Just released, Dick Tracy Volume 14 includes all the comic strips between September 16, 1951 – April 18, 1953 and is loaded with hard-hitting stories. Now entering the 1950’s, we are past the legendary stories and villains of the 30’s and 40’s and well into the post war era with some of Chester Gould’s most emotional writing.
The Volume begins with the continuation of Volume 13’s Crewy Lou storyline in which the photographer found herself in trouble with the head of a crime syndicate named “The King” and soon on the run in a car with Tracy’s newborn Bonnie Braids. It is a long chase scene that ends well for the Tracy family. After the new addition to the Tracy family, we dive into an internal affairs case where our very own Detective must fight off accusations of corruption due to the activities of “The Custodian” and Spinner ReCord.
Following the Spinner ReCord ordeal, we get to my favorite story of the 50’s, that of Junior Tracy’s first love, Model Jones. The story pushes home the growth of the Junior character now in his teens as the wonderful Model tries to deal with her alcoholic parents and criminal brother. Gould does not play nice in this story though, and Model is accidentally shot by her brother and dies in a long, moving sequence in Junior’s embrace.
With our emotions taking a toll, the storylines dive back into a long and delicious crime storyline. We meet the terrible singer Tonsils who attempts to stay straight but ends up in the back pocket of the mysterious Mr. Crime! Mr. Crime forces Tonsils to attempt to assassinate Tracy while he is on vacation. Tracy of course survives with the help of Rifle Ruby.
Mr. Crime continues to be the primary foe of Dick Tracy and we are introduced to Newsuit Nan and her assassins and the mushroom lady who maintains Mr. Crime’s man-eating plants. Tracy uncovers Crime’s real name, George Alpha and his dark career comes to an end with Odds Zonn trying to take over the mantle of Mr. Crime. Near the end of the volume we meet Zonn’s daughter for the first time, Little Wings and what ever could be her fate? I guess we’ll have to wait and find out in the next volume, I hope it comes out quick! (or you could read our storyline summaries!)