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"Newsboy Legion: "Victuals for Victory"": The Newsboy Legion, joined by Jim Harper, have volunteered to help out at a farm during the labor shortage, as part of America's Victory Program. Through early morning until dinner time, the boys work hard, adjusting to farm life day by day quite easily.

Star-Spangled Comics #25 is an issue of the series Star-Spangled Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of October, 1943.

Synopsis for Newsboy Legion: "Victuals for Victory"

The Newsboy Legion, joined by Jim Harper, have volunteered to help out at a farm during the labor shortage, as part of America's Victory Program. Through early morning until dinner time, the boys work hard, adjusting to farm life day by day quite easily. But trouble brews even in the countryside, in a small rustic cabin not too far away sit two scheming crooks, small-time robbers, who were tired of country living, wanted to see what the big city had to offer. First, though, they needed money just to get there...

The following afternoon, after another hard day of work, the boys come across the pair of hoodlums near farmer Jones' house. Scrapper notices the cone-shaped objects the men were carrying, that Big Words identifies as beehives. Suddenly, the men start banging sticks against the hives, then disappear inside the house while the bees swarm. Something rotten was going on, but the boys couldn't get close to investigate without getting stung. They also don't notice the Guardian climbing in through a rear window, wearing a net over his face to protect him from the swarm. The two hoods inside are caught with Jones' money in their hands. The Guardian "helps" them take a seat, by pushing one of the crooks over a chair, then tossing the sofa at him. Outside, unaware of the events unfolding in the house, the boys gather leaves into a pile in to start a fire. The smoke breaks up the angry swarm, but when they enter the house, they find the Guardian on his knees coughing, with no sign of the other men. Unfortunately, the smoke provided the perfect cover for the crooks to get away. Gabby is more interested in what the Guardian was doing here, taking his presence as proof that he's Jim Harper! The Guardian responds that he's not particular about where he nabs a criminal, then turns Gabby's accusation around, saying how suspicious it was that he always finds the Newsboy Legion where he's working. At least it wasn't a total loss, the men forgot all about the money when they left, meaning they might hang out in the area to try and retrieve it later. Now, the Guardian makes his own escape while the boys search the house, to return to the fields as Jim Harper.

Later in the evening, Jim takes the boys to see a movie in town, as a way to relax after a hard days work. They pass a small bank that Jim takes note of, it could be a tempting target for those small-time crooks. The theater is so packed that they all have to sit separately, giving him a chance to slip out. It is a picture that Jim knows pretty well, so if the boys ask him questions about it later, he's confident he could answer. He switches outfits to become the Guardian again, and runs down the street to the bank, if only to allay his suspicions. All seems normal at first glance, the bank is locked up tight, a harmless-looking hay-cart parked beside it. When he moves the cart, however, he discovered it was covering a gaping hole that had been cut into the side of the building! So it's not surprising when he finds the two hoods inside trying to steal a safe. They grab pitchforks and charge at the Guardian, who pivots and knocks them over. The police show up later to find the pair hanging by their pants on the pitchforks, ready to be shipped off to prison.

Jim makes it back to the theater just in time. The movie ends and he is ready with his alibi as soon as Scrapper asks, talking about scenes from the film they had just watched, proving he never left his seat. Soon, their farm duties come to an end, with the boys feeling pretty good about themselves for helping provide more food for the nation during wartime. Meanwhile, the two criminals do their own kind of farm work, tilling the field in prison, though not with nearly as much enthusiasm.

Appearing in Newsboy Legion: "Victuals for Victory"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Ezra (Single appearance)
  • Horace Hickey (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Mr. Jones (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:


Synopsis for Star-Spangled Kid: "Mr. Gadget Goes to Town"

A mysterious billionaire has bought up all the radio airtime in the city, the newspapers read, and except for a single announcement at six o'clock, there will be nothing but static the whole day. It's enough to make people curious, wondering what the lone broadcast could be about. A salesman attracts the attention of the morning streetwalkers with a pitch, demonstrating a palm-sized gadget that spits out real money, creating an easy fortune for anybody who buys one for just a nickel. Sylvester watches from across the street, his instinct telling him the money had to be counterfeit. At his side, Pat hears a shot ring out from a nearby store, so he and Syl change into their Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy outfits. A gaggle of crooks, led by the tinkering criminal, Mr. Gadget, are holding up the poor store clerk as the duo rush in. While they get a few good hits in, it's over after Gadget pulls out a device that sets off a magnesium flash. While Pat and Syl are blinded, the gang gets away with only one item; a picture of a safe door, taken at actual-size for advertising purposes. The shopkeeper tells his rescuers that the door itself was sold already, to the Gotham Jewel Collection where it protects the vault.

