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Marvel Mystery Comics Vol 1 87

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Appearing in "Master of Murder"Edit

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Villains:

  • Walter Hart

Other Characters:


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Synopsis for "Master of Murder"Edit

The Human Torch and Toro are startled by a radio report that police have arrested their friend, a war hero named Tom Abbot for the murder of inventor Bert Neaver of the Apex Oil Company. They rush to the police station and learn from an officer at the desk that Neaver's maid found a button at the murder scene that matched with one of Tom's sweaters. When they ask for the motive she walks into the room: Nancy Drake. The officer explains that the two men were quarrelling over Nancy's affections. However Nancy insists that Tom could not have possibly killed Bert. The two flaming heroes decide to investigate further, even though the officer on duty is convinced that Tom had done it and promises to eat his hat if he is wrong. They question Tom who also maintains that he is innocent of the crime and they ask him to think back to the night of the murder. He tells them that was walking in the park the night of the murder and that he spoke with an old man who claimed to spent hours in the park at night.

The Torch and Toro rush out to the park to follow this lead and they indeed find the old man who confirms Tom's story. But before they can get them to come with him someone in the darkness shoots him dead. They catch up with the killer and knock him down as Nancy arrives in her car. As they are explaining what happened, the shooter revives and tosses a water fountain at the heroes and flees with Nancy as his prisoner. When the Torch and Toro rush to the police to have them recover the body they return to the park and find it missing. With the police dismissing their claims, the Torch and Toro begin to look around and find oil on the ground. Recalling that Bert worked for the Apex Oil Company they decide to go there.

Meanwhile, Nancy has been tied up in the kidnappers hideout and they leave her alone in the room with a magazine to pass the time while they listen to the radio. Nancy begins to wonder how she can signal the Torch and Toro for help. At the Apex Oil Company, the Torch and Toro arrive and overhear some of the workers talking about Bert's death and how he was working on a terrific new invention. When the two heroes inquire they tell them that Bert never told them what he was working on except to their employer Walter Heart. Meeting with Mr. Hart, they learn that Bert was working on a machine that could speed up the refinement process of oil and that Ed Granger of the rival Granger Oil Company attempted to hire both Bert and Tom.

Suspecting that Granger might have been responsible for Bert's death, to eliminate competition, the pair flame on and fly toward the Granger Oil Company. Along the way they spot paper air planes made out of magazine pages being tossed out a window and stop to investigate, finding Nancy tied up inside just as the gang rushes in to see what she is doing. As the Torch and Toro are trying to subdue them a gunman kills them and attempts to flee. When the two heroes chase after the shooter, he uses a hose to douse their flames and gets away before he can be identified. Rushing back inside the apartment to learn the shooters identity, one of the goons identifies his employer as Ed Granger. The Torch and Toro then rush to the Granger Oil Company and question Granger about his involvement. He denies it and has an alibi, but when the Torch continues his interrogation the man loses his temper and attempts to strangle the Torch, but he easily subdues Ed. However this makes the Torch realize that Bert was never strangled by Tom and tells Toro to follow him.

They return to Walter Heart's office where the Torch confronts Hart and attempts to strangle him. Instead of instinctively going for the Torch's wrists, Hart instead grabs his sides and when the Torch lets go he explains that he learned that move during a self defence course he took. They then deduce that because of this reflex action, Heart gave himself away as the killer by removing the button on Tom's sweater to frame him. Confessing to the crime, Heart tries to shoot the two heroes but they flame on in time to save themselves and easily subdue Heart.

With Heart turned over to the authorities and Tom freed, the officer who was so convinced that Tom was guilty lives up to his promise and eats his hat.

Appearing in "The Lost Atoll"Edit

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Synopsis for "The Lost Atoll"Edit

Black Patch, a notorious pirate begins plotting the recovery of a treasure map owned by Billy Glow and sends his minion Redtop to go and collect it. At the Grey Goat Tavern, Billy Glow tells some local children his story about lost treasure, located at a lost atoll even though after all these years of searching he has not been able to find it, the children merely laugh at the old man. Billy's granddaughter shoos the children away and then scolds her grandfather for continuing to tell his tall tales. Billy decides to take a walk along the cliffs to get some fresh air. There he is confronted by Redtop who demands that Billy hand over the map. However, Billy refuses to turn it over and a struggle begins. Their fight is heard from the water below by the Sub-Mariner and Namora who rush up to the cliff to aid Billy. They arrive too late to stop Billy from being fatally stabbed. While Namora tends to Billy, Namor rushes after the killer and tackles him, and quickly subdues him.

