Dick Tracy Stories – 1968

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Purdy Fallar and Intro (February – June)

An employee at Diet Smith’s Moon factory, Charlie McZacks, is found frozen dead on the surface of the moon, his throat slashed and his body devoid of blood. This is the very first murder and another employee, Purdy Fallar confesses to the crime. Diet extradites Fallar back to Earth where Purdy recants on his confession, explaining he only wanted to see his sister, Notta Chin Chillar who is now in prison. Purdy had two razor-sharp fingernails on his hand that could have caused the wounds seen on McZacks, but Purdy explains they are used to hunt Moon escargot and so the police are forced to release him.

Fallar did meet with his sister, but the conversation was not fruitful and Tracy continues to watch Purdy with Lizz going undercover as a maid in his hotel and bugging his room. They watch as Purdy practices slicing fruit with his fingernails and drink beef blood. Fallar secretly visits a shrouded underworld figure named Mr. Intro and arranged a scheme to steal gold from the mine on the Moon. Intro provided Fallar with ten men to help him after he returned to his job on the Moon.

After returning to his job on the Moon, Purdy mined nearly $60 billion worth of gold and hid it away. Tracy and Diet Smith discovered the valuable stash and watched Fallar closely, witnessing as he killed Intro’s men with a drilling laser after they served their purpose. Tracy would then casually confront Purdy and Fallar turned the laser on Dick. Tracy shot the laser machine and beat his opponent and took him prisoner.

Tracy interrogated Purdy and learned of his plot to hand over the gold to an underworld figure named Intro. After the confession Purdy distracted Tracy and Diet and ran out on to the cold night lunar surface. There he froze to death while standing in place. Tracy wanted to catch Mr. Intro however, and so disguised himself to look like Purdy Fallar. He and Diet painted wood blocks to look like gold and transported the fake gold to a drop off point in the Caribbean ocean. There Intro and his men waited for the gold delivery in a yacht. Tracy and Diet lowered the gold to a waiting empty submarine, but several bars fell free and floated in the water and so Intro’s men opened fire on the Space Coupe.

The Coupe began taking damage and Intro simply laughed at Tracy’s threats to use a powerful laser they had on board their space craft. With the Space Coupe struggling to stay in the air, Diet and Tracy opened fire, destroying the Yacht and all on board in a violent flash.

Purdy Fallar meanwhile has been given over to Dr. Clippoff, a deep freeze research who attempts to revive Purdy from his frozen state. He has a small amount of success, and Purdy briefly walks and sits in a chair, but what little breathing he did stops and his body temperature is frigid. Notta Chin Chillar is asked in to elicit a reaction from her brother but there is no helping his condition. He is dead and sent to the morgue.


Moon Maid Look-a-Like Contest Murder (July – October)

The Sunny Wheat cereal company sponsors a Moon Maid look-a-like contest which is won by the lovely Sparkle Plenty who is visiting the Moon with her parents, Gravel Gertie and B.O. Plenty. Back on Earth, Posie Ermine is upset with Sunny Wheat after his daughter Mindy is only the runner-up in the competition even after he paid a bribe. He murders the man he bribed in the Sunny Wheat offices and leaves the body covered in cereal.

Posie is a perfume bootlegger and he hijack a truck load of Essence of Shala No. 5 which is then sold to the Cute Skin Corporation, a front run by Madam Parfum. Meanwhile, Tracy, Lizz and Sam investigate the Sunny Wheat murder scene and find an artificial daisy (off Posie’s hat), traces of Shala No. 5 perfume and a receipt for the cereal dumped at the murder scene which they use to get a general location of the purchase. When they find runner-up Mindy Ermine lives with her father only two blocks from the sale location they have a suspect.

Sparkle Plenty plans to deliver a gift of Moon Maid clothing to runner-up Mindy and Tracy and Lizz tag along on the delivery at the Ermine’s florist shop. Posie sees them coming and when Sparkle and the police approach the door, Mindy prepares to smash Sparkle with a vase of Shala #5 while Posie readies a gun. At the last moment, Tracy kicks the door open and the vase of Shala is smashed across Posie’s face, blinding him temporarily. The man’s hat falls out the window as he stumbles around and Mindy falls to the ground crying where she is comforted by Sparkle.

The Ermine’s are not yet arrested as Tracy is organizing the evidence and Posie is desperate to recover his hat as it not only incriminates him in the prior murder, but has notes on his next heist and is embroidered with his initials. The hat is found by a horse and carriage driver named Nik Kinn, who pins the hat on his horse Dobbie. Posie and Mindy try to yank the hat off the horse while driving by in a convertible but only succeed in panicking the horse, which runs amok and destroys the carriage. Nik then finds the heist notes and turns them over to police.

