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"Newsboy Legion: "The Lady of Linden Lake"": Midnight in Suicide Slum sees the Guardian scanning the streets below from the rooftops. A suspicious group coming out of the warehouse catches his eye, and he leaps down to investigate. Denny Malloy was standing alone when the Guardian reached him.

Star-Spangled Comics #30 is an issue of the series Star-Spangled Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of March, 1944.

Synopsis for Newsboy Legion: "The Lady of Linden Lake"

Midnight in Suicide Slum sees the Guardian scanning the streets below from the rooftops. A suspicious group coming out of the warehouse catches his eye, and he leaps down to investigate. Denny Malloy was standing alone when the Guardian reached him. He acted very confused, not knowing what happened. He had come to meet Easy Zanger, a slippery gangster, but when he arrived, Easy clipped him. He didn't remember anything after that. Because it was a flimsy story; the police arrest Denny for breaking and entering, though he claimed he was framed.

A week later, Gabby and Scrapper sell papers on the street corner. One of their regular customers, Mr. Letty Smith, hands Gabby a whole dollar for one paper. Gabby can't believe his eyes. He excitedly shows the rest of the gang what Mrs. Smith just handed him. Normally, she only gave a three-cent tip, so surely, she must've made a mistake. His friends convince Gabby that the right thing to do would be to inform her of her error and return the money. That afternoon, the Newsboys knock on Mrs. Smith's door. The door opens to a thuggish-looking butler who tries shooing them off, thinking they're nothing but beggars. The boys take offense to this and push past him into the house. They find Mrs. Smith in the study, along with Easy Zanger! After Mrs. Smith leaves the room, Easy has his underling, the rude butler, lock the doors behind them, to ensure the kids wouldn't leave here alive. Scrapper bum rushes the henchman in the gut, the rest of the legionnaires follow his lead, Big Words and Gabby pile on the thug, while Tommy whacks Easy in the face with a piece of wood from the shelf. The tables turn when another of Easy's thugs enters the room with all the commotion. Together, the three gangsters are able to subdue the kids and tie them up.

Meanwhile, Jim Harper patrols his beat while deep in thought. He still couldn't figure out how to prove Denny Malloy was framed. Maybe if he went to see Denny's mother, she could provide some clues. But according to the neighbors, Mrs. Malloy hadn't been home in days. Last she was seen was in a flashy car, being driven away by a tough looking guy. Jim asks around about the car until a fellow policeman tells him a car matching the description is parked in front of Letty Smith's mansion of late. What would a crook like Easy Zanger be doing at Letty's place? She didn't keep many valuable around, so it can't be a planned robbery. Jim returns to his apartment at the end of his shift so he can change into his other uniform. It was time to investigate the Smith mansion as the Guardian, who isn't so tied down by the need for a search warrant. Sneaking in, he finds Easy talking with one of his thugs, so the Guardian eavesdrops on them. They mention wrapping up the racket since people, like those kids, are starting to get curious. Jim catches the mention of kids, though he isn't yet aware that they meant the Newsboys.
Speaking of the boys, they're currently tied in an upstairs room that's rarely seen use. Tommy rubs his ropes against a rough wooden support pole until they give way, then he helps his friends out of their bindings. Scrapper's eager to bust some gangster heads. Gabby reminds him that Mrs. Smith still needed rescuing too. They find her tied up in one of the other rooms, and she's not very happy about it. She grabs an umbrella to beat some goon heads with and tells the Newsboys to follow her. As they proceed down the corridors of the Smith estate, shouts of pain ring out. They rush to the source where the Guardian was dispatching a couple of Easy's thugs. He gets distracted when Mrs. Smith attacks him with her umbrella, thinking he's with the gang. Easy comes up from behind and konks him over the head.

