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ZX-5

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Full Name: ZX-5
Series Name: Spies In Action
Codename: ZX-5
Nationality: American
Organization: American Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: Will Eisner
Time Span: 1938 - 1945

ABOUT THE SERIES

       ZX-5 is a freelance agent.
       You likely noticed no country was mentioned in that opening line. That is because the nationality is sort of blurry and will change without any real mention of why. He is touted often, especially a lot after about three dozen adventures are finished, with being an "international spy" which certainly feels right because sometimes he comes across as working for the British and other times the Americans.

       The initial dozen adventures dealt with ZX-5 working on behalf of the (probably) European country of Chesterland which has two neighboring countries wanting very much to conquer it. These two nations were Transovania and Regovia and each tries more than once to menace Chesterland with Transovania being the more fervent opponent. Chesterland is also threatened from further away but no troops ever made it inside the borders.
       The action shifts to America in the 13th adventure when ZX-5 is seen in a naval base in Newport and must defeat a foreign spy/genius from destroying the battleship USS Montana. Then it is back to Europe for more action. From then on, there is no predicting where ZX-5 will go next with Africa, Central and South America, and the Far East calling for his help on occasion. As the war years of 1940+ arrive, though, his concentration will be in Europe going up against the "dictator states" at first and later more specifically Nazis and Fascists.

       ZX-5 is a man of mystery whose real name is never mentioned and likely never known by anyone other than himself. At first it is implied that no one has any real idea what he looks like but his fame is such that soon everyone, it seems, can recognize him on site and his name alone is enough to energize people, some to action and some to cower.
       ZX-5's appearance will change a bit over time but for the most part will be a man likely in his early 30's with light brown wavy hair kept cut short and a pencil-thin mustache.
       Another thing that will change a lot over time is his relationships. Very early on we learn that he is engaged to a lovely young woman named Manya Massal who not only knows what he does for a living but actually helps out a couple of times, even saving his life. Then mention of her stops completely and we never hear of her again. There would be no serious attraction to another female for some time, unless you count the various beautiful femme fatales who often are quite saddened with the need to kill such a fine man as ZX-5, though they do not let their emotions sway their decisions. With the War years engaging him, ZX-5 will enjoy a few fun adventures with a beautiful French Resistance operative named La Martinique but there is nothing to indicate that how deep the relationship went.

       ZX-5, who is called just 'ZX' by his companions starting roughly halfway through his time of service, is a very resourceful and successful agent. That does not mean that he is the perfect agent. The number of times he is knocked unconscious and taken prisoner, requiring him to find a way to escape before coming up with the solution to the mission is impressive. He does not get snatched in every adventure but it does seem like it.
       ZX-5 is an excellent fighter and extremely quick to use that as a tactic. He is also a terrific shot with a pistol. He has a lot of experience underwater and does not mind a long swim in the least. His skills at flying aircraft is also quite impressive and he can be seen in the pilot seat of a variety of aircraft, friendly and otherwise. Jumping out of planes is also something he does a time or two.
       Though I found no mention specifically of his being a master of disguise, he definitely is one as he is quite frequently taking the role of enemy soldiers or common laymen. He even, during the War years, pops over to the Far East and has taken up the disguise of a Japanese soldier or big-wig more than once, something a bit remarkable considering his so very Caucasian features and height. Also not stated as such, his abilities with languages has to be very good because operates in disguise in several different European nations as well as in the Philippines, China and Japan.

       After 79 hair-raising adventures all over the world as a secret (and not so secret) agent, and the War now over, ZX-5 changes professions. "With offices on the twentieth floor of the Empire Office Building, ZX-5, world renowned secret operative, will now accept cases require special investigation." Or does he? In a very strange story in #80, an imposter who looks just like ZX-5 opens the office in question. When the real ZX-5 reads about it in the paper and goes to check it out, well, read for yourself but at the end the true ZX-5 has an office and a new mission in life which will occupy him for another 50+ cases. A couple of those will show that he is still very much on call for action needed by American Intelligence.

Good Lines:

"If I'm caught I'll be killed so I'm not to be trifled with!"

The daughter of one of his enemies comments after he unceremoniously carries her out an exploding building and then races off, "Well, I must say he is an impetuous young man!! He is nice though!"

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:1
First Appearance:1938
Last Appearance:1945

       When the publication Jumbo Comics hit the newstands in September 1938, it contained several new series in an anthology style as was the norm in those days. The best remembered member of the inaugural class was Sheena, Queen of the Jungle but even she, who would go on to headline the comics in a few issues and then get her own magazine, as well as a couple of television series and a movie, was relegated towards the back pages at first. ZX-5 was even further in the back.
       The initial format of all the different stories was that of reproduced comic strips; two to four panels of equal height on a row, three or so rows to a page. Several of these, like those of ZX-5, were serialized as well. The first ZX-5 adventure was a long one with 19 pages spread out over six issues. The second adventure was slightly shortly, 15 pages, presented in 4 issues. After that, though, the serialized aspect of all the magazine was replaced with a one-adventure-per-issue style.
       ZX-5 would last an impressive number of issues, sticking around until #140 in October of 1950. The magazine itself would disappear two and a half years later. There were two issues that ZX-5 did not appear in, #52 in June 1943 and #78 in August 1945.


