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Marvel Database

Appearing in "The Tick-Tack-Toe Murder"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:

  • Stephen Bellows


Synopsis for "The Tick-Tack-Toe Murder"

William Nasland and Fred Davis Jr. are driving back to base when they hear a radio report about the kidnapping of invalid millionaire Stephen Bellows and his nurse, leaving the authorities to believe foul play may be at work. As they drive through town they witness a gang of men attack a junk collector to steal a stack of old newspapers. The two partners get involved, but the gang gets away when they spook the junk collectors horse forcing William to stop it from running off. Despite the crooks getting away, Fred manages to grab a scrap of the stolen bundle and finds that the blank spaces have been filled with tic-tac-toe grids.

After being thanked by the junk collector, they continue on their way, however when William looks at the hash marks again he realizes that they are some kind of code and that he junk collector might be in trouble. The pair change into Captain America and Bucky and find the gang of thugs beating the junk collector within an inch of his life. When the two heroes attack, the gang members manage to escape. When an ambulance comes to get the beaten junk collector, they learn that he may die. Connecting the gang with the kidnapping of Bellows, Cap worries the collector will die before he can tell him where he picked up the papers.

Taking the captured gang members back to police headquarters, Cap and Bucky find that the gang members will not talk. When discussing the matter with the chief of police, Bucky suddenly realizes the hash tags on the paper are really a secret code and begins trying to decipher it. While at the gangs secret hideout, "Knucks" Connors has just murdered Billows nurse in retaliation for Billows putting the code on the newspapers they have allowed him to read. He then tells Billows that he is going to die as soon as his family pays their ransom demands. When the money finally comes in, Connors orders his men to put Billows in their car and get ready to eliminate him.

Back at the police station, Bucky and Cap finally realize the code is in "Pig-Pen" and crack it, learning the address of the gangs hideout. They rush there and arrive just as gang members are bringing the car up front. The two heroes quickly dispatch the remaining gang members and their leader, rescuing Billows from captivity.

Appearing in "Black Marketeers Of Death"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


  • Blackmarket gang
    • Chug (First appearance)
    • Ripper (First appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Henry Train (Only appearance; dies)[1]
  • Cleo Train (First appearance)
  • Joel (a pilot) (First appearance)

Synopsis for "Black Marketeers Of Death"

The Human Torch and Toro are patrolling the city when they investigate some commotion on the streets below. They arrive at the scene of an apparent suicide where a man had apparently hung himself with a pair of women's stockings. As they are being brought up to speed by the officer on the scene, the coroner cuts down the body and reveals the man was actually killed by a wire that was used to strangle him and that he was strung up with the stocking as a cover. When the Torch examines that the stockings are almost new, he deduces that since nylon have been rationed for the war effort, this must be the work of a blackmarket gang that sells illegally made nylon. Learning that the murdered man has a sister, the Torch and Toro decide to pay her a visit to see if they can learn anything from her.

When they visit Miss Train, she explains that her brother worked a low paying job at a smoke shop and eventually began involving himself in the blackmarket to make more money. Before she can reveal anything more about the operation there is a knock at the door. When Miss Train answers it she finds a package with a pair of stockings and a warning note telling her that she will be killed if she talks. She then begins pretending that she has forgotten, and the Torch begins to guilt her when he learns that her husband is fighting in the war, and that soldiers rely on nylon to make parachutes. They then leave, telling her that they will be checking in with the smoke shop should she reconsider telling them what she knows.

Briefly stopping at their apartment, the two flaming heroes find a similar death threat waiting for them there before they go to the smoke shop. There they question the owner who insists that the Henry Train was a good employee. While they are there, the guilt ridden Miss Train calls for Torch and Toro, and the owner slips away to apparently deal with a customer. When the Torch and Toro arrive at Miss Train's home they find men breaking in and attacking her. The gang members injure the girl and most of them flee with Torch in pursuit while Toro takes Miss Train to the hospital. Toro catches up just as the Torch follows the car to an old warehouse.

There, they find a secret floor panel where machinery is set up to make the blackmarket nylons. The gang members get the drop on the two heroes, knocking them out and then tying them up in a bag and tossing them into the river. The water revives the heroes and they makes themselves float to the surface where they use a speeding motorboat to cut themselves free. They then race to the smoke shop where the Torch proves his hunch that the owner of the shop is the leader of the gang and rounds them up.

Later, they explain to Miss Train they the Torch deduced that the owner was the leader of the gang because he was the only one who could have tipped the gang off to the fact that she was going to talk.

Appearing in "Kito, Japanese Fighter Pilot"

Featured Characters:


Synopsis for "Kito, Japanese Fighter Pilot"

Jap Buster Johnson and his fellow fighter pilots are woken up at 4:00 am to mobilize against an attack by Japanese fighter planes. While up in the air, Johnson spots the personalized plane of Kito -- a notorious Japanese fighter pilot who succeeds in shooting down many of Johnson's fellow fighters before escaping with the other Zeroes, seemingly vanishing into thin air.

Back at base, Johnson meets with his commanding officer who charges him with a mission to take Kito dead or alive, Johnson agrees to the mission, preferring to shoot down his opponent than taking him prisoner. Meanwhile, at the Japanese base, Kito meets with his commanding officer where he is given orders to blow up the American ammunition dump on Taru Island, and to destroy Jap Buster Johnson if he should happen to interfere with his mission. Kito accepts the mission graciously, promising to carry out his orders.

Sure enough, Kito leads a squad of Japanese fighters to attack Taru Island and Johnson leads the counter attack. Seeking to trick his enemy, Kito pretends that his plane has been shot down in order to draw Johnson in for an attack. The ploy works, and Johnson's plane has it's wing blasted off, but not before Kito's plane is also damaged causing it to crash.

Kito tries to pin Johnson down with gun fire, but Johnson sneaks up on his foe and pushes him off a cliff, sending him to his death. Picked up by one of his fellow pilots, Johnson is satisfied leaving Kito's body there without a proper burial, finding his final resting place at the bottom of a dead volcano fitting.


  • Although this story refers to Captain America and Bucky being Steve Rogers and James Barnes, as per the retcon from Captain America #215, the Captain America story in this issue is attributed to William Nasland and Fred Davis Jr. They are named by their retconned names in the summary above to avoid confusion.

See Also

Links and References


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