Mr. Bribery’s return has been finally confirmed. Teased and hinted at for months, Bribery’s return comes nearly on the 50 year anniversary of his first appearance on July 3rd of 1965. Bribery was a clever and colorful villain with loads of personality and was behind most crimes and attempts on Tracy’s life between 1965 and 1967. He is certainly one of the most remembered villains of Chester Gould’s space period. His rather unexpected death with no body shown at the hands of the Chin Chillars in 1967 seemed to put an end to his career but the loose ends were never tied up, leaving open the possibility of a return.
Now unless you are a newspaper strip collector it can be difficult to re-read Mr. Bribery’s entire arc as they have never been published in their entirety. To help out the casual Dick Tracy reader, below is the Depot’s history of Mr. Bribery….if you need it. Enjoy!
Dick Tracy and Sam Catchem’s pursuit of the Billion Dollar Limited train robber Jimmy Choo Shooz is hitting an exciting climax on the shore of Lake Pratchett (we love you Terry!) The drilling rig disaster currently occurring on the beautifully named lake is like a history lesson, reminding us of the 1980 Lake Peigneur mining disaster in which an oil rig punctured the ceiling of a salt mine beneath Peigneur. Like a stopper pulled on a bathtub, the lake drained down a quickly expanding hole, creating a biblical vortex that dragged everything on the lake down with it. If it would have occurred today we’d have some fantastic footage, but alas we must make do with 35 year old coverage. Here’s a short five minute video on the event with the best video I can find.
Also, I want to remind those of you collecting IDW’s Complete Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy books, the volume 18 edition, featuring dates December 15, 1957 through July 11, 1959 is now available for purchase. I’ve already got my hands on it. The collection is finally entering a period of lesser known stories, which I am thoroughly enjoying. IDW’s Volume 19 is available for pre-order on Amazon and the predicted publication date looks to be late September of this year.
With the Billion Dollars Limited train carrying the gold reserves of an entire small country scheduled to pass through Dick Tracy’s city I thought it only fitting to link the below Billion Dollars Limited Superman cartoon that Team Tracy is honoring. While I don’t know for certain, I have no doubt this story came out of Mike Curtis’s love of all things Superman.
This cartoon was the third of seventeen animated Technicolor short films featuring DC Comics Superman. This particular story centers around a train carrying one billion dollars in gold to the US mint, which is sabotages by robbers before Superman intervenes. The plot is beginning to sound vaguely familiar! This nine minute cartoon was released by Paramount Pictures in 1942 and can be watched below.
In honor of Valentines Day I thought we might take a look back at a family of women who have kept Dick Tracy on his toes numerous times over the years. These fiery ladies faced down cops and criminals alike with their killer instincts, lust for cash and sense of vengeance. Yet behind the remorseless exterior, each had a hidden streak of good. I am of course talking about the Mahoney girls.
Breathless Mahoney was the first and most well-known of the four ladies we’ve seen to date, thanks primarily to Madonna, the 1990 Dick Tracy movie and Tracy’s soft spot for lounge singers. That’s right isn’t it? Not so much.
In May of 1945 when Chester Gould introduced Breathless, she joined a series of golden age foes such as Flattop and Pruneface. The attractive and slender blond was the step-daughter of confidence man Shaky whose hidden $50,000 would drive the plot for over a year. Breathless’s recovery of Shaky’s secret treasure led to a tug of war between her and her mother Elia which in turn drew Tracy’s attention to a possible crime. There was no singing or flirtations with our favorite detective, although Pat Patton admitted the girl was aptly named. Breathless was a journalism student, far to interested in the cash prize, which she finally won from her mother after a battle of wills to see who could stay awake longer.
Breathless was determined to keep her money and bludgeoned or killed several men who one by one tried to take her treasure. Eventually she found herself on the farm of B.O. Plenty who also schemed to deprive her of $50,000. Tracy’s investigations led him to Plenty’s farm, but this was before the two knew each other and B.O. was not helpful to the detective. On a second trip, Breathless gave Tracy and B.O. drugged coffee and fled, only to later be caught by B.O. who nearly strangled her to death and left her unconscious. Tracy arrested her soon after but Breathless’s future was sadly short. While in prison she contracted an unidentified but fatal illness. Her life of crime led to a final act of kindness and when she heard news about B.O.’s reform and impending marriage to Gravel Gertie she wrote a letter absolving him of his crimes.
In the early decades of Dick Tracy, the Tribune occasionally licensed the Dick Tracy character out to other publishers with the caveat that Tracy was still owned by the Tribune and created by Chester Gould. This resulted in the well documented Big Little Books and many other limited publications with no credits beyond the Chester Gould attribute. Many of these one-off publication copyrights have fallen into the public domain due to non-renewal at their 28 year mark. What this means for us is we can let you read them!