1 'War With Transovania' 'War With Transovania'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Morgan Thomas (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1938

Published in Jumbo Comics #1-#6, Sep 1938 - Jan 1939 - 19 pages
After a plane from the country of Transovania flies over a city in the Kale Valley of the neighboring nation of Chesterland and drops a bomb destroying a munitions factory, war is underway. ZX-5 is summoned to a Major Jason's office and given the mission to sneak into Transovania to learn where the troops are.
Click here to read the story.

2 Marked For Death Marked For Death
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1939

Published in Jumbo Comics #6-#9, Feb 1939 - Aug 1939 - 15 pages
Major Hastings [of Military Intelligence] summons ZX-5 to tell him there has been a "serious leak of our army secrets" and the only clue they have is that a woman was "mixed up in it". He was to fly to South Chesterland to investigate. Meanwhile, a spy outside their door overhears and lets the woman know ZX-5 is coming.
Click here to read the story.

3 'The Haunted Castle' 'The Haunted Castle'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1939

Published in Jumbo Comics #10, Oct 1939 - 7 pages
ZX-5 is sent by Major Hastings to an old castle on the border of Chesterland to investigate rumors of the place being haunted that could turn out to be espionage activity. There ZX-5 will meet again enemy agent Magda and nearly lose his life doing so.
Click here to read the story.

4 The War of the Emerald Gas The War of the Emerald Gas
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1939

Published in Jumbo Comics #11, Dec 1939 - 6 pages
"ZX-5 battles the Khan's invading Yellow Hordes".
"There has arisen in the mysterious East a mighty vicious ruler - King Genghis". That leader decides that he is in dire need of raw materials he can get from the Isle of Dono which lies just to the west of Chesterland. ZX-5 disguises himself as a captured oriental spy to infiltrate the Khan's headquarters.
Note: there is no mention of any gas!
Click here to read the story.

5 'The War In The North' 'The War In The North'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1940

Published in Jumbo Comics #12, Feb 1940 - 6 pages
Hearing that a revolt was happening "in the North", ZX-5 heads there to stop it. He finds everything peaceful but learns the starting orders are to be that evening by the fanatical "Heil" who rages in his speeches and mesmerizes his listeners. He learns the real power is Khan but his daughter, Yum Ling, is wanting it to end.
Click here to read the story.

6 'The Masked Defender' 'The Masked Defender'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1940

Published in Jumbo Comics #13, Mar 1940 - 6 pages
This one starts strangely. "The days go by quickly as ZX-5 slowly regains his strength." (From what we do not know because in the previous mission, he was "unharmed".) He is spending time with Manya (a beautiful young woman he knows quite well but we have never met) when he is called to the Capitol for a mission. Someone is sabotaging the expansion of telephone lines to a major city. During the investigation, ZX-5 is overwhelmed and about to be killed when he is saved by a masked caped woman who is a sharpshooter and guns down the assailants. That woman turns out to be Manya.
Click here to read the story.

7 'The Wedding of Yum Ling' 'The Wedding of Yum Ling'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1940

Published in Jumbo Comics #14, Apr 1940 - 9 pages
ZX-5 and his fiancee, Manya Massal, are invited to fly to China to visit the Mongolian queen Yum Ling, an old friend of ZX-5. She is due to be married herself but evil Baron Orga has agents working to prevent it and have made several attempts on the life of the bridegroom, Lan, because if Yum Ling is not married by the time she reaches 20, the throne goes to someone else.
Click here to read the story.

8 'The Gypsy Spy' 'The Gypsy Spy'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), George Tuska (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1940

Published in Jumbo Comics #16 - 8 pages
With his country threatened by invasion from Transovania, ZX-5 goes undercover as a gypsy. A nemesis of his, Josoix, catches but loses him and the race is on as ZX-5 heads home. At the end of the story, though, the country about to invade is Regorvia. At least ZX-5 returns to his fiancee, Manya.
Click here to read the story.

9 'The Stolen Radium' 'The Stolen Radium'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), George Tuska (pencils and inks), Pierce Rice (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1940

Published in Jumbo Comics #16, Jun 1940 - 8 pages
The leader of neighboring Regorvia, Herman Gottler, has invaded Chesterland. Worried that the nation's supply of radium will fall into enemy hands, ZX-5 is sent to West City where the stockpile is to keep it safe or destroy it. He discovers it has already been stolen. Before he can do anything about it, he is captured and sent to a POW camp where Josoix orders his execution.
Click here to read the story.

10 'Sabotage In The Air' 'Sabotage In The Air'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Charles Sultan (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1940

Published in Jumbo Comics #17, Jul 1940 - 9 pages
ZX-5 is invited to fly along on a test flight of a new electronic airplane which receives its power from a ground station via air-waves. An explosion forces the plane to crash. ZX-5 is certain there is sabotage involved and looks into it. He finds it was a plot by "Himmled, leader and organizer of the internationally hated Blackguards".
Click here to read the story.

11 'Trouble In The Colony' 'Trouble In The Colony'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1940

Published in Jumbo Comics #18, Aug 1940 - 8 pages
In the Chesterland East African colony of Juroby, there is civil unrest between "police and natives". ZX-5 is ordered by "the British consulate in Chesterland" to investigate. A foreign agitator named Bochy, whom ZX-5 knows well, is the instigator.
Click here to read the story.

