- You are too lovely to die, even though you are an American!
Appearing in "The Menace from Mars"
- Martians (First appearance)
Races and Species:
- Texas (First appearance)
- New York City, New York (Mentioned)
Synopsis for "The Menace from Mars"
Aboard the train known as the Comet, Mr. Carson, owner of the Carson Explosive Company turns on the television and is shocked to see what appears to be a Martian invasion of New York City. Carson is in for another surprise when he finds that he is riding a car with the Human Torch, who suggests the "invasion" is likely a work of fiction adapted from the radio show by Lawson Bell. The two engage in small talk when they are shocked to see a Martian ship fly past their train and blast the tracks out in front of them, causing the train to derail.
Out from the ship comes two Martians who enter the car containing Carson and demand him to hand over his formula for his new form of Trinitrotoluol (a new super explosive). Carson refuses to hand it over, willing to take his secret to the grave if need be. Elsewhere on the train, the Torch is trapped and has to struggle with freeing himself without his flame powers to avoid alerting the Martians. Finally managing to free himself the Torch confronts the two aliens, sending them fleeing. When the roof of the train car is about to collapse on them, the Torch uses his powers to melt it away. Checking on Carson he learns that his back has been broken in the crash. Carson passes a written copy of his formula to be delivered to his daughter Diane. After that, Mr. Carson dies. Checking outside, the Torch saves the conductor of the train from a falling boulder and rushes to rescue a baby trapped on the train, much to the relief of child's mother.
Rushing off to Galeton, Texas, the Torch pays a visit to the Carson Explosive Company where he seeks an audience with Diane Carson. He enters her office as she is refusing the requests of Mr. Ritton to turn over the formula to him. The Torch forces Ritton to leave, however, not before Ritton informs them both that he will stop at nothing to obtain the formula. The Torch explains everything to Diane who is upset to hear that her father had died. The Torch's story also makes a sort of sense as Ritton had mentioned something about Martians two years ago. The two begin testing it out and find that the slightest drop can cause a massive explosion that damages the lab. The Torch suggests they find a more open environment to test out the new super-TNT and volunteers to take a vat of the material out to test it in the Carson's experimental field.
Along the way he is attacked by the Martians who have disguised some strange weapon to look like a hood of their car. When they fire a weapon at the truck the Torch is driving, he manages to escape just moments before the truck crashes in a massive explosion. Forced to land in a nearby creek, the Torch is quickly captured by the two Martians with a glass cylinder and brought to a nearby railway roundhouse where Ritton is waiting for them. With the Torch as their prisoner, they figure that Diane would make for an easy target and capture her. With the Torch attached to an electric chair with a glass cylinder fastened on his head, Ritton asks for the formula once more but Diane still refuses to give it. Tying Diane to the rail tracks he threatens to run her over with a locomotive. He boasts about how he promised the Martians the formula so that they—poor scientists—could destroy other planet threatening their home. In return, they would invade the Earth and leave Ritton as the emperor of the United States.
The Torch breaks free and saves Diane, and when Ritton flees the scene aboard a train, the Torch chases after him. Boarding the train, he confronts Ritton who jumps from the train when another one is coming down the opposite end of the track threatening to collide with them. The Torch melts down the engine which they are riding to prevent an accident and finds that Ritton had been seriously injured jumping from the train. As the Torch heads off to bring Ritton to a hospital he wonders how Diane is doing against the aliens.
Diane learns that the Martians are truly poor scientists as their civilization had lost it's explosive technologies many years ago. They were sent to Earth by their master the "Great One" who ordered them to work with Ritton and treat him as though he were the Great One. Having failed in their mission they plea for the formula but Diane still refuses. The Martians leave empty handed, however when the Torch returns and tells her the televised invasion on New York was a fiction they both agree that the formula is not safe on Earth and agree to help the Martians.
Appearing in "The Voodoo Sacrifice"
- A female kidnap victim
- Several cult members (Death)
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "The Voodoo Sacrifice"
A young girl is kidnapped by a bunch of robed men. Her screams bring the attention of the Angel who attempts to stop the kidnappers but gets run over. Following them in his car, the Angel is led to a castle on the countryside to the north, and then falls through a trap floor that has been placed in its defense. As the girl is brought to the cult's leader, the Sacred One, she is prepared to be sacrificed to their fire god.
