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"Newsboy Legion: "The House Where Time Stood Still"": Citizens are very concerned that the Presby brothers haven't been seen in over 25 years, so the boys and the Guardian investigate, only to learn that the Presbys had locked themselves in their home to avoid contact with World War I and now Wo


Quote1.png Huh? --You? And you say Liberty Belle has gone? Darn it! She always gets away from me too! Quote2.png
Rick Cannon

Star-Spangled Comics #21 is an issue of the series Star-Spangled Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of June, 1943.

Synopsis for Newsboy Legion: "The House Where Time Stood Still"

Citizens are very concerned that the Presby brothers haven't been seen in over 25 years, so the boys and the Guardian investigate, only to learn that the Presbys had locked themselves in their home to avoid contact with World War I and now World War II. This has played right into the hands of a couple of Nazi spies, who intend to use their home as a secret Nazi radio station to contact submarines. The Guardian comes to the rescue, or at least attempts to, until he is captured as well. So it is up to the Newsboy Legionnaires to save their shield-bearing friend, while proving to the Presbys that the Nazis are an enemy that must not be ignored.

Appearing in Newsboy Legion: "The House Where Time Stood Still"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Nazi Spies
    • August (Single appearance)
    • Karl (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Hector Presby (Single appearance)
  • Julius Presby (Single appearance)
  • Mrs. Mudd (Single appearance)
  • Mrs. Goldfinch (Single appearance)
  • Mrs. Naggsnapp (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:


Synopsis for Star-Spangled Kid: "Pop Goes the Weasel"

Mr. Winchley is tired of his wife carelessly wearing her expensive pearl necklace around during the day, worried that it made her a target for thieves. His solution was to ask his friend, John Pemberton, to pose as a mugger and scare her straight. It's by chance that a gang of crooks, led by their diminutive boss "Weasel", catch wind of Mrs. Winchley's careless habit, and have decided today is the day to rob her. Mr. Pemberton, in his disguise as a robber, pretends to steal the necklace, when suddenly the real muggers let themselves in and snatch the jewelry right out of his hand. John's confusion intensifies at the appearance of the costumed heroes, the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy, who he didn't know were his son Sylvester and Pat Dugan, his chauffeur. John feels responsible when the thieves break away and escape, so he follows along with the Star and Striped duo in their pursuit.

Mr. Pemberton gets the Weasel to meet with him after he offers to buy back the necklace, but it turns out to be a double-cross! John gets struck in the head and robbed of his money. The Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy had been watching from afar and rush into action, with Stripesy throwing a beehive at the fleeing gangster. The angry bees assist in their own way, stinging the Weasel and his men. They dive into a neighbor's pool to escape the stinging, though it doesn't help them shake the American avengers who jump in after them. Even Mr. Pemberton gets a few good hits in, though his anger towards the thieves blinds him as he starts flailing at Stripesy as well. The distraction is all Weasel needs to get ahead of the heroes, he climbs out of the pool and pulls out a gun. Sylvester, Stripesy, and Mr. Pemberton all dive underwater quick. The Weasel and his boys wait for several minutes, but the trio never emerge. Maybe they figured drowning was preferable to getting shot? The crooks leave, wanting to get the jewelry to their fence before morning. Of course, the Kid and Stripesy weren't dead, thanks to the ingenuity of John Pemberton, who knew that if you pull your shirt up over your head you can trap air inside and survive underwater for a longer period.

John rides with the Kid and Stripesy in the Star-Rocket Racer, faster than any getaway car, especially when it takes to the air. They catch up to Weasel at the dockside meeting with his fence. One more round of fighting two-on-two, and after a beating from Stripesy, the Weasel gives up. Mrs. Winchley's necklace is recovered from the fence by the Star-Spangled Kid, saving his father from having to reckon with her insurance company. With his first adventure alongside the flag-wearing duo having come to an end, John Pemberton returns home to his lay-about of a son who could never be as great as the Star-Spangled Kid.

