mount up and charge to Boris' hunting lodge, where they rout a force of rebels and rescue Maria.
According to the king, this has all been a plot by the unnamed rulers of his unnamed neighboring nation, to install Boris as a puppet and rule Moravia from behind the scenes.
Appearing in Chic Carter: "Troops Clash in Moravia"
- Duke Boris
- kidnap squad: Ludwig, 3 others
- Boris's rebel troops
- Daily Star Editor
- King of Moravia
- his loyal troops
- Princess Maria
Synopsis for John Law, Scientective: "The Mystery Mile"
The Avenger has invented a primitive form of magnetic levitation, capable of derailing a freight train, and applied it to a stretch of track belonging to the BL&Q Railroad. He's also built an entire hydro-electric dam to power this deadly device, and uses it to destroy a series of BL&Q trains. The Avenger has also developed a device to broadcast his threats and demands to an automobile radio, even when the radio is switched off, and concealed his transmitter inside a spotlight, mounted on the Avenger's own car. This is all part of the mysterious villain's ongoing vendetta, against a group of wealthy men, and BL&Q President Edgar Karr is the third of the Avenger's thirteen targets. John Law, Scientective, is on the case.
Visiting the latest trainwreck site, interviewing a survivor, and surveying the surrounding region, the Scientective figures out the technical aspects of the Avenger's operation. June Carter drives around in search of a car equipped with a spotlight, finds one, and telephones John Law. She then follows the Avenger's car, after which she makes no more reports for the rest of that day. The Scientective belatedly begins to worry abut her, and also has to work out a way of safeguarding an important passenger train, the Governor's Special, which the Avenger has threatened to strike.
That evening while Law and Karr are searching the highways near the "Mystery Mile" they again encounter the Avenger's car; this time they follow the car, to a private road, and down its length, to a walled estate. It's a trap. An extremely powerful magnet concealed under the driveway levitates Law's car 35 feet into the air, and holds it there. Leaving Karr in the car, Law leaps out, an impressive distance, and uses a tall tree to get himself to the ground, but while he's exploring the hideout, he gets captured by a pistol-toting thug. June is also a captive in this same place, and the Avenger's gang uses her stockings to tie them both up, then leave them in a store room, unsupervised. Also in the store room is a supply of acetone, which the Scientective uses to partially dissolve the fake-silk stockings, and thus make an escape. He finds and deactivates the rheostat controlling the driveway levitation device, and his car gently settles to the ground, then June and John leap in and drive away, racing to reach the Mystery Mile before the Governor's train can arrive there.
John changes course at the last minute and drives to the new, private, hydroelectric dam, dashes inside, an flings a crowbar into the dynamo, shorting out the entire system. After the Governor's Special has passed safely across the danger zone, Law and Karr search the tracks again, and this time they find a big hidden doorway to an under-track electrical induction field generating system, now inert. For the moment at least, Karr's railroad is saved, but the Avenger is still at large, and he's got ten more targets!
Appearing in John Law, Scientective: "The Mystery Mile"
- June Carter
- The Avenger
- his thugs
- Edgar Karr, BL&Q President
- Hogan, BL&Q Engineer
- BL&Q Railroad
- "Mystery Mile"
- newly-built, private, hydroelectric power plant
- Avenger's Induction Field Magnetic Levitation device
- and an entire hydroelectric power plant to energize it
- Avenger's specially-equipped broadcasting sedan
- John Law's sedan
Synopsis for Wings Wendall: "Wings Over New York"
Appearing in Wings Wendall: "Wings Over New York"
- The Boss
- M-29 (Dies)
- M-29's pilot (Dies)
- two thugs (both die)
- General Adams
- his staff
- NYPD River Patrol
- squadron of U.S. BX-9 4-engine bombers
- squadron of U.S. 2-engine bombers
- squadron of U.S. fighter planes
- squadron of U.S. dive bombers
- Wendall's open-cockpit fixed-landing-gear pursuit plane
- villains' open-cockpit newsreel-camera biplane
Synopsis for Clip Chance: "Rivalry with Ray Snort, Part 3"
Poke and Slim, two sports cheating gamblers, plan to murder Clip Chance, in order to throw the big game between Hall College and Cliffside. They try to run him down in their sedan, but by remarkable good luck Cliff gets beaned with a thrown baseball at just the right time to fall down out of the car's path. They take this opportunity to change their plan, and kidnap Clip away to a shack in the country, to sit out the game. They do a poor job of guarding him, and he escapes, captures one of them, races to the stadium, wins the big game, and tells on the kidnappers, who end up arrested.
Appearing in Clip Chance: "Rivalry with Ray Snort, Part 3"
- Cliffside College
- Hall College
Synopsis for Invisible Justice: "Tom Bradley Missing"
While driving through the fast-growing town of Parkville, Kent Thurston gets news of a fast-growing local rackets problem. A special prosecutor was looking into it, and has disappeared. Thurston resolves to correct this. Just then a fast-moving sedan screeches onto the scene, and from it a gangster throws a hand grenade into a large store. As it speeds away, Thurston pursues, but he is spotted, and then is outmaneuvered on a sharp turn and ends up in the river.
