"Star-Spangled Kid: "The Bund Saboteurs"": The Graham Steel Works is in danger of sabotage. It's lucky that the Star-Spangled Kid and his partner Stripesy are around to stop the bund saboteurs from blowing up the factory. While St


Quote1.png This Captain X you speak of! Does he really exist or is he just a myth, like the Bowmen of Mons? Quote2.png
Buck Dare

Star-Spangled Comics #1 is an issue of the series Star-Spangled Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of October, 1941.

Appearing in Star-Spangled Kid: "The Bund Saboteurs"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Ferd Klaug (Single appearance)
  • Unnamed Nazi officers (Single appearance)

Locations:

  • Graham Steel Works Factory
  • The Pemberton Estate
  • An old castle (Destroyed)

Vehicles:

Synopsis for Star-Spangled Kid: "The Bund Saboteurs"

The Graham Steel Works is in danger of sabotage. It's lucky that the Star-Spangled Kid and his partner Stripesy are around to stop the bund saboteurs from blowing up the factory. While Stripesy forces one of the men to come along with them to guide them to his boss, the Kid ties up the rest of the gang, leaving his calling card - a gold star shaped sticky note - on their foreheads. They are guided by their captive to a castle on top of a ridge. Before the Star Spangled Kid and Stripesy can enter, however, a switch is thrown and out of the gates rolls a large mechanical wheel with steel spikes on its treads! The captive is unfortunately run down, but the Kid manages to climb up the Wheel to the control room in its center. Just as Stripesy is about to be run over, the Kid overtakes the operators and brings the Wheel to a halt. He and Stripesy then crash the Wheel through the gate and head for the boss' lair. But after a short brawl, the bruised and beaten boss reveals he is only an officer, and that the real boss, Klaug, is holding a meeting of the Nazi Bund party tonight. The officer then presses a switch, collapsing the castle on top of them. The Star Spangled Kid and Stripesy escape out a window, leaving the man to die.

Before going straight out to capture Klaug at the meeting, Stripesy suggests he should take the Star Spangled Kid home first, so his parents don't worry. The number one vehicle in crime fighting, the Star-Rocket car, is uncovered where Stripesy left it in the bushes. On the way, they change back into their civilian identities, the Star Spangled Kid becoming Sylvester Pemberton the spoiled rich boy, and Stripesy his chauffeur, Pat Dugan. To finish, a button in the Star-Rocket is pressed, causing it to transform into an ordinary-looking limousine. Sylvester's parents greet him with news that they zre all going to the theater tonight but, with Sylvester now adopting his persona of a spoiled prodigy, he announces he has no time for that, as he must retire to his room to study. In actuality, once his parents think they know where he'll be tonight, Sylvester leaves his room through the window, where Dugan is already waiting outside.

To get into the Nazi Bund meeting, Sylvester and Pat Dugan pretend their limo has stalled in front of the entrance. The bunds recognize Sylvester as 'that kid from the rich family' and kidnap him, taking him inside the building where they lock him in a room. Once he's alone, Sylvester removes his outer clothing to reveal his Star-Spangled Kid costume, and proceeds to escape by removing the door's hinges. Ferd Klaug, leader of this sect of the Nazi Bund group, is interrupted from his speech in the main hall by the Kid's shout from above. The Kid swings down and punches Klaug out! His followers rush the stage, and so the Kid whistles, signalling his pal Dugan to come in as Stripesy, fists flying.

Ferd Klaug escapes into an underground tunnel, followed by the Kid and Stripesy. Klaug temporarily knocks the Kid out, but Stripesy finishes the Bund leader off with a haymaker punch. They tie Klaug up with the others and phone the police after leaving the official calling card on the bundists' foreheads. The two crime fighters then return to their civilian attire as they head for home, lamenting how it feels like their crime fighting career has only begun...