12 'Trek To Tibet' 'Trek To Tibet'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1940

Published in Jumbo Comics #19, Sep 1940 - 8 pages
ZX-5 heads to Tibet to apprehend a man named Ghoro who has kidnapped several key government officials. To find him he impersonates a High Lama and then asks Manya to fly in to be used as bait. Ghoro turns out to be a European who looks a lot like Hitler and is planning on taking over Europe before taking over Asia, though why he started in Tibet is never explained.
Click here to read the story.

13 'The Radio-Controlled Torpedo' 'The Radio-Controlled Torpedo'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Charles A. Winter (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1940

Published in Jumbo Comics #20, Oct 1940 - 8 pages
Reporting to the Newport Torpedo Base, ZX-5 is shown the latest radio controlled torpedo. He detects a snoop outside and gives chase but is beaten. The snoop was an agent for The Baron, the "sinister chief of the foreign spies", who is also a tech genius and can reproduce the weapon to destroy the battleship USS Montana.
Click here to read the story.

14 'The Valiant Ship Olav' 'The Valiant Ship Olav'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1940

Published in Jumbo Comics #21, Oct 1940 - 8 pages
Into a peaceful north-European coastal town ZX-5, wearing a naval uniform, watches a large number of armed men coming from freighters. Spies have sent messages to the forts in the country ordering them to lay down their arms. ZX-5 races to the minesweeper Olav looking for help and that lone vessel is all that stands in the way of the incoming invading navy.
Click here to read the story.

15 'The Super-Plane Plans' 'The Super-Plane Plans'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Morgan Thomas (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1940

Published in Jumbo Comics #22, Dec 1940 - 8 pages
A surprise air attack by a neighboring country destroys a small city in the country of Finia. It is suddenly in need of a "super-plane" to defend itself. The plans for that aircraft are help by ZX-5 who has them in his safe. Spymaster Baron Rathskull and his men are determined to get them from him.
Note: the style and feel of this comic, plus the use of the name of the original 'writer' makes me think this was a unused story from the early days.
Click here to read the story.

16 'The Plans For Mary Lynn' 'The Plans For Mary Lynn'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Charles Quinlan (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1940

Published in Jumbo Comics #23, Jan 1941 - 5 pages
ZX-5 is undercover as Jim Carson, inventor of a powerful new fighter plane. He is approached by a foreign agent to sell the plans for $1m but he throws the man out. The man switches to Plan B and goes to the home of a woman that Carson knows named Mary Lynn and kidnaps her. ZX-5, as Carson, must trade the plans for her.
Click here to read the story.

17 'Trouble At The Old Chateau' 'Trouble At The Old Chateau'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Igor Shop (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1940

Published in Jumbo Comics #24, Feb 1941 - 5 pages
ZX-5 is on the trail of a free lance agent named Villiare, "now working for the Dictator powers". He tracks him to a long abandoned chateau where they take turns being captured. Eventually Manya, ZX-5's fiancee, shows up to help save the day.
Note: this too seems like a story from the early days.
Click here to read the story.

18 'The Invasion of Slavonia' 'The Invasion of Slavonia'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Igor Shop (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1941

Published in Jumbo Comics #25, Mar 1941 - 5 pages
ZX-5 receives an urgent telegram requesting his help from an old friend named Jan Petrov, mayor of a town in Slavonia, a tiny neutral country in the Balkans being "courted by each of the warring powers". He heads there immediately but finds only a deserted city, his friend dead from apparent suicide, and an invading army heading into town.
Click here to read the story.

19 'A Tiny Bavarian Alpine Town' 'A Tiny Bavarian Alpine Town'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), George Appel (pencils), Igor Shop (inks)
Copyright: 1941

Published in Jumbo Comics #26, Apr 1941 - 5 pages
ZX-5 is in a small Bavarian town in disguise with a full beard, playing the part of a violin musician. As soon as he starts to play in his room at an inn, he is arrested. When the authorities shave off his beard, leaving his pencil-thin mustache, he is recognized. After that things get very strange.
Note: odd line - after being recognized as a "British" agent and then tied to a post and whipped and then almost blown up in an explosion, ZX-5 comments to himself that he needs to hurry away because "they're getting wise to me!"
Click here to read the story.

20 'Excitement in the Balkans' 'Excitement in the Balkans'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Witmer Williams (pencils and inks), Igor Shop (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1941

Published in Jumbo Comics #27, May 1941 - 8 pages
ZX-5 is in a cafe at an inn in the Balkans when he observes a man keel over and die. The waiter pockets a note hidden in the man's sock while his female companion exits quietly. Intrigued, ZX-5 follows her and gets involved in recovering info on a treaty between several neutral countries joining together to stave off invasion.
Click here to read the story.

21 'The Precision Anti-Aircraft Bullet' 'The Precision Anti-Aircraft Bullet'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1941

Published in Jumbo Comics #28, Jun 1941 - 8 pages
In a tiny German village, an inventor named Brecker shows ZX-5 a precision anti-aircraft shell he has perfected which he wants to get to Britain. Unfortunately the Gestapo gets involved.
Note: this is the first mention in the series of Nazis and the Gestapo specifically
Click here to read the story.

22 'Fun in the Streets of Paris' 'Fun in the Streets of Paris'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils), Al Bryant (inks)
Copyright: 1941

Published in Jumbo Comics #29, Jul 1941 - 8 pages
ZX-5 is in Paris as a Balkan merchant when he is attacked by a pair of Apaches (European hoodlums). The gendarmes want to arrest him for disturbing the peace, he gets away with the hoodlums, they turn him into the police as a spy, he gets recognized as ZX-5, he escapes, steals a cab, and goes back to his room. After that things get interesting, including a femme fatale angry for having been betrayed by ZX-5 in Ankara.
Click here to read the story.

