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"Newsboy Legion: "Last Mile Alley"": The boys find their newspaper selling isn't going so well, none of their regular customers are buying. Jim Harper checks in on them, offering words of encouragement. The kids come up with a plan to go door to door to convince potential new customers. They spl

Quote1.png You can't sell papers with your heads drooping! ..You've got to be up and at 'em! Quote2.png
Jim Harper

Star-Spangled Comics #8 is an issue of the series Star-Spangled Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of May, 1942.

Synopsis for Newsboy Legion: "Last Mile Alley"

The boys find their newspaper selling isn't going so well, none of their regular customers are buying. Jim Harper checks in on them, offering words of encouragement. The kids come up with a plan to go door to door to convince potential new customers. They split up, each going a different route. Tommy Thompkins enters a rough, worn down area of the slums. He trips over a brick and falls through an old cellar hatch, tumbling down the steps. His clumsiness interrupts a gang meeting, with one of the thugs threatening that Tommy won't leave alive. Meanwhile, Scrapper picks the area around the old brewery. He steps in when he sees a kid being bullied by a bigger kid. He tackles the larger boy. The bully slips out of his grasp and runs away through the brewery's open window, Scrapper following behind. He doesn't find the bully, but a pair of hands find him. Two more gangsters hold Scrapper tight, afraid he might've overheard their plan for the payroll stickup. They take him to see their "Big Boss". At the wharves along the river front, the usually talkative Gabby finds no one to talk to. He does find a warehouse full of stolen goods, furs, silks. He has accidentally come across the headquarters of the "River Rats", a gang that's been robbing warehouses all over the city. Unfortunately, one of the "River Rats" finds Gabby, and holds him at gunpoint. Of the four companions, Big Words is the only one that gets away after being attacked in Crooked Corner.

Jim Harper comes across the gloomy Big Words back at their usual hangout. When Jim learns that the other boys haven't come back yet, he gets concerned. Suicide Slum had some dangerous areas that Jim Harper searches around, but nobody wants to talk to a cop. It was time for his alter ego, the Guardian, to try his hand. That night, Big Words finds Tommy's papers scattered about near a broken cellar door. The Guardian heads down first, using his shield to block an immediate barrage of bullets. He recognizes the gang and their leader, Black Leo Lucas. Using his shield to block the gunshots, Jim throws the gangsters around until they reveal what happened to Tommy. Every week, some masked men working for the Big Boss come around to collect the fees for letting Lucas have a hideout here. They took Tommy back with them. The Guardian phones the police to collect the gang, then he and Big Words continue searching for the other two boys. Scrapper's last location, the old brewery, where another group of underworld thugs congregate. Jim busts through the old doors and grabs one of the thugs. Same story; Scrapper was taken by masked men to their Big Boss. Again, the police are called, and Jim and Big Words take their leave. The trail of Gabby leads them to the wharf. A small boat starts to speed off. The Guardian temporarily leaves his young companion behind while he sneaks on deck before it takes off. Inside the cabin, a rascally crew holds a meeting. Silently, the Guardian sneaks up on the helmsman and knocks him out. He uses the radio to inform the harbor patrol where the boat is, then waits a while for them to arrive. Once they do, the surprised crew pull out their guns but are disarmed by the Guardian, who came up behind them! One of the men makes a deal. He'll take the shielded hero to the Big Boss and the kids, if he won't let him get arrested with the others. Even though it was likely a trap, Jim Harper agrees to his terms. They go overboard together, swimming back to the docks. A coded message is passed between the Guardian and Big Words, that tips the boy off to feign going back home while actually following behind in secret.