Appearing in Captain X of the RAF: "Dam the English Channel"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Stuffy, Buck's mechanic (First appearance)
  • J.J. (The Tribute's Editor) (First appearance; unnamed)
  • Commander Lane (First appearance)

Antagonists:

Locations:

  • England
    • Tribute Newspaper Office (First appearance)
    • Kent
      • Captain X's underground base

Items:

  • Viscid, a metal-forming liquid

Vehicles:

Synopsis for Captain X of the RAF: "Dam the English Channel"

Nazi scientists have developed a liquid called "viscid" which combines with water to instantly form a hard metal, and employ it to build a dam across the English Channel, enabling a mechanized invasion of England.

Buck Dare, a reporter for a London newspaper "Tribute" and secretly Captain X of the RAF, flies an advanced warplane called "Jenny," made from a pale blue plastic alloy and powered by U-237, hangared in an underground base in Kent. Jenny has a range of 25,000 miles, fully loaded, and can cruise at 700 mph. Also Jenny can hover in place, using a special vibrating ray.

Seeking a story for his editor, Buck flies over to Dunkerque and abducts the first German officer he happens to see, but the resulting fight carries him down a secret hatch and into an underground tunnel, where he soon encounters the Wermacht's Channel-Dam-building project. One boastful officer spills the beans, and Captain X quickly grabs control of the viscid-pumping machinery, and uses it to block out the German infantry, then to sabotage the dam wall. He and his prisoner emerge into the channel and rise to the surface, using the metal-creating properties of viscid to slow their ascent and avoid getting the bends. They then swim back to Dunkerque, where Captain X uses a radio-control device to recall Jenny to him, and soon they are en-route to Britain. Dare rigs up the captured officer with a parachute and kicks him out of the plane over Croyden Airdrome, and radios in the position of the Channel-dam-building project. The RAF dispatches a flight of Blenheim bombers to the site, and they bomb it into rubble. Buck Dare turns in his newspaper story.

Appearing in The Tarantula: "Ace-Deuce"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Olga (First appearance)

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • Pugs O'Bannion (Mentioned only)

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • An Autogiro (a plane with copter blades on its top)

Synopsis for The Tarantula: "Ace-Deuce"

Ace-Deuce's gang robs a theater, only for one of the guests to prove to be the heroic Tarantula, who makes quick work of the gang with his fists and web-shooting pistol. Later, back in his identity as John Law, the Tarantula is warned by his housekeeper that she heard over the radio that Ace-Deuce managed to escape from the police.

The gangster reconvenes with the rest of his men and announces a plan to rob some socialites at a hi-rise party, but gets a particular crook, Pugs O'Bannion, to snarl up the building's elevators so the hi-rise will be inaccessible as they rob it. During the robbery "Pugs" turns out to be the Tarantula in disguise, and he launches a surprise attack on the gangster. Ace-Deuce tries to flee in an autogyro with the loot but Tarantula jams its rotor with his web gun. Cornered, Ace-Deuce then tries to escape off the building using a parachute. He and Tarantula struggle on the way down, resulting in the air being let out of the parachute. Tarantula is saved by his ability to stick to walls but Ace-Deuce falls to his death. Afterward John Law's housekeeper is relieved that he can give up his dangerous double life as the Tarantula with Ace-Deuce gone, but he tells her Tarantula's career has only begun.

Appearing in Armstrong of the Army: "Mystery of the Aerial Photographer"

Featured Characters:

  • Lieutenant Armstrong (First appearance)

Supporting Characters:

  • Armstrong's driver (First appearance)

Antagonists:

  • Enemy Spy (Only appearance; dies)
  • Heinrich (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Unnamed Pilot (Only appearance; dies)
  • Unnamed Photographer (Only appearance; dies)

Items:

  • Film Footage

Vehicles:

  • Armstrong's Car (Destroyed)
  • Private Plane (Destroyed)
  • Army Plane (Destroyed)

Synopsis for Armstrong of the Army: "Mystery of the Aerial Photographer"

While being driven to the army's new air base, Lieutenant Armstrong's driver directs his attention upwards towards the new type of Army plane circling the area. It is on an aerial photography mission. But it is also being tailed by an unmarked private plane, and as Armstrong and his driver watch, the Army Plane is shot to the ground! The pilot helps the photographer out of the burning wreck, but the two men are then gunned down by the attacking plane.

