CLARK MASON

 
Full Name: Clark Mason
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: George Tuska
Time Span: 1951 - 1953
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Clark Mason is an agent with the Spy Fighters.
       That very unofficial sounding name is the one given a group of operatives working for the American government. As said in the opening page of the first recorded adventure, the one introducing us to Clark Mason:
       "Every crisis in American history has caused Americans to dig grimly into their resources of ingenuity and courage to produce a weapon that will preserve our democracy against all enemies! In this era, when all our political chips are down, the successful combatting of Soviet espionage means life and death to the forces of freedom! Little can be accomplished by arresting spies after they have done their damage! Enemy agents must be checked through counterespionage! The extent of their networks, their secret techniques, their plans for wreaking ruination thoughout the world requires not only detection, but prevention! For this perilous purpose the top brains of our land created a precedent-shattering counterespionage shock force... The Spy Fighters! And this is their story..."
       When we first meet Mason, he is a detective sergeant of a large eastern city. As he puts it, "I like my job and my job likes me". Then he is called to his captain's office, introduced to a man who tells him that he is to head to Washington where then and only then he will be told the reason for the visit. Mason is worried that means being forced to work in some boring office where the poor saps toiling there are "as alike as two paper clips". The address he is given takes him to the Institute for Boll Weevil Research and his heart sinks even lower.
       That, of course, was just the cover and soon Mason is in intense training to become one of the elite, covert agents working for the Spy Fighters. It is not revealed exactly to which higher organization the Spy Fighters are attached. They are shown be respond to requests for assistance from Army Intelligence but that does just shows they help not, not answer to, that organization. But the Spy Fighters have offices all over the world and Mason will be visiting most of them at one time or another. As Mason puts it in the second adventure, "a spy-fighter must be Tokyo one day, Tanganikya the next, and Toledo, Ohio, the next!"
       Mason is a very good looking man who took to his training well and so became an accomplished agent who most definitely has an eye for the ladies and they for him. He also has a very good sense of humor and while he takes his job quite seriously, is not above a biting remark here and there, even at himself.
       Helping Mason on many of the earlier mission before disappearing from print is the beautiful blonde agent Vicki Chase who can fight and shoot as well as Mason and can also fly a plane and who knows what else. She is quick with the quip and unafraid of trouble and is a very welcome partner. In one of her last known missions, when she and Mason are captured and he searched for a weapon, she pulls a gun and shoots their way out of trouble, chastising one guard, "Next time, buster, don't be so polite! Search a lady! I just didn't come along for the ride!"

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:41
First Appearance:1951
Last Appearance:1953

1 The Snake of Saigon The Snake of Saigon
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: George Tuska (artist)
Copyright: 03/1951

From Spy Fighters #1 - 13 pages - One of the original Spy Fighters agent has disappeared in Vietnam and Clark Mason is teamed with a female agent to pose as a married couple looking for him.

2 Brute of Budapest Brute of Budapest
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: George Tuska (artist)
Copyright: 05/1951

From Spy Fighters #2 - 5 pages - Clark Mason is sent to Budapest to impersonate the head of Hungary's Secret Police who is murdered at the beginning of the mission but didn't want to stay dead.

3 Death Comes to … Mohammed's Mountain! Death Comes to … Mohammed's Mountain!
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: George Tuska (artist)
Copyright: 05/1951

From Spy Fighters #2 - 6 pages - To feed anger at America, the Soviets created the idea of a US spy named Scoggins who was causing all sort of troubles in Iran. Scoggins was fake but then America decided to send in Clark Mason to make Russia think he was real.

4 Nightmare In Tokyo Nightmare In Tokyo
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: George Tuska (artist)
Copyright: 05/1951

From Spy Fighters #2 - 7 pages - Taking roles in a comedian's entertainment troupe, Clark Mason and his colleague Vicki are hoping to have the communist-leaning comic lead them to other agents but the Reds decide all three should kick the bucket.

