SECRET AGENT M-11

 
Full Name: Ken Croydon
Codename: M-11
Nationality: American
Organization: Military Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: H. Cardwell
Time Span: 1940 - 1940
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Ken Croydon, aka Secret Agent M-11, is an agent with U.S. Military Intelligence.
       It is never expressly said that is who he works for but the inference is strong. He can summon a plane or a ship as needed and he takes his orders from a man in uniform so it is most likely that he works for the military in the Intelligence field though he never is seen wearing a uniform himself nor is he ever addressed by any rank. In one adventure a man catching a foreign spy shouts that "this is a case for the F.B.I." but they call the "local police" who then notice when Croydon arrives and calls him by name so the possibility exists that he is really a G-Man.
       He is apparently experienced and known on both sides under his codename of M-11. In one of the adventures when he shows up unannounced, the leader of the bad guys is surprised and stutters out his codename when he comes in pistol ready. Add to that the fact that no one challenges his orders and jumps when he directs and it is reasonable to assume he is not terribly covert in his activities despite having "secret agent" in his moniker.
       Very little is known about M-11. We see from his depiction that he is likely in his late 30s, is in excellent shape with a sloping forehead with short black hair, possibly a bit wavy.
       M-11 is quite fond of fisticuffs and uses a quick punch to the jaw to announce his arrival. He is good with a handgun and might be ambidextrous as sometimes he holds it in his right and other times his left. He must have a particularly hard head able to bounce back from all sorts of attacks because he is frequently smacked on the back of his noggin and responds quickly and decisively when it happens.
       Though the United States is not actively at war when the four adventures of M-11 take place, it is most definitely under attack behind the scenes with enemy agents from one or more European nations doing what they can to either disrupt supplies to the Allies or to weaken the country so their bosses can march in and take over. Luckily for the security of the nation, M-11 is ready to take them on.

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Issues:4
First Appearance:1940
Last Appearance:1940

       Crestwood Publications, also referred to as Feature Publications, was a small company with a few titles that started in the heydey of the Golden Age and did last until the early 60s but which never really hit it big or had any memorable characters.
       Its first foray into the comic world was Prize Comics which lasted 68 issues under that name and another 51 under the title Price Comics Western, putting out its first issue in 1940 and its last in 1956. It was in this publication that the 4 adventures of M-11 were told.
       When Prize started, its lead character was "Power Nelson, Man of the Future", tales taking place in 1982 where the world is "exhausted by the Second and Third World Wars" and Nelson is out to combat the emperor of the world, Seng I. This tale was an impressive 18 pages long. Also in the magazine was Ted O'Neil The Barnstormer who is a soldier of fortune (in the initial story, a bad guy threatens O'Neil by saying he would 'put your face on backwards"!). Juper The Master Magician, a superhero sent to Earth to 'clean up the evil corruption', used his magical powers to do just that in an 8-page adventure. Jazon of the Jungle fights bad guys for 6 pages. K - The Unknown is Doug Danville, a bored playboy who becomes a masked crimefighter in a pair of swim trunks and a t-shirt with a huge K on it and whose adventure was 6 pages long. Buch Brady of the F.B.I. fought counterfeiters for 6 pages. Storm Curtis of the U.S. Coast Guard fights a spy ring for 7 pages. And, of course, there was the 6-page M-11 tale.
       Power Nelson would continue to be the lead character for a few issues but the rest would get dumped and Nelson would himself would go away after a bit longer. Replacing him was the Green Lama, an interesting crime fighter who got his start in a short novel by Kendell Foster Crossen (of Milo March and Kim Locke fame) and who remained a popular character in print for several years, one incarnation of his being the adventures in Prize Comics. Also showing up and lasting for quite a while in the comic was the Black Owl and later twin teenage crime fighters Yank and Doodle.
       While Prize Comics would last a good number of years, the same cannot be said for M-11 and reading the stories makes it easy to see why.

1 'All In The Line Of Duty' 'All In The Line Of Duty'
Published by Crestwood Publications
Contributors: H Cardwell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 03/1940

Prize Comics #1 - A ship carrying $20 million in gold is headed to the US aboard the Empress of Auckland and M-11 is sent to protect it. The would-be thieves, led by a man named Zola, are passengers disguised as American missionaries returning home.

2 'I'll Hand You Your Teeth One At A Time' 'I'll Hand You Your Teeth One At A Time'
Published by Crestwood Publications
Contributors: H Cardwell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 04/1940

Prize Comics #2 - The plans for the best way to defend against magnetic mines is almost stolen. M-11 wants to find out for whom the captured agent is working (hint, it is the Hugonian government, led by its Ambassador).

3 'Happy Landing, Mister' 'Happy Landing, Mister'
Published by Crestwood Publications
Contributors: H Cardwell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 05/1940

Prize Comics #3 - M-11 is sent west to stop a series of sabotages out to destroy America's train system to stop the US from sending aid to the Allies. Led by a pointy-goatee'ed man named Dr. Stark, the enemy agents nearly kill M-11 before he can save the day.

4 'Take That And Like It' 'Take That And Like It'
Published by Crestwood Publications
Contributors: H Cardwell (writer and artist)
Copyright: 06/1940

Prize Comics #4 - Heading to the Panama Canal to stop a plot to destroy the American fleet about to transit through, Secret Agent M-11 comes across a good number of enemy agents who plan to drop bombs on the ships as they go into the locks.

MY COMMENTS

       There is not much to say about Secret Agent M-11 because he came and went so quickly, leaving us only four adventures with which to judge him and each of those had a scant 6 pages each. It is hard to judge a man on so little but judge I must so I choose a low score. M-11, aka Ken Croydon, is too lackluster to get interested in despite the fact that he goes into action at the drop of a hat and often doesn't even wait that long.
       It is easy to see why even though the comic anthology continued for quite a while, M-11's participation in it did not. The stories really made little sense. I know that given 6 pages in which to have a complete mission is taxing to any author but others have done much better.

GRADE

My Grade: B-

YOUR OPINIONS
Be the first to leave your own comments about this series.

Tell us what you think of the series. Give your grade and comments.

Your Grade:
Your Comments:

To give your opinion, you must be logged in.

Sign In

Register