Easy and his gang have the hero, Mrs. Smith, and the Newsboys tied with adhesive tape this time. Plus, to make sure they never talk, Easy douses the floor in Benzene and tosses a match as he leaves. The Guardian acts quickly, first dunking his tied hands in the barrel of Benzene, which dissolves the rubber cement that makes the adhesive tape stick. Now free, he tears down the window curtains, to Letty's protest, and smothers the flames. The fire dies out, and the Guardian cuts Mrs. Smith and the kids loose. Tommy still doesn't understand why they bothered to tie up Mrs. Smith if they were forcing her to work for them. There was time for explanations later, though. The Guardian leads them out of the house towards a surprised bunch of gangsters who were expecting a barbecue. Like human projectiles, the Newsboys and the Guardian rush to the attack, knocking Easy and his gangsters out with flying fists. Tommy's question gets answered when a second Letty Smith approaches, same look, same dress. The Guardian explains that Mrs. Malloy, Denny's mother, was told to dress up as Mrs. Smith since they looked similar. She had been forced to trick the lawyers into handing over all the money in Mrs. Smith's account to Easy Zanger, or else her son would take the fall for a crime he didn't commit.

Appearing in Newsboy Legion: "The Lady of Linden Lake"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Easy Zanger (Single appearance)
  • Mopey (Single appearance)
  • Joe (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Mrs. Letty Smith (Single appearance)
  • Denny Malloy (Single appearance)
  • Officer Clancy

Locations:

Items:


Synopsis for Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy: "Pennies from Heaven"

Sylvester and Pat are at the pet store buying some goldfish, and they step outside into a shower of pennies and nickels, raining from some bags set at rooftop level. Sylvester forms a theory about why this is happening, dashes inside an office building, checks the directory, finds a jeweler's shop on the 5th floor, and sprints up a stairway to the 4th floor. Pat is right behind him, and he's got some questions. Stepping inside an empty office, the heroes change clothes then sprint up to the 5th floor, where somebody is yelling for the police. Inexplicably Stripesy has brought along the filled-up goldfish bowl from the pet store as he runs into the fight. He and the Kid make short work of three thugs, then Gentleman Jack nonchalantly strolls past everybody, making snobby remarks about how vulgar all this violence is. Stripesy takes offense at this, puts down the fishbowl, and lunges to grab Jack, who very adroitly sidesteps and causes the big prizefighter to step into his own fishbowl, and fall down a stairway. Meanwhile outside, the arriving cops are stymied from getting into the building by the mob of people scurrying in to scoop up the pennies and nickels. Via a subway entrance in the building's basement, the crooks all get away.

The next day, just for fun, Pat Dugan answers a newspaper classified ad, a casting call for extras, to play gangsters in a movie. A lot of tough guys show up for this cattle call, and they get told that the screen test is going to be a staged fight scene between these auditioners and some fake cops. Pat steps out, seeing no future in being in a mob scene, and decides to make his pitch directly to the producer, Mr. James. Fortunately, Pat sees James before James sees him, because he turns out to be the condescending robber from yesterday's jewel heist. Pat telephones Sylvester, who bails out of a lecture from his father about his career, and hurries to the production company office.

The fake audition turns out to be another cop-occupying diversion tactic, while Gentleman Jim and his gang rob another jewelry store, but inside they are jumped by the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy. The hired help all go down but Jack escapes, then unexpectedly returns and takes down both heroes. Soon the All-American Duo are tied up and blindfolded and led to an open elevator door, with no car behind it. The Kid catches his blindfold on a wall and gets enough of a look at the situation to figure out his next move, which is to step ahead and jump into the elevator shaft. He catches the cable in a leg grip, then gets to work sawing through his wrist ropes, parting them just in time to catch Stripesy, as he drops onto him. The Kid makes some fake body-landing noises, and the crooks carelessly leave without confirming their kills. Some time later, Stripesy and the Kid climb out of the shaft. They visit Mr. James' office, beat up his gang, watch Jack run away again, and laugh as Jack finds cops waiting at every exit in the building.

