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"Newsboy Legion: "The Scoop of Suicide Slum!"": Newspapers in Suicide Slum aren't selling as well as they used to, so the Newsboy Legionnaires figure they should start their own newspaper, one that talks about local news happening in the slums. Their pal Jim Harper happens to overhear them, and

Star-Spangled Comics #13 is an issue of the series Star-Spangled Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of October, 1942.

Synopsis for Newsboy Legion: "The Scoop of Suicide Slum!"

Newspapers in Suicide Slum aren't selling as well as they used to, so the Newsboy Legionnaires figure they should start their own newspaper, one that talks about local news happening in the slums. Their pal Jim Harper happens to overhear them, and he agrees to help out by putting a down payment on an old printing shop that was for sale, which they can use as an office. Gabby and Tommy could interview people and work the printing press, Scrapper would go out and take pictures, and Big Words wanted to write crusading editorials for the more cultured folk. Jim brings the boys some photos of Wanted men that they can print daily to help with the capture of the crooks.

The Slum Sentinel is a huge success on its first day in print. The legion has no trouble selling out every issue. Gabby even gets a scoop printed that he shares with Jim, two of the wanted section were spotted hanging around Benny's Bowling Alley. Proud, but worried for the boys' safety, Jim Harper dons his Guardian outfit and visits the bowling alley to nip the crooks in the bud, before they retaliate for the paper's mention of them. Meanwhile back at the Sentinel office, Butch Benson, one of the Wanted gangsters, tosses a bomb onto a high shelf where Gabby and Scrapper can't reach it. In his attempt to run away, Benson slams into the Guardian, who delivers a one-two punch that knocks him flat! The Guardian arrives at the Newsboys office, and they warn him about the bomb about to go off. He leaps up, grabs the bomb, and removes the burning wick thereby rendering it harmless. Another crook has been captured because of their paper, and they print the story the next day.

One morning, a well-dressed gentleman enters the office to speak with the editor, Big Words. Franklin D. Clark, publisher of the city's most popular newspaper "The Observer, asks Big Words if he would consider a career change. Working for the Observer would net him a bigger paycheck, and make sure his words reach a larger audience. The young boy couldn't refuse an offer like that, though it meant he'd be leaving his friends behind. Naturally, Gabby, Tommy, and Scrapper are disheartened and a little angry at Big Words' choice, but he being the oldest, he had a future to think about, too. Even Jim Harper couldn't offer any words to cheer up the remaining Newsboys.

However, Big Words finds his new job isn't allowing him the opportunities he had hoped for. Not a single one of his editorial pieces had been printed, and it was time he goes to Mr. Clark's office to find out why. There were voices coming from inside, Big Words eavesdrops to hear them talking about him! Clark knew that taking the brat away from the Sentinel paper business would cause his friends to close up shop, and it was easier and less attention-grabbing than if they had just murdered the kid. Now they had control of the news again, and could keep using it to help criminals by covering up their crimes for a fee. Something catches the men's eyes... a shadow at the door! They knew they were being listened to! Big Words hurriedly passes a note to the copy boy, telling him to put it in the Classifieds section, before he is grabbed by Clark and his crony!

Back in the slums, the boys find that making a paper without Big Words isn't nearly as much fun. They peruse the Want-Ads to find a new gig. Scrapper notices a very odd ad in the paper which turns out to be a coded message from Big Words, asking his friends to come help him. Jim gets a look at the message, too, and even though it doesn't mention him, he's sure the Guardian should be there as well. The Newsboys arrive at the Observer offices seeking their friend. They are herded into a small room where Big Words was tied up! Clark and his goon hold guns on the kids. None of them know about the Guardian climbing the side of the building, nor do they notice him until he rushes into the crooked publisher from behind! Clark and his cohort are taken out of the business by the Guardian's fists. Later, Clark is giving the Newsboy Legion an "exclusive" interview by confessing to the names of every criminal whose crimes he helped to cover up. The boys are together again, and their newest edition sells like hot cakes.

