The Red Menace is an agent with M.I.C.
The Manpower and Intelligence Coordination is a member of the American Intelligence community's alphabet soup though at the time of the adventures depicted in the books, MIC was a pale reflection of what it had once been. Created in 1950 when the Soviets were making tremendous strides in military improvements, including getting the atomic bomb, it was meant to be the hub for all the intelligence gathering by the nascent CIA, the commie-hunters of the FBI, and the various military departments.
The 50's were its heyday but over the years, the turf wars brought about territoriality and the inclination to share their toys with others caused the various agencies to not cooperate so much. With only so much money to be doled out, MIC lost more of its funding and withered to a fraction of its size and struggled to remain in existance. It became "one of the worst kept secrets and most underfunded agencies in the spy game." Now in the 1970s, it had a handful of agents and little else.
When it was at its best, the MIC had one other thing going for it that none of the other bureaus had; it had the Red Menace. An athletic, strong, vigorous young man with an astonishing daring and a wicked sense of humor as well as a deep-set love of justice, the Red Menace also possessed a very special weapon - his uniform. Of a deep red color and consisting of a cloak and a hooded mask, this costume had properties that defied explanation. It seemed at times to change color and whenever near any decent sized shadow, it allowed the wearer to blend in to near invisibility.
With the ability to sneak into places usually deemed impenetrable and with the gall to do it, the Red Menace became a major force in the fight to keep the other side of the Iron Curtain on edge. For nearly a full decade, the Red Menace was a phantom in the nightmares of Communist operatives everywhere from the alleys of Washington to the Kremlin itself. Then in 1960, it vanished.
Patrick Becket, known to his friends as Podge, is the owner and founder of Becket International, Inc., a major player in the burgeoning world of mainframe computers and considered IBM's major competitor in that lucrative and growing industry. Considered a genius in his own right, Becket was able to put together a team that kept innovation going strong and as a result, kept him quite wealthy.
In his early 40s, Becket was almost a poster child for the rich and powerful, able to hobnob with fellow giants of industry as well as joke and laugh with the commoners. He joked that his grandfather had lost a fortune in steel and his father lost another one but the fortune that Becket enjoyed was greater than theirs had been and came from the hard work he put into his company. Becket was a successful man in anyone's eyes.
He was also the man who, 12 years before, had been the Red Menace.
For reasons few knew, the Red Menace has vanished in 1960, gone apparently for good.
Now the Red Menace is back.