Appearing in Star-Spangled Kid: "Pop Goes the Weasel"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Weasel
  • Muggsy (Single appearance)
  • Phil the fence (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Mr. Winchley (Single appearance)
  • Mrs. Winchley (Single appearance)

Locations:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for Liberty Belle: "The Vandal Invaders"

Nazis have stolen the Liberty Bell out of Independence Hall to harm American morale. One of them gets into a confrontation with a security guard, and they both shoot each other down. Their comrade left for dead, the Nazi thieves flee in their truck. They don't know that Liberty Belle, the superheroine, can sense that the bell is being moved, or that through its ever so slight vibrations, she can track them. On a motorbike she follows, ending up at an old water mill, which is the same place she, as Libby Lawrence, had passed earlier on a car ride with Rick Cannon. Liberty doesn't see the trip wire stretching across the road until it catches her bike, flipping it over, and throwing her to the ground, unconscious.

Rick, meanwhile, is seeing to the Nazi who was shot and lays dying in a hospital bed. In his last breath, he takes revenge on those who left him behind by naming the old mill as their secret hideout. Rick also remembers passing it, so he can find his way there again with little problem. He'll need to hurry though, because a terrible scene is unfolding at the mill's water wheel, as Liberty Belle awakens to the Nazis tying her to the to the water wheel! The sluice gate is opened, water starts cascading down over the wheel, making it turn with her going down with it. Rick arrives just as she's submerged, tackling the Nazi at the switch. But Liberty Belle isn't dead yet... in fact, thanks to the sharp rocks at the bottom of the river cutting her ropes, she is able to surface in time to save Rick from a Nazi bullet. She knocks the leader out by slamming him headfirst onto the rim of the water wheel. Together, she and Rick load the Liberty Bell, and the Nazis, back onto the truck which she then drives to the police station.

The next day, Libby and Rick visit Independence Hall to see the Liberty Bell back in its proper place.

Appearing in Liberty Belle: "The Vandal Invaders"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Nazis
    • Professor Hammel (Single appearance)
    • Von Toll (Single appearance)
    • Frehl (Only appearance; dies)
    • Nordorff (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for TNT and Dyna-Mite: "The Dynamic Duds"

Tex Thomas and Dan Dunbar, while wearing masks that hide their identities, are asked by the mayor to give a public presentation on how they turn into superheroes. In front of a crowd of people, contact between rings is made, creating an explosion that changes their outer garments into the blue and green tights of TNT and Dan the Dyna-Mite! They continue to show off their powers, lifting objects with the strength granted by the atomic energy coursing through their bodies. Among the cheering crowd is Sparkler Rattigan, taking note of the way the duo needed to touch rings to activate their abilities. The mayor ends the special presentation on a note to all his citizens to follow the law, because otherwise TNT and Dan the Dyna-Mite will come for you.

Later, Tex and Dan hear an explosion coming from the tree sanctuary. A strange place for a robbery, but perhaps not a trap, as the duo find out when they come across Sparkler's gang, who use a static electricity machine to coat their Dyna-Rings in a repelling force that acts against each other, making contact impossible. Tex and Dan are hit over the head, knocking both out. They are captured and tied up in bags with only their heads sticking out. It is thanks to a nearby pull chain linked to the sprinkler system that Tex can reach with his teeth that they are able to dissipate the static charge. After he and Dan make contact, the crooks are no match at all for the atomically energized pair. Sparkler's machine is destroyed, as TNT and Dan show him their own natural talent, by surrounding the gang with repelling force from their hands, they make the guns fly out of the crooks hands. Sparkler Rattigan is finished, admitting defeat, wishing he had listened to the mayor. Crime doesn't pay!

Appearing in TNT and Dyna-Mite: "The Dynamic Duds"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Sparkler Rattigan (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • The Mayor

Items:

Locations:

Synopsis for Penniless Palmer: "The Vanishing Elevator"

Pen and the gang are hired to find a missing elevator that seems to have left the building.