23 'School For Spies' 'School For Spies'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils), Al Bryant (inks)
Copyright: 1941

Published in Jumbo Comics #30, Aug 1941 - 7 pages
ZX-5 is trying to sneak into Austria via Switzerland and having trouble along the way. The guide helping him is killed by a sniper unhappy with 'snoopers'. A Nazi ski patrol blocks one way. The sister of the dead guide comes along to assist, They avoid an avalanche. All this to find and infiltrate a school for spies where the guards recognize him as ZX-5 but not the people running it.
Click here to read the story.

24 'Action In French West Africa' 'Action In French West Africa'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils), Al Bryant (inks)
Copyright: 1941

Published in Jumbo Comics #31, Sep 1941 - 7 pages
Lone survivor of a torpedoed British ship, ZX-5 makes it to a lifeboat and then to shore in French West Africa where German patrol boats hunt him. All this to find and assist French Resistance in the area now held by conquering Germans.
Click here to read the story.

25 'A Secret In Berlin' 'A Secret In Berlin'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils), Al Bryant (inks)
Copyright: 1941

Published in Jumbo Comics #32, Oct 1941 - 8 pages
Needing to get to Berlin to receive from a powerful army leader some vital intelligence, ZX-5 must overcome considerable opposition.
Click here to read the story.

26 'A Hat In The Ring' 'A Hat In The Ring'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils), Al Bryant (inks)
Copyright: 1941

Published in Jumbo Comics #33, Nov 1941 - 8 pages
At a cafe in Madrid, ZX-5 is the target of a poisoning in the hope that by eliminating him, the way is clear to attack Gibraltor. Following the assailants, he discovers a female British agent who has learned that the signal to attack the Rock will be a hat dropped into a bullring.
Click here to read the story.

27 'Fishing For Spies' 'Fishing For Spies'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils), Al Bryant (inks)
Copyright: 1941

Published in Jumbo Comics #34, Dec 1941 - 8 pages
In the fishing resort of Guaymas in the Gulf of California, ZX-5 is undercover as a charter boat captain while checking out a tip that fifth columnists are at work there. His boat is hired by an American actress, her producer, her co-star, and an former German actor, some of whom are not what they seem.
Note: this is the first time in the series where a mention of Japanese activity is found.
Click here to read the story.

28 'A Message To Deliver' 'A Message To Deliver'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1942

Published in Jumbo Comics #35, Jan 1942 - 8 pages
ZX-5 has come to an undisclosed town to deliver an important message to an envoy. Someone does not want him to succeed as they send a package with a snake in it and follow it up with a cowled female assassin. His way of hiding the message is a bit unorthodox.
Click here to read the story.

29 'Who Can You Trust' 'Who Can You Trust'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1942

Published in Jumbo Comics #36, Feb 1942 - 8 pages
Evidence of sabotage at US air bases under construction in the "West Indian" gets ZX-5 sent there to investigate. He definitely finds trouble and death. A woman claiming to be Agatha Thistlewaite, daughter of the governor, proves to be a very dangerous adversary, as are fifth columnists seemingly everywhere.
Click here to read the story.

30 'Call Me Auntie' 'Call Me Auntie'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1942

Published in Jumbo Comics #37, Mar 1942 - 8 pages
At home working a deciphering a message, ZX-5 is visited by an aunt he never knew he had. She proceeds to try and drug him and when that does not work, her associates show up. This is all to learn what he knows about a fifth column plan to blow up a factory.
Click here to read the story.

31 'A Well Planned Woman' 'A Well Planned Woman'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils), Al Bryant (inks)
Copyright: 1942

Published in Jumbo Comics #38, Apr 1942 - 8 pages
Asked to look into sabotage at an aircraft engine factory, ZX-5 and his colleague Craig are attacked by a worker with a vat of molten steel. Tracking him, they are captured by a dangerous woman with a lot of traps ready for them.
Click here to read the story.

32 'Get Word To Our Agents' 'Get Word To Our Agents'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils), Al Bryant (inks)
Copyright: 1942

Published in Jumbo Comics #39, May 1942 - 8 pages
Given orders by British Chief of Intelligence, ZX-5 is to contact a number of MI6 agents in occupied France. A woman janitor spy overhears them and passes it on so now the Gestapo is after him to get that list. They do use a clever trap to snare him.
Click here to read the story.

33 'Beautiful She-Cat' 'Beautiful She-Cat'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils)
Copyright: 1942

Published in Jumbo Comics #40, Jun 1942 - 7 pages
When reports of the disappearance of two Red Cross ambulance drivers trying to help in war-torn Yugoslavia come in, ZX-5 is asked to look into the matter. After a "beautiful she-cat" peasant woman tries to kill him for being a Nazi spy, ZX-5 learns the Nazis had snatched the men. The she-cat saves the day.
Click here to read the story.

34 'Lady, You Dropped Your Book' 'Lady, You Dropped Your Book'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils)
Copyright: 1942

Published in Jumbo Comics #41, Jul 1942 - 7 pages
ZX-5's Chief decides that his star agent is in much need of a vacation. ZX-5 decides a trip to Florida is in order. In the airport there he helps a young woman who dropped her belongings. She forgets a small book which ZX-5 reads and learns she is a foreign spy deserving watching. She and her gang are out to destroy a US aircraft carrier.
Click here to read the story.