5 Roman Ratrace Roman Ratrace
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 07/1951

From Spy Fighters #3 - 8 pages - In Rome there is a leak coming from Spy Fighters HQ in that city. The agent who has a bead on the identity is murdered so Clark Mason and Vicki Chase are sent to fill his shoes.

6 Desert of Horror Desert of Horror
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 07/1951

From Spy Fighters #3 - 5 pages - The year is 1951 and the place is Libya which is just getting its independence. The Emir chosen to lead the new nation is being targeted by Red agents wanting control of the government. Clark Mason and Vicki Chase are there to stop them.

7 Sabotage! Sabotage!
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 07/1951

From Spy Fighters #3 - 6 pages - A crime boss in New York is really working for the Reds and it is up to Clark Mason and Vicki Chase to find the proof.

8 Smoke over Trieste Smoke over Trieste
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 09/1951

From Spy Fighters #4 - 5 pages - Traveling to the city of Trieste, Clark Mason is taking the role of a terrorist brought in by the Reds to disrupt the local authorities. Vicki Chase is also in town to lend assistance.

9 South Sea Slayers South Sea Slayers
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 09/1951

From Spy Fighters #4 - 8 pages - A nuclear rocket scientist goes missing in a South Sea typhoon and Clark Mason and Vicki Chase are sent to see if he is still alive. They learn he is being kept prisoner on one of the islands and made to work on atomic weaponry.

10 Urn of Fire Urn of Fire
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 09/1951

From Spy Fighters #4 - 6 pages - Too many vacationing scientists, military men, diplomats, and journalists have gone missing in and around Mexico City so Clark Mason and Vicki Chase are sent down to find out why. They find ancient Aztecs are involved.

11 Dirigible of Doom Dirigible of Doom
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 11/1951

From Spy Fighters #5 - 8 pages - When word comes from Poland that the communists are experimenting with gigantic dirigibles, capable of carrying large number of men or supplies, Spy Fighters send Clark Mason and Vicki Chase to investigate.

12 Appointment in Albania Appointment in Albania
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 11/1951

From Spy Fighters #5 - 6 pages - Hundreds of refugees from Tito's Yugoslavia are being reported as fleeing into Albania but is that Red propaganda now that he no longer toes Moscow's line or is something else up. Clark Mason and Vicki Chase are sent to learn the truth.

13 The Terror of Teheran The Terror of Teheran
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 01/1952

From Spy Fighters #6 - 8 pages - In Tehran, communist agents are killing British and American subjects in order to provoke an international incident so they can justify moving in to take over. Clark Mason and Vicki Chase go undercover to become targets.

14 Hogmeat for Kwangyin! Hogmeat for Kwangyin!
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 01/1952

From Spy Fighters #6 - 5 pages - The upcoming sacrifice of a record-sized hog on Formosa (Taiwan) provides an opportunity for communists to cause trouble. Clark Mason was just passing through to visit a friend when he hears of the trouble and has to step in.

15 Invasion of the Wetbacks! Invasion of the Wetbacks!
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 01/1952

From Spy Fighters #6 - 6 pages - The huge influx of illegals into the US from Mexico provides cover for communist agents to sneak in. Clark Mason is sent to plug one of the holes.

16 Operation Iceberg Operation Iceberg
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist), Chic Stone (inker)
Copyright: 03/1952

From Spy Fighters #7 - 8 pages - Spy Fighters HQ pulls Clark Mason and Vicki Chase from a mission in Vienna to head north to Finland where a fellow agent died getting word that a noted Russian scientist was up to something big in the frozen Arctic region.

17 Cannibals of the Congo! Cannibals of the Congo!
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 03/1952

From Spy Fighters #7 - 6 pages - Three known communist agents are putting together a hunting party in the Congo and Spy Fighters is certain it is not after wild game. Clark Mason is sent to find out what would make them brave the cannibals living there.

