D-13

 
Full Name: Richard Anthony
Codename: D-13
Nationality: American
Organization: American Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: S. R. Powell
Time Span: 1939 - 1941
ABOUT THE SERIES

       D-13 is an agent with American Intelligence.
       His real name is Richard Anthony. He is a Captain in the military. His relatively young appearance at the start of the series would lend one to think he was in the Army (Air Force did not yet exist as a separate unit and his hair cut would never have been allowed in the Marines). He is frequently seen in an Army uniform so it is probable that he is still on active service but he is more often seen in civilian clothing which would indicate he is attached to an unnamed government agency. He regularly reports, according to him, to "Intelligence Headquarters". Later in the series, though, there is several references in different cases to his being of "Naval Intelligence" which would greatly change his rank level (O-3 to O-6). Later still mention is made of his being part of the Secret Service. So, exactly who he works for is really up in the air.
       His codename must be known as he uses it to summon help by radio in his third adventure and in the fourth, a hijack leader calls him by that upon first meeting. Some time later when he encounters agents for yet another country, one of them remarks that "it is our old friend, Captain Anthony" indicating he is by no means a newcomer to the counter-espionage game. On another instance he is addressed by name without having divulged it, showing he is known to numerous enemy agencies.
       We know virtually nothing about the good Captain. He is likely in his late 20s based on his appearance. He has wavy blond hair and is clean shaven. He is very athletic and agile and certainly knows how to handle himself in a fight. Jujitsu is probably one of his skill sets which he uses a lot and he is a crack shot. He appears to act without fear when the situation calls for it but to his credit he does not rashly charge into a fray when stealth might be better warranted.
       One other quality that helps define Anthony is how the ladies take to him. More than one member of the fairer sex is drawn to him and it does not matter whether the woman in question is a "good-guy" or villain. His quick smile in reply to their overtures clearly shows he is by no means adverse to their attention.
       One interesting aspect is that two of the ladies that have the most influence are both Canadian Intelligence operatives. At first there is Helen Cameron who is in several adventures (issues 11,14,16) and then she was gone. Very soon thereafter, the equally intrepid and gorgeous Lorraine McAllin makes her appearance (issues 18,19,20,22,23,24,25,26). She will stay around until the end of the run, eventually ending up the fiancée of Richard Anthony and, in the last adventure, an American agent alongside him.
       An oddity that is never explained occurs in the 15th adventure when at the end, having saved the country "from an insidious menace" the President appoints D-13 "chief of the Pacific Intelligence". The next month's adventure has him back at work as normal.
       ComicVine, the great online source for comic book information, says it best with its one-line description of the series: "His heart was true, his fists were ready, and his teeth were strong and white, other than that there is not much you can say about D-13."

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:26
First Appearance:1939
Last Appearance:1941

       Just like Lt. Drake of the Naval Intelligence, secret agent D-13 was one of several different characters that made up the Mystery Men Comics publication during its short history. That monthly comicbook was the product of V. S. Fox who started his own company after working at National Publications for a while and seeing the money that was in illustrated adventures.
       According to the indicia in the first issue, the publisher was Brune Publications. The rest of the issues stated the company name was Fox Publications. According the comic authority, ComicVine, the company was Fox Feature Syndicate.
       Whatever the name, the company's biggest claim to fame has to be the Blue Beetle. Over the years since his initial story, there have been three different Blue Beetles but this is the original and he got his start in Mystery Men Comics and remained there for some time before getting his own mag.
       D-13 beat his "colleague", Lt. Drake, in number of appearances, showing up in 26 cases to Drake's 25. Neither lasted the full run but both came close.
       Since the stories ran during the two years of WWII leading up to the entry of the United States into the conflict, in the initial adventures the national origins of the "foreign" enemies that faced D-13 were of fictitious countries but easily recognized, for instance, Prussland for Germany and Russmania and Siberia for the USSR. As time went along it is obvious that feelings were getting stronger and the desire to disguise the enemies lessened. In issue 21 (released April of 1941) the swastika is shown for the first time, being on an enemy plane. In #25, an enemy spy leader looks remarkably similar to Hitler. And in #26, Lorraine is asked to investigate the theft of secret plans by agents sending them to Germany via Japan.
       It is interesting to see the progress in a very short time-frame from enemies thinly disguised to being overtly specified.