35 'V Is The Sign' 'V Is The Sign'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1942

Published in Jumbo Comics #42, Aug 1942 - 8 pages
Working for the newly created but not formally organized United Nations, ZX-5 is given a Nazi uniform and flown to Berlin where he is to find a heavy-set Agent 847 and find a way to get him back.
Good line: A British soldier waves to ZX-5 as he flies off to Berlin with the shout, "Heel Hitler".
Fair line: In Berlin ZX-5 is spotted as a spy and accosted by soldiers, one of whom vows, "We will blitz you to pieces".
Click here to read the story.

36 'Doctor Larue' 'Doctor Larue'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1942

Published in Jumbo Comics #43, Sep 1942 - 8 pages
ZX-5 in undercover in France as a Doctor Larue when a pair of Resistance fighters come into his clinic fleeing the Gestapo. When the pursuing German soldiers arrive, one has a wound to his leg which they insist Larue tend. This soldier just happens to know about a major upcoming air raid on England which ZX-5 must now alert England about.
Click here to read the story.

37 'The Invisible Plans' 'The Invisible Plans'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1942

Published in Jumbo Comics #44, Oct 1942 - 8 pages
ZX-5 has trained several Nazi spies from London to Moscow. One of them is the notorious spymaster, Baron von Krotz. When ZX-5 tries to fool him, though, he puts himself in their grasps. Later a female member of the cell helps steal vital new aircraft plans and seeks to sneak the plans out by drawing the diagrams on her arm using invisible ink.
Good Line: "In the spying business, the loser hangs!"
Click here to read the story.

38 'A Taste of Their Own Medicine' 'A Taste of Their Own Medicine'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1942

Published in Jumbo Comics #45, Nov 1942 - 8 pages
In the Far East observing a battle with the Japanese, ZX-5 see the enemy using poison gas. The make-up of the gas is vital to finding a way to counter it. He decides to head there to get it himself. He uses his disguise ability to make himself look Japanese.
Click here to read the story.

39 'What's The Signal' 'What's The Signal'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1942

Published in Jumbo Comics #46, Dec 1942 - 8 pages
A friend of ZX-5 is tortured in Sweden to reveal the signal to him in a hotel to receive vital military intelligence. A trap with a beautiful woman is laid and suddenly ZX-5 is in a nasty situation.
Click here to read the story.

40 'Moonbeams Dancing On The Ocean Waves' 'Moonbeams Dancing On The Ocean Waves'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1942

Published in Jumbo Comics #47, Jan 1943 - 8 pages
The Chief of Military Intelligence assigns ZX-5 the job of obtaining proof that a British industrialist is shipping vital resources to Hitler through Spain. ZX-5 starts out by breaking into the Spanish consulate. Later at a party by the suspect, ZX-5 seems enthralled by a beautiful woman who leads him into a trap.
Click here to read the story.

41 'The Voice of Resistance' 'The Voice of Resistance'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1943

Published in Jumbo Comics #48, Feb 1943 - 8 pages
The German radio voice of resistance, Else Zinsser, operating an underground broadcast, is captured by the Gestapo and sentenced to beheading. ZX-5 heads into Germany impersonating a captured pilot; his plan to save her involves taking the executioner's place.
Click here to read the story.

42 'The Hindu Idol Formula' 'The Hindu Idol Formula'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1943

Published in Jumbo Comics #49, Mar 1943 - 8 pages
A Hindu priest discovers in an ancient scroll the fact that the formula for an "unquenchable explosive is concealed in the sacred figure of one of our holy idols". He wants the allies to have it so he tells a British colonel. ZX-5 is on hand but so is an ease-dropper. Murder and theft follow.
Good line: "I live only to cut your heart out!"
Click here to read the story.

43 'Prattle of Neutrality' 'Prattle of Neutrality'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1943

Published in Jumbo Comics #50, Apr 1943 - 8 pages
Turkey's government is determined to remain neutral in the War but Nazi agents have been ordered to do whatever it takes to get the government on its side. The plan is to eliminate the key official speaking out for staying out. ZX-5 is on hand when the assassination takes place and has his hands full fixing things.
Click here to read the story.

44 'The Swiss Gold Heist' 'The Swiss Gold Heist'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1943

Published in Jumbo Comics #51, May 1943 - 8 pages
The French are sending a shipment of gold to Switzerland for safekeeping. Nazi spies, led by a notorious Van Loomis, are determined to steal it. ZX-5 with on hand with the lovely Martinique to stop them
Click here to read the story.

45 'The Mine Detector Plans' 'The Mine Detector Plans'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1943

Published in Jumbo Comics #53, Jul 1943 - 8 pages
A French spy has stolen the plans for a new mine detector from the Germans. He is hunted in the sewers of Paris but manages to float them away. They are discovered by a young woman outside of town who goes to a lot of trouble to make sure the name on the package, ZX-5, gets them.
Click here to read the story.

46 'Il Duce's Speech' 'Il Duce's Speech'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1943

Published in Jumbo Comics #54, Aug 1943 - 8 pages
ZX-5 and La Martinique, the beautiful female agent he is working with, take a sub ride to Italy where they work with a local Resistance fighter to broadcast over top the speech by the fascist leader, who is not amused.
Click here to read the story.

