Created by Matt Bailey, comic book character Tony Trent first appeared as his alter ego The Face in Big Shot Comics #1 (May 1940). Trent s a radio announcer who witnessed a murder by gangsters disguised as policemen. In a classic "something's got to be done about this" mode, Tony decides to fight crime. Although he is an excellent marksman, swordsman, and unarmed fighter, Tony has no superpowers so he decides to fight crime wearing a frightening green mask (complete with fangs) the will frighten neer-do-wells. The Face appeared regularly in Big Shot Comics through issue 362 (September 1946), after which the feature was titled "Tony Trent." Tony Trent continued his adventures in the comic book until it's demise with issue #104. In addition, The Face had its own short-lived title as did Tony Trent as you can see below.
In this issue, Tony and wife Babs are in an unnamed European (?) country to cover that country's elections. The powers that want to be are not interested in free elections and are using violence and intimidation to secure their win. Once they win, control of the press will be theirs and they can begin executing their opponents. Tony and Babs are taken captive by a red-suited army captain wearing a blue cape, brass helmet, and riding a white horse. Tony secretly records the head bad guy as he explains his evil plot. He fights his way free and, using the captain's fancy uniform, rides the white horse to the American embassy where the recording is played to the country. Evil is thus easily defeated.
In the second story, Tony and Babs plan a nice night out with dinner and theater. Plans go awry when six truckloads of munitions are stolen from an army depot. Tony then gets a tip that six trucks have arrived at the docks. Leaving Babs ("I'll be back almost before you can pick up the menu"), Tony rushes off. It doesn't take a genius to know that things will get complicated for Tony while Babs stews about having dinner and going to the theater alone. Who said marriage was easy?
The next tale take place just after World War II, when Tony and Babs were still in the military and before they married. With them in an air liner are the lovely (and rich) Gloria Amelton and her fiance. Gloria keeps making obvious passes at Tony while Babs stews (something she is apprantly good at). The plane crashes into a Philippine jungle where Moro headhunters live, and just a short hop from Gloria's father's estate. The headhunters never show up but danger does. Turns out Gloria's father and her fiance have been plotting to overthrow the government. It also turns out that Tony had been sent to get the goods about the plot and that he was just "acting" each time Gloria threw herself at him, so Babs no longer has to stew.
The final tale in this issue brings back The Face, who has been taking down foreign agents "belonging to the most dangerous sp- ring ever to invade the United States." The head of the spy ring is also The Fencing Master of Europe and vows to skewer The Face, not knowing that The Face is an expert swordsman and that Tony has been out-thinking him all the way. Poor deluded spy guy!
Sandwiched among these tales is a humorous story about Brass Knuckles, a hapless jamoke who finds a leprechaun in his house. This one is signed by "Marty Marion," a joint pseudonym for Matt Bailey and Marion Bailey.
Never read this, Jerry. Thanks for the link. I have read some other comics over at the site.ReplyDelete