Note that the titles given each issue are in quotes to show they are mine, not the writer or publisher.

1 'Un-Dam-It' 'Un-Dam-It'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 08/1939

Mystery Men Comics #1 - An enemy power sends agents to Panama to blow up a ship near the Gatun Dam to drake the Gatun Lake as America moves its fleet through the Canal. Richard Anthony, D-13, is sent to stop them.

2 'Don't Sign That!' 'Don't Sign That!'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 09/1939

Mystery Men Comics #2 - Assigned bodyguard duties to protect a British ambassador heading to a peace pact signing in South America, D-13 and the diplomat are taken prisoner and Anthony must find a way to get his charge free in time for the signing.

3 'You Naughty U-Boat You' 'You Naughty U-Boat You'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 10/1939

Mystery Men Comics #3 - A German-speaking submarine commander is targeting American warships. D-13 is sent to find and stop the vessel.

4 'I Want Your Balloon' 'I Want Your Balloon'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 11/1939

Mystery Men Comics #4 - D-13 is an interested observer on a test run of a new dirigible when foreign agents led by a Martin Urbi briefly take it over.

5 'The Fake Sheikh' 'The Fake Sheikh'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 12/1939

Mystery Men Comics #5 - A cablegram from an old friend, an English spy, gets D-13 to travel to Egypt to help investigate a fanatical prince determined to destroy England, starting with blowing up a fort.

6 'Ok, Give The Girl Back' 'Ok, Give The Girl Back'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 01/1940

Mystery Men Comics #6 - Trying to get the renegade sheikh to jail proves very difficult as his men swoop in to ambush the convoy and steal him and the colonel's daughter. D-13 goes after them.

7 'That Sinking Feeling' 'That Sinking Feeling'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 02/1940

Mystery Men Comics #7 - D-13 is on a merchant vessel that is attacked and sunk by a U-Boat from the country of Moravia. He is determined to stop further attacks.

8 'The War of Hate' 'The War of Hate'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 03/1940

Mystery Men Comics #8 - Recovering from his wound in the previous adventure, D-13 heads to Scotland to visit Sally O'Hara. He is offered a ride-along with a British fighter while there but attacking German keeps it anything but a joyride.

9 'A Potent Death Ray Contraption' 'A Potent Death Ray Contraption'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 04/1940

Mystery Men Comics #9 - A professor has perfected a death ray using sound waves. He sends a letter to the government offering it for use and D-13 is sent to "see what it's all about". Foreign agents, of course, want it, too.

10 'To Sneak A Bomb Onboard' 'To Sneak A Bomb Onboard'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 05/1940

Mystery Men Comics #10 - D-13 is flying to investigate a series of ship sabotages when he notices two known foreign agents on the plane. They are part of a team that sneaks bombs onto ships after they leave harbor and D-13 is determined to trap them.

11 'A Raid On Canada' 'A Raid On Canada'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 06/1040

Mystery Men Comics #11 - The neighboring country of Russmania is planning to bomb Canada and D-13 and a Canadian Intelligence agent named Helen join forces to stop the attack.

12 'Block The Harbor' 'Block The Harbor'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 07/1940

Mystery Men Comics #12 - D-13 and a fellow agent are in a South American coastal city when they notice a well-known female enemy spy. Approaching her, they are taken prisoner to stop them from interfering in their very confusing plans.

13 'I'll Have No Truck With That' 'I'll Have No Truck With That'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 08/1940

Mystery Men Comics #13 - A notorious female spy is in the US to disrupt the transportation of materials used in the armament business. D-13 is sent to stop her stopping it.

14 'The Sub Is Junk' 'The Sub Is Junk'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 09/1940

Mystery Men Comics #14 - Sent to Guam, D-13 is put in temporary command of a junk sailing to the South China Sea to catch a mystery ship spying on American fleet activities. The enemy junk turns out to be a disguised submarine working for the Sibersian navy.

15 'Fun In The Aleutians' 'Fun In The Aleutians'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 10/1940

Mystery Men Comics #15 - The country of Siberia is building a "secret base for subs and aeroplanes" at Behring Islands and D-13, along with guide Numiak, are sent to find out for sure.

16 'Heil Niller' 'Heil Niller'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 11/1940

Mystery Men Comics #16 - Saboteurs from Prussland are blowing up American ammunition factories to help their cause in the war. Leading them is Baroness von Mertz, that country's ace spy. (Don't know what Heil Niller means but the bad guys say it.)