Appearing in Penniless Palmer: "The Vanishing Elevator"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Mr. Stroder (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Professor Pundit (Single appearance)
  • Mr. Mungo (Single appearance)

Synopsis for Robotman: "The Four Strong Men"

To a normal human, lifting weights and doing stretches is a way to build muscles and lose body fat, but since Robotman's body is metal, the exercise serves to improve the reflexes of his human brain. Which is why, in his human Paul Dennis disguise, Robotman finds himself at a gym run by Powerhouse Powell. Some strongmen were gathered inside, lifting 200 pound weights, while Powell looks on with a smug look on his face. He seems like a regular looking man, no real muscles, average height, certainly not someone you'd think would have the nickname "Powerhouse". But when it's his turn to show off, Robotman is shocked to see him lifting a 500 pound weight with only one hand. It is too much to believe, the weights are probably hollowed out inside. But when he checks, being sure to play down his true strength, he finds that they are real weights, with no trickery that he can detect.

The next day, a safe is found cracked and broken on the ground, its door having been torn open with its contents stolen. Normally a crook would just try opening a safe on-site because it'd be too heavy to move, but whoever did this seems to have no trouble carrying a half a ton of weight around. Robotman investigates the scene with his special photo-electric eyes, and discovers fingerprints left on the safe. The prints match those he saw at the gym, on the dumbbells the strongmen were using.

Robotman returns to the gym, and the strongmen are all there with Powell. The Powerhouse doesn't like when the man of metal starts asking questions, he lets his strongmen attack. Though they are packed with muscles, none of them are able to beat Robotman, finding themselves being heaved and thrown into a pile one on top of another. Suddenly, to Robotman's surprise, Powerhouse Powell picks him up with one hand and tosses him against the ceiling, but he doesn't fall back down. They leave him hanging, literally, while they leave to pull their next "big job". It's an easy guess to figure out how Powell seemed so strong, and Robotman bashes the boards in the ceiling open to reveal it, a magnet that can be turned on or off by a switch in the wall. e tears down the magnet, falling with it to the floor.

Meanwhile, a convoy of trucks carrying circus animals is hijacked by Powell and his strong men. The circus should pay well to get each exotic animal back. Unfortunately, they'll never know how much, because Robotman appears standing before the convoy's path. They try ramming him, but with his sturdy frame, the only damage done is to the front of the truck. The men ask Powell to help fight off the metal meddler like he did before, but he couldn't let them know he was a phony so he refuses, instead releasing some rhinos to cover their escape. Robotman has no trouble dealing with the charging rhinos, but the muscle gang is gone by the time he finishes.

The police department doesn't carry any records on Powell or his strongmen, meaning they haven't been criminals for too long. While he wanders around in puzzlement, Robotman gets a lucky break as he spots on of Powell's gang walking towards the direction of the bank, too lost in his own thoughts about their boss, Powell, not wanting to fight, that he fails to notice he is being shadowed. The rest of the gang are in a side alley, Powell sends them to work, ripping off the security bars on the window. The team of four struggle, when Robotman offers assistance. He pulls the bars out and wraps them around one of the men's head. Powerhouse Powell flees in a panic, bumping into a kid who drops his ice cream cone. The angry boy slugs Powell, knocking him back right into Robotman's waiting hands. Powell's muscle men see the way he was beaten by a little kid; the charade is over. As the police arrive, they explain how Powell convinced them he was stronger than they were, forcing them to obey his orders. The police will be more than happy to hear their testimony in court, while the little boy threatens to beat Powell up some more next time he tries anything.

Appearing in Robotman: "The Four Strong Men"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Powerhouse Powell (Single appearance)
  • Four strongmen, one named
    • Two-Ton Tony (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Young boy (Unnamed) (Single appearance)

Locations:

Notes

  • Published by Detective Comics, Inc.
  • Liberty Belle gets knocked out in a motorcycle crash but the art is ambiguous about whether she hit her head or not.
  • In Newsboy Legion, the Guardian gets knocked unconscious with a thrown statuette. This is at minimum his fourth concussion.[1]
  • In Star-Spangled Kid, both Syl and Pat get head-konked unconscious with blackjacks. Those are, respectively, their fifth and seventh concussions.[2]
  • In TNT and Dan, Tom and Dan both get head-konked unconscious. These are, respectively, their fourth and third concussions.[3]

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 6x44": When fighting in a body of water, such as a pool, dive underwater and dunk your enemy by flipping them over by the feet.
  • Also appearing in this issue of Star-Spangled Comics were:
    • "Death Sets the Clock" (text story) by Norman Goss


See Also


Links and References

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