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Terry Vance was a brilliant teenage detective who was active during the 1940s. He frequently solved crimes along with his pet monkey Dr. Watson and his best friend, reporter Deadline Dawson. During the chronicles of his career between the years 1940 to 1944 he became a respected individual among local law enforcement as well as the FBI and military intelligence thanks to his constant thwarting of criminals and Axis spies during the course of World War II.

1940

In his first recorded adventure, Terry Vance offered his aid in learning who had shot and killed a local doctor. Although turned away by the police, Terry's detective skills found a hidden gun that was rigged to fire when a timer was triggered. Terry soon pieced together the clues to the murder to determine that the killer was the doctors step-son who wished to cash in on the family wealth before an official will could be drawn up. Terry assisted in the capture of the step-son and turned him over to the authorities[1].

When witnessing a wreck during an auto race, Terry discovered mercury at the crash site and followed some suspicious men who had mercury in their possession. He followed them back to their hideout and learned that they were using a man called the "Master Mechanic" to place mercury in the tires of car they wished to lose the races so that they could hedge bets into their favor. Although Terry was discovered and tied up by the crooks, he was saved by Deadline Dawson and the pair alerted the authorities, leading to the crooks capture[2].

Next while out for a joy ride, Terry and Deadline got caught in a rainstorm and sought cover at a nearby mansion. There they helped protect a businessman from being murdered by his greedy partner[3]. Later, Terry uncovered a plot to steal valuable paintings from the local art museum and were replaced with phonies[4]. Following that adventure, Terry witnessed the kidnapping of actress Diana Dunn and helped rescue her and thwart her captors[5].

1941

Accompanying Deadline Dawson to cover a human interest story regarding the living conditions in the cities slums, the pair discovered the body of a murdered writer. Terry soon deduced that the writer was killed by his own son who used poisoned candles to kill his father so that he could cash in on the story he was working on[6]. While on a fishing trip with reporter Scoop O'Brien, Terry and Deadline discovered the abandoned yacht owned by Fred Rochelle. They soon pieced together clues to find that Rochelle was murdered by Pinelli, the owner of the Swan Club over his illegal gambling debts[7]. Terry soon came to the aid of a man named Burk who was accused of a series of bombings, including that of his employer the Broome Chemical Plant. However, Terry soon deduced that the real culprit was Killer D'Arcy and his gang who had framed Burk for the explosions[8].

Active in his school, Terry convinced the principal to allow them to have a bike club to further their education. When the principal refused to provide the students with a bike rack to lock up their bikes, they were stolen, repainted and sold to other children. Terry investigated the situation and determined that the school janitor was behind the theft of the bikes. His discovery convinced the principal that bike racks were necessary and was nominated president of the bike club[9]. Out with his bike club, Terry and the others got caught in the rain and sought shelter in a nearby mansion that was reported to be haunted. Inside they stumbled upon a meeting between local mobster and Mr. Grabbit, a city official. Using their cover, Terry and the others spooked Grabbit into ceasing his shady dealings with the mobster and got the crook arrested[10].

Investigating the scene of a bank robbery, Terry discovered that the crooks learned the combination of the banks safe thanks to a radio unit that recorded the sound of the safe tumblers. Although Inspector Crane was killed for his refusal to drop the case, Terry learned the killers identities and brought them to justice[11]. Later, having developed a remote control plane, Terry was invited to Washington D.C. to present it to the military for its possible use in the war effort. When foreign spies attempted to sabotage an aircraft carrying a military official interested in seeing the plane, Terry saved them by using his plane to act as make shift landing gear. Later when the spies attempted to steal the plane, Terry used his remote control to call the plane back causing the spies to crash their truck, killing them. Terry's invention was then accepted by the military[12].

Returning home, Terry next investigated a series of "phantom robberies" that involved the theft of highly inaccessible valuables. Terry's trail led him to a local circus where he uncovered that the monkey trainer had used his monkeys to rob the various locations[13]. Invited a to swank party at the mayors home by Deadline Dawson, Terry helped prevent the mayor's butler from stealing the expensive green emerald that his wife was wearing[14].

Later, Terry accepted an invitation to visit the logging camp owned by Deadline's father Bull Dawson in Maine. There, Terry discovered that a series of logging jams were created by a rival logging company in an attempt to drive Bull's camp out of business[15]. It was on this trip that Terry had his first encounter with Nazi spies who began setting forest fires in order to halt production in an attempt to impede the American war effort. Terry, with the help of Deadline and the other loggers were able to capture the Nazis and turn them over to the authorities[16].

Returning home, Terry and Deadline investigated reports of a haunted mine and learned that it was all a hoax perpetuated by Roy Ramsey who was attempting to kill his business partner and claim full ownership of the mine[17].