47 'Fun At The Norwegian Ball' 'Fun At The Norwegian Ball'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1943

Published in Jumbo Comics #55, Sep 1943 - 8 pages
La Martinique is in Norway at a ball when ZX-5 in shows up in disguise. She woos a German pilot and learns of an upcoming major raid but unfortunately the Gestapo is as always suspicious.
Click here to read the story.

48 'Madame Terror Has Ways' 'Madame Terror Has Ways'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1943

Published in Jumbo Comics #56, Oct 1943 - 8 pages
ZX-5 is in disguise as a Japanese monk as he meets with the Japanese Underground to cause trouble. Working to stop him is the notorious Madame Terror.
Click here to read the story.

49 'One-Armed Wonder' 'One-Armed Wonder'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1943

Published in Jumbo Comics #57, Nov 1943 - 8 pages
In Berlin disguised as a one-armed German officer, ZX-5 is passed instructions to find a way to stop a major staff meeting by Hermann Goering.
Click here to read the story.

50 'King of the Sewers' 'King of the Sewers'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1943

Published in Jumbo Comics #58, Dec 1943 - 8 pages
Flying a planeload of dynamite into France for the Resistance, ZX-5 is met by German soldiers instead. Help arrives and the ZX-5 and his shipment head to Paris and the man known as the King and the plan to blow up key Nazi buildings from beneath them.
Click here to read the story.

51 'Deception In Manila' 'Deception In Manila'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1944

Published in Jumbo Comics #59, Jan 1944 - 8 pages
Some intel shows in Manila harbor are 6 damaged Japanese battleships waiting repairs. Naval Intelligence worries that might be fake. ZX-5 heads there to join with Resistance to learn the truth.
Click here to read the story.

52 'The List of Traitors' 'The List of Traitors'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1944

Published in Jumbo Comics #60, Feb 1944 - 8 pages
Still in Manila, ZX-5 and aides snatch the doorman at the Palace hotel so ZX-5 can impersonate him to be close when Baron Sado has a reception there. Attending will be the traitor Laparan with a list of other traitors
Click here to read the story.

53 'The Visit of the Prince' 'The Visit of the Prince'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1944

Published in Jumbo Comics #61, Mar 1944 - 8 pages
Prince Yoshiwara, brother to the Japanese Emperor, is visiting Manila and the governor of the area, Baron Sado, is preparing a major welcome. So is ZX-5.
Click here to read the story.

54 'The Ignition-Killing Machine' 'The Ignition-Killing Machine'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1944

Published in Jumbo Comics #62, Apr 1944 - 6 pages
In Holland, the Nazis are forcing an inventor to make the final adjustments on his latest device, 'the machine that will win the war for Germany', by whipping his daughter. ZX-5 comes to stop them.
Click here to read the story.

55 'The Underwater Aircraft Carrier' 'The Underwater Aircraft Carrier'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1944

Published in Jumbo Comics #63, May 1944 - 6 pages
To learn more about the secret weapon the Nazis are rumored to have, ZX-5 incapacitates as an electrical wizard and take his place to infiltrate the facility it is constructed.
Click here to read the story.

56 'The Impervious Pill Box' 'The Impervious Pill Box'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1944

Published in Jumbo Comics #64, Jun 1944 - 7 pages
ZX-5 is determined to learn of the new invention by German weapons master Karl Brueller have come up with to defy the expected D-Day invasion. He starts out by being shot out of a torpedo tube from a submerged submarine.
Click here to read the story.

57 'The Three Experts' 'The Three Experts'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1944

Published in Jumbo Comics #65, Jul 1944 - 6 pages
In Germany, the three "highest military experts" meet for an important conference in an specially designed room in a hotel. To find a way in, ZX-5 have an associate betray him so he can be captured.
Click here to read the story.

58 'Nazi Water Spouts' 'Nazi Water Spouts'
Published by Fiction House Magazines
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1944

Published in Jumbo Comics #66, Aug 1944 - 7 pages
ZX-5 is helping the navy deal with a report of a powerful water spout that lifted a patrol boat high into the air.
Click here to read the story.

59 'German Art Theft' 'German Art Theft'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1944

Published in Jumbo Comics #67, Sep 1944 - 7 pages
On behalf of Hitler, a German named Wolgar is traveling around Europe grabbing priceless art pieces. He has a list of the various storerooms he is using to house them. ZX-5 is out for the list.
Click here to read the story.

60 'More Interested In Fifi' 'More Interested In Fifi'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1944

Published in Jumbo Comics #68, Oct 1944 - 7 pages
Count Van Blonker is a German scientist with a new invention the Nazis want. He is more interested in the French beauty Fifi. ZX-5 uses that to eliminate him to take his place and get the plans himself.
Click here to read the story.

61 'Spy Aboard The Super Airship' 'Spy Aboard The Super Airship'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1944

Published in Jumbo Comics #69, Nov 1944 - 6 pages
A fleet of super airships (huge things that can hold several fighters and their crew, have taken off to head to the Front. One of the pilots who should have been onboard is found, indicating a spy has taken his place. ZX-5 has to parachute onto one to stop him.
Click here to read the story.

62 'High Flying Pilots' 'High Flying Pilots'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1944

Published in Jumbo Comics #70, Dec 1944 - 6 pages
Recovering from a wound in England, ZX-5 recounts to a doctor the tale of a German who helped him in a mission, receiving a medal from both the UK and US. Something suspicious is going on in a German hospital and ZX-5 must infiltrate to learn what. He discovers an operation that will allow pilots to fly at phenomenally high altitudes.
Click here to read the story.