The man leads the Guardian to a building near the wharves. A complicated knock alerting the door guard inside to open up. The guard recognizes the Guardian but is told to forget about it by the hero's hostage. Still, as they climb the steps, the guard presses a button. So when he gets to the top of the dinghy hideout an armed reception greets him. As he suspected, the man who led him here was the Big Boss himself. But before he can start to fight, Jim is knocked out! Outside, Big Words watches with concern as his friends are all carried out by thugs, to be shot and dropped off the docks. Jim wakes up to find that he's been chosen to be the first to die. His only option is to fight, so he jerks away and knocks the gun out of the gangsters hand. While he fights, Big Words unties his friends bindings so they can join in. Together they are able to take out Big Boss's thugs. As for the boss, the Guardian lets the kids beat him up while he phones the police. He leaves the newsboys with some parting words, "You'll always win if your on the right side." They make their way home with those words playing in their heads. Scrapper wonders what he meant by that? Tommy believes it was the Guardian's way of warning them to stay out of trouble ... words a cop might use on them...

The next day, Jim visits the newsboys after reading the headlines. He notes how it seems they've been causing trouble for the Guardian. Their suspicions of Jim Harper grow every day.

Appearing in Newsboy Legion: "Last Mile Alley"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • The Big Boss (Single appearance)
    • Black Leo Lucas (Single appearance)
    • Frisco (Single appearance)
    • the River Rats (Single appearance)
    • Larry (Single appearance)
    • Tony (Single appearance)
    • Trig (Single appearance)
    • Chopper (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:


Synopsis for Star-Spangled Kid: "King Midas"

Henry King has been poor his whole life, from a boy in reform school, to a young man working for the greedy Everett Kelsey. Kelsey had a daughter, Mary, whom he dated but wasn't able to get permission to marry because of his status. To make more money, Henry came up with an invention. However his idea was stolen by a former friend, Andrew Chenny, who made millions off it and so was granted permission by Mr. Kelsey to marry his daughter, the woman Henry loved. Dejected, depressed, and lonely, Henry spent his time reading books about old alchemy theories, such as turning lead into gold. His interest piqued, he read as much about this theory as he could, forming calculations in his head. Weeks, then months, then years went by, as Henry perfected his formula.

Then finally one day it works; a copper ashtray is successfully turned into gold! And it works on many other things as well. He buys a worthless gold mine for a pittance and makes a fortune with it a few days later, becoming the wealthiest man in the world. However, Henry becomes more hateful with every dollar he makes. All the years he felt spat on and humiliated bile up inside him. Only the sweet words of the daughter he adopted, Penelope, keep him from losing his humanity completely. One day he wakes up to find his bed sheets and pillow have turned to gold just by his touch. He figures the radiation effects from his machine have given him the power to turn whatever he touches into gold. What's more, he has control over it with concentration. Henry visits his old boss, Everett, who is upset because Henry's actions have resulted in him losing his fortune. Henry makes a deal to buy up his stock again, asking Everett to shake on it...

Out for a relaxing ride, Sylvester Pemberton suddenly notices a man carrying something alarming out of a house and tells his chauffeur Pat to stop the car. They change to their identities as the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy before investigating. But all they find is a man delivering a gold statue of Everett Kelsey, which Sylvester mistook for a body. The heroes apologize for bothering the mover, unaware that it was really Henry King, or that the "statue" was really Everett himself, turned to gold.

The next morning, an image in the paper catches Sylvester's eye. In the 'missing persons' section is a picture of Everett Kelsey, who looks a lot like that gold statue they saw the other night. Out of curiosity, Sylvester visits the Kelsey residence later that day to talk to the daughter, Mary. He asks her if her father ever had a gold statue made of himself. Henry, who is also there to offer comfort to his former love, chastises Sylvester for being so disrespectful to Mary while she's going through such turmoil. In his mind, he notes that the boy knew about the gold statue, but it was the Star-Spangled Kid who saw it. Henry puts two and two together and soon makes a call to hire some men. Sylvester and Pat would need to be taken care of, quickly.

Sylvester is in his workroom when a group of thugs break in and attack him! In another part of the house, Pat Dugan faces the same problem. Both put up a good fight but they are overcome, tied up, and left in a room with an hourglass full of ball bearings. It is set up so that when enough weight is placed on the box it sits upon, an explosion will occur! First, Sylvester reaches over and picks up a screwdriver with his mouth then spits it at the hourglass, breaking it so the ball bearings roll onto the floor. That should eliminate the bomb trigger. Next, Sylvester moves his chair over to the stairs. He crashes down the steps, breaking the chair and setting himself free! He unties Stripesy and then head for the family limo out front, flipping the switch that changes it to the Star-Rocket Racer. The men that ambushed Sylvester mentioned a Mr. Andrew Chenny being next, so the duo head for his residence.