Jack is last seen breaking rocks in a prison yard and ranting about how this is beneath him.

Appearing in Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy: "Pennies from Heaven"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Gentleman Jack James (Single appearance)
    • four henchmen: Bennie, Max, two others (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Movie Gangster Auditioners

Locations:

Synopsis for Penniless Palmer: "The Case of the Phoney Fireworks"

Penniless, Bunny and Oxie are enjoying the climax of their country vacation by visiting a festival in the city of Muddville. A display of fireworks is primed and ready to start the festivities. However, the man in charge is having a hard time of it when the cannons refuse to fire, and the pyrotechnic display that they set up is less than stellar. Finishing off the show, the host presents a giant sparking pinwheel - which accidentally breaks off its hinges and spins into the crowd as a rolling, fiery mass. It's lucky no one was hurt. Penn had a funny feeling there was a case to be solved here. He questions the barker and learns they got their fireworks from the Non-Fizzle Fireworks company, same as last year and there weren't any problems back then.

The next day, Penn takes his pals to see the owner of Non-Fizzle Fireworks. When they introduce themselves in his office, Penn could tell Mr. Sparrkler is upset by what happened yesterday. He tells Penn that his fireworks are perfect when they leave the factory, yet they've been receiving hundreds of complaints lately. At this rate, he'll be ruined. Penn has an idea; if the products were okay when they leave the factory, but go haywire when used by the customer, then something must happen to them in-between. Sparrkler calls in his foreman, Mr. Bangs, to show the detectives around the factory. When Penn asks the foreman to show them the trucking department, Bangs takes them through a dark room where they test the displays. Next thing they know, they're ambushed by trio of thugs. Penn and Oxie put up a fight, though the odds seem to increase against them. A thug pulls out a gun, bringing the fighting to a halt. Penn, Oxie, and Bunny are tied up and put in the trailer of one of the trucks with the foremen. Mr. Bangs was working for a rival firework company, switching the orders of Non-Fizzle's shipment and replacing it with a bunch of duds. Bangs wasn't about to let the detective tell anyone about his double-cross, so after the truck arrives at the rival factory, he has his boys tie Penn and pals to a giant fireworks rocket and light the long fuse. Fortunately, they couldn't find any rope, so they bound them using the fuse cord. Penn bends his hands over towards the burning fuse, to have the two fuse cords meet so it'd burn away and set him free, then he rescues Bunny and Oxie just in time, as the rocket goes off. They flee into an office; Penn momentarily sneaks away to steal some boxes from the supply room. With Bangs and his goons hot on his heels, Penn runs back in and tells Oxie and Bunny to take the contents of the boxes and start throwing. Chaers and Torpedoes strike the thugs at their feet, giving them a hot foot. The snapping bombardment is too much for them and they run off. At this point, police sirens can be heard in the distance. The thugs return with fireworks of their own to use as weapons. Penn doesn't seem bothered at all, though. The reason becomes clear when the gang set off their rocket shooters and poppers to nothing but a fizzle. While in the supply room, Penn switched out Non-Fizzle's products for the duds. Once again at the mercy of Pen and Oxie's attacks, the gang run outside to the waiting police.

The owner of Non-Fizzle meets Penn and his companions outside. He thanks them for uncovering the scheme, but unfortunately there was no reward coming. His factory burned down when a large red rocket came out of nowhere and struck the powder room. Mr. Sparrkler was retiring to spend more time tending his petunia garden.