The enemy plane lands nearby, and two men emerge. They run towards the bodies, or more specifically, towards the film cans containing top secret images taken by the photographer. Spies! Armstrong tells his driver to charge straight into the plane, to cripple it so it can't take off again. The two enemy spies, film in hand, duck for cover behind a rock. Their plane cracks and bends on impact. However, while the Lieutenant searches for the two men, they sneak around him back to his car! The driver is knocked out, and the spies take the car-- for a few feet, until one of its tires is blown by a bullet fired from Armstrong's gun. The auto crashes, but Armstrong doesn't find the spies inside. There's a cavern nearby that they could have escaped into, though...

The spies have the upper hand in the large cavern, as Armstrong's voice echoes off the walls revealing his presence. He is nearly hit by a stalactite that is shot down from above, he returns fire at the men retreating further into the cavern. Armstrong enters into an underground river. The echo of a rolling boulder tells him to dodge to one side. Picking up a rock, he throws it at the head of one of the spies. The other rushes him, Armstrong grapples and is overpowered by the man, who holds his head under the water. Armstrong manages to knock his assailant off his feet and they both get sucked into the water current. A whirlpool up ahead threatens their lives, and despite Armstrong's efforts, they both get sucked under the water. His hand reaches up for something, anything, and finds a rope. Armstrong's driver came to the rescue, pulling his charge up from the watery grave. In the end, though they may have lost one man, the other has been captured and the film cans recovered.

Appearing in Star-Spangled Kid: "Dr. Weerd and the Metal Monster"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • Whitmore Savings Bank President (Only appearance; dies)

Items:

  • Weerd Formula (First appearance)

Vehicles:

Synopsis for Star-Spangled Kid: "Dr. Weerd and the Metal Monster"

The President of the Whitmore Savings Bank receives a threatening phone call from someone named Dr. Weerd, demanding a ransom in exchange for his life. As soon as the president hangs up in refusal, a large metal hand bursts through the wall and grabs the terrified man! It pulls him outside to be revealed as the arm of a giant, metal robot. It smashes the president to the ground, killing him instantly. The guards are helpless to stop the mechanical monster from ripping open the vault door and taking the money. The robot stomps down the street with its loot, catching the attention of young Sylvester Pemberton and his chauffeur, Pat Dugan. They quickly change their garments to become the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy. With the press of a button, the limousine becomes the Star-Rocket Racer, and then off they go in pursuit of the fleeing robot. Up ahead, a car driven by a family with kids is about to be crunched by the foot of the metal beast. Stripesy speeds up and drives alongside the other vehicle so the the Star-Spangled Kid can leap over. The Kid jerks the car's steering wheel to move the vehicle out of the robot's way. As the huge metal foot stomps past, the Kid jumps onto it, and starts inching up the leg. But the robot's hand plucks the hero from its body and flings him across the sky. He is lucky, the landing is a soft plunge into the nearby lake. Stripesy meets him on the shore. While they drive around without any more sightings, they come to the conclusion that the robot had gotten away.

