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Friday, January 08, 2016

Number 1838: Killers Inc

Dutch Morgan is the head of Killers Inc. He and his gang will bump off anybody, including business partners, for half the business. He does that to the owner of a shipping company and takes complete control of the business with another killing.

The cops must have been busy somewhere else. It does not appear they investigated Dutch Morgan when the owners of the shipping company went missing, and Dutch suddenly became the owner. And that after Dutch had his picture over a newspaper article calling him the suspected head of Killers Inc.  Dutch feels mighty powerful, because not only is he the shipping company owner, he eliminates all other competition — on the docks, yet. Despite his luck at not getting caught for his nefarious deeds, justice catches up to Dutch when he presumes he can take over the ship itself.

It all ends bad, in that way that crime comic books end their stories. There is a final panel of justice being administered, after pages of showing criminals commiting their foul deeds. It’s from Underworld #1 (1948). The Grand Comics Database doesn’t accuse any artist or writer of a first degree felony for creating this story.










10 comments:

Daniel [oeconomist.com] said...

I think that, some day, I'll do a crime story for Awesome Donut! in which there is a gang-war over control of the comic-book industry. The problem for the thugs will be that, after they have killed their writers, there's no one left who can write a plausible story. (But … the kids mostly don't care, and the horror comics sell better than ever.)

Here and there, the art in this story looks like someone trying to ape Wallace Wood. But it's my understanding that he took his first comic-book jobs in 1949.

Brian Barnes said...

I like to imagine this story all took place in the span of a couple days. There's nothing, narrative-wise, that says otherwise. The guy was playing pool late at night, in the morning he shoots two people, becomes a shipper, next day he gets the diamonds and then onto the boat to his grisly end.

Got to give "Killers, Inc." some credit, they work fast!

Ryan Anthony said...

But, Pappy, Dutch had to advertise some way! There was no address or phone number on that banner in Panel 1. If Dutch didn't get in the paper as the suspected head of Killers, Inc., how would anyone have found them?

I'm pretty sure that's about the dumbest collection of characters I've seen in any comic, and I mean pretty much everyone involved. I won't enumerate all the reasons, just a few: If Curtis was gonna be present when his partner was offed, why did he even involve a third-party which would entangle him in another partnership? He could've done the hit himself! And how did Dutch ever get to the leadership of any organization if he was so stupid that he would kill everyone who could possibly pilot that ship (and this was after eliminating all his shipping competition so that the cops couldn't help but know who did the eliminating)? The captain was no smarter--Did he think Dutch wouldn't notice when the whole crew gathered together secretly? Geez, how can you sympathize with anyone in a story full of such dunderheadedness?

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Sheldon Moldoff maybe?

Pappy said...

J D, that is a good guess. Moldoff did work for Underworld. This story from issue #2 is an excellent example of his work.

Pappy said...

Brian, time is money, even to criminals. I think a little extra planning would've paid off, rather than bring about their own destruction, but at least the gang was not indecisive.

Pappy said...

Ryan, I think Killers Inc is even dumber than The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight.

The only people dumber than Killers Inc are the people who engage them for a job, and the unseen law enforcement.

Daniel [oeconomist.com] said...

Yes, Awesome Donut! is mine. But it has sat very idle while I do other things, and even the one visible page is an incomplete mock-up. (Two more figures and another toroid need to be added.) I have done some scripting for a science-fiction series for it, and if I ever get that going, you'll probably really like the character of 匪妃.

On top of the involvement of the mob in printing and distribution, at least some of the publishers of the golden age had preëxisting involvement in what, in those days, would have been regarded as pornography, and that on any significant scale would entangle them with the mob. (criminalize something, and the criminals get involved! Who would-of thunk it?)

Pappy said...

Daniel, is Awesome Donut your site?

Since comic books were produced in New York it can be inferred there was a mob connection. DC certainly had ties to the Mafia. Distribution and printing had mob involvement (where there was money to be made, there was organized crime ready to get their taste). So your scenario wouldn't be all that far out. It would go along with the impression I had as a youngster that there were no writers of comics in the tradition of authors writing books or short stories...but that they were somehow put together organically by artists sitting at drawing boards and scratching away with pens until — voila! — they had birthed another comic book.

Douglas Pasz said...

That top panel one the first page sure has a Jack Cole type layout.