1942

Accompanying Deadline Dawson to the reading of final will of the Great Voodini, they were shocked by the appearance of the supposed ghost of Voodini who was killing off his relatives. However, Terry quickly exposed that Voodini had faked his death to get revenge against his greedy family, getting a confession out of him just before being shot by the family butler[18]. Later when the death of Hollywood actor Aubrey de Wood was ruled as a suicide by the police, Terry's disbelief and further investigation exposed Aubrey's nephew George as his uncles killer[19].

Following an outbreak of Yellow Fever at defense construction sites on the Caribbean Islands, Terry accompanied Deadline Dawson as he investigated the story. There, Terry debunked the theory that a local girl was cursed, instead exposing hotel owner Senor Revelta as the on responsible by poisoning his guests[20]. Back in the United States, Terry exposed a fraudster named Finog from stealing the Pharaoh's Eye Ruby from the local Egyptian museum[21], caught the killer of the rodeo star known as the Ghost Rider[22], and exposed local psychologist and hypnotic expert Dr. Mefis as the so-called "Phantom Burglar"[23].


Later, they expose a Nazi plot using counterfeit stamps made at the Tropey Stamp Company by Nazi spies to smuggle defense secrets out of the United States and into Nazi Germany[24]. Next, while visiting San Francisco, Terry and Deadline had their first encounter with Imperial Japanese spies trying to steal secrets from the American government. Captured, they were sent in a decoy sub to attack San Francisco Bay while a real attack was to be launched on San Diego. Freeing themselves, Terry and his friends reversed the course of the sub and sent it back toward the Japanese battleship, causing its destruction[25]. In his next adventure, Terry's pet monkey Dr. Watson learned that a local organ grinder had trained his pet monkey Gertie to steal plans for Nazi spy Felix von Shlecht, with the aid of Terry and Deadline Dawson, Von Shlecht was captured[26]. Inventing a new type of explosive pellet using molasses for the use in clearing flood waters, Terry prevented Adolf -- a Nazi spy working -- from using his invention to commit acts of sabotage at the Gill Airplane Company[27].

Terry then came to the aid of yet another starlet in danger, this time actress Lucy Love who was kidnapped crooks seeking to hold her for ransom. Captured himself, Terry was saved thanks to Dr. Watson using many of Terry's various crime fighting gadgets to track down the crooks[28]. When Deadline Dawson was fired by his boss for being unable to get a scoop on Mr. Walker's new rubber compound, Terry came to his friends aid. With Terry's help, not only did Deadline briefly start up a successful independent newspaper, but also got the Walker scoop and earning his job back[29].

Later still, Terry and Deadline discovered a murdered FBI agent at a granite processing factory and traced his death to Nazi spies whom the pair assisted the authorities in capturing[30].

1943

While attending a theater performance with Deadline Dawson, Terry was framed for attempting to assassinate the visiting princess of Borsnia. A fugitive from the law, Terry managed to clear his name by exposing her Uncle Oleg as the attempted assassin so he could take power in their country[31]. Later, after Dr. Watson was filmed rescuing people from a burning building, Terry agreed to have his pet appear in a Hollywood film. This made Dr. Watson the target of a man named Conn who kidnapped Doctor Zartan and his ape Chatter, who were originally pegged from the film. Terry's brave rescue of Dr. Watson led to Terry landing a role in the picture as well[32]. Later, thanks to the aid of Dr. Watson, Terry Vance helped confirm Deadline Dawson's accusations that zoo owner Mr. Kurt was a Nazi agent when they caught him attempting to smuggle Nazi spy Heindrich Himmel out of the country[33].

Later, Terry found himself with some unwanted competition from the daughter of Deadline's boss, Shirley Booth and her parrot Gossip. The girl attempted to beat Terry in exposing local hood Snake-Eye Smith's tire smuggling operations, leaving a cryptic clues to mock Terry. Terry eventually deduced Shirley's clues and with the help of the authorities saved Shirley from trouple and had Snake-Eye Smith arrested[34]. Following the Snake-Eye Smith case, Terry decided to take a break from detective work in order to focus on his school's basketball team. When a gorilla was on the loose, Terry was more focused on his game than helping Deadline find clues as to where the ape was located. After winning the big game, Terry stumbled upon the location of the ape anyway, as it was hiding in the schools belfry[35].