The Angel meanwhile has survived the trap and escapes from the pit through a secret opening, and learns that the girl is in the throne room from one of the cult members. Rushing there, the Angel arrives just in time to interrupt the sacrifice. Learning that the Sacred One is a hypnotist, the Angel resists the glare and knocks the Sacred One down. Freeing the girl he almost falls for another trap door, but manages to jump out of harm's way. Frightened of the Angel's powers, the Sacred One ironically stumbles backward into his own trap door and falls to his apparent death. The Angel takes the girl and flees outside as other hypnotized people start to follow their leader into the pit. When closing the door, he sees that they all have disappeared.
Appearing in "Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner"
- Chief John C. Wilson (First appearance) (Unnamed)
- Inspector Peterson
- Esther, Betty Dean's roommate
- Royal Navy (First appearance)
- Ms. Drayson (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- United States of America
- Atlantic Ocean
Synopsis for "Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner"
Continued from last issue...
After the Sub-Mariner's attack on New York City involving the kidnapping of Ms. Drayson and the death of Officer Foley, the police begins to plan a way to capture Prince Namor. With their searches of the waterways turning up nothing, they get female officer Betty Dean to pose as a damsel in distress to see if the Sub-Mariner would save her.
After a week of stakeout in New York Harbor, Betty spots the Sub-Mariner and dives into the harbor, pretending to drown. Namor comes to her rescue; however when she attempts to arrest him, Namor takes Betty to swim into a sea. There they witness a Nazi bomber and U-boat attacking a British cargo ship. Namor goes to the freighter's rescue, taking control of the Nazi sub and using it to destroy the bomber before sinking the sub itself.
Namor pushes the sinking freighter to a nearby island where Betty Dean convinces him to help the Allied Forces, telling him that not all humans (particularly Americans) are bloodthirsty. When she mentions that a number of naval mines are located nearby, Namor agrees to go out and destroy them. He does so by tricking Nazi warships into contact with the mines. When he notices an another U-boat, Namor decides to turn it with its crew over to the Allied Navies and brings it to a British vessel. Afterward, Namor returns to the island where he left Betty who asks him to help the Allies's cause. This request causes Namor to think deeply...
This story is continued next issue...
Appearing in "The Land Grabbers"
- Sheriff Barny
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "The Land Grabbers"
Jeb and Dan Barnes, who own a seemingly valueless plot of land are constantly harassed by men under the employ of Jed Sirrah. They once more refuse to sell their land, and kick their harassers off the property, warning them that next time they'll call the sheriff. Unknown to the Barnes brothers, the property has a valuable amount of gold and oil and Sirrah seeks to purchase the land before they can learn the truth. Sirrah's henchman Brace decides to go into town with the intention of framing the brothers for a crime so the sheriff would run them off. To their good fortune, the sheriff is one of their old crime partners from Pecos who has gone straight. When Brace warns him to stay out of their business he agrees to do so.
When they report back to Jed Sirrah, he is furious that they went to the sheriff until learning that they convinced their former partner to stay silent. The following day they begin to add pressure to the Barnes brothers by dynamiting some rocks in the path of a stream that waters their property. The explosion brings the attention of the Masked Raider. The sheriff, knowing the Raider is wanted dead or alive tries to shoot him but the Raider is too fast with his guns and manages to get away.
The Raider arrives at the Barnes property where he witnesses Sirrah's men trying to buy the land from the Barnes brothers for even less. Barnes's are feeling pressured to sell now that their land is dead, but the Masked Raider steps in and frightens off the thugs. Jeb and Dan are furious until the Masked Raider tells them that their land is valuable. Riding into town, the Masked Raider, Dan and Jeb walk in on Sirrah and his men plotting once more to take over the land. When a gun fight breaks out, crooks are no match for the Masked Raider. When Jeb Barnes finds proof of the Raider's claim of how valuable their land is, they decided to make him an equal partner but realize that he's already gone.
Appearing in "Origin of the American Ace, Part 2"
- Queen Ursula (Last appearance)
- Jeanie's grandfather
Races and Species:
- American Ace's Airplane (Last appearance)
Synopsis for "Origin of the American Ace, Part 2"
Continued from last issue...
Perry Webb, an American mineral hunter, has found himself in the middle of a war between Castile D'or and Attainia, instigated by the evil Queen Ursula. Spotting a girl about to be crushed in a pile of burning rubble, Webb comes to her rescue. The girl, Jeanie, is distraught as her parents were killed and has no will to live. However, having been saved by Webb, she agrees to be taken to safety.