Henry eavesdrops on Andrew and Mary having a fight. Now that her father no longer has his fortune, he no longer wishes to be married to her. She replies that she only married him because her father bullied her into it. Mary storms off, and Andrew retires for the night. He awakens soon after to Henry leering over him. His pillow and pajamas have been turned to gold! Andrew backs away as Henry reaches a hand towards him that will turn him to gold. The Star Spangled Kid crashes through the window, kicking the dresser into Henry's path! Henry's ability reminds Sylvester of a fairy tale, and he calls him King Midas. Mary's voice comes from behind the door, attracted by the commotion. King Midas flees before she enters the room. He orders his hired guns to stop the American avengers from pursuing him. The men are no match for the fighting strength of the Kid and Stripesy. The police arrive to take the beaten up thugs into custody. Sylvester says that it isn't over until King Midas is stopped.

Sylvester visits the newly installed Research Institute to ask its president, Mr. Fenston, some questions. Watching them from the window is King Midas, his hand accidentally turning one of the bricks in the wall to gold. Answering the boy prodigy's questions, Mr. Fenston say he believes it is impossible to turn an object's composition into gold. The alchemists of the past have never managed to do it. Sylvester leaves, unsatisfied, while King Midas enters through the window. He remembers Fenston as the headmaster who once sent him to reform school in the first place. Fenston can hardly believe it; the young Henry King has become the criminal King Midas? Outside, Sylvester notices the sunlight glinting off something, and finds the gold brick. Sensing trouble, he and Pat change outfits and rush back in to the president's office! Knowing not to touch him directly, Stripesy kicks a desk into King Midas, knocking him away from Fenston. The Kid hits the burglar alarm, alerting the guards. King Midas escapes, but his identity is now known.

Henry King returns home to his adopted daughter's waiting arms. But when he kisses her, he is horrified to see her body turn to gold! The radiation dose he received from his transmutation machine has grown to the point where he's lost control of his power. There is a knock on the door! Henry answers it to see Mary, she has left her husband and wishes to be with him like before. Her hand touches his arm despite his pleas, and Mary is tuned to gold as well! He has lost both of those he loves. He can't even get a drink of water, for the liquid turns to gold as soon as it touches him. The shock lets the radiation seep into his mind, driving him mad! Henry races down to his laboratory. He would just expand the effects of his machine, so that it turns the whole world to gold: animals, minerals, everything! The Star-Rocket Racer drives to King's estate, where Sylvester notices the lights on in the lab. He tells Stripesy to crash through. The car smashes through the wall of the lab. King Midas presses a button that puts a wall of flame between the heroes and himself. Sylvester risks leaping through the fire. There was no time for caution. He pulls a switch on the transmutation machine that increases the radiation level within the lab, hoping to cancel out the waves it is sending outside. Luckily it works! But poor Henry finds himself turning to gold as his lab burns around him. Stripesy and the Kid escape before the fire collapses the ceiling. The laboratory and everything in it burns to the ground in an inferno, and Henry King's secret of transmutation dies with him.

Appearing in Star-Spangled Kid: "King Midas"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • King Midas (Only appearance; dies)
    • his henchmen (Unnamed) (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Mr. Fenston (Single appearance)
  • Tom Nearing (Single appearance)
  • Everett Kelsey (Only appearance; dies)
  • Mary Kelsey-Chenny (Only appearance; dies)
  • Andrew Chenny (Single appearance)
  • Penelope (Only appearance; dies)

Locations:

Items:

  • Transmutation Machine
  • Life-sized gold statues of:
    • Everett Kelsey
    • Penelope
    • Mary Chenny
    • Henry King

Vehicles:

Synopsis for Tarantula: "Trio of Terror"

The gangster Sting, having somehow survived the explosion of his hideout, decides to start a new gang. Not with incompetent gunmen, however, but with high-profile criminals who are his equal. To this end he breaks Tarantula's fellow enemies the Candle and Bandana Bardon out of prison. They commit a home robbery but leave a witness they have to go back for. While protecting him, Tarantula comes up against the trio and puts them back in the hands of police.

