MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #5 (Mar 1940)
By Ray Gill
Ace Carver, Slit Kinade, Bill Creele, Jean Carver, cop
Slit Kinade and Bill Creele have an argument, during which Slit is quite drunk. They have to stop because it’s time for their next performance. Slit is a knife-thrower and Bill is his assistant who stands in front of the target. Slit throws his knife but it hits Bill between the shoulders, pinning him to the target. Ace Carver views the whole episode and is prepared to testify against Slit.
Slit Kinade sneaks into Ace Carver’s room and demands at gunpoint that Ace sign a document swearing that he didn’t view the murder of Bill Creele. Ace’s wife calls, so Slit orders him to answer it and ask her to bring dinner to the room (so Slit can force her to sing the document as well). Ace tells Alice that everything is fine and to come to the room. When a knock at the door is heard, Ace’s wife enters, followed by a cop who quickly arrests Slit, who is mystified how Alice could have known to bring help. Ace explains: his wife’s name is Jean, so she knew something was up.
MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #6 (Apr 1940)
By Andrew McWhiney
Andreas Barzak, Randy Hayes, Jack Savage/Rudolf
Andreas Barzak is a spy for a government hostile to the US. Somehow the Secret Service learned of this and managed to place Jack Savage undercover as Barzak’s assistant named Rudolf. Eventually Agent Randy Hayes confronts Barzak with their knowledge of his discovery of a shrinking potion (and antidote), as well as his intent to use the potion to sneak into a nearby factory and learn its secrets. Barzak refuses to tell them his formula, but they say they prefer doing their spying more naturally. Instead, they force Barzak to drink the shrinking potion, so that he shrinks to insect size, and then they pour the antidote down the drain.
This story is referenced in Jimmy Everett’s handbook entry, which is the source of Barzak’s first name.
MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #7 (May 1940)
By David C. Cooke
Red Horde, Vinns, Lou Herbert, taxi driver
American Lou Herbert has been in Vinland selling planes when the Red army and air force of Nussia invades. Instead of remaining neutral, he jumps in a Vinn fighter plane and assists in shooting down the Nussian bombers.
This story is clearly inspired by the Russian (Nussian) attack on Finland (Vinland, whose capital is Sinki). I think this should be interpreted as taking place in Finland against the Russians, rather than establishing yet two more countries overlooked by the Marvel Atlas.
MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #8 (Jun 1940)
By Jack D’Arcy
Steve Burnett, Jim, Sandy
Steve Burnett is the lone guard for a silver mine that’s shut down during the winter. One day he’s jumped by an intruder and tied up, left alone in his cabin. When he finally frees himself, he realizes that the key to the dynamite storage has been stolen. Wondering what use dynamite could be this deep in the woods, he then hears the whistle of a train that regularly passes nearby. Looking out, he sees an explosion start a snowy avalanche that stops the train. Realizing that the train is being robbed, Steve sneaks out to a remote cabin, figuring it must be the robbers’ hideout. Catching them by surprise, he’s able to shoot one and force the other one to repack the stolen mail and haul it out to return it to the train.
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