Appearing in Penniless Palmer: "The Case of the Phoney Fireworks"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Mr. Bangs (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • A. Sparrkler (Single appearance)

Locations:

  • Muddville

Synopsis for Liberty Belle: "The Riddle of the Arctic"

Rick tells Libby Lawrence he's being sent by his chief to Alaska, where the Japanese have been causing trouble near Nugget Harbor. He was dismayed that he wasn't allowed to contact Liberty Belle for help on this assignment. The hunt for their secret base was thought to be too dangerous even for the lady hero to take on. Nevertheless, Libby wasn't about to let Rickey get into trouble on his own, so she calls up old Tom Revere at Independence Hall and, disguising her voice, asks him to summon Liberty Belle immediately. Tom is confused, but he does as he's asked, stroking his hand across the historic liberty bell, creating feint vibrations. Libby's tiny bell replica emits a ring only she can hear. Now Liberty Belle has officially been summoned, despite what Rick's chief says. In a secret underground hangar, Libby climbs into her plane marked with the symbol of Liberty Belle. She flies northward, towards Alaska.

Rick arrives by army plane at Nugget Harbor, where the Colonel was waiting. The situation is dire, the Japanese somehow snuck their submarine into the mouth of the harbor, sinking all the navy's ships in the process. Rick asks to borrow some Eskimo clothes and a kayak. He thinks maybe the Japanese won't go to great pains to hide from a simple Eskimo, so he might be able to find them where the army and navy couldn't.
The northern lights arch over the horizon as Rick paddles out into the glacial waters. He sees a green light flash out on the shore, answered by second flash that seemed to be coming from a whale. Sure enough, the mammoth creature swims towards Rick and opens his massive maw. Rick, who never fancied himself a Jonah, tries in vain to shoot the whale, but as its mouth closes around him, he knows it's the end. Instead of being swept down a whale's gullet, he finds himself in a chamber surrounded by walls of steel. It appears he's found the submarine, cleverly disguised as a whale. A hatch opens behind him, and Rick turns to see Japanese officers with guns pointed at him. The whale-sub dives down, traversing the depths to an underwater cavern that leads to a hidden cavern that's been converted into a hangar. The sub docks, and Rick is led out to face the Admiral.

What neither Rick nor the Japanese knew was that Liberty Belle had seen Rick getting swallowed with her binoculars and was already on her way to his rescue. She had settled on the far mountainous coast. The same area from which the signal flash to the sub appeared. Donning a pair of skis, she races down the snowy hillside. She narrowly dodging a hungry Kodiak bear only to be tripped up by a tripwire! A Japanese spy steps out of hiding to confront her, but the bear gets its claws in him first. Libby finds a motorboat and lassos the bear to it, towing the animal along towards a large iceberg. Her intuition tells her it was more than it appeared. When she gets closer, she can tell the iceberg was hollow inside, a faint reflection of light coming from within.

Inside the base, Rick is about to get his skin scalded by hot iron when a portion of the wall blows inward! A surprise entrance by Liberty Belle - followed by an angry bear! The officers shoot wildly at the charging animal as several of their numbers get mauled. The Admiral is dealt a knockout punch by Rick. He and Liberty escape though the freshly made hole in the ice and hop back aboard the motorboat. Rick sends a morse code signal to the navy at shore, warning them of the disguised sub. After the duo reach the dock, American bombers soon fly over and blow up the iceberg base. Rick calls out the heroine; the only way she could have known to come here is if she was in fact Libby Lawrence. Liberty feigns offense just as a naval officer delivers a message to Rick; His chief got a call from Tom Revere, who said an anonymous caller told him to summon Liberty Belle to Alaska, and that he should expect her. So, she was summoned here after all! Rick apologizes, but Liberty Belle takes her leave in an act of anger, chastising Rick that he should think her to be someone as dull sounding as this "Libby Lawrence" woman.

Piloting her plane back home, Libby's relieved that her secret stays safe thanks to the precaution she took with that call, although she realizes she'll have to tell Rick the truth once the war is over.

