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"Star Spangled Kid: "The Vortex of Doom"": John Pemberton is fed up with his son's spoiled attitude, so he takes Sylvester on a trip to the slum neighborhoods to see how the "other half" lives, in the hope that it will teach his son to appreciate what he has. While being driven by Pat Dugan in t

Star-Spangled Comics #2 is an issue of the series Star-Spangled Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of November, 1941.

Appearing in Star Spangled Kid: "The Vortex of Doom"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Locations:

  • The Pemberton Estate

Items:

  • Weerd Formula

Vehicles:

Synopsis for Star Spangled Kid: "The Vortex of Doom"

John Pemberton is fed up with his son's spoiled attitude, so he takes Sylvester on a trip to the slum neighborhoods to see how the "other half" lives, in the hope that it will teach his son to appreciate what he has. While being driven by Pat Dugan in their limousine, John points out all the tiny old homes and miserable close quarters that the people are forced to live in. They see the new government housing building being constructed as well. Sylvester continued to feign boredom until he notices a black cloud forming around the government building. Suddenly, a great twister appears overhead, swirling around the building and ripping off pieces of debris. His father gets struck by one of the flying pieces and falls unconscious! Sylvester has Pat rush them home as the twister vanishes. Back at the Pemberton residence, the family doctor assures Sylvester that his dad just requires some rest. Professor Stanton stops by to try and pick at the young prodigy's brain, but Syl brushes him off. He is more concerned about the strange vortex that appeared so suddenly, what if it was a man-made weapon? Stanton scoffs at Sylvester's idea as pure nonsense, and takes his leave.

Once he is sure he's alone, Professor Stanton drinks a vial of formula, transforming himself into the grotesque visage of Dr. Weerd. The twister was his doing, to stop the housing project from being completed and robbing him of money made from owning the tenement homes in the slums. Weerd orders his men to kidnap the young Pemberton boy so he doesn't talk. Sylvester is hustled into the thugs' car. He blows into his siren whistle, startling the men in the front seat and alerting Pat Dugan to come to his aid. The car is soon rammed off the road by Dugan in the Star Rocket Racer. He pulls the thugs out and starts beating them up. Sylvester manages to get some information about where Dr. Weerd is going to attack next: the housing administration building. The duo suit up.

The Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy drive over to the Housing Administration building just in time. A dark swirling twister is descending upon the site. Stripesy flies the Star Rocket Racer up through the center of the vortex, and inside, he and the Kid discover a flying saucer-shaped machine. They land on the rim where Dr. Weerd watches from his lab aboard a second saucer. The ship that the Kid and Stripesy are on begins to self destruct, and they barely make it back to the Star Rocket Racer in time! Weerd pilots the second vessel to the main housing building and activates the destroying vortex. The Racer flies onto the saucer platform. Weerd angrily rushes at the duo with a gun, but the Kid ducks and counters with an uppercut!

Dr. Weerd is handed off to the police to be locked away. Later, back home, Sylvester's dad makes a full recovery, and tells his son that he hopes he's learned something from the trip to the slums. Sylvester responds that he has, and that tomorrow he'll cut back on his spoiled ways by using the help of one less servant.

Appearing in Star-Spangled Kid: "Ring of Rags"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Edmond Penton (Single appearance)
  • Ring of Rags Members (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Sue Rollins (Single appearance)
  • Bob Fontaine (Single appearance)

Locations:

  • A Subterranean Chamber
  • Chamfront Park

Vehicles:

Synopsis for Star-Spangled Kid: "Ring of Rags"

Beneath the city streets, in an underground lair known by its inhabitants as the ring of rags, a large gang of beggars are gathered together. Before them stands their hunchbacked leader, the King of Rags, counting the day's take. He sends his court back out to their districts to continue collecting money off the rich and cultured citizens. Two are pulled aside, there is a special assignment for them.

It is a quiet day in Chamfront Park, where the Star-Spangled Kid, and Stripesy are keeping lookout for any trouble. When two raggedly dressed men start attacking a young woman, the Kid and Stripesy run to her rescue. They take down the beggars, but not before one of them sends up a signal flare, bringing reinforcements from the sewers. The duo are overwhelmed and knocked out while the woman is kidnapped. As soon as they wake up, the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy follow the beggars trail and climb down into the sewers. They are being watched on a monitor. A lever is pulled and a trapdoor opens beneath them. They grab the edges of the pit before they fall in, below them was boiling oil! The one who activated the trap runs over to try and knock them loose by beating at their hands with a cane. But the Kid reaches up and grabs the beggar, pulling the man into the pit. The Kid manages to pull himself up and out, and helps Stripesy. In the Ring of Rags main lair, the kidnapped woman comes face to face with the leader of the Ring of Rags. He has her in his grip, pulling her arm, when the door bursts open! The Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy rush in, the King of Rags orders his men to attack. But they are no match for the two crime fighters, who clear the room with little trouble. The girl is safe, but the King of Rags escaped. For now, they help the girl get back to the park. She tells them her name is Sue Rollins, and she had been waiting for her fiance, Bob, before she was attacked.