Appearing in Newsboy Legion: "The Scoop of Suicide Slum!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Franklin D. Clark (Single appearance)
  • Windy Wicks (Single appearance)
  • Slim Slavin (Single appearance)
  • Butch Benson (Single appearance)
  • Big Al Fenner (Mentioned only)

Locations:

Items:


Synopsis for Star-Spangled Kid: "The Man Who Could Make Dreams Come True"

Pat Dugan has a dream about little men with moon-shaped heads attacking him, demanding he hand over documents. The Star Rocket Racer piloted by the Kid flies to his rescue, but gets destroyed by anti-aircraft fire. He wakes up with a start before finding out what happened next.

Nemo Morfis runs a dream business, that is, he makes customers' wildest dreams come true, or so he advertises. Pat decides to try it out, if only for a chance to get "revenge" on the moon headed men. Sylvester laughs as his gullible friend tells Morfis about his dream, how they attacked him looking for mysterious documents, and how the Rocket Racer crashed. Nemo assures Pat that he'll get right on the job of making his dream real. But for now, Pat and Sylvester had to pick up Sylvester's parents and take them to see a Mr. Thorndyke, a friend of his dad's.

Arriving at their destination, Pat waits by the limo, as always, while John Pemberton hands him some important paperwork for safekeeping. While Sylvester plays the usual part of a bored, spoiled son, Pat finds himself being assaulted by little moon-headed figures. The same from his dream! Now was his chance at a rematch, but first he ditches the sealed documents in the branches of a tree. The fight doesn't go Pat's way; the little men came with clubs that they use to hit Pat over the head. He's out!, and they tie him up and take him to the docks. Meanwhile, inside the Thorndyke home, the moon men invade the sitting room where the Pembertons and Thorndyke were, grab Sylvester's father, and tie everyone else up. Luckily Sylvester was still doing his spoiled rich boy routine, so the moon-heads didn't tie his ropes too tight. He easily frees himself, and changes to the Star-Spangled Kid. A swing from a steelite cable lands him in the moon-heads' car. Holding them down, the young hero pulls off their masks to reveal Japanese spies! He klunks their heads together, then leaves, letting his father and Mr. Thorndyke keep an eye on the unconscious men.

Sylvester hops in the family limo and flips the switch on the dash, transforming it into the Star-Rocket Racer. He takes it flying over the bay, searching below until he finds Pat, still tied up and being tormented by the Japanese. He lowers himself down so he can rescue his pal and give the little Nazis a piece of his mind. Pat's bonds come undone, and together he and the Kid use combo maneuvers to knock the Japanese around. Some manage to escape on a boat. Pat changes to his Stripesy duds while he sits in the Rocket Racer, as it submerges beneath the water. The Japanese Nazis get a shock when the duo's vehicle surfaces directly below their boat, raising it out of the water! The Kid and Stripesy climb aboard and punch the men out and over into the water. Sylvester hears something moving around in the supply compartment. It was Nemo Morfis, the so called dream master. He begs them not to hurt him, confessing he was using the dream business to gather information that might be important. Sometimes dreams can be prophetic, like say, when Pat dreamed there were men after some document. That document would have to be pretty important, and it was true that John Pemberton entrusted papers with the chauffeur from time to time. Thinking it'd be top secret info of interest to foreign powers, Morfi was going to sell it. But now all he was receiving for his trouble was a jail sentence.

Later, Pat drives the Pemberton clan home. John remarks that he often gave Pat fake documents that would fool any of America's enemies. Then he chastises his cowardly son for not being as strong and courageous as the costumed young man who saved him today.

Appearing in Star-Spangled Kid: "The Man Who Could Make Dreams Come True"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Nemo Morfis (Single appearance)
  • Nazis

Other Characters:

  • Bob Thorndyke (Single appearance)

Locations:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for Tarantula: "The Skirmish of the Spider and the Fly"

The Tarantula is in need of silk for his webgun, but because of the war, it's currently hard for civilians to get hold of. So he visits a Priority Board meeting at the factory, to convince them how he uses silk in his gun to to capture criminals of the underworld. They agree to let him have priority status, but when he gets to the supply room, Tarantula sees a crook in a fly costume stealing the silk. He gets captured and taken to the Fly's base of operations, then breaks free and chases the crook up a smokestack! He finally gets a chance to use his webgun to wrap up the Fly in a neat silk cocoon.