Appearing in Liberty Belle: "The Riddle of the Arctic"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Japanese Army
    • The Admiral (Only appearance; dies)
    • Commander Nosaki (Only appearance; dies)

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • Liberty Belle's Plane
  • Japanese Submarine (In the shape of a whale) (Destroyed)

Synopsis for Robotman: "Crime's Kiddie Cart"

On a beautiful day, Mrs. Dillworthy is with her son, little Reginald, for a stroll through the city. But Reginald is in one of his bad moods, saying he hopes it rains. He wanders away from his mother when he notices a boy riding a strange wooden cart. He asks the boy where he got it, and the boy tells him he made it. He names it the "Petemobile", after himself, and he uses it to deliver groceries so he can make some money for his mother. Pete shows Reginald how it can turn on a dime, carry groceries for his mom, and he can even make it stand up for easy dumping. The exchange catches the attention of Paul Dennis, a.k.a. Robotman's human disguise. It's always nice to see such a young inventor. When his mother walks up, Reginald runs to her and demands she make Pete give him the Petemobile. She tries to explain she can't make him give something that doesn't belong to her. Reginald doesn't like that answer, and he's about to pick a fight with Pete when Paul intervenes. Lifting the bad-tempered lad up with one hand, Paul returns the bratty boy to his exasperated mother while Pete takes his cart and goes back to work.

Over the next few hours at home, Reginald's mom and dad are subject to their son's bawling. He kept repeating he wanted a Petemobile, despite Mr. Dillworthy's attempts to buy him both a shiny peddle car, and then an electric train engine set. Both are rejected, and the wailing continues. Finally, his father puts an out ad in the paper stating they are willing to pay a $1000 reward if the owner of the Petemobile delivers it to them.

The next day, Robotman finds the ad in his evening paper. The reward money would do a lot of good towards helping Pete's mom, except there was a good chance the young boy wouldn't see it if he doesn't read the paper. So, he heads out to track Pete down to let him know. But Robotman isn't the only one with the idea; Nickel-Slug Nick also noticed the unusual ad. He and his gangsters find the boy first. They shove him down hard and grab the Petemobile. Just then, Robotman appears on the scene ready to fight! Nick is tossed in the Petemobile and spun around fast, as his goons are socked into the spinning cart. One of the men manages to slip away unnoticed and steal a cement truck, then drives it back and pours the quick-drying cement over the man of metal. Normally, it'd be an easy feat for him to break free, but the sand mixed in with the cement got into his joints, so Robotman was completely immobile. He watches helplessly as Nick and the gang run off with the Petemobile. His only hope was young Pete. He tells the lad to fetch a pneumatic drill from the mixer. After being directed on how to use it, Pete carefully drills through the cement to break it apart. Once Robotman's free, Pete sprays him down with a hose to wash away the sand, followed by a quick dip in oil for lubrication. Robotman carries Pete along as he races to the Dillworthy mansion, hoping he's in time to stop Mr. Dillworthy from giving those thugs the money.

Nickel-Slug Nick is already convincing the Dillworthy's that he was the one who built the "Petemobile", as a kindness because he loves kids so much. Mr. Dillworthy buys the story and is about to hand over the cash when Robotman arrives to call Nick out on his lies. He grabs Nick by the collar and lifts him up with one hand. The gangsters fire their guns at him, but the bullets ricochet off his metal body. One of them hits Nick in the leg, so Robotman drops him. The gang surrenders after that. Once the police have arrested Nick and his goons and taken them away, Mr. Dillworthy hands the $1000 over to the excited Pete. His mother would be so happy to have so much dough!

Now that Reginald finally has the Petemobile, his parents look on in shock as he takes a chair to it, busting the cart up. He only wanted it so Pete wouldn't have it, he says. Robotman whispers a suggestion in the father's ear. The metal hero leaves as a crying Reginald is repeatedly spanked for his bad behavior.

Appearing in Robotman: "Crime's Kiddie Cart"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Nickel-Slug Nick (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Reginald Dillworthy (Single appearance)
  • Mrs. Dillworthy (Single appearance)
  • Mr. Dillworthy (Single appearance)
  • Pete (Single appearance)

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • The Petemobile

Notes



See Also


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