With the Kid and Stripesy to help, Sue makes it to the meetup point where Bob had been waiting with concern. Just when all seemed well, an old gentleman approached and was very angry to find that Sue was with Bob. Edmond Penton, who had been trying to get the young lady to marry him despite her frequent rejections, grabs Sue and tries to pull her away from Bob. The Star-Spangled Kid intervenes and chases Penton away. Later that evening, Bob and Sue are attacked by the same ragged men from before. When the Kid and Stripesy come back to check on them, they notice signs of a struggle, and once again they follow the trail. Down below, the King of Rags removes the ugly mask he wore to reveal himself to Sue and Bob: Edmond Penton. Before he's able to dispose of Sue's fiance, the Kid and Stripesy enter the room and tackle Penton! The rest of the beggars flee while the police are called. It turns out that Edmond had kidnapped Sue just so he could rescue her, himself, and look like a hero. He gave himself away in the method by which he grabbed Sue's arm. It was the same kind of way the King of Rags had done before.

Appearing in Captain X: "The Decoy"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Stuffy

Antagonists:

  • Simons (A Nazi spy) (Single appearance)
  • Nazi military
    • Herman (Single appearance)
    • Hans (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • J.J. (The Tribute Editor)
  • R.A.F. Commanding Officer (Single appearance)

Locations:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for Captain X: "The Decoy"

Captain X is piloting Jenny on a routine patrol across the Atlantic when he spots a supply ship and decides to follow it along for safety. A Nazi U-boat surfaces in front of the ship. Captain X leaps from his plane onto the deck of the U-Boat, a bold move that catches the Nazis off guard. Proving his combat skills to be superior, Captain X forces his captors into life preservers and wait in the water to be picked up by the allied ship. With that taken care of, he takes off again. Soon, the cliffside hangar for Jenny is in site, and Captain X lands her in. Stuffy, his mechanic, welcomes him home as Buck Dare removes his "Captain X" helmet.

In the office of the Tribute newspaper, Buck hands the editor his latest Captain X scoop. He meets Simons, a rookie reporter who just got transferred here. When Simons asks Buck if he knew Captain X, Buck responds that sometimes he just gets a call from the Captain who then gives him a hot tip. Buck asks his editor to get him an appointment with a commanding officer in the Royal Air Force. He had an idea he wished to discuss. The editor gives Buck the address and sends Simons along. At the RAF General's home, greetings are made, and then Buck reveals his idea: floating ports placed across the Atlantic. They can make delivering supplies easier, and built in a tubular design that would make them unsinkable. These seadromes will be constructed secretly on Ireland's coast, then towed to their positions on the ocean. The R.A.F. General is convinced and allows the project to begin. That night, Buck is visited in his hotel room by two Nazi assassins. Their whispering wakes him up in time to dodge a blow from a spade. Buck retaliates with a left hook, gets out of bed, and throws the other Nazi over his shoulder. He grabs his gun and forces them to talk. They tell him that an informant told them that he was Captain X. He calls the authorities, and then alerts the General.

Two months pass, the seadromes are completed and ready to be towed to their destinations. Buck gets into his Captain X uniform. He travels with the sea convoy, ready and waiting. The Nazis appear in bomber planes, begin to attack the sea ports. Captain X puts up a fight at first, until the last RAF officer has evacuated in the seaplanes that were set up. He then sets Jenny into a retreat, allowing the Nazi's to destroy the bases. Too late do they discover the easy way the bases fold. Fake! The Nazis are dumbstruck to discover these were not the real seadromes!

Buck Dare returns to the Tribute offices where the editor and Simons were talking. Dare attacks Simons suddenly. He had managed to trick Simons into revealing himself. Only four people knew of the seadromes when they were being moved; himself, Captain X, the RAF officer, and Simons. Buck knew the others hadn't spoken out, which only left the possibility that Simons was a spy! Luckily the information that Simons had been given was false, and the real seadromes were already on location and fully functioning.

