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Marvel Mystery Comics Vol 1 84

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Appearing in "Terror from Bagdad"Edit

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Synopsis for "Terror from Bagdad"Edit

The Thief of Bagdad rots in a prison awaiting his very execution, cursing the fact that he was so easily caught. However, the Thief is suddenly released and brought before the Sultan. The Sultan tells the thief that his daughter is to be married but none of the gifts he can provide her are great enough and so he offers the thief his freedom if he steals three items of value, if he fails he forfeits his life.

The thief is given a list instructing him to bring something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. The thief decides that going to America would be the best place to find such items that would be impressive to the princess. Several days later the Thief succeeds in stealing an ancient Ming vase, the theft making newspaper headlines. Meanwhile, the Human Torch and Toro pay a visit to the fur salon where they meet with reporter Cleopatra Vance to take her up on an invitation of a fashion show featuring new Chinchilla fur coats. During the fashion show, the Thief of Bagdad suddenly appears and grabs on of the coats, prompting the Torch and Toro to flame on and attack. Although they melt his scimitar, he manages to escape. Unfortunately, the Thief drops his "shopping list", topping off the Torch and Toro as to what he is up to and connect him with the Ming vase theft. With their next clue "something borrowed" the two heroes deduce that wife of the Maldavian ambassador is planning on borrowing Empress Catherine's expensive necklace at the Gala International Ball and go there to try and stop him.

The Thief also reads about the story in the paper and rushes off to the ball to steal the necklace. As the Torch and Toro mingle into the party, the Thief breaks in and turns out the lights and robs the necklace with a gang of hired thugs. Flaming on, the two heroes give the Thief a chase, but the villain tosses what appears to be the necklace off the side of the building to cover his escape. The Torch goes after it, but it isn't until the Thief is long gone does the Torch realize it was a fake made to throw him off. Deciding to set a trap for the Thief, they allow the newspaper to give front page reporting on the display of Gainsborough's painting "Boy Blue" to lure the Thief out of hiding.

The thief uses a suction rope and acid to break into the art gallery, when the Torch and Toro come busting in informing the Thief that he painting he is taking is really a fake. When the Thief attempts to flee out of the building across his rope, the Torch and Toro trip him up causing him to fall. Fearing for his life, the Thief is captured and turned over to the American authorities. Although he has failed in his mission, the Thief is relieved that he will spend his sentence in jail in America, instead of facing the executioners blade back home. The following day, the Torch and Toro go to a swimsuit competition where they run into Cleopatra Vance again. While Torch insists that it was a coincidence, Toro is not exactly convinced.

Appearing in "Case of the Vanishing Venuses"Edit

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Synopsis for "Case of the Vanishing Venuses"Edit

With a series of disappearances of attractive women along the Florida coast, the Sub-Mariner goes to investigate taking Betty Dean and Namora along with him. As they discuss the case on the beach they are approached by Stanley Gordon, producer for Goliath-Major Studios who offers them jobs as extras for a film called "Pirate Harvest" which is being filmed off a remote island along the Florida Keys. Suspecting that this might be tied into the disappearances of the "vanishing Venuses" the Sub-Mariner accepts the offer. Stanley tells them to meet him at the "Riviara" a boat docked nearby in a half hour.

They make their appointment and they are taken out to a giant replica of a pirate ship, complete with a band of hideous pirates who Stanley insists are merely actors with excellent make-up effects on their faces. They are introduced to the films director, Sari Tartar, a former actress who suffered an accident that horribly scarred half her face. She has the trio report below deck for their first scene. There they are put before bright studio lights. Looking around they see a bunch of bodies chained to the ship, at first glance Namor believes them to be dummies. However, when Sari calls action, a number of African natives come out of the darkness and grab Namor and his friends. While Namor is knocked out and chained to a pillar, Namora and Betty are chained to some of the ores when they realize to their horror that the "dummies" are really the missing "Venuses" who have all been tortured and starved. Sari then has her minions whip Namor and the girls, forcing the latter to row the ship, much to her twisted delight. When two of the girls falter in rowing, Sari orders her men to unlock them and whip them.

With the scene filmed to her satisfaction, Sari orders her men to bring Namor above deck so that she can film him being whipped as well. However, the crew make the mistake of tossing a bucket of water on the hero, revitalizing his strength. Namor easily fights off her crew and subdues Sari, taking her prisoner. While back below deck, Namora manages to chew through her bonds and frees Betty, they take the film out of the camera for evidence and knock out some of the crew that discover them before going to look for Namor. Else where aboard the ship, Namor fires a flare into the air. He reunites with Betty and Namora and they take Sari with them back to shore where they apprehend Stanley Gordon as well. They for Gordon to row them back to the pirate ship where the other prisoners have started a mutiny and the coast guard has come to answering the flare. They turn over Sari and Gordon to the authorities. Sari confesses that she wanted to punish beautiful people to make her movie more realistic. She then lunges at Betty and Namora who easily subdue her and turn her over to the authorities.

Appearing in "The Menace of the Mad Magicians"Edit

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Synopsis for "The Menace of the Mad Magicians"Edit

Two magicians named Abra and Cadabra have taken to using their magic skills for crimes and begin robbing a jewellery store when the Blonde Phantom catches them in the act. They knock the heroine out and flee the scene. When they are cornered by police officers they somehow manage to disappear in a puff of smoke.

