Full Name: Duke Douglas
Nationality: American
Organization: American Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: Don Heck, Ken Fitch
Time Span: 1954 - 1954


       Duke Douglas is an agent with American Intelligence.
       Exactly which department he works for might be up in the air. At one point he reports to a big-wig in the Secret Service and does call him 'chief'. Another time he reports to another leader working out of the Pentagon. He is loaned at least once to the FBI for a mission and another time, the initial meeting we have of him, he is loaned out to the government of India by the Secretary of some unspecified cabinet office.
       Whoever he answers to, and it is possible that since the adventures told of take place over a couple of years in the late 40s and early 50s it might have been more than one bureau, he has been around for quite a while and engaged in a good number of missions. We know that he got his start in the early days of WWII when he joined the Army (almost certainly as an officer since he was a college graduate) and was immediately assigned to the Intelligence (G2) branch. As the recorded adventures begin, he is likely in his mid to late 30s. This is based on his statement that he was a last year medical student when he joined Army Intelligence in 1942. That would have him probably 25 at the time he moved from the stethoscope to the cloak and dagger, 12 years before the series starts.
       Douglas speaks and reads Urdu like a native. Other languages he is an expert with include German, Russian, and Spanish as evidenced by his ability to operate as citizens inside those regions without being noticed. Some of these he would have been trained in during the War. The others would have come later. There may be others we do not learn of. He is an excellent shot, very dangerous in hand-to-hand combat, and knows which end of the knife to hold in a duel. He is also a skilled pilot and unafraid to take chances in the air or on the ground (shown by a willingness to land a small plane in the Alps).
       A quite good looking blond haired man (maybe with a tint of red in it), Douglas is attracted to the ladies and they are most definitely drawn to him. He probably has sworn off long term relationships, though because of the incident with the beautiful and deadly LLyanya Davany, a Soviet agent he worked with during WWII when Russia was an ally and he was ordered to cooperate. He did more than get along and fell in love. When some intelligence he foolish passed to her ended up with her bosses and gave Stalin an advantage in negotiations with the other Allies, he knew she had betrayed him and the relationship ended. A decade later when running into her on an assignment, the old feelings returned as did the distrust.
       Douglas' areas of expertise are impressive. Europe, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, and Central and South America are places he has and can walk with confidence and know he has a chance of survival, a chance people who challenge him are in short supply of.


Number of Stories:4
First Appearance:1954
Last Appearance:1954


Number of Stories:9
First Appearance:1954
Last Appearance:1954

       There were several comics published with the name of Danger, not counting a couple that had Danger in their name (like Danger Is Their Business).
       The earliest I found was by Allen Hardy Associates under the imprint of Comic Media Publications. The first five issues, Jan-Sep in 1953, had the subtitle of "Men Without Fear" and were anthologies with different non-series characters in different genres, all putting the hero into awesome situations almost certain to cause their demise. Issue #6 was also an anthology but the subtitle changed to "Secret Agents.. Spies Espionage.. Intrigue".
       It was in issue #7 that the first recurring characters appeared and both were agents. Duke Douglas and Virgil Stagg both saw their initial stories told in this magazine. The latter would have just one story in that issue and one each in #9 and #11. Douglas, though, would be in issues #7-#11 and have a couple of adventures in several of them.
       Comic Media went out of business at this point and sold to Charlton Comics the rights to its titles. Charlton continued the Danger line with #12 but it would only last only 3 issues, none of which had any recurring character.
       One other company had a line of comics with the Danger title - Super Comics had a short run of 9 issues but no recurring characters and definitely no Duke Douglas.

       The actual creator of the Duke Douglas character is not known from what I can see. The artist for the first story as well as the first cover is Don Heck but the follow-up Douglas story in that issue is credited to Pete Morisi. Heck did most of the artwork for the brief series run. Writing attribution is sketchy. Only one story has a writer listed, that being the third Douglas story (found in Danger #8) scripted by Ken Fitch. The terrific comic authority site, Jerry Bail's Who's Who, has Fitch down as the writer for several stories. I have chosen to credit both Heck and Fitch as creators but that is speculation more than fact.


       I am quite impressed with the Duke Douglas stories. They were created in the first half of the 1950s at a time when the worry about the Soviets was especially high across the nation. At the same time, the confidence that Americans felt in most everything they did was growing. These comics capture that feeling. The agents of the communist spy machines were everywhere with the MVD (precursor to the KGB) leading the assault and intrepid American operatives had to go to those same places to combat the threat. Douglas was often the man for the job.
       Some of the stories were 7 pages long and could add a bit of background or round out the story a bit more than the 5-page adventures but the use of the space in both was impressive. I got the feeling that I had been told a story when I finished each one, not just had images and dialogue thrown at me.
       Many of the spy comics from the 40s and 50s left me sorry they had tried. Douglas left me sorry there had not been more, especially a full issue tale.


My Grade: B+


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