Dick Tracy Stories – 1987

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Captain Cure (December – May)

Having just returned from his work with Russia and the KGB, Tracy is welcomed by Sam and Lizz with a strange case. Mr. Birtsid, a warehouse manager of the Mr. Foodstore supermarkets has reported a break-in where nothing was stolen. Two night watchmen at the warehouse slept through the night and might have been drugged. Tracy deduces an inside man was involved because the intruder knew the security arrangements of the warehouse.

Tess gives Tracy a call with some awful flu-like conditions which subside, but leave her blind! In fact, thousands of individuals in Tracy’s Homewood neighbourhood are suffering from the same affects. Diet Smith quickly offers the help of his lead medical research, Dr. Probey with Tess as their guinea pig to figure out this previously unknown non-containgous virus.

On television, a man garbed in a ninja outfit interrupts a satellite broadcast. Going by the moniker, Capture Cure, the ninja demands one billion dollars from the United States government to provide the cure for Homewood disaster. The FBI quickly involves itself and Agent Jim Trailer and Dick Tracy join forces and Tracy deduces that Tess picked up the virus because she drank coffee in the morning and he didn’t. The coffee deduction is correct, only Mr. Foodstore coffee is tainted and the coffee in the companies warehouse must have been replaced with tainted stock. Investigating recent employees, Jim and Dick check in on a third missing employee, Robert Taebdead. The two arrive at the man’s apartment just in time to see a ninja strangling Robert. The ninja hits Trailer with a shuriken in the shoulder, disarms Tracy and nearly strangles him before the ninja is forced to flee from Trailer’s gunfire. Trailer quickly falls ill, the shuriken poisoned with the blindness virus.

Worried about the nation destroying effects if this virus were expanded throughout the country, Tracy enlists Wendy Wichel for help in sowing doubt amongst any of Captain Cure’s henchmen by reporting Cure is killing his own people. With forewarning that the President is going to turn down the ransom demand, Tracy asks Diet to help him track the Capture Cure’s hijacked signal. Tracy correctly guesses the dark Captain will interrupt the president, which he does. Lizz, Tracy and Sam track the signal to an empty field and the Detective gets another idea, at the top of his game.

He enlists Diet again, who makes his own special broadcast, announcing he will personally pay the ransom demand. Tracy, Lizz and Sam at the field witness a hidden satellite raise up from a hidden elevator beneath the field and broadcast a signal to accept Diet’s generous offer. Tracy and Sam ride down with the satellite into the facility while Lizz calls for swat team backup.

Inside the large facility, Sam and Tracy quietly battle through several ninja guardians to a laboratory where they are shocked to find Dr. Freezdrei, a man Tracy was sure was dead. Freezdrei reveals he faked his own death, like any good Nazi scientist would. Freezdrei, is working for none other than Dick Tracy’s old nemesis, Pruneface! Pruneface reveals there is no Captain Cure, and his plot is to destabilize the U.S. government and line the coffers of the fourth reich.

Lizz and the swat team raid the facility, and Sam and Tracy fight free from capture and a fierce battle with Pruneface’s ninja army rages while Pruneface and Freezdrei try to escape up the satellite lift. Tracy and Sam chase the two and Sam is knocked unconscious by the doctor and tossed beneath the satellite lift which he begins to lower on the helpless Catchem. Pruneface strangles Tracy until he is knocked away and Tracy tackles Dr. Freezdrei, knocking him beneath the lift with Sam. With time to only save one, Tracy rescues Sam and Freezdrei is crushed.

Pruneface surrenders, but demands freedom in exchange for the formula of the cure. Tracy secretly turns up the heat in the room, dims the lights and then pricks Pruneface with a needle, telling the old Nazi spy he’s just been infected. In panic, Pruneface writes out the formula which Diet is able to use to produce a cure. Pruneface refuses to accept that he was never poisoned and suffers from psychosomatic blindness.


Flipside (May – August)

Jake Staxx, a key witness for a payola case, dies of a convenient heart attack. Tracy doesn’t believe in happenstance and investigates Staxx’s apartment but finds only that the stereo was set to audio input. We are then reintroduced to Themesong, a girl who grew up singing for spare change on street corners and is now the D.J. for her college station (WHUB) along with co-host Garry Doll.

The Stereo brother twins A.M. and F.M. are working for an organized crime boss named Flipside (real name Victor Promomo) who has been using payola to persuade local radio hosts to play his clients music. The twins approach Themesong and Garry with jewelry, cars, drugs in return for musical changes to their show but they are rebuffed. Flipside instructs the twins to kill one of the D.J.’s and they kill Garry using a sound box that produces a silent, black sound, triggering a heart attack.

Themesong helps identify the twins to Dick Tracy while Flipside decides to resurrect an older musical act (his favorite period is 50’s music). Flipside calls up Vitamin Flintheart, Sparkle Plenty’s agent and has her come in to record songs she made famous as a child. Tracy, Lizz and Sam Catchem investigate Flipside’s office and the Stereo brothers try to kill the detectives with the black sound box but Dick is smart enough to shoot the box after the brothers leave. Wanted by the cops, the Stereo brothers show up at Sparkle’s recording session to talk to Flipside in which they discuss killing Themesong. Sparkle and producer A.R. Mann record the conversion onto their equipment and Sparkle makes an innocuous call to Dick Tracy.

The twins lie in wait in Themesong’s car after her radio show, planning to kill her with a second black sound box. Sam and Lizz catch the twins in the act and A.M. and F.M. engage the two detectives in a running gun fight. Still wearing earplugs to protect them from the black sound, the twins don’t heart an oncoming truck and end up “deader than an eight track” and “flatter than a 45 record.”

Back at the studio, Sparkle stalls Flipside until Dick Tracy arrives. Flipside takes Sparkle hostage, holding a gun to her head and Tracy drops his weapon. When Sam and Lizz arrive, Flipside escapes into a warehouse and is chased by Tracy who throws a record into the man’s legs. Flipside stumbles into a record press and has his head crushed. At the end of the story, Sparkle visits the hospital because she was knocked unconscious and we find out she is two months pregnant.


Undocumented Stories
  • Putty Puss (Man of a Million Faces – 10/5/87 – 4/11/88) – “Starts with Putty Puss pulling a robbery looking like Dick Tracy and later in this story Sparkle and Junior have a kid, they name her Sparkle Plenty Jr.”
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