Perry flies her to a cottage, where her sister and grandfather are living. Arriving there, Perry is introduced to her family. After Jeanie explains the tragic events to her sister, Perry is invited to stay.
Meanwhile at the palace of the queen, she is more and more desperate to crush her foes and reveals her plans to take over the world. Even though her minister Josef thinks she's mad, he is too frightened to do anything but to follow her. In order to gain support from her subjects, she begins publishing propaganda encouraging the people of Castile D'or to fight back against their "oppressors" from Attainia.
While back at Jeanie's family farm, Perry decides it is time to leave, as he must continue to find a source of radium for his business. As he flies away he is soon tracked by some fighter planes from Castile D'or. The pilots begin shooting at his plane even though he is unarmed. He is shot down and soon crashes his plane into Jeanie's home.
Jeanie, Marie and their grandfather pull Perry from the wreckage and place him into bed. As he recovers, Perry tells Jeanie, that he realizes now something. He has a more important job than mineral hunting -- taking down the evil queen and her oppressive regime.
Appearing in "Siegfried Suicide"
- French soldiers
- British soldiers
- German soldiers
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Siegfried Suicide"
Bill Stern an American soldier of fortune fights his way through the Siegfried Line of German soldiers. It is a line they have been trying to break for weeks with no luck. They make one final push and although most of the men go down Bill refuses to give up without a fight. When the Nazi's stopped firing, thinking that the enemy forces were all dead, Bill would still be alive and he would sneak toward the Nazi encampment. Overhearing them gloat about their "victory" over the Allies, the Nazi's are in for a rude surprise when Bill announces his survival and tosses a grenade into their fort.
Appearing in "Adventures of Ka-Zar the Great: Third Episode"
Races and Species:
Synopsis for "Adventures of Ka-Zar the Great: Third Episode"
Big-game hunter and wild animal collector Steve Hardy has come to a section of the Belgian Congo east of Ka-Zar's home to capture for a zoo. After setting up camp he soon captures a number of animals including Tuta, the elephant. Trajah, leader of the elephants, seeks out Ka-Zar to save the captured elephant.
Going to investigate the situation, Ka-Zar arrives at the camp wondering if the man responsible is Paul de Kraft, the man who killed his father. It turns out it is not, and that night, Ka-Zar sneaks into the camp and sets all the animals free. When he is spotted by one of the natives, he easily knocks him out and ties him up to a tree. The next morning, when Hardy wakes up, he is shocked to find his animals missing and when he questions the native, the native believes he was attacked by Angwama, the jungle god. While Hardy dismisses this as nonsense his men are all shaken by this claim.
Not willing to leave empty handed, Steve orders the men to go out on a hunting party. Deep in the jungle they come across a rhino and its calf and orders his gun boy to shoot the mother so that they can capture the young rhino. Before the gunman could shoot, he is struck in the back by an arrow fired by Ka-Zar. This frightens the men even more and they refuse to help any further, less they evoke the wraith of Angwama. They pack up and leave, forcing Steve Hardy to follow them.
Later, Ka-Zar jumps into a nearby lake for a cooling swim when he is attacked by N'Jaga, the leopard his father wounded years ago. N'Jaga seeks to get revenge and pushes the young Ka-Zar deep into the water until the big cat is forced to come up for air. Satisfied that it has killed Ka-Zar the leopard leaves the scene. However, Ka-Zar survives and reminds himself to never be caught without his knife. As he returns home he is blissfully unaware of the fact that his old foe Paul de Kraft is planning a trip out to the Congo.
This story is continue next issue...
- The revelation that the aliens in this story are Martians is highly suspect. Per Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #6 many alien races have made claims that they originated from one of the planets in the Sol system that have been revealed as falsehoods. Also complicating matters is the fact that the term "martian" was often used by people of Earth in the 1940s and 50s as a general term for any alien being. That said, there have been a number of different races that have claimed to live on Mars who have appeared in Captain America Comics #70, Amazing Adventures #4, Amazing Adventures #5, Amazing Adult Fantasy #12, Tales to Astonish #17, and Journey into Mystery #57.
- This story is retold in Sub-Mariner Comics #32.
- This was the last American Ace story published by Timely Comics. The series was continued in various comics published by Centaur Publications under the title Lieutenant Lank. However according to Marvel Mystery Handbook 70th Anniversary Special #1, those stories are not considered part of canon.