63 'The Iceberg Base' 'The Iceberg Base'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1945

Published in Jumbo Comics #71, Jan 1945 - 6 pages
All ZX-5 wanted to do was burgle Herr Brunner's house for secret documents. Instead, a fight and then a fire and some confusion has him mistaken for the man and taken to a secret base near Murmansk, hidden as an iceberg.
Click here to read the story.

64 'Like Wraiths Out Of The Mist' 'Like Wraiths Out Of The Mist'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1945

Published in Jumbo Comics #72, Feb 1945 - 6 pages
Over Japan, as Allied planes near for an attack, they are ambushed by 'camouflaged barrage balloons' (they are quite big and bright green in the sky!) ZA-5 is going to go in disguise to learn where the balloons are coming from.
Click here to read the story.

65 'Dummy Bomb Not Quite Such A Dud' 'Dummy Bomb Not Quite Such A Dud'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1945

Published in Jumbo Comics #73, Mar 1945 - 6 pages
To learn what is going on in a Japanese secret weapons factory in China manned by slave labor, ZX-5 assumes the disguise of one of the foremen. He learns of a major new invention he knows he has to destroy.
Click here to read the story.

66 'The Revolutionary V-3 Rocket' 'The Revolutionary V-3 Rocket'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1945

Published in Jumbo Comics #74, Apr 1945 - 6 pages
Photo Intelligence at G-2 studies a picture of a strange hole in a mountain. Why it exists in enemy territory is unknown but ZX-5 knows it cannot be any good for the Allies so he investigates.
Click here to read the story.

67 'March of Death' 'March of Death'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1945

Published in Jumbo Comics #75, May 1945 - 6 pages
Allied soldiers freeing a prison camp witness the guards trying to kill a young woman who talks about the March of Death. What it is she is not sure but she knows where it will be and that it is "intended for allied troops advancing into the Reich". ZX-5 knows he must learn the truth.
Click here to read the story.

68 'Story 68' 'Story 68'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1945

Published in Jumbo Comics #76, Jun 1945 - 6 pages
[plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

69 'Story 69' 'Story 69'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1945

Published in Jumbo Comics #77, Jul 1945 - 6 pages
[plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

70 'Story 70' 'Story 70'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1945

Published in Jumbo Comics #79, Sep 1945 - 5 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

71 'Story 71' 'Story 71'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1945

Published in Jumbo Comics #80, Oct 1945 - 5 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

72 'Story 72' 'Story 72'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1945

Published in Jumbo Comics #81, Nov 1945 - 5 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

73 'Story 73' 'Story 73'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1945

Published in Jumbo Comics #82, Dec 1945 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

74 'Story 74' 'Story 74'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1945

Published in Jumbo Comics #83, Jan 1946 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

75 'Story 75' 'Story 75'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1946

Published in Jumbo Comics #84, Feb 1946 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

76 'Story 76' 'Story 76'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1946

Published in Jumbo Comics #85, Mar 1946 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

77 'Story 77' 'Story 77'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1946

Published in Jumbo Comics #86, Apr 1946 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

78 'Story 78' 'Story 78'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1946

Published in Jumbo Comics #87, May 1946 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

79 'Story 79' 'Story 79'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1946

Published in Jumbo Comics #88, Jun 1946 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

80 'Story 80' 'Story 80'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1946

Published in Jumbo Comics #89, Jul 1946 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

81 'Story 81' 'Story 81'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1946

Published in Jumbo Comics #90, Aug 1946 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

82 'Story 82' 'Story 82'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1946

Published in Jumbo Comics #91, Sep 1946 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

83 'Story 83' 'Story 83'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1946

Published in Jumbo Comics #92, Oct 1946 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

84 'Story 84' 'Story 84'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1946

Published in Jumbo Comics #93, Nov 1946 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

85 'Story 85' 'Story 85'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1946

Published in Jumbo Comics #94, Dec 1946 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

86 'Story 86' 'Story 86'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1946

Published in Jumbo Comics #95, Jan 1947 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

87 'Story 87' 'Story 87'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1947

Published in Jumbo Comics #96, Feb 1947 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

88 'Story 88' 'Story 88'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1947

Published in Jumbo Comics #97, Mar 1947 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

89 'Story 89' 'Story 89'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1947

Published in Jumbo Comics #98, Apr 1947 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

90 'Story 90' 'Story 90'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1947

Published in Jumbo Comics #99, May 1947 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

91 'Story 91' 'Story 91'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1947

Published in Jumbo Comics #100, Jun 1947 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

92 'Story 92' 'Story 92'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1947

Published in Jumbo Comics #101, Jul 1947 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

93 'Story 93' 'Story 93'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1947

Published in Jumbo Comics #102, Aug 1947 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

94 'Story 94' 'Story 94'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1947

Published in Jumbo Comics #103, Sep 1947 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

95 'Story 95' 'Story 95'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1947

Published in Jumbo Comics #104, Oct 1947 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

96 'Story 96' 'Story 96'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1947

Published in Jumbo Comics #105, Nov 1947 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

97 'Story 97' 'Story 97'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1947

Published in Jumbo Comics #106, Dec 1947 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

98 'Story 98' 'Story 98'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1947

Published in Jumbo Comics #107, Jan 1948 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

99 'Story 99' 'Story 99'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1948