The next day at the office of Mark Mason, Mason reads about the story in the paper. Louise Grant, wanting to capture the crooks as Blonde Phantom convinces Mark to let her take her two weeks vacation so she can follow their trail and get the evidence needed to convict them. Changing into the Blonde Phantom, Louise decides to start first at the Webber Theatrical Agency. Meanwhile, at the agency, magician J.B. Gloop comes to Mr. Webber asking to be booked as a magical act. However, Webber does not want to take on a magician that could not compete with Abra and Cadabra. Then the Blonde Phantom enters the room asking about the criminal magicians, who Webber informs are their own agents. Suddenly, Blonde Phantom gets an idea: Hire Goober as a magical act with the Blonde Phantom as his assistant and book them in the same towns that Abra and Cadabra are performing. Webber, liking the publicity having the Blonde Phantom on board would bring accepts the idea.

Soon the tour starts and it gains plenty of popularity. Back stage at one of their performances Abra and Cadabra notice that the amount of publicity Goober and Blonde Phantom's act is getting is making them more popular than they are and they decide to rob their next show. Later, at Goober's magic show Abra and Cadabra tamper with one of the tricks making monsters leap out of a box instead of rabbits, panicking the crowd, but Goober manages to quell them while Blonde Phantom goes to investigate. She catches the two criminal magicians stealing the theater's safe, and before they can do any magic tricks, she gets them to surrender at gun point. With Abra and Cadabra captured, Blonde Phantom wishes Goober luck in show business, leaving Goober content with the fact that he can carry on without her.

Returning to her civilian identity of Louise Grant and going back to work, Louise plays a magic trick on Mark Mason: By getting him to pull an egg out from behind his ear.

Appearing in "The Phantom of the Planetarium"Edit

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Synopsis for "The Phantom of the Planetarium"Edit

At the Lee School, Fred Davis informs Jeff Mace that Miss Todd is taking the class to the local planetarium and asks him to come along. Jeff joins them and during the field trip Miss Todd shows them a pay telescope that for charity. Suddenly they are interrupted by the ravings of an old man wearing a shirt covered with stars and planets, predicting doom and calling himself the Oracle. When Jeff asks some of the planetarium staff, they inform him that he was a former employee who discovered Astrology and quit his job. While everyone is distracted by the Oracle's speech, some men rush into the room and steal the charity money.

Slipping away Jeff and Fred change into Captain America and Bucky and attack the crooks. However, they manage to escape and run into another room. As it turns out they are working for the Oracle, who is in fact quite sane and masterminded the entire plot. He tells his men to hide the loot in a nearby meteor display and flee. However, when Captain America and Bucky arrive and are about to dismiss the Oracle as harmless, Miss Todd points out that the Oracle is in kahoots with the thieves. While the Oracle tries to silence Miss Todd, the crooks come out of hiding and fire at Captain America and Bucky. While the two heroes are busy taking down the thugs, the Oracle takes the hidden loot and attempts to flee the scene. But Captain America manages to knock him out with his shield and capture him, turning them over to the authorities.

Appearing in "Beginning of the End"Edit

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Synopsis for "Beginning of the End"Edit

Continued from last issue...

Miss America arrives at Velasquesa's mansion and finds the criminal dead from a fall down the stairs. Spotting that the phone is off the hook she deduces that somebody had called recently and has the operator trace the call back to the Casa De Lutiro. Before Miss America can leave some of Velasquesa's men enter the room and find their boss dead. Miss America quickly deals with them and then flies off to the Casa De Lutiro, room 405 hoping to catch up with Rex Herr.

Meanwhile at room 405, Mary Varnheim waits for Velasquesa to come and buy the sun-ray formula from her, once more gloating to herself how she cheated her sister Elise Winters out of her half of the money. However, Elise arrives instead and is about to kill her sister, but Mary tries to stall for time by trying to convince her that they should work together again. Elise is distracted when somebody comes into the room allowing Mary the chance to make a jump at the gun. The gun goes off, alerting Miss America outside who barges in to find both sisters fighting with each other. Miss America then knocks out Mary and recognizes her from their earlier encounter[2]. Before she can get the sun ray formula, Rex Herr sneaks up behind her and knocks Miss America out with a blackjack.

When Rex demands to be sold the sun-ray, Elise pulls a gun out once more, but one of Rex's men shoots her dead. When Rex demands the sun ray from Mary, he doesn't notice Miss America get up. When she knocks Rex and his goon out, Mary flees the room. Following her to room 408, Miss America finds no trace of Mary, but finds a secret passage that leads her to the basement. Hearing a rash, she comes across Peter Carr who is tied up down there. She frees him and he warns that Iles' are also seeking the micro-film and before they left him alone said they knew where to find it.

This story is concluded next issue....

  • It's interesting to note that the city of Baghdad is spelled incorrectly both in the title of the Human Torch story "Sultan of Bagdad" and in the narrative as well.
  • Although the narrative in the Captain America story refers to the main characters as Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes, as per the retcon of What If? #4 these appearances are attributed to Jeff Mace and Fred Davis Jr. They are named as such in the summary above to avoid confusion.


  • No trivia.


See AlsoEdit


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Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
  2. Marvel Mystery Comics #76



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