18 Mass Murder in Malaya Mass Murder in Malaya
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 05/1952

From Spy Fighters #8 - 7 pages - Are the people attacking trains and buses and causing all sorts of trouble on the Malay Peninsula bandits or communists? Clark Mason and Vicki Chase are sent to learn but find a whole lot of trouble doing so.

19 The Red Peril The Red Peril
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 05/1952

From Spy Fighters #8 - 7 pages - The Maharajah of Rawani is an extremely jealous man as Clark Mason finds out when he visits that Indian nation to gather intel on communist activity. Helping the despot's wife gets him fed to the tigers.

20 The Haunted Jets The Haunted Jets
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 05/1952

From Spy Fighters #8 - 5 pages - The latest design of American jet fighters are proving unable to survive testing, killing several good pilots and the hopes of competing with the Reds. Clark Mason is sent to see if sabotage was involved.

21 Tonight We Die! Tonight We Die!
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 07/1952

From Spy Fighters #9 - 7 pages - Suddenly Clark Mason is a lieutenant in the infantry fighting in Korean War. This tale regards the time his unit was cut off from the rest of the forces and depicts he and two soldiers and what they put their faith in.

22 Doom Patrol Doom Patrol
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 07/1952

From Spy Fighters #9 - 7 pages - Another Korean War tale, this one has Mason being saddled with another officer, a pretty-boy suck-up who had the brass convinced he was the best thing since sliced bread when he was really unfit to lead a dog.

23 The Tin Soldier The Tin Soldier
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 07/1952

From Spy Fighters #9 - 5 pages - Another Korean War tale. In this one a visiting comedian shows up with the press to prove what a stand-up guy he was but even before the enemy shelling started, he showed his true, unpleasant colors.

24 P-38 P-38
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 09/1952

From Spy Fighters #10 - 6 pages - Another Korean War tale. The platoon Clark Mason leads has a young soldier gone batty with the stress of combat and an older man who takes him under his wing.

25 The Vision The Vision
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 09/1952

From Spy Fighters #10 - 6 pages - Another Korean War tale. Two brothers serve in Clark Mason's platoon. One has a nightmare vision of his brother dying in a vicious enemy encounter and convinces Mason to send him on the detail instead, a job that saw him die in the same way as his vision.

26 Suicide Flight Suicide Flight
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Sol Brodsky (artist)
Copyright: 09/1952

From Spy Fighters #10 - 7 pages - Another Korean tale. Having barely survived a battle taking a hill, Clark Mason is surprised when ordered to do aerial photos of the area. He becomes convinced it is because the ordering officer is sending him on a suicide mission in revenge for Vicki Chase's rejection of the officer a couple years before.

27 Master Plan Master Plan
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Werner Roth (artist)
Copyright: 11/1952

From Spy Fighters #11 - 6 pages - Another Korean War tale. To get the enemy defensive plans for a sector, Clark Mason must sneak into a stronghold with two crooks; a Korean and an American. Neither were trained for combat and neither could be trusted.

28 Missing Link Missing Link
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Werner Roth (artist)
Copyright: 11/1952

From Spy Fighters #11 - 5 pages - Another Korean War tale. A popular reporter and a photographer show up to do a feature on the war and Clark Mason volunteers to escort them. Within a very short time, the two disappear and Mason goes on a rescue mission only to learn no one snatched them!

29 Terror Island Terror Island
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Gil Evans (?artist?)
Copyright: 11/1952

From Spy Fighters #11 - 7 pages - Another Korean War tale. Just about every night, another GI disappears while on patrol and soon Red planes drop leaflets showing he had defected. Clark Mason is sent with a squad to a lake district to learn what was happening and he soon becomes one of the disappeared.

30 The Silent Death! The Silent Death!
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Mac Pakula (artist)
Copyright: 01/1953

From Spy Fighters #12 - 7 pages - Another Korean War tale. Plague is killing a good number of Red soldiers but the North Koreans are claiming it is American use of germ warfare. It is the job of Clark Mason and a select number of men to go behind enemy lines and get the proof.