Lizz enters Madam Parfum’s salon, posing as a customer for Shala #5 but as she is making her purchase, Mindy notices her badge and attacker the policewoman with a pair of scissors. Lizz overpowers Mindy and handcuffs her and also arrests Parfum for selling stolen goods. At the police station, Posie’s attorney, Habe Corpussle get’s the pair out on bond and they go into hiding in the basement of a florist shop front owned by Posie, who is also hiding out and wanted for murder.

Little do they know, they have been followed and Tracy sneaks into the shop to investigate and he finds an arsenal of weapons and a quicksand trap in the garden area. Posie hears someone moving around the store and sneaks around himself but falls into his own quicksand trap and nearly drowns before Sam and Dick haul him out and arrest him. Mindy is actually a juvenile and so probably does not get jail time.


Hair-Bandits and The Painted Lady (November – March)

As the previous case came to a close, humiliated women began coming into police headquarters with heads shaved bald. Most of the women reported it was done while they were asleep in bed. Fortuitiously, a police cruiser picked up a speeder and found a trunk full of blond hair and identfied the building the driver fled in to. Lacking a warrant, Dick and Chief Patton take their air cars up to look at the suspicious building. Once Patton returns to the station, Tracy goes loner and sneaks through the building’s rooftop sky light. Inside he found a stash of human hair wigs and a trio of hair bandits (wearing wigs) who surprised him and locked him with his own handcuffs to a chair.

The hair-bandits had a good laugh with the famous detective and shaved Tracy’s head bald after knocking him around a bit. Dick of course, had at least one trick up his sleeve and picked his handcuffs with a paperclip. Leaping from the chair, Tracy used the handcuffs to strengthen his punches and overpowered the three but was knocked unconcious by a fourth who dropped a heaving coping tile from the roof down on his head. Tied up again, the comotose cop was put into his air car which was set to auto-pilot higher and higher into the atmosphere until he suffocated or froze to death. Meanwhile back at the station, a half shaved women comes in to report an incident with the hair-bandits. She woke half way through the midnight assault and the bandits, whom she saw, fled in a panic leaving behind a chloroform laced sponge. The bandits, we soon learn are selling to Miss Intro, the daughter of now-deceased Underworld boss, Intro. The beautiful Miss Intro owns and operates a club called “The Painted Lady”, which is named after Miss Intro whom paints herself up each night for an appearance. The Painted Lady is also a front, with visiting women targetted by the bartender Pierre for hair-removal. Stolen hair was then often sold back by a front man to the victimized women. Before they can interrogate the hair-bandits on their criminal ties, attorney Habe Corpussle arrives to stop any interrogation.

Fearful for a missing Tracy, Sam and Patton check their colleagues last known wear-abouts and find signs of a struggle near the rooftop skylight. Investigating further they find the hair-bandits stash and arrest the quartet who are then identified by the previous victim. We finally return to the Tracy cliffhanger and our battered hero cleverly uses a magnifying glass with his teeth to burn his ropes and descend the air car back to the station much to the relief of the others (especially Lizz).

Sam and Tracy meet a legitamite wig seller named Adolph who not only supplies Dick with a wig to wear until his hair grows out, but also gives them the name of a wig seller who might not be so legit. That man’s named is Appero and the police use a listening device to gather more information from Appero, learning The Painted Lady is his source. Tracy and Lizz put on diguises and visit club and Lizz’s long blond haired wig is chosen as a target. The pair are assaulted outside the establishment but the hair-bandits are driven off when Dick tosses one of Diet Smith’s Atomic Light Units, which is basically a flash-bang grenade.

The bandits report their failure to Miss Intro and that evening Tracy calls her, implying the bandits are putting her in a bad spot and she’s being used. She invites him over the next day to talk but when Tracy arrives he finds her dead. The investigation into the hair-bandits at this point ends and the murder investigation begins. Dick finds a palm print with a missing middle finger and various other clues. The obvious suspect is a former football hero named Hy Jacky whom Miss Intro had a relationship. Hy is a member of a Martin-Lewis Style Comedy act called Jacky and Breeze and none of the evidence matches him. Jacky however is the recipient of The Painted Lady through his girlfriend’s will, making Tracy suspicious. Dick spends a great deal of time with Hy Jacky, feigning friendship and inviting Hy to the Moon with him and Diet for a spectacular game of golf. Tracy notices Hy’s strange golf grip and confronts him about his fake middle finger and the killing at The Painted Lady. Hy get’s violent and he and Tracy beat each other with golf clubs until the Governor of the Moon shows up and stops the fight. Hy confesses to the murder as Miss Intro had fallen in love with another man and planned to change her will. The Governor, claiming the Moon is his domain took Jacky into custody and promised Moon justice, which invovled execution in the hot springs of Moon Valley. An extradition treaty was proposed and lucky for Hy, an exception made.

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