Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, May 21, 2016


"Hard fighting, hard-fisted and hard to kill---expertly trained in everything and ready for anything-- attracting trouble wherever he goes and loving every minute of it-  that's Jeff Jordan U.S. AGENT"


Jeff Jordan, that's who.  And he's a U.S. agent.  Not only that, according to his badge, he's a "Special U. S. Agent."  So special, the reader has no idea what department he works for and no indication of what he does except for finding trouble and solving murders.  He has a girlfriend:  Peg Powers, ace reporter for the Evening Graphic, a zoftag raven-haired beauty with a Veronica Lake do and ajealous streak.  He has a pal and an assistant all rolled into one in the form of tough, bald-headed Marty McCann, a fellow who was not designed to be a dim bulb but is surely one nonetheless.

As far as I can tell, Jeff appeared in only this one issue of a doomed comic book title.  I have no idea who wrote his adventures, nor who drew them (at least two artists over the three stories in this ish), nor who the punctuation-deaf letterer was.

In the first story, "The Stamp Forgers," Jeff is strolling along the deserted waterfront one night when he hears a splash.  Running to investigate, he sees a beautiful woman climbing from the water ont the dock.  Before he could get to her, a knife is thrown into her back and she plunges once again into the water.  He dives in to rescue the dying woman only to has her expire in his arms moments later -- but not before she utters a few cryptic words.  Lying on the dock is a small box the woman had dropped, containg a single stamp.  Not just any stamp -- an ultra rare stamp.  Only two of its kind exist, both in the hands of rich and powerful men who happen to live in the city.  But each of the two still have their stamp but the third one must be counterfeit although expert opinion shows absolutely no difference between the three stamps.  (Yeah, you could drive a truck through the plot holes.)  Fists fly, thugs get tossed, bullets fire, and flames roar as Jeff closes this case.

In the "The Man He Could Not Forget," Jeff and Peg go to the movies.  While purchasing the tickets, Jeff notices a man who seems familiar.  Once the film starts, Jeff remembers who the man is -- ""Rock" Davito, a gangster who specializes in armed robbery.  As Jeff rushes out of his seat, shot are fired.  The theater manager is dead and Rock and his gang are escaping.  Jeff goes in pursuit and soon both bullets and fists are flying.  It seems Peg is doomed never to have a quiet date with her beau.

Finally, in the third (and untitled) story, agent Gene Fox -- a friend and colleague of Jeff -- is shot down in St. Louis.  Jeff instinctively knows the deed was done by Speed Schneider, the Flying Dutchman," one of the smartest killers in the country.  Schneider always has an unbreakable alibi for this and several other killings in the past -- when death strikes Schneider was always hundreds of miles away flying his small plane and had the fight records and airport authorities to prove it.  Jeff has a hunch and lets a rumor drop that he and Marty will fly to St. Louis on a commercial passenger to prove it.  While in the air, the plane is strafed by someone firing from a smaller plane; the pilots hide in a cloud cover and manage to land the plane safely.  Jeff and Marty are not so lucky when they take a cab from the airport.  They are captured by Schneider's thugs.  More fists, more bullet, and an escape leading to a final confrontation and the big reveal.

There's a lot of fast action and a hard-boiled sensibility in this comic book.  Jeff Jordan may not have been a lasting hero, but he cretainly was an interesting one.

Check is out.

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