Dick Tracy Stories – 1986

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Prunella, Angeltop and Quiver go Fusion (September – February)

While on a walk, Dick and Tess Tracy visit the harbor where a replica of the Santa Maria floats, having been rebuilt by the Columbus Appreciation society after the original replica burned down during the Angeltop Jones case a couple of years ago. Unknown to the detective, the ship is a secret hideout for Angeltop and her partners in crime, Quiver Trembly and Prunella LaBoche. The trio have built a shrine on board to their late relatives, Pruneface, Flattop Jones and Shaky Trembly and have launched their plot of vengeance. Diet Smith has asked Dick Tracy to cut the ribbon at a ceremony for his new Fusion Power Plant and the girls plan to initiate the worst nuclear disaster in American history to end Tracy. Prunella, a scientific and engineering genius has developed a backpack sized nuclear weapon and only needs Plutonium 239 to make it functional. Angeltop speaks with her uncle Blowtop and convinces her reluctant hot-headed relative to withdraw $1 million from the bank. The money was inherited to Blowtop when Angeltop was presumed dead, it originally came from her father Flattop. A beat cop named Officer Rodriquez catches Blowtop rowing back from the Santa Maria but lets him go and returns to the station to tell Tracy.

Back at police headquarters, Jim Trailer meets with Dick Tracy and tells him the FBI are following a man named Egan Oipse, hoping to find out what he is up to. Tracy goes to question Blowtop at his home while Trailer continues to follow Egan who we learn is in possession of the Plutonium 239 Prunella needs. Angeltop and Quiver see the FBI outside Egan’s place and refuse to show themselves, calling Egan to warn him. Egan panics and begins to fire on Jim Trailer at the door and goes out the window, trying to reach the fire escape. Egan doesn’t watch where he’s going though, and plummets to his death on the concrete below and Trailer recovers the nuclear material.

At Blowtop’s house, Tracy questions the reformed Jones and learns that Angeltop is hiding out in the Santa Maria. He takes Sam, Lizz and Lee Ebony on a night-time raid of the ship. The ship is guarded by a gang of muscled men (with shirts labeled Hunk #1, #2, etc) and one of them see the approaching cops and the guards open fire. Sam and Lizz are forced out of their boats into the water, taking cover and they return fire, killing at least one hunk. Tracy and Lee make for a side hatch along the bottom of the ships curved hull but take fire when it is opened and Lee tackles the attacking hunk, sending everyone back into the water. Prunella, the only one on board fires up a secret motor on board the Santa Maria and the ship slowly escapes the water-logged detectives.

Quiver and Angeltop returned to the harbor to find the boat gone and know to go to their secondary hideout, which is the home of Carl Craven’s place. Carl is a devoted boyfriend of Quiver Trembly and a hippy protester turned scientist at Diet Smith’s Fusion Power Plant in Smithville. There the girls prepare plan B. Prunella uses her fathers old Xylon explosive formula to take the place of the Plutonium 239. Carl recognizes that the Xylon has only a couple of hour shelf life before it loses its potency and realizes the girls don’t plan to use the bomb as a bluff for demands to be met but is actually a real attempt to kill many people. The girls tie Carl up so he won’t be a problem and Angeltop takes the backpack bomb and Carl’s credentials, infiltrating the power plant. Prunella observes her progress from nearby while Quiver stays at Carl’s place to prepare a ransom call. Quiver reveals to Carl she has modified the trigger on the bomb so only she can detonate it remotely.