Back at the Pemberton residence, Sylvester exits the limousine and demeans his chauffeur Pat in his usual manner. Acting the spoiled brat, he yawns as his parents berate him for his lateness. While he was away, some of the most eminent professors and psychologists had come to witness his high intelligence for himself. Sylvester reluctantly agrees to let them quiz him. He answers each question to their satisfaction while lying in his chair. Before he leaves, Syl is asked one final question by a professor James Stanton; whether or not he believes his intelligence was hereditary, or acquired through hard work. Sylvester tells Stanton even a small child could answer that correctly, and refers him back to school to re-learn his ABCs. The others laugh as Stanton departs in disdain. Outside, behind the bushes in the yard, Stanton pulls out a vial of mysterious fluid. He gulps down the contents and then a frightening change overcomes the Professor, his features become more grotesque, monstrous. He is now Dr. Weerd, vowing vengeance on the young Pemberton boy who humiliated him! He lies in wait, but it won't be Sylvester Pemberton he sees. The young prodigy has changed garments after the scientists leave for the night, and it's the Star-Spangled Kid who emerges from the rear entrance of the home. Dr. Weerd believes the costumed hero to be an even better prize, and knocks the Kid out when he passes by. The Star-Spangled Kid wakes up in the back of Dr. Weerd's car. Thinking quickly, he crushes a small vial in the sole of his boot, releasing an invisible vapor trail. Meanwhile back at the Pemberton home, Stripesy gets tired of waiting for the Kid and goes to fetch him. That's when he notices the tracks on the ground, signs that a struggle took place. Stripesy roars up the Star Rocket Racer and dons special goggles that allow the invisible vapor trail to be seen.

At the secret hideout of Dr. Weerd, the Kid is held down by the mad doctor's hirelings. The Kid fights back, but they manage to toss him into a large room, where the giant robot sits. Dr. Weerd takes the controls and remotely guides the metal behemoth to attack the Kid. While he is able to easily dodge and weave out of the way, exhaustion is taking its toll. As a last desperate measure, he pulls a whistle from his belt and blows into it. The high-pitched siren-like noise penetrates through the walls and reaches Stripesy's ears on the outside, who has followed the trail all the way there. Stripesy charges through the door and soon finds the control room, and Dr. Weerd. He forces the doctor to take him to the Kid, but as he follows behind, Stripesy doesn't notice the trap door below him until it's too late. He lands in the same room as his pal and the robot. The robot strikes at the two of them, they dodge, causing the robot to make a hole in the wall. The two escape the room, and Dr. Weerd takes off in fear. Stripesy and the Star-Spangled Kid take off after him in the Star Rocket! Behind them, though, the robot looms, chasing after them. They drive off road into the trees. While the robot loses them, they, in turn, have lost Dr. Weerd.

Stripesy and Sylvester return home and get to work in the laboratory above the garage. Sylvester finishes a chemical that he thinks will stop the robot. Just then, a newsflash on the radio alerts them that the metal giant is on the loose in the city again, smashing and looting express trucks. They take the Star Rocket to the last sighted location. Far up above, in an apartment building, Dr. Weerd draws his gun and fires on the heroes when they arrive. The shot misses, fortunately, and Stripesy climbs up the fire escape to get back at the doctor, while the Kid deals with the oncoming robot. A splash of chemical on the beast's metal frame causes it to rust and corrode rapidly until it can no longer mo, and falls over. Dr Weerd watches his creation crumple and angrily points his gun down towards the Kid. Stripesy makes it just in time and grabs at Weerd. Down below, the Star-Spangled Kid now makes his way up to help his partner. The doctor overcomes Stripesy and pushes him off the fire escape, to plummet to the ground! The Kid quickly pulls a strand of steelite, a really strong wire, out of his belt and tosses it so Stripesy can catch hold and save himself. But, with that brief distraction halting them, they reach Weerd's hiding place only to find him gone. A sound coming from the closet alerts them. They open it to find a troubled Dr. James Stanton. He claims "a horrible looking man" had imprisoned him.

The Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy drive back home, optimistic that they will get another chance at Dr. Weerd. Elsewhere, Dr. Stanton drinks another vial, transforming him once more into his Dr. Weerd persona. He, too, vows that next time he'll be ready for the Kid and Stripesy.

Notes

  • Star-Spangled Kid:
  • Captain X of the RAF:
    • Jenny, Buck Dare's very advanced aircraft, is made of transparent plastic, and has a U-235 motor.
    • Stuffy, Buck's mechanic, knows Captain X's secret identity.

Trivia

  • Buck Dare smokes a pipe.



See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

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