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AL KENNEDY

cloak_n_dagger_01
 
Full Name: Al Kennedy
Nationality: American
Organization: Ambassadorial Agent
Occupation Agent

Creator: Unknown
Time Span: 1952 - 1952

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Al Kennedy is an agent for American Intelligence.
       In the "letterhead" for the three recorded adventures we have of this intrepid fighter on behalf of the United States, it says he works for the "Secret Service" but this is not the Treasury Department but rather another name for the Intelligence community. But even though he is said to belong to such an organization, he is actually said to work under the direction of one influential person.
       Kennedy is "known to the world as a wealthy playboy but in reality the secret emissary of Lucius Blaine, American Ambassador-at-Large." It is Blaine who decides when and where Kennedy goes and who he is to help or hinder. Whether Blaine is using his personal funds to pay the expenses or is in fact working on behalf of the American government is never explained but I believe the latter to be the case.
       Kennedy is a tall, good-looking man likely in his early 40s. He possesses lush reddish brown hair brushed back giving him a pronounced widow's peak. He definitely has an eye for the ladies and, considering the reaction he gets in the few instances we have of him with the opposite sex, they eye him right back.
       We learn nothing about his personal life and very little about his history with the except of the fact that he served with distinction during World War II in the European theater. It was there that he met and became friends with Casimir "Cass" Stryzinski, a very experienced former member of the Polish Resistance during World War II. Cass acts as Kennedy's 'good man Friday' when Kennedy assumes the guise of playboy but is in fact his sidekick in the missions Blaine hands him. Cass is stalwart and true but tends to mess up rather quickly. Then again, even Kennedy errs a time or two.
       Kennedy defines a spy as "part-time con-man, stunt man, daredevil, boxer, gigolo, fall guy, fakir and poor insurance risk". A good quote of his told to Cass is "Never expect anything - except the unexpected."

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:3
First Appearance:1952
Last Appearance:1952

       Ziff-Davis was a successful publishing house that had a long life involving the publication of a wide range of genres. Its biggest draw was in the hobbyist line providing interesting and informative titles on a large selection. [When I first got into computers, it was one of my favorite sources of articles.]
       In the short period of 1950-1952, it tried its hand with the comicbook industry and eventually released a couple dozen titles. It must not have been profitable enough to continue, though, because by the end of 1952, it withdrew from that line of work.


1 The Krosno Butcher The Krosno Butcher
Published by Ziff-Davis

Copyright: 10/1952

1st of 3 stories in Cloak & Dagger #1 with 8 pages - The murder of an American Embassy employee in Lima, Peru, results in Al Kennedy being sent down to find who killed him and why. He is not happy to run into an old enemy, Major Martin Klempner, the Krosno Butcher.

2 Kismet Kismet
Published by Ziff-Davis

Copyright: 10/1952

2nd of 3 stories in Cloak & Dagger #1 with 10 pages - Al Kennedy is given the assignment of heading to the Middle East nation of Caesarea and act as the bodyguard of the ruler, King Ali Hassan. Several attempts on his life have already been made and more are sure to come.

3 The Dangerous General Dow The Dangerous General Dow
Published by Ziff-Davis

Copyright: 10/1952

3rd of 3 stories in Cloak & Dagger #1 with 8 pages - The French in Indo-China are being plagued by rebels backed by Red China. Al Kennedy and Cass are sent to parachute into that area to stop a large contingent of Chinese soldiers led by General Dow from joining up with the Viet Minh. To pull this off, they take the roles of Russian officers sent by Moscow to give new orders to Dow.

MY COMMENTS

       Sometimes the good ones never stay long. The Lone Ranger. Shane. You get the idea.
       I am not saying that Al Kennedy reaches such heights but if he had stayed around a while, he might have. These three stories were fun, interesting, and diverse and I liked Kennedy from the beginning. I especially liked his definition of a spy and would have enjoyed seeing more of that implementation.
       Alas, the magazine that presented him lasted but the single issue and it and he was gone.
       It is interesting that the author made him a secret agent with "the Secret Service" yet working for an individual rather than an organization.
       It is also interesting that a man of action who is also a lady charmer came out a year before James Bond.
       Oh! What might have been!

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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