It starts well for the girls until Prunella is caught by Sam Catchem outside the plant. Prunella fights off Sam and turns with gun drawn on Lizz, who also has her weapon drawn. The two fire at the same time. Lizz is wounded in the shoulder while Prunella is hit in the body and badly hurt. Sam calls paramedics and Prunella would soon be hauled off to jail. Inside the plant, Angeltop’s cover is blown and she tries to detonate the Xylon bomb but of course it won’t go off. Tracy traps her on top of a heavy water silo and Angelica trades heavy fire with the police. Meanwhile, Quiver Trembly calls Tracy, threatening to detonate the bomb if she isn’t paid off with one billion dollars by Diet Smith within the next 30 minutes. (the potency period of the bomb) Having heard Angeltop talk to herself, Tracy and Diet know Xylon has a short life span and try to stall Quiver who gets nervous and lets it happen. Her phone call is traced and Lee Ebony and the cops arrive, taking Quiver into custody without a fight. Angeltop Jones is not ready to go down so easily. Having run out of ammunition, she faces an approaching Dick Tracy with multiple sticks of dynamite. Cursing the cop, she detonates the explosives and in a tremendous explosion, Angeltop is gone.

Uppward Lee-Mobile (February – June)

Vitamin Flintheart brags to Tracy that he has discovered a financial wizard who will turn his retirement nest egg into millions. The investment guru is a man named Uppward Lee-Mobile, who runs a trading company by the same name. Tracy warns Vitamin it sounds to good to be true, but Vitamin is convinced the investment in sound. In the offices of Uppward Lee-Mobile, Uppward and his Trendy are arguing with Mr. Walter Strong, who wants his million dollar investment back and he won’t take no for an answer. Lee-Mobile finally agrees to pay Strong out, telling him to return tomorrow. The next day, Trendy scratches Mr. Strong with her poisoned finger nails when the two cross paths while jogging and Strong dies of a heart attack. Walter Strong was in perfect health and worked for Diet Smith and the industrialist asks Tracy to look into the death. At a medical examination Tracy notices the scratches on Strong’s neck.

Uppward is upset with Trendy, but she convinces him the murder was in their best interest. The two are running a Ponzi scheme, in which incoming investor money is used to pay off their initial high society investors. This generates word of mouth, and more money comes in, which lines the Lee-Mobile pockets. Sam, Lizz and Tracy go jogging, learning from a local man about a woman talked to Strong just before his death. The local describes the woman to a police sketch artist, Junior Tracy. The autopsy on the body reveals Strong was killed by a rare Indian poison and Tracy visits the Uppward Lee-Mobile office to ask about Walter Strong. Lee goes nuts, screaming about false incrimination and giving Tracy a forged receipt proving Strong withdraw his million dollars before his death.

The detectives don’t link Trendy to the murders at this time, but Tracy knows there is something underhanded going on at the Trading company and asks Vitamin to play the cheese in a trap on Lee-Mobile. Lizz finally identifies Trendy as the woman matching Junior’s murderer sketch, but they need more evidence against her. Lizz makes a mistake trying to bust Uppward and Trendy on a drug buy when they are in fact buying Jamacian coffee and the Mayor (who is an early investor) pushes Tracy to drop the case. Dick doesn’t of course, but he pretends to drop the case, apologizing to Lee-Mobile and when Uppward offers use of their excercise room, Tracy accepts. Dick works out (looking buff) with Uppward and Trendy and warns Trendy not to cut her nails, because they may be needed as murder evidence. This upsets the Lee-Mobile’s and Lee knocks Tracy out with a weight and the two drag him into a sauna, setting it to steaming hot. They hope he will die and it could be classified as a sauna accident. The two criminals go for dinner as Tracy steams, but the detective awakens and unscrewed the sauna doors with a coin to escape, collapsing outside the sauna where the Lee-Mobiles find him.  They next decide to drop him down an elevator shaft, but Sam’s arrival (in search of Tracy) saves the day as Tracy survives the fall and Uppward falls to his death by accident.  Trendy attempts to kill Tracy and Sam with her poisoned fingernails but she is caught and sent to prison.

Undocumented Stories
  • Frank Diamond (The Russian Exchange) 6/9/86 – 12/7/86
  • Putty Puss
  • Murky Depps (In the Land of the Blind
  • Wartime Flashback with Roloc Bard and Pruneface
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