When Namora informs him that the old man is dead, Redtop recovers and tries to throw a dagger at them, but the edge of the cliff where he is standing breaks and he falls to his death. Namora tells the Sub-Mariner that Billy's dying wish was that they go tell his granddaughter to use the money from his life insurance to buy a schooner and go on a voyage for the lost treasure, but warns them to beware of Black Patch. Meanwhile, news about Billy and Redtop's deaths get back to Black Patch who believes that Billy's granddaughter is the key to finding the map and begins plotting anew. Soon, Billy's granddaughter has commissioned a schooner to look for her fathers treasure and bids the Sub-Mariner and Namora farewell, although she doubts she will find her grandfathers lost treasure as she still doubts its existence. When the captain of the ship welcomes her aboard, Namor and Namora notice that he is wearing a black eye patch and wonders if he is the Black Patch that Billy had warned them of and decide to keep closer watch of the ship.

That night aboard the ship, Black Patch is asked by one of his crew how sure that the treasure even exists. Black Patch tells them that in the year 1889 a ship carrying the treasure foundered near the atoll and the captain had ordered that Billy bury the treasure on the island. Billy was stranded on the island for some years until he was able to build a ship to escape. However, the expedition back to the atoll found it nowhere in sight. The company collected the insurance on the loss and forgot about the matter -- however, Black Patch who was part of the original shipment did not and intended to find it for his own gain. Having overheard this, Billy's granddaughter rushes to her cabin and puts the map into a bottle and tosses it overboard before Black Patch can stop her.

The bottle is found by the Sub-Mariner and Namora, who realize the girl is in trouble. They rush aboard the ship and attack just before Black Patch and his men can flog the girl. However, they are quickly overpowered and tied to the sails of the ship. But, before Black Patch can eliminate the heroes they happen upon the atoll. Black Patch and his men then drop a row boat to search for the treasure, leaving the two Atlanteans with a guard to watch over them. When the guard's back is turned, Namor manages to get his legs around him and relieve the sword and use it to cut through the ropes fleeing himself. Meanwhile, on the island Black Patch and his crew find the treasure. As his men are pulling it out of the hole they dug, Black Patch guns them all down.

As Namor and Namora approach the island they spot Black Patch gloating over his victory when the island suddenly starts to rumble and sinks into the ocean once more, drowning Black Patch and submerging the gold with it. Returning to shore with the girl they remark that the treasure is lost forever, and the tyranny of Black Patch is now over.

Appearing in "Mad Music Moans a Devil's Dirge"Edit

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  • Johnny Drago

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Synopsis for "Mad Music Moans a Devil's Dirge"Edit

Three years ago Johnny Drago, a music box repair man and brother-in-law to criminal Boots Borden, was found guilty by Judge Fellows for the theft of a $140,000 necklace and the murder of Borden and was sentenced to five years in state prison.

However, three years later, Drago is paroled on good behaviour and resumes his job at the music box repair shop. Reading this in the newspaper Mark Mason tells the news to Louise, who had sent her own music box to be repaired by Drago prior to his arrest. Meanwhile, outside Drago's shop some shady characters watch over the place while inside Judge Fellows pays a visit to Drago and buys a music box, admitting to the reformed crook that he is a collector of such boxes. Drago promises to remain straight. Soon, Louise arrives at the shop and asks if he could repair her music box once again. When Drago opens his cabinet to get his tools a tommy gun falls out, but Drago insists that he does not know where it came from.

Louise soon slips away and decides to change into the Blonde Phantom to see what is going on. After the Judge leaves, Blonde Phantom enters the shop and talks to Drago. When he goes through his tool kit he finds the clasp of the lost necklace and realizes that he may be a target to locate the necklace. Searching around the shop they find it hidden inside Louise Grant's music box, much to Blonde Phantom's surprise.