Thurston gets himself ashore, and makes himself invisible, then steals some guy's motorcycle right before his disbelieving eyes. The Invisible Hood regains the trail of the escaping gangsters, and this time he hangs back far enough to avoid detection, and soon they all arrive at a secluded old mansion. The Hood does some invisible snooping, and finds the missing prosecutor, Tom Bradley, and his gloating kidnapper, the respected Doctor Grayson. Grayson is actually the disgraced, disbarred, ex-judge Hyde, who now runs Parkville's rackets and seeks murderous revenge on Braadley, for driving him out of office years ago. After he says all that, the Invisible Hood walks into the room, pointing a visible gun at the boasting villain. He tells Bradley to take Hyde's gun, but Hyde is quicker than the prosecutor, eludes his grasp, and escapes the room. Invisible Hood shoots once and misses, the racket boss sprints outside to his private airfield. The Invisible Hood has hidden his stolen motorcycle nearby, and gives chase. He stunt rides right up to the taxing getaway plane, just as it's taking off, and pries his way inside. Then he gunpoint-forces Hyde to parachute-jump out of his own plane, over downtown Parkville, where he's quickly scooped up by the police.
Appearing in Invisible Justice: "Tom Bradley Missing"
- Judge Hyde, as "Doctor Grayson" (Single appearance)
- Tom Bradley (Single appearance)
- Thurston's New Sedan (Destroyed)
- Hyde's Airplane
Synopsis for Abdul the Arab: "The Phony Abu Adem"
Appearing in Abdul the Arab: "The Phony Abu Adem"
- Scott, the phony Abu Adem
- Bandit Gang Deserter
- British Desert Patrol
- Sgt. Gregg
- Sgt. Adams
- Abu, friend of Ali Bey
- Abu Adem, friend of Abdul
- Desert of Khar
- British Post
- British Post
Synopsis for Captain Cook of Scotland Yard: "The Explosive Gas Smugglers"
Appearing in Captain Cook of Scotland Yard: "The Explosive Gas Smugglers"
- Captain Cook, of Scotland Yard
- the Chief
- Mike's partners
- explosive Carbonsylic Gas, in powder form
- merchant steamships
Synopsis for Flash Fulton: "The Doomed Dam"
Appearing in Flash Fulton: "The Doomed Dam"
- Gabby, newsreel boss
- Andy, sound man
- Mayor Dillon
- two henchmen
- Many steelworkers
- New York City
- Acme Newsreels office
- Acme Newsreels office
Synopsis for Hugh Hazzard and his Iron Man: "The Plot to Destroy Bozo"
Herman Weizer and his gang of Latavian spies tries to buy Bozo for millions of dollars, and when that fails, Weizer hatches a plan to destroy the dangerous robot, with a death ray. This death ray does (experimentally) destroy a flying light airplane, but only minutes later it is completely useless against Bozo. The spies' main objective, all along, is the specifications for some new super projectile that the U.S.Army was testing at Ft. Tilton. They send a driverless dynamite-packed truck rolling down a hill toward the Fort, and Hazzard spots it, and remote-controls Bozo into intercepting the truck, and flinging it into a nearby body of water. Then Hazzard gets sneaked up on, and knocked unconscious with a stick, then dragged away to an abandoned mine, and trussed up inside it. The spies prepare to blow up the mine, but they have failed to find the Bozo control radio under Hazzard's lapel. He calls in the robot, which carries him to relative safety, then tunnels out to the surface. Most of the spies have been killed in their own explosion, but Boris escapes, but Hazzard and Bozo catch him, and he squeals Weizer's location. Hazzard breaks into Weizer's apartment through a window, but is momentarily trapped when Weizer, armed and ready for him, drops steel shutters into all the doors and windows. But Bozo arrives and breaks through a wall, then chokes Weizer until he gives up, then Hazzard turns him over to the Army.
Appearing in Hugh Hazzard and his Iron Man: "The Plot to Destroy Bozo"
- Pat, Hugh's girlfriend
- Herman Weizer of Latavia
- Fritz (Dies)
- other unnamed spies (Dies)
- Captain Trask
- New York City
- Fort Tilton
- Latavian death ray machine
- Black Ace:
- In this issue's "Espionage" story, Basil Taneo's European head-of-state boss is addressed as "your majesty," and Basil looks very much like "Baron Basil" did (back in Feature Comics #21).
- Black Ace's superior officer still looks exactly like Major Gale. In this story, Ace addresses him as "Major".
- Black Ace wears his monocle in his right eye; on the cover it's shown in his left.
- In Captain Cook. according to the map in Scotland Yard, Lithonia borders England along its northeastern side. In this story, war materials were being moved across England and smuggled into Lithonia. If Lithonia is aligned with the Axis, or just independently belligerant, it's not mentioned.
- Chic Carter: In 1939, amid the outbreak of WWII, the tiny European kingdom of Moravia struggled to remain independent and unaligned. Moravia was reached via the Arlbourg Pass, and its capital was Bennburg.
- Hugh Hazzard & Bozo:
- Hugh Hazzard lives at 210 West Street, New York City. That's between Elm and Grove Streets.
- Hugh Hazzard get knocked unconscious with a stick, for at least the 2nd time in his career.
- At this story's beginning, Hugh Hazzard's "secret" identity is already known to both the U.S.Army and to Latavian Intelligence agents.
- In the Quality Universe, the Axis Powers included: Aryania, Austria, Barbaria, Bothnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Darmania, Dunland, Germany, Govania, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Jarmania, Kampfland, Latavia, Nordicha, North Germany, Romania, Tokoya, Tuvania, and others.
- Latavian intelligence operatives had access to "death ray" technology, in 1939.
- Invisible Hood villain Doctor Grayson wears a monocle and a goatee.
- The train-wrecking system in John Law, Scientective is based on an exhibit at the New York World's Fair, a scale model of an experimental Russian transportation project.
- Also appearing in this issue ofSmash Comics were:
- Both of Black Ace's bouts with Baron Basil Taneo were partly set aboard top-tier passenger trains: the Washington Special and the Cross-Country Flyer.
- In the Quality Universe, in the 1930s, U.S. military planes had bright red fuselages and bright yellow wings.
- 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".