31 The Strange Enemy! The Strange Enemy!
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Mac Pakula (artist)
Copyright: 01/1953

From Spy Fighters #12 - 5 pages - Another Korean War tale. The North Koreans have found a unique way of overrunning American front lines - they use women as human shields knowing the Yanks will not fire on unarmed females.

32 Captured! Captured!
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Mac Pakula (artist)
Copyright: 01/1953

From Spy Fighters #12 - 6 pages - Another Korean War tale. When a Korean informer providing intel on North Korean actions turns out to be a double agent, Clark Mason figures out a way to trick him into being a triple one.

33 Battle Map! Battle Map!
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Mac Pakula (artist)
Copyright: 03/1953

From Spy Fighters #13 - 7 pages - Another Korean War tale. The aerial photographs used to create up-to-date maps for the troops heading into those areas are being manipulated to mislead soldiers into traps. Clark Mason aims to learn who is doing it.

34 The Traitor! The Traitor!
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Bill Savage (artist), Robert McCarty (artist)
Copyright: 03/1953

From Spy Fighters #13 - 5 pages - Another Korean War tale. When captured by the enemy due to being sold out, Clark Mason meets the professional spy who has been working against them and the meeting is not a friendly one.

35 Cave of Horror Cave of Horror
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Mac Pakula (artist)
Copyright: 03/1953

From Spy Fighters #13 - 6 pages - Another Korean War tale. When a squad of North Koreans investigate a cave near the front lines, they find something quite valuable, worth killing their own side for. When Clark Mason and his men come snooping, they get an invitation to see for themselves, not a friendly one.

36 Passage To Hong Kong Passage To Hong Kong
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Mac Pakula (artist)
Copyright: 05/1953

From Spy Fighters #14 - 7 pages - The defense plans for Formosa have been stolen and it is Clark Mason's job to track down the thieves and get them back. The trail will take him from Formosa to Macao to Hong Kong.

37 The Big Surrender The Big Surrender
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Mac Pakula (artist)
Copyright: 05/1953

From Spy Fighters #14 - 5 pages - Clark Mason had been fooling the East Berlin communists that he had access to a new Western nuclear weapon but then he decided to up the game by "delivering" the weapon.

38 Death Mission Death Mission
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Mac Pakula (artist)
Copyright: 05/1953

From Spy Fighters #14 - 6 pages - Clark Mason should have died in his latest mission when he was caught by the great Red spy, Drakov. But Drakov unexpectedly spared him and now Mason is heading to Bulgaria to find the spy and learn why.

39 Death Rides the Moscow Express Death Rides the Moscow Express
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Mac Pakula (artist)
Copyright: 07/1953

From Spy Fighters #15 - 7 pages - When Polish anti-Red fighters blow up the Moscow Express, they killed a major Red spy operating in West Germany on the way to a conference in Moscow. This gives Clark Mason a chance to impersonate him.

40 Corpse in Caracas! Corpse in Caracas!
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Mac Pakula (artist)
Copyright: 07/1953

From Spy Fighters #15 - 6 pages - The Reds are busy in Venezuela and when Clark Mason shows up he finds a man who was about to provide needed info on their activities has just been murdered. Mason decides to trace his movements to find the killers.

41 Top Secret Top Secret
Published by Atlas Comics
Contributors: Mac Pakula (artist)
Copyright: 07/1953

From Spy Fighters #15 - 5 pages - At every Middle Eastern conference, of which there seems to have been many, attendees have been killed and their secrets stolen. Clark Mason is sent to investigate.

MY COMMENTS

       I was quite impressed with the caliber of these stories. Naturally being from the early time of the Cold War, there are Reds hiding under every rock (and who's to say there weren't??). These nasty Commies would gladly kill anyone at any time to further their cause of taking over the world so it is a good thing someone like Clark Mason was around to, well, shoot them first.
       But these tales actually had plots that made sense and were very well thought out and presented. The artwork was very good as well so all in all, these adventures deserve a quick read.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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