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MICHAEL CHANCE

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Full Name: Michael Chance
Series Name: Secret Agent Michael Chance
Nationality: Australian
Organization: Australian Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: Jeff Wilkinson
Time Span: 1950 - 1951

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Michael Chance is an agent with Australian Intelligence.
       Since I have not found an intact full adventure out of the 14 that I believe exist, it is not possible to report much on this operative but we can make some assumptions based on the covers of a good number of those tales and the few for which we have the opening page.
       On occasion in stories from this time period, a law enforcement officer is referred to as a 'special' or 'secret' agent but is then treated pretty much as a plain clothed detective. In the case of Chance, however, this is not likely the case because not only does is the place he reports to for orders given the designation of 'Security Headquarters' but the type of cases we know him to be involved in are far beyond the normal field of police work.
       While a couple of the missions he is given deal with things that could have, from the sound of them, been handled by detectives, such as 'The Contraband King' and the 'Jade Talisman Mystery', several others are most definitely within the 'normal' bailiwick of a government agent. 'The Foreign Affair' obviously deals with one or more individuals from another land like causing trouble in Australia. 'The Missing Diplomat' sounds much the same. 'Atomic Secrets' is certainly espionage related and thus needing an operative to handle it and in 'The Dead City' we have an entire city forced to abandon the vicinity due to a large-scale poison gas attack.
       
       Chance is a formally dressed individual by nature. In one of the earlier adventures we find him initially at "a holiday resort" where he is taking "a much needed vacation" although we find him in a suit and tie wearing his customary fedora. Even when we find him at home relaxing before another mission, he may have put away his hat but the suit and tie remain.
       Chance is very partial to the pipe, having it ready if not already in his mouth frequently. He is a fairly good looking man in obviously good physical shape and not at all hesitant to mix it up with someone. When we see him without his hat, he usually has straight-back hair except a couple of times when a lock has fallen across his forehead, likely after one of those mixers.

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:14
First Appearance:1950
Last Appearance:1951

       Pyramid Publications Pty. Limited is the name of the publishing company that produced the dozen-plus of adventures of Secret Agent Michael Chance.
       It was, from the little I have learned, a small company with only a few titles in its inventory.
       One was a self-titled Pyramid Comic which had a frequently changing starring spot. Panther Man, a Tarzan-style may in a leopard-skin loincloth (or really short shorts), was one of those with several tales. Manhunter, a costumed crime-buster, also had several adventures and would later go on to get his own magazine.
       Another of the people to get a start in Pyramid Comic, coming in at the end of the run, was Michael Chance who starred in #26 and #28, before the magazine folded and Chance too got his own title.

       Below I mention the first two Chance stories as being both in his new title and in the aforementioned #26 and #28. It is likely I am wrong about that but until I know for sure, I will keep it as it is. Likely there were two additional tales for #1 and #2.

       Towards the end of the short run of adventures in Secret Agent Michael Chance Comic, poor Chance had his title usurped from under him. Jet Fury, "aviator ace and secret agent", was marked as being 'featured' in issue 13 as well as controlling the cover though Chance does apparently still have an adventure in the issue. Chance may or may not have been in #14. In #15 from what I have seen, Michael's name is mostly covered up and Jet Fury's name is prominent. There does not seem to have been a #16 and by #17, the magazine was totally Jet Fury's.
       Michael Chance was gone.


1 The Dock Yard Mystery The Dock Yard Mystery
Published by Pyramid
Contributors: Jeff Wilkinson (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1950

From Secret Agent Michael Chance Comic #1, Jan 1950, and also known as A Pyramid Comic #26.
[Plot Unknown]

2 The Hidden Valley Mystery The Hidden Valley Mystery
Published by Pyramid
Contributors: Jeff Wilkinson (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1950

From Secret Agent Michael Chance Comic #2, Feb 1950, and also known as A Pyramid Comic #28.
[Plot Unknown]

3 The Dead City The Dead City
Published by Pyramid
Contributors: Jeff Wilkinson (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1950

From Secret Agent Michael Chance Comic #3, Mar 1950.
"A cloud of poison gas invades the city of Newport, Australia and Chance, who's on holiday, is called to find out about it."
Click here to read the story.

4 The Missing Diplomat The Missing Diplomat
Published by Pyramid
Contributors: Jeff Wilkinson (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1950

From Secret Agent Michael Chance Comic #4, Apr 1950.
[plot unknown]

5 The Atomic Secret The Atomic Secret
Published by Pyramid
Contributors: Jeff Wilkinson (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1950

From Secret Agent Michael Chance Comic #5, May 1950.
Michael Chance is called on to find out about an atomic bomb explosion.
Click here to read the story.

6 The Case of the Contraband Kind The Case of the Contraband Kind
Published by Pyramid
Contributors: Jeff Wilkinson (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1950

From Secret Agent Michael Chance Comic #6, Jun 1950.
Michael Chance must find out who is importing goods illegally.
Click here to read the story.

7 [Title Unknown] [Title Unknown]
Published by Pyramid
Contributors: Jeff Wilkinson (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1950

From Secret Agent Michael Chance Comic #7, Jul 1950.
[plot unknown]

8 The Jade Talisman Mystery The Jade Talisman Mystery
Published by Pyramid
Contributors: Jeff Wilkinson (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1950

From Secret Agent Michael Chance Comic #8, Aug 1950.
[plot unknown]

9 The Foreign Affair The Foreign Affair
Published by Pyramid
Contributors: Jeff Wilkinson (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1950

From Secret Agent Michael Chance Comic #9, Sep 1950.
[plot unknown]
Click here to read the story.

10 Chance Meets Lesley Harris Chance Meets Lesley Harris
Published by Pyramid
Contributors: Jeff Wilkinson (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1950

From Secret Agent Michael Chance Comic #10, Oct 1950.
Michael Chance is annoyed with a woman named Lesley Harris, who "all she thought she had to do to capture criminals was to raise an eyebrow ... but to Michael Chance she was a nuisance".
Click here to read the story.

11 [Unknown Title] [Unknown Title]
Published by Pyramid
Contributors: Jeff Wilkinson (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1950

From Secret Agent Michael Chance Comic #11, Nov 1950.

12 [Unknown Title] [Unknown Title]
Published by Pyramid
Contributors: Jeff Wilkinson (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1950

From Secret Agent Michael Chance Comic #12, Dec 1950.
[plot unknown]

13 The Threat of Murder The Threat of Murder
Published by Pyramid
Contributors: Jeff Wilkinson (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1951

From Secret Agent Michael Chance Comic #13, Jan 1951.
Michael Chance goes to Farnes Manor to protect its owner who has gotten murder threats.

14 [Unknown Title] [Unknown Title]
Published by Pyramid
Contributors: Jeff Wilkinson (writer & artist)
Copyright: 1951

From Secret Agent Michael Chance Comic #14, Feb 1951.
[plot unknown]

MY COMMENTS

       I hope someday to get hold of a full issue or two of this magazine. Michael Chance, for all his straight-laced look might make him seem too 'boring', does like to get into the thick of things and the espionage elements are enough to get my interest.
       Plus I have seen very little so far from Down Under during the 50's in the genre of spy fiction so anything that I can get my mitts on is welcome. Unless it costs a lot, in which case I will pass.
       I am especially interested in #10 where Chance meets someone named Lesley Harris, a woman who has some interesting ideas on what it takes to nab bad guys.

GRADE

My Grade: -

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