Appearing in Tarantula: "The Skirmish of the Spider and the Fly"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • The Fly (First appearance)
  • Ezra (Single appearance)
  • Egmont (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for Penniless Palmer: "Case of the Smiling Statue"

Penniless Palmer and his friends pass an Auction House on a walk through the neighborhood. Bunny reminds him he is completely broke, but Pen still wants to browse what they have on auction. He notices a scowling bust in the window, there was no time for browsing though, Oxie was hungry and wanted to go down to the burger joint. Pen turns back because he wants to at least sit in on the auction, just to see what people buy. A strange thing catches his eye. The bust in the window was now smiling. His friends Bunny and Oxie think he's snapped, attempting to carry him away back to home, but he struggles free and runs into the auction house to investigate. The bust is up on the block now, and it is scowling once more. A man that Pen recognizes as Gus Shute, a crook, bids a thousand dollars on the bust. Very suspicious as there was no way it was worth that much. Pen counters his offer by bidding two thousand. This upsets Gus, who has his lackeys get rid of the little meddler. They tie him up and wrap him in a rug, carrying him out to be disposed of. They bump into Oxie on the way, who asks after his boss. The goons tell him, rudely, to scram if he doesn't want trouble. Oxie dares them to repeat it. He delivers a jab to one of the lackey's faces, causing the rug to drop and unfurl, revealing Pen in a bind! The tied up detective trips Gus, preventing him from escaping. He scoots himself over to a display of swords and cuts his ropes loose. He then joins Oxie in taking out the underworld trash. Tossing the bust at a fleeing thugs head breaks the statue apart. Inside it is a fancy diamond necklace.

The police arrive in time to hear Pen's explanation. The auctioneer was a fence for criminals' stolen goods. Whenever he placed the smiling bust in the window, it was a signal to the underworld that he was selling stolen merchandise, and hiding it inside the scowling bust. Pen suggests they send the money from the auction to the Red Cross charity. The police offer him a reward of two-thousand dollars ... but because he had made a bid on the broken bust, that money goes to the charity too.

Appearing in Penniless Palmer: "Case of the Smiling Statue"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Gus Shute (Single appearance)
  • Ike (Single appearance)
  • Pete (Single appearance)

Synopsis for TNT & Dyna-Mite: "The Perilous Passage"

Tex N. Thomas brings his pupil Dan Dunbar to visit a new tunnel being built, to show him the bravery of the men, nicknamed "Sandhogs", who are doing the digging. The inspector seems frustrated, he keeps getting threatening phone calls from a saboteur called "The Blast."

That night, Tex and Dan return to the site, worried because of the threats, to find the security guard dead outside! They touch their Dyna-Rings together to create the explosion that lets them become TNT and Dan the Dyna-Mite. Inside the tunnel, the Blast and his gang snap the wire to the air pressure pump that keeps the tunnel from collapsing. A Sandhog is still working there, however, and the drop in pressure makes him feel uneasy. TNT and Dan fight off the saboteurs, and with the power of his atomic charge, TNT fuses the two pieces of wire back together. But what they don't know is that when the pressure starts pumping in again, the already uneasy worker collapses with a case of the bends! Rocks fall on top of him, trapping the poor man. The dynamite duo run into the tunnel to rescue him, but he'll need medical attention.

The Blast returns, this time making sure not to let TNT and Dan touch each other. His boys tie them up and lead them down the tunnel at gunpoint. Some water had seeped into the tunnel while the pressure was off, forming a big puddle at their feet. Since water is highly conductive, Dan and TNT pretend to trip, falling in the water and letting the current from their rings connect. An explosion results. The now newly supercharged duo fight back! The Blast, and his gang, are taken out with a few charged punches. While they're here, TNT decides they might as well finish the tunnel. He and Dan punch their way through the rock to the connecting tunnel at the other side, saving the workers time and money.