Appearing in Tarantula: "Trio of Terror"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for Penniless Palmer: "The Case of the Howling Hamburger"

Palmer is hired by a restaurant owner to figure out why his hamburgers seem to be haunted, and promises a woman standing at his door that while he's broke now he'll donate what he earns on his current case to the Old Ladies Home. Palmer discovers that the chef is a ventriloquist and that a mob is trying to put the new restaurant out of business, as it is located in a recently sold train car that has several thousand dollars worth of stolen loot hidden on it.

Appearing in Penniless Palmer: "The Case of the Howling Hamburger"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Mugs McGee's Mob
    • Mugs McGee (Single appearance)
    • Chip (Single appearance)
    • Gus (Single appearance)
    • Oscar (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Nick Spumoni (Single appearance)

Synopsis for TNT & Dan the Dyna-Mite: "Case of the Poison Parrot"

The Parrot was a masked criminal who used a trained parrot with poisoned claws to commit murders. Dan and TNT chase after his trail while recalling how they first got their abilities. Thomas was a chemistry teacher at Dan's high school, together in the science lab they were both bathed in atomic energy during an experiment. Tom was charged with positive energy, Dan was hit with negative energy. By making brief contact, their bodies became supercharged for a few minutes. Back in the present, they track the Parrot to his next victim. In the ensuing battle, TNT and the Parrot fight over the machine gun when the criminal accidentally blasts himself! The dynamite duo have managed to save the victim, Mr. Davis, who offers to pay them to learn their secret. But Dan remarks that all the money in the world wouldn't be enough for that.

Appearing in TNT & Dan the Dyna-Mite: "Case of the Poison Parrot"

Featured Characters:

  • TNT (Flashback and main story)
  • Dyna-Mite (Flashback and main story)

Antagonists:

  • The Parrot (Harry Hicks) (Only appearance; dies)
  • Tony (Single appearance)
  • Nick (Single appearance)

Animals:

  • The Parrot's parrot

Other Characters:

  • Mrs. Van Torney (Only appearance; dies)
  • Davis (Single appearance)

Locations:

Items:

Synopsis for Robotman: "Horror Hospital"

A villain known as "the Eye", who appears as a large glowing eye, runs a crime syndicate that profits off faking accidents and collecting settlement money. Paul Dennis, new identity of the thought-to-be-deceased Robert Crane, helps his girlfriend Joan when she becomes the latest target of this scam, after a man throws himself in front of her car while they were meeting up for a date. As Robotman, he catches up to the Eye, discovering that it's a doctor at the hospital, Dr. Benton, with a luminescent eye painted on the back of his jacket. Paul reports back to Joan to make up for their missed date but Joan turns him down, claiming she isn't feeling well. In actuality, she is starting to develop a crush on the metal hero who saved her, Robotman.

Appearing in Robotman: "Horror Hospital"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • The Eye (Dr. Benton) (Only appearance; dies)
  • Mr. Anderson (Only appearance; dies)

Other Characters:

  • Dr. Merril (Single appearance)

Locations:

Notes

  • Published by Detective Comics, Inc.
  • In Newsboy Legion, the Guardian gets head-konked unconscious again. This is at least his second concussion.
  • Robotman's chronologically prior appearance was last issue, and his chronologically next appearance is in Justice League of America #193.
  • Tarantula: After this issue, Olga is absent until Star-Spangled #13.
  • TNT:
    • The origins of TNT and Dan the Dyna-Mite are revealed in flashback.
    • TNT's first name is given as Tom in this story
    • TNT & Dan's chronologically prior appearance was in World's Finest Comics #6, and their chronologically next appearance is next issue, in Star-Spangled Comics #9.

Trivia

  • Robotman: has a built-in luggage department in his torso where he keeps his "Paul Dennis" disguise.


See Also


Links and References

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