Witnessing Nazi spy Carl Wertz escaping his court trial, Terry offered his assistance to the local police, who refused his aid. Despite this, Terry was able to track down Wertz and a cell of Nazis leading to their capture[36]. Terry later also exposed Nazi spy Thomas Miller, who was using his job as a night watchman at local munitions factories to start fires[37]. Later, Terry also had the luck of exposing Japanese spies who were using his local Chinese dry-cleaner's business as a front in an attempt to poison the city water supply[38]. After exposing local quiz show host Mr. Gaines as a Nazi spy[39], Terry then exposed a similar plot by a Nazi spy who was using the tailor shop where Deadline got his suits mended to smuggle defense secrets in specially made spools of threat[40].

When Terry and his friend Nickie began working on a glider along the shores of town, they invited Deadline to see their work. Spotting Nazi spies attempting to smuggle themselves into the country, Terry, Nickie and Deadline got some assistance from some unlikely help: former bootleggers who were active during the prohibition who were not very happy to learn Nazis were using their old trade routes[41].

1944

[42]Terry was next hired by the FBI to determine how Nazi spies were learning how to learn how many planes were being built at a local aircraft factory. Using his detective skills, Terry exposed a Nazi spy who was posing as an elderly woman working at an air-raid watch tower who used "her" clothesline to send Morse Code messages to a nearby Nazi sub[43]. Soon after, Terry and Deadline stopped a group of crooks who robbed a local chemical plant hoping too sell stolen plans to the Nazis[44]. Terry next took on a job at a local circus where he investigated who was robbing its box office every night. When Dr. Watson discovered that Marko, who worked for the circus, was responsible he attempted to frame Terry for his thefts. Terry managed to get a reprieve from the authorities long enough to prove his innocence[45].[46]Travelling to the Pine Grove Forest, Terry, Deadline and Dr. Watson stop Nazi spies from burning the entire forest down[47]. Later, Terry and Deadline investigated the home of Old Man Crane and exposed Nazi spies were attempting to steal his jewel collection to use to make munitions for the war effort[48].

In his last recorded adventure, Terry had to put up with local klutz Marmaduke Jones who inadvertently uncovered a Nazi attempt to tap American oil pipeline and smuggle the oil out of the country[49].

The ultimate fate of Terry Vance is as mysterious as some of his own cases.

Powers

None.

Abilities

Terry was an accomplished athlete, chemist, inventor, and fighter.

Strength level

Terry had average strength for a boy his age.

Weaknesses

Due to his age, Terry was seldom taken seriously which often led to difficulty with his investigations.


Equipment

Terry had various equipment that assisted in his detective work. He used cameras, a listening device, a remote control model airplane, a specially made inferred flashlight, and explosive molasses pellets.

Transportation

Terry drove a car, and rode his own bicycle.

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. Marvel Mystery Comics #10
  2. Marvel Mystery Comics #11
  3. Marvel Mystery Comics #12
  4. Marvel Mystery Comics #13
  5. Marvel Mystery Comics #14
  6. Marvel Mystery Comics #15
  7. Marvel Mystery Comics #16
  8. Marvel Mystery Comics #17
  9. Marvel Mystery Comics #18
  10. Marvel Mystery Comics #19
  11. Marvel Mystery Comics #20
  12. Marvel Mystery Comics #21
  13. Marvel Mystery Comics #22
  14. Marvel Mystery Comics #23
  15. Marvel Mystery Comics #24
  16. Marvel Mystery Comics #25
  17. Marvel Mystery Comics #26
  18. Marvel Mystery Comics #27
  19. Marvel Mystery Comics #28
  20. Marvel Mystery Comics #29
  21. Marvel Mystery Comics #30
  22. Marvel Mystery Comics #31
  23. Marvel Mystery Comics #32
  24. Marvel Mystery Comics #33
  25. Marvel Mystery Comics #34
  26. Marvel Mystery Comics #35
  27. Marvel Mystery Comics #36
  28. Marvel Mystery Comics #37
  29. Marvel Mystery Comics #38
  30. Marvel Mystery Comics #39
  31. Marvel Mystery Comics #40
  32. Marvel Mystery Comics #41
  33. Marvel Mystery Comics #42
  34. Marvel Mystery Comics #43
  35. Marvel Mystery Comics #44
  36. Marvel Mystery Comics #45
  37. Marvel Mystery Comics #46
  38. Marvel Mystery Comics #47
  39. Marvel Mystery Comics #48
  40. Marvel Mystery Comics #49
  41. Marvel Mystery Comics #50
  42. Terry Vance's appearances in Marvel Mystery Comics #51 and 52 go here, I have no data on them yet
  43. Marvel Mystery Comics #53
  44. Marvel Mystery Comics #54
  45. Marvel Mystery Comics #55
  46. Terry's appearances in Marvel Mystery Comics #56goes here
  47. Marvel Mystery Comics #57
  48. Mystic Comics Vol 2 #1
  49. Mystic Comics Vol 2 #2
  50. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 12



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