Detective 59 – the Penguin returns, Wing gets a costume, Steve Malone ends, and Slam Bradley gets an agency
Robin is really happy to not be involved in the action on the cover of Detective 59 (Jan. 42). Perhaps he was tired from the events of the Batman story in the issue.
The Penguin returns in this story by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson. The story picks up immediately after the conclusion of last issue’s tale, as the Penguin meets the various other companions of the boxcar he escaped town in.
When he realizes that so many of them have rewards out for their capture, he devises a scheme to turn them in, collect the reward, and then have other members of the group break them out of jail.
Batman gets onto his scheme and breaks it up. He uses a crime file in this story, very rudimentary, though of course snazzy for the era. Batman also relies on the normal radio for news alerts.
In this instalment of the Crimson Avenger Wing suddenly gets a costume as well, if not a codename. His outfit matches the Crimson Avenger’s though with the colour scheme reversed, much like the way Kid Flash’s reversed the Flash’s colour scheme. As his crest he has something stylized, which for many years I thought might be a “7”, or perhaps a question mark. Now I realize it is a letter, probably Chinese. I wonder what it means?
Crimson Avenger and Wing started appearing in Leading Comics as part of the Seven Soldiers of Victory at this time. His team would never get mentioned in the pages of his own series. Odd, considering that Batman was mentioned in this strip, along with the Joker and the Penguin.
As well as a costume, Wing seems to have changed his body, as well as his ability to speak English. He is shorter and thinner than he used to be, and his face now an Asian caricature.
In his final story Steve is called to the home of a wealthy retired judge with a gambling son and a niece begging for money for her husband. When the judge is killed, Steve figures out that its the jewelled-earring wearing nurse who was the killer, not the money hungry youths.
Steve Malone’s series ends at this point, and his character is never seen again, but after such a high-profile career I would expect that Steve went into politics and had a long and lucrative tenure in Washington D.C.
Howard Sherman has been doing the art on Slam Bradley’s series for a while now. The stories have been decent, but none had anything that made them stand out. Slam continues to frequently take on manly jobs as he solves crimes with Shorty providing comic relief.
In this story, we are told, for the first time, that Slam and Shorty work for the Wide-Awake Detective Agency. It is never given that name again, though.
The story involves a casino that has its winning patrons robbed on the way home. Slam is hired by one of the victims, and infiltrates the casino, causing a big ruckus and bringing down the house.