Published in Jumbo Comics #108, Feb 1948 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

100 'Story 100' 'Story 100'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1948

Published in Jumbo Comics #109, Mar 1948 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

101 'Story 101' 'Story 101'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1948

Published in Jumbo Comics #110, Apr 1948 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

102 'Story 102' 'Story 102'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1948

Published in Jumbo Comics #111, May 1948 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

103 'Story 103' 'Story 103'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1948

Published in Jumbo Comics #112, Jun 1948 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

104 'Story 104' 'Story 104'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1948

Published in Jumbo Comics #113, Jul 1948 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

105 'Story 105' 'Story 105'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1948

Published in Jumbo Comics #114, Aug 1948 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

106 'Story 106' 'Story 106'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1948

Published in Jumbo Comics #115, Sep 1948 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

107 'Story 107' 'Story 107'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1948

Published in Jumbo Comics #116, Oct 1948 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

108 'Story 108' 'Story 108'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1948

Published in Jumbo Comics #117, Nov 1948 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

109 'Story 109' 'Story 109'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1948

Published in Jumbo Comics #118, Dec 1948 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

110 'Story 110' 'Story 110'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1948

Published in Jumbo Comics #119, Jan 1949 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

111 'Story 111' 'Story 111'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1949

Published in Jumbo Comics #120, Feb 1949 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

112 'Story 112' 'Story 112'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1949

Published in Jumbo Comics #122, Apr 1949 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

114 'Story 114' 'Story 114'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1949

Published in Jumbo Comics #123, May 1949 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

115 'Story 115' 'Story 115'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1949

Published in Jumbo Comics #124, Jun 1949 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

116 'Story 116' 'Story 116'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1949

Published in Jumbo Comics #125, Jul 1949 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

117 'Story 117' 'Story 117'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1949

Published in Jumbo Comics #126, Aug 1949 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

118 'Story 118' 'Story 118'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1949

Published in Jumbo Comics #127, Sep 1949 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

119 'Story 119' 'Story 119'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1949

Published in Jumbo Comics #128, Oct 1949 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

120 'Story 120' 'Story 120'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1949

Published in Jumbo Comics #129, Nov 1949 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

121 'Story 121' 'Story 121'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1949

Published in Jumbo Comics #130, Dec 1949 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

122 'Story 122' 'Story 122'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1949

Published in Jumbo Comics #131, Jan 1950 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

123 'Story 123' 'Story 123'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1950

Published in Jumbo Comics #132, Feb 1950 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

124 'Story 124' 'Story 124'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1950

Published in Jumbo Comics #133, Mar 1950 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

125 'Story 125' 'Story 125'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1950

Published in Jumbo Comics #134, Apr 1950 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

126 'Story 126' 'Story 126'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1950

Published in Jumbo Comics #135, May 1950 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

127 'Story 127' 'Story 127'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1950

Published in Jumbo Comics #136, Jun 1950 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

128 'Story 128' 'Story 128'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1950

Published in Jumbo Comics #137, Jul 1950 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

129 'Story 129' 'Story 129'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1950

Published in Jumbo Comics #138, Aug 1950 - 6 pages [plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

130 'Story 130' 'Story 130'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1950

Published in Jumbo Comics #139, Sep 1950 - 6 pages
[plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

131 'The Rigged Wheel' 'The Rigged Wheel'
Contributors: Major Thorpe (writer and artist), Mort Leav (pencils and inks)
Copyright: 1950

Published in Jumbo Comics #140, Oct 1950 - 6 pages
ZX-5 is asked in anonymous phone call to head to El Morista in Mexico to help investigate a case where custom inspectors are being blackmailed into allowing smuggling to take place. He discovers a scam of free trips to a resort where a rigged roulette wheel is used.
Click here to read the story.

MY COMMENTS

       The first few adventures of ZX-5 were, IMHO, horrible. I believe the only way that the character survived to mature was the people creating the stories were also the ones in charge of picking which ones made it to the issues.
       The problem was, again IMHO, the fact that the enemies and the situations in which ZX-5 had to operate were totally fictitious and therefore had nothing on which to ground themselves. Both the size on which ZX-5 operated and the peoples he was ordered to spy on were totally made up and no real effort would be done to give either any semblance of realism. Whole armies or navies could appear on the horizon without warning (too spy craft there, fellas!) and then be vanquished in a trice. The jobs that ZX-5 were asked to do were therefore ridiculous and when he pulled them off, I couldn't care less.
       It was the 21st story that saw the first mention of a real enemy, the Nazis, and saw the change of direction for the series. The time period was Summer of 1941 and while the U.S. would not enter the War for another half year, it was fully in swing in both Europe and the Far East. This meant that the writers/artists had reality to provide much needed stability and the stories improved greatly.
       From then on, the countries that ZX-5 traveled to and the people he worked with or against were based in reality and made total sense. The plots also were a lot more intelligible and therefore far more interesting. The missions were short because for the most part only 6 pages were given for set-up and resolution but that was just enough to make reading them enjoyable.
       Even after the War was over and ZX-5 transitioned into a private detective role, the stories were good ones and my interest remained. I do not know why ZX-5 was retired so abruptly, though. The Cold War was about to begin and he would have had a field day with it.

       One point of personal amusement. Despite the fact that the real name of ZX-5 was never, ever even hinted at, I did find it amusing to see people get familiar with him enough to just call him "ZX".

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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