Appearing in Tarantula: "The Crime Candle"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • Max Trainer (Only appearance; dies)
  • Pat (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for Tarantula: "The Crime Candle"

A candle glows in the office of a well known diamond cutter. He becomes transfixed on the candle glow, until suddenly he can't breath! He falls to the ground dead, while behind him stood a sinister man known only as the Crime Candle. A week later, newspapers are already talking about the mysterious Candle's murder sprees.

The Tarantula, having climbed up the side of the police department with his webgun, listens from outside a window for any tips on the Crime Candle's next attack. One of the officers inside alerts the others that an alarm at Bohm's Jewelry shop has just gone off. The Tarantula beats the police to one of the patrol cars, making them watch in disbelief as he hijacks it.

Inside the Jewelers, the Crime Candle has already made another victim of the shop owner, and is in the process of stealing the diamonds and gemstones, when the Tarantula runs in and tackles him. In their struggle, a table with a burning candle is knocked over which starts a fire. The fire grows and grows, into a raging inferno, and the Candle tries to beat it up the stairs. The Tarantula uses his webgun to climb up and meet his foe, who grabs an axe from the emergency fire cabinet. Tarantula swings his body around to dodge the axe but as soon as he turns back, the Candle had escaped out a window onto a fire engine parked outside. The Tarantula follows, and the battle continues on the truck while firefighters are racing to put the blaze out. The masked vigilante loses his balance on the ladder and is quickly knocked out when the Candle hits him in the head with a fire hose. Desperate to get away before the police arrive, and with Tarantula unconscious next to him, the Candle throws the truck into gear and drives it through the streets. It's too big a vehicle for him to handle, however, and he ends up crashing through the rail of the Hudson bridge. He carries the limp form of the Tarantula with him at the sound of sirens and climbs the girders to the top. Using the Tarantula's webgun, he swings to the shore on the other side. A hidden entrance on the hillside leads to the Crime Candle's secret hideout.

When the Tarantula comes to, he is tied to a chair, with the Candle leering over him. He demonstrates his ingenious method of using a candle to commit murder. He explains how after sprinkling a powder on a candle, he then lights the flame. When the powder melts, it produces a toxic gas that kills any nearby. He remains safe with a neutralizer in his nose. Now, the Candle is about to light the wick and destroy his enemy. But the Tarantula kicks a hanging portrait above his head, so that it falls on the criminal Candle. With his webgun, the Tarantula binds the Candle and phones the police. By the time they arrive the crimefighter is already gone, on to his next adventure.

Appearing in Armstrong of the Army: "The Time Gun"

Featured Characters:

  • Lieutenant Armstrong

Supporting Characters:

  • Doctor Mason (Single appearance)

Antagonists:

  • Foreign Spies (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Forest Rangers (Single appearance)

Items:

  • The Time Gun (Destroyed)

Vehicles:

  • Armstrong's Car (Destroyed)

Synopsis for Armstrong of the Army: "The Time Gun"

While driving down a remote mountain road, Lieutenant Armstrong's car is struck by a mysterious blast! The back half of his vehicle is completely gone in an instant! A man wearing a lab coat runs over in a fret. Armstrong assures him that he wasn't hurt. The man is Dr. Mason, a scientist working on a new invention to help the military effort. It just so happens that the Lieutenant was sent to guard the device until it was ready. In the nearby laboratory, Mason shows Armstrong his invention; the Time Gun. To demonstrate, the doctor points the gun out the window at some boulders. A ray shoots out, the boulders begin to rapidly crumble. Mason turns the device off, and explains that the weapon carries no force but instead ages it's target. Just like how, earlier, it accidentally hit the back of Armstrong's car, aging it to rust, then decay.

Two hunters are spotted on the road. One of them appeared to be injured, so even though it was against regulations, Armstrong helps them inside the lab. The injured man is helped onto the table, his friends tells them a hunting accident injured his shoulder. But when Armstrong examines him, he finds no wound... a trick! Mason is attacked by the second man, while the first drops Armstrong to the ground! They grab the Time Gun and blast it at Armstrong and the doctor. Luckily the ray misses it's mark, but it creates enough of a distraction for the two thieves to escape. Armstrong begins to chase after, but Dr. Mason stops him momentarily to tip him off that the Time Gun had a flaw; it had no effect on fire.