17 'Down Latinia Way' 'Down Latinia Way'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 12/1940

Mystery Men Comics #17 - Once again Captain Anthony, D-13, is put in charge of a ship, this time a broken-down cargo ship in South America to find out how Prussland's fifth columnists are smuggling guns into the area to start a revolution in Latinia.

18 'Singing For The Troops' 'Singing For The Troops'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 01/1941

Mystery Men Comics #18 - Prussland switches to a different country in South America, this time Bahia, bringing in large amounts of armaments to take over and from there to launch assaults on US defenses. D-13 calls upon an old female friend in Canadian Intelligence for help, just not the usual Helen.

19 'Watch The Elevator Man' 'Watch The Elevator Man'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 02/1941

Mystery Men Comics #19 - Prussland agents have attacked a US Naval Base in Bermuda killing and injuring a lot of people. When D-13 goes to find those behind the assault he is captured but he refuses to let that stop him.

20 'Calling All Spies!' 'Calling All Spies!'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 03/1941

Mystery Men Comics #20 - D-13 is near Kachamtka Falls in Alaska to find where a Siberian spy is using micro-waves to act as a clearing house for spies all over the US. The alluring Lorraine from a previous mission saves him so he can save the day.

21 'Infested With Spies' 'Infested With Spies'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 04/1941

Mystery Men Comics #21 - The agents of Prussland have infested America's capital and after one such agent attacks D-13's boss, his mission becomes to hunt out the leader. That results in his leading an attack on a Prussland "airplane carrier" and other ships to slow down their upcoming invasion.

22 'The Raiders Are Coming' 'The Raiders Are Coming'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 05/1941

Mystery Men Comics #22 - Receiving a tip that Nazi raiders (first time that designation was used in the series) were planning to hijack a ship filled with planes heading to Britain, D-13 is dispatched aboard the ship to stop them. He is again joined by the Canadian agent, Lorraine.

23 'Take That, Boss!' 'Take That, Boss!'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 06/1941

Mystery Men Comics #23 - Axis spies are out to kill a Senator named Harrington and D-13 is assigned to be his bodyguard. On his first day, he is drugged, the Senator killed, D-13 is fired and slugs his boss in public. Then things get interesting.

24 'Join Us Or Die' 'Join Us Or Die'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 07/1941

Mystery Men Comics #24 - D-13 is undercover when his guise is suspected of the murder of a base commander. Enemy agents then offer him a chance to join their ranks and he pretends to do so to find out their plans.

25 'Job Hunting Can Be Murder' 'Job Hunting Can Be Murder'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 08/1941

Mystery Men Comics #25 - D-13's new fiancée, Lorraine, is in need of a new job having been laid off. She answers an ad for a position in San Francisco that turns out to be code used by Nazi agents.

26 'It Is Raining Men' 'It Is Raining Men'
Published by Fox Feature Syndicate
Contributors: S. R. Powell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 09/1941

Mystery Men Comics #26 - While working on a case of falling men, D-13 is not able to investigate military secrets being passed to Germany via the Japanese. He asks his fiancée, Lorraine, to look into that.

MY COMMENTS

       There is not a whole lot to like or dislike about Captain Richard Anthony, aka secret agent D-13. He is dependable and versatile and certainly gets involved in a lot of different adventures so that is a big plus mark for him. He is also very much an anonymous sort of guy with no life outside of work while makes him more than a little boring. Still, what can you do when you have 6-8 pages each month to present a major story set in a different region each time?
       And D-13 does get around. Far East Asia. Europe. South America. North America. I do not think he had any adventure in Africa or Australia and none in Antartica but he still got around. And if the timeline for the different stories was chronological, he sure jumped from one place to another quickly.
       One thing I found particularly interesting is the use of two different female agents as colleagues, first the blonde beauty Helen and then the blonde beauty Lorraine who would stick around until the end. Even more interesting is that they were both of Canadian Intelligence, not U.S. like D-13 was. I draw no inference from it - it was just interesting. Possibly related is the fact that the author, S. R. Powell (really Bob Powell) was born in Buffalo, New York, quite near the border with Canada. Coincidence?
       D-13 is a vanilla flavored secret agent. Enjoyable but hardly memorable. Still, I do like vanilla.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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