Private detectives have been hired to guard the vault tonight. Mr. Gadget meets them as they step off the elevator, and offers to show them a trick. In a burst of flame, the vault door vanishes, leaving only a wall, as if there had never been anything there. That's because the vault was on the 11th floor, but thanks to Mr. Gadget fiddling with the elevator controls, the 'P.I.'s were tricked and actually taken to the 12th floor. The "door" that was disintegrated in flame was just the stolen picture. Now, while the detectives are confused, Gadget heads downstairs to crack open the real vault. Once he gets it open, he is again greeted by the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy waiting inside! Mr. Gadget's first act is to use a device that entwines the duo with wire, buying him enough time to smash and grab a glass case of jewels. In his escape, he sprays a liquid from a fountain pen around the door, a compound that catches fire on contact with air, causing flames to spark and rise between him and the Kid and Stripesy. Pat comes up with a quick solution, pouring the water from a water cooler over himself and Syl, so they can safely run through the flames and continue the pursuit. The shenanigans continue outside, Gadget disperses his loot among pedestrians to create a crowd. At his partner's suggestion, Stripesy announces himself, drawing the crowds attention towards him, all of them trying to get up close in the hope that they'll secure an autograph with one half of the famous crimefighting duo. The street is now clear enough for Sylvester to continue the chase, finally tackling Mr. Gadget as they round a corner into an alley. Unfortunately for the Star-Spangled Kid, the rest of Gadget's gang was waiting there, and they are about to gang up on the Kid when Stripesy shows up, after ditching the crowd. The patriotic pair are tied up and put in trash cans to await the garbage pickup. Gadget wanted them left alive to see him pull off his "big job", which will have something to do with the radio broadcast tonight.

Later, at the WXYZ Radio station, Mr. Gadget and his thugs prepare for the six o'clock broadcast by stuffing wax in their ears as a small sound device is pulled out of his pocket. The fated hour, over the radios around the city, a pitch noise is sent out, causing the population, including pedestrians and policemen, to pass out unconscious. The effects last for an hour, plenty of time for the gang to rob the city clean before anyone even knows what happened. It'd be the perfect crime, if only Stripesy and the Star-Spangled Kid hadn't shown up just then. Bursting through the door, unaffected by the soundwaves because of the water that seeped into their ears during Stripesy's daring plan to escape from the fire. Mr. Gadget gets a right hook from the Kid as Stripesy deals with the gang. Just one last demonstration, a new invention for when things don't go as planned, Mr. Gadget unleashes a match that produces a cloud of billowing black smoke. The criminal inventor gets away, but his plan for the big job has failed since Stripesy managed to capture his gang. The police deal with the arrests, Sylvester and Pat rush back home to the shower, covered in black ash and soot.

Appearing in Star-Spangled Kid: "Mr. Gadget Goes to Town"

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Synopsis for Penniless Palmer: "The Gold Giving Gadget"

Max Moola, an inventor who built a machine that can turn lead objects into gold. After the news broke, he received an anonymous letter threatening him if he doesn't hand over his machine, so he calls up Penniless Palmer's detective agency to ask for protection. The perpetually poor detective could hardly refuse, especially when Max offers to pay them with a five percent share out of his invention. Surely, a machine that makes gold from lead would be worth millions?

Thieves try to take the gold machine, and it's inventor, too! But thanks to Pen's brain and Oxie's brawn, they tracked the gang back to their hideout, and dispatch them with a few heavy punches. As thanks for rescuing him, as well as keeping his invention out of enemy hands, Max Moola raises Pen's promised share to ten percent. Maybe now, Penniless could finally stop being the penniless detective. Max had to dash Pen and Oxie's enthusiasm with the truth. The newspapers got it all wrong... the machine doesn't convert lead into gold, that would be impossible. Rather, it simply covers lead with a gold plating.

It wasn't all bad, though, Max planned on selling it for 500 bucks, which would still give Pen and the gang fifty dollars... too bad the date written on the check only makes it valid for use three years from now.

Appearing in Penniless Palmer: "The Gold Giving Gadget"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Thieves (Unnamed) (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Max Moola (Single appearance)

Locations:

Synopsis for Liberty Belle: "South of the Border"

While performing a good will tour in Mexico, Libby Lawrence learns of a gang of banditos led by the dreaded El Bolo were based in the mountains. Locals speak of metal dragons flying around the area.

Appearing in Liberty Belle: "South of the Border"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • El Bolo (Single appearance)
  • General Goto Nohara (Single appearance)
  • Captain Tagahaka (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for Robotman: "The Radium Rogues"


Appearing in Robotman: "The Radium Rogues"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Antagonists:


Other Characters:

  • Doctor Lear

Locations:


Items:


Vehicles:


Notes

  • This issue also contains a 4-page humor strip, "Hap Hazy Hypnotist" by Jack Farr.



See Also


Links and References

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