A few weeks later, Tex takes Dan for a drive through the new tunnel, with a new appreciation for the Sandhogs who made it possible.

Appearing in TNT & Dyna-Mite: "The Perilous Passage"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • The Blast (Single appearance)
  • Torchy (Single appearance)
  • Skip (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • John Davis (Single appearance)
  • Joe Slocum (Single appearance)
  • Sam (Only appearance; dies)

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for Robotman: "Menace of the Blaster"

Chuck Grayson puts the finishing touches on Robotman's new body. They'd soon get a chance to test out the new upgrades. A meeting takes place, in a warehouse district by two men, a foreign agent and the saboteur he hired, the Blaster. One of the Blaster's guys interrupts their meeting to ask for more money for a job they just pulled. Blaster agrees, handing the henchman five thousand extra, then sends him on his way. Before his employer starts to think he's too soft, Blaster turns his attention out the window to the henchman walking away, then suddenly the money in his palm explodes! Satisfied, the agent hires Blaster to blow up the newly built Bower Dam.

Robotman decides to go out in his Paul Dennis disguise to see the opening of the new dam. While he's driving up the mountain road, a car speeds past him, nearly causing him to swerve over the edge! He gives chase, as does a police officer on a motorcycle, to find out what the driver's problem is. Paul watches as a cigar is flicked out the passenger side window into the path of the police cycle, exploding once the officer comes in close contact! Another one is thrown out, this time at Paul's car! The explosion wrecks the vehicle but leaves his robot body undamaged. He ditches the disguise and runs after the mad bombers, overtaking their car on foot. He pulls the two men out and tosses their car over the side of the cliff. It blows up when it reaches the ground, meaning there were explosives inside. And they were headed to the Bower Dam...

From a plane flying to the dam, the Blaster watches the whole event unfold through binoculars. Before he destroys the Dam, he'll need to take care of the robot. The Blaster has one of his men dress as a crane operator, and pretend to be trapped under the load. Just as expected, Robotman pops up to save the "trapped" man. As soon as he's where they want him to be, the henchman drops the ruse and gets into the crane control room. He has the claw of the crane latch onto Robotman, lifting him off his feet so he won't have any leverage to free himself. The Blaster places a belt of nitroglycerine cannisters around the cyborg's waist, then he orders his man to drop him into the center of the Dam, killing two birds with one stone. Robotman has one chance in a million. He reaches for his new secret belt panel mid-fall, and presses a button that activates small rockets in his back. Flying high, he removes the belt of bombs and sets it down at a place they can do no harm, or so he thought. Because Robotman couldn't have predicted the Blaster would run in that direction, or that he'd trip and get his feet wrapped in the nitroglycerine belt. The sudden jolt causes the cannisters to blow up, ending the career of the Blaster forever.

Appearing in Robotman: "Menace of the Blaster"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Adolf Hitler (Cameo)
  • Blaster (Only appearance; dies)
  • Slug (Only appearance; dies)
  • Louie (Single appearance)
  • Fitz (Single appearance)
  • Pete (Single appearance)

Locations:

Notes

  • Published by Detective Comics, Inc.
  • Final Penniless Palmer story to be written by R.L. Ross. The feature will be taken over by artist Stan Kaye starting next issue.
  • Robotman acquires built-in rockets, and now is capable of Flight.
  • In Star-Spangled Kid, Stripesy gets head-konked unconscious, with a club. This is at least his fifth concussion.[1]
  • This issue's Tarantula story, like all Tarantula stories published in Star-Spangled Comics, takes place before February 1942, at which time the masked hero switched from his yellow & purple costume to his brown & black outfit.[2]

Trivia

  • The Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy created special "maneuvers". These moves are mostly illegal for anyone who isn't a costumed crimefighter to use.
    • "Maneuver U-59": Stripesy spins the Star-Spangled Kid around like a merry-go-round, his feet hitting all within range..


See Also


Links and References

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