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The Great Comic Book Detectives: A Nearly 70-Year Old Mystery

by  in Comic News Comment

Here’s the bit. You, the readers, send in descriptions of comics that you remember vague details from the past and either I, or one of the readers of the piece will use detective work to figure out what comic you’re talking about!

This time around, it is a mystery that is nearly 70 years old. Here is the request from a fellow named Malcolm:

Having been evacuated from London during the bombing raids of the last war, my uncle (who lived in Washington) used to send me a small selection of American Comics. I was away for about five years until my eleventh birthday in 1945. I very much enjoyed these comics, although some of them were pretty horrific to my young eyes. Later I developed a long career in Social Work where the most often asked question was ‘Why?’. Although I had worked out many answers to that question it occurred to me one day that part of my motivation lay in a comic that I had read in those early years.

The comic in question was an adventure comic of that time, full of brave wartime heroes but in the middle pages was a story with a ‘moral message’. That was probably in black and white although I think the rest was in colour. The one that came so dramatically into my memory went as follows:

The first scenes showed a regular American lad at his high school sports, winning the race and being hailed as a hero. The second sequence went to the other side of the tracks where a lad was caught stealing. As he was challenged by a cop he ran off and was shot dead. The message was that in those seconds he had run faster than the posh boy. The message was clear!

This issue would probably have been published between about 1942 to 1945.

I have searched every comic shop in the United Kingdom. Now that my family live in Brooklyn I am in America frequently and have spent many days in the archives of the New York Public Library searching for the publication but unfortunately to no avail.

I am stumped myself. So I leave it to you fine readers to see if you can solve the mystery of the nearly 70 year old comic book!