- American Ace resurfaced later in All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes #4 using the name Ace Masters. One explanation for the change in names could be, as explained in All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes #1, the United States government commissioned Timely Comics to produce comics based on their war heroes for propaganda purposes. Certain elements in those stories could have been changed such as the Ace's real name.
- The Human Torch wore blue uniform until changing it into red in Marvel Mystery Comics #5. He also hasn't learned to fly yet but was able to make big leaps instead.
- In the first story, the "Lawson Bell" radio broadcast about Martians attacking New York City is a play on the real-life Orson Welles broadcast of "War of the Worlds", which had occurred just a few months before this issue was published.
- Perry Webb is called "Perry Wade" at the American Ace story. It also states that there will be another American Ace story in the next issue, however the story was cut from this series.
- In Namor: The First Mutant #5, Betty Dean's roommate (1940-1947) was named Alice Terrel Ryan (Ryan is maiden name) and in Young Men #24, her roommate was Cathy.
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- Discuss Marvel Mystery Comics Vol 1 3 on the forums
- 45 Image(s) from Marvel Mystery Comics Vol 1 3
- 2 Reprints of Marvel Mystery Comics Vol 1 3
- Reviews about Marvel Mystery Comics Vol 1 3
Links and References
- Marvel Mystery Comics #3 at Grand Comics Database
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Well, issue 3 was an odd mix. The characters seem to be going through new adventures and growing (a little), but it doesn't seem to be enough. Each of these stories was very odd.
The Human Torch - Sure, this was right after the 1938 Halloween radio broadcast of "War of the Worlds", and it would only be fair for Martians to start making their way into the comics. However, this story was odd -- and a little humorous. The Torch is well-known by this, his 3rd issue, and seems to also know random super-TNT wielding chemists. Luckily he is on the train to Texas (far from home) when the Martians attack and try to steal this secret formula. After destroying the train, killing and injuring passengers, they take off. The Torch is entrusted to deliver the formula to the chemist's daughter. He finds her and gets caught up in a dramatic plot to help Martians (who turn out to be "peaceful") obtain the TNT to save Mars -- while they are stuck listening to a villain bent on becoming emperor of Mars. After saving the day, the girl, and defeating the enemy, the Torch apparently learned that the Martians were good and gives the SUPER TOP-SECRET TNT formula to the Martians?!?!? Okay, makes no sense, but ah - it's pure 1939 "picture action" fun.
The Angel - The cover to this issue does not show what is happening in this story, but I actually believe that this story talks about some real voodoo cult that resides in New York. Strangely, they live in a huge castle -- in New York -- and have been secretly sacrificing women to a fire-god for a long time without anyone noticing, but oh well. The good news is everyone in this story is dead at the end, except for the Angel and the girl... convenient.
The Sub-Mariner - Even the introduction to this story is odd, calling Namor an "amphibious demon of the Earth. Bent on an inspired campaign again been able to point his evil plan at the Nazis. Anyhow, the police are gonna use one of their policewomen who is an expert swimmer and "easy on the eyes". She tries to make the Sub-Mariner see the error of his ways and start helping the Allied forces in the war. He takes out a few Nazis and seems to feel good about himself, so he goes back to the policewoman he left stranded in the Atlantic... can't wait to find out the answer next week of whether he will fight with the Allied forces or the Axis powers.
Masked Raider - I get it! Some of the characters have an accent. Doesn't mean that you have to spell EVERY word as it sounds with an accent! It makes reading words VERY difficult... in fact I forgot what happened in this story since I was concentrating on the words and spelling the entire time. Next!
American Ace - The last story of this character. Didn't get to do ANYTHING before he got canned. The most interesting and well-developed character was the villain. Oh well. Better luck next time Ace.
Siegfried Suicide - About an American soldier that is fighting the Germans on the front line. This sergeant was, of course, "an American and he would not surrender or bow to any man". The war has obviously begun and patriotism is beginning to make its way into the fabric of even comic books.
Ka-Zar - This story was actually pretty straight-forward. A hunter tries to capture all the African animals he can. Turns out he captured an elephant that Ka-Zar goes to help and he frees all the other animals. The natives think it is the work of the jungle god and take off. Ka-Zar is then shown to have crazy problems with the leopard of the jungle as well as the "fat face" oman named, "Paul DeKraft"... with good reason since he KILLED HIS FATHER! DUH-DUH-DUHHH...
--M1shawhan 01:08, April 29, 2010 (UTC)