When men come to the door to take the necklace they are suddenly gunned down in a drive by shooting. With the police approaching, Blonde Phantom hands Drago the necklace and tells him to run for it down the street. This draws out the shooter, Judge Fellows himself who has sought to claim the valuable necklace. However, before he can shoot Drago, Blonde Phantom gets the drop on him and knocks him out with a single punch. The Judge is then arrested and the necklace turned over to the police. The next day as Mark reads about the story in the paper, Louise tells him that she intends to split the $5000 reward with the Blonde Phantom.

Appearing in "The Boy Who Couldn't Study"Edit

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Supporting Characters:


Villains:

  • Rand

Other Characters:

  • Joey Milton (Only Appearance)[1]
  • Audrey Milton (Only Appearance)[1]
  • Joey and Audrey's grandmother (Only Appearance)[1]

Locations:

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Synopsis for "The Boy Who Couldn't Study"Edit

At the home of Audrey Milton and her young brother Joey, they get bad news from their doctor about the failing health of their grandmother. Without the money to buy the medicine she needs to survive, Joey considers giving up his hopes of being a doctor and dropping out of school in order to get a job to earn the money they need. Audrey insists that Joey stay in school, but he still gets a job as a newspaper boy to save up the money.

In class, Joey is distracted from the teachings of his teacher Jeff Mace. Mace notices that Joey is not focusing on his studies and asks him to stay after class. However, he refuses to do so telling Jeff that he has more important things to do. Explaining the situation to Betsy Ross, the pair decide to look into Joey's family life and find out what is wrong to cause him to turn away from his studies.

Later that day, shady character pays some kids to smash the shop window of a jewellery store and steal a necklace from the display window. They succeed but as they flee they run into Joey and drop the necklace, fleeing without it. Joey, thinking it's made of glass decides to give it to his grandmother as a gift. When an officer arrives at the scene and questions the shop owner, he pretends that nothing more than an accident had happened and sends the officer away. Going back inside, the shop keeper meets with his men, wondering who had double crossed him by stealing the valuable, and stolen, necklace. They follow Joey home and threaten him, Audrey and their grandmother. Recovering the necklace after the old woman faints, the gang then takes Joey and Audrey prisoner to find out who "hired" them to steal the necklace.

After they leave, Jeff Mace and Betsy Ross arrive at the house and find the weakened grandmother who explains everything to them. They change into Captain America and Golden Girl and go into action. Captain America sends Golden Girl to the pharmacy to get the drugs that the grandmother desperately needs, while he follows the trail of pills left behind by Joey. This then leads to a trail of leaking gas which Cap then follows to the crooks hideout. Captain America comes crashing in on the gang but is quickly subdued and taken prisoner as well. The gangs leader orders his men to go out and search for Golden Girl. Meanwhile, Golden Girl gets the old woman's prescription, but as she rushes back to the grandmother, she is attacked and taken prisoner as well.

They are all brought before an Iron Maiden, which the gang leader intends to trap them in, one by one, starting with young Joey. However, Captain America boasts that he could survive in the iron maiden and the gang leader accepts this challenge. But, when Captain America is untied, the hero struggles free and sends the gangs leader flying into the iron maiden, which snaps shut, killing him instantly. Captain America then easily defeats the gang who explain that they used the jewellery shop as a front to fence stolen jewels. When the police arrive to arrest the men they tell Captain America that there is a reward for their arrest, Cap tells them to give the reward to Joey so he can buy medicine for his grandmother.

Realizing that the grandmother still has not been given her medicine, they rush back just in time to save her life. There, Joey promises Captain America that he will focus on his studies so that he can become a great doctor. As time passes, Joey's studies improve and he gets scholarships from various colleges and graduates Sum Cum Laude at the Lee School.

  • This is the final story of the 1940's that features Toro was the Human Torch's partner. He is replaced by Sun Girl in the remainder of Torch's appearances in the 1940s. No explanation is given until Saga of the Original Human Torch #3 published in 1990. Toro does not appear again until Young Men #24, published in 1953.
  • Although the main character in the Captain America story is identified as Steve Rogers here, as per the retcon of What If? #4 this appearance is attributed to Jeff Mace. He is identified in the summary as such to avoid confusion. Additionally, Betsy Ross is always referred to as "Besty" even when in uniform -- including by the stories villains. Early Golden Girl stories were written as though everyone knew Betsy Ross was Golden Girl. This was later retconned out of later stories.


  • No trivia.


See AlsoEdit


Related Articles


References

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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