Outside the lab, Armstrong grabs a tree branch and sets it ablaze to act as a shield. As soon as the two thieves spot him, they fire the Time Gun, but the burning branch blocks the ray. Armstrong sets the dry grass around them on fire, creating a burning blaze. The men flee to the cliff side, but they can not climb it to escape the flames. Just then, a rope is lowered to them! Above, the forest rangers call out, having spotted the smoke from their watchtower. Armstrong charges into one of the men while the other, with the Time Gun in hand, climbs up the side of the cliff using the rope. The Rangers watch the scuffle below them in confusion. They recognize the lieutenant's uniform, but why is he fighting that man? Too late to hear Armstrong's shouts, the other man has climbed up and points the Time Gun at the Rangers. But before he could flip the switch, rocks beneath his feet give way and he plummets down to his death. The man's partner has been subdued, documentation he carried revealed they were foreign agents. Unfortunately the Time Gun had been smashed in the fall.

Dr. Mason and Lieutenant Armstrong keep the military weapon's secrets to themselves when questioned by the forest rangers. With a wink, they let the lieutenant and doctor go, wishing Mason luck in rebuilding whatever it was he was working on.

Appearing in Star-Spangled Kid: "The Kidnapping of Rolf Chandler"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Nazis
    • Fritz (Only appearance; dies)

Other Characters:

  • Rolf Chandler (Single appearance)

Vehicles:

Synopsis for Star-Spangled Kid: "The Kidnapping of Rolf Chandler"

Night time in the city, and clinging to the side of a building were Sylvester Pemberton and Pat Dugan, aka: the Star Spangled Kid and Stripesy! Using listening devices, the crime fighting companions eavesdrop on a Bund meeting currently happening inside. What they overhear is talk about Rolf Chandler, leader of an anti-fascism movement that has been fighting against Nazism. The men inside report that by the end of the night, Chandler will be "dealt with". While Stripesy would like nothing more than to go inside and knock some Nazi-sympathizer heads, Sylvester tells him they needed to hurry and protect Rolf Chandler right now. Into the Star-Rocket Racer they go, Stripesy speeds up, hoping they get to Chambers in time.

Two bund officers break into Rolf's home and kidnap him, the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy arrive just in time to see them drive off with Rolf as captive! However, their regular car is no match for the speed of the Star-Rocket, in no time at all, they catch up and are riding side by side. The Kid leaps from the Racer through the window of the car and knocks the driver out cold! The passenger points his Tommy Gun out the window at Stripesy, but before he could fire a single bullet, the strong armed crime fighter pulls the man from the vehicle. Sylvester gets out of the car to help his pal, not realizing that the driver has woken up. While they're distracted, the car speeds away with Chandler still in the back seat! Stripesy delivers a right hook to his opponent to keep him down for awhile, following Sylvester into the Star Rocket Racer to chase after the other bundsman. But though they follow the road quite a way, there is no sign of the car... With no one around, the bund officer they left behind starts to crawl -then run- away. As the Star Rocket returns, Stripesy reaches an arm out and grabs the guy as he drives past! Stripesy has the man upside down by the leg, so that his head is inches away from the street speeding by below. He is held there until he promises to show them where his buddy disappeared to.

After a trek through the wooded hillside, the bund officer has lead the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy to a cave. He takes them inside through a cavern. As they walk further, a boulder is moved over the entrance, trapping them inside. A slit opens in the far rock wall, an arrow is fired through the opening, and the bund officer falls dead! Another arrow is fired, nearly missing the Kid and Stripesy. While dodging, Stripesy felt a loose rock in one of the cavern walls and, using his brute strength, manages to move it out of the way to reveal another chamber behind it. They escape into the opening that leads to a tunnel. When they reach the end, they find a thick steel door blocking the passage.

Behind the door, the bund leader forces Rolf Chandler to make a choice: Either join their side, or die. Rolf chooses the latter. They put him inside a metal tube, then at the leaders signal, the tube is lowered down a hole that's been dug out of the ground where he will then be buried. Abruptly, the door of the chamber falls inward, the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy make a crashing entrance! The bund officers mob the duo, attacking all at once. Sylvester tells Stripesy to use maneuver R-18; A maneuver where Stripesy picks up one of their attackers by the leg and swings their body around his head like a flail against the group. The archer of the gang shoots an arrow at the Kid, but at that moment the overzealous bund leader raises his blade in an attempt to stab the american hero, and the arrow goes through the leaders back, killing him! Stripesy hits the archer against the wall landing him unconscious.

The duo pull the tube out of the ground and release Rolf. They give him a ride to the police station, along with all the remaining bunds they tied up. The Rocket Racer speeds away, Sylvester and his pal Pat go looking for another adventure.

Notes

  • Star Spangled Kid:
    • The Star Rocket Racer's flight capabilities are revealed.

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 L-21": Holding someone upside down by the leg while riding the Star-Rocket Racer.
    • "Maneuver R-18": Grabbing an opponent and spinning them around like a flail. For use against attacking mobs.



See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

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