Dick Tracy Stories – 1969

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Hair-Bandits, Hi Jacky 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.

Vera Alldid and the Dognappers (April – August)

Cartoonist Vera Alldid arrived a department headquarters asking to see Dick Tracy as he was trying to locate uncle B.O. Plenty whom he had last seen when he was three years old. Vera admits he is more of an artist, specializing in dogs, but that he aspires to the richest that can come with being a cartoonist and shows Tracy his comic, “The Invisible Tribe.”

Tracy drops Vera off at the Plenty household where B.O. greets his nephew with doubt, believing a real artist would focus on drawing pictures of farms and landscapes. Vera finally gives in and draws B.O. what he wants to see while Sparkle is enamored with the dog drawings and enlists Lizz and Sam to help find him a job. Vera does a one-week art show at Rock’s Book Store and is approached by a man named Litter who needs him to draw dog portraits for well-paying customers. Litter is paying $100 a week and Vera and Sparkle leap for joy at the salary.

Litter is in fact a criminal, he and some hoodlums he employs are in the business of stealing valuable dogs, waiting for a finder’s fee to be offered for their return and then returning them for the reward. They use Vera’s drawings as sketches a “kid” drew for the owners to identify.

Vera himself is dreaming big and spending his money faster than he can earn it, mostly on a studio apartment. Sparkle spends much of her time with Vera and the two fall in love. It should be noted at this point that Vera’s real father died and his mother married B.O.’s brother afterwards so the two are not blood related.

A suspicious citizen reports the sketches of the supposed 7-year-old to the police, starting them on the dog-napping case while Vera himself overhears Litter in conversation and realizes he’s been helping criminals. Distraught and convinced he is a gangster-dognapper, Alldid tries to break up with Sparkle and runaway but Sparkle refuses to let him go alone. The pair elope and are married by a justice of the peace with notice sent back to the Plenty household as Sunny Dell Acres. B.O. is mad as hell but Gertie, overcome with tears manages to calm him down some.

Back on the case, Lizz goes undercover and finds the dognappers kennels in the countryside and finds a newspaper clue as to what dog Litter plans to steal next. Litter poses as a rich man named Lord Beefy and meets with a Duchess, the owner of a small dog with a $30,000 collar. During their meeting, Litter steals the dog and runs off but Dick is watching from a sky car and disables Litter’s vehicle with a single shot to the engine.

Litter ditches the dog, keeping the collar and runs to an accomplice but Tracy again disables the car. His accomplice shoots back at Tracy and is shot in the head for his stupidity. Litter continues to run, trying to get away in a construction site but is cornered and finally arrested.

Undocumented Stories
  • Scorpio
  • Apparatus and 2-Finger
Next Year

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