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DOUG GRANT

 
Full Name: Doug Grant
Nationality: American
Organization: U.S. Counter-Espionage
Occupation Agent

Creator: Robert Bernstein
Time Span: 1950 - 1953

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Doug Grant is an agent with U.S. Counter-Espionage.
       The term Secret Service is mentioned but the group for which Grant works is not affiliated with the Treasury Department; rather it is largely an unnamed member of the intelligence community dedicated to fighting spies. Considering the places that Grant goes on his missions, its reach is global and its mandate anything related to combating Communist agents.
       As the opening line in the first recorded adventure has Grant telling the readers, "A secret agent is not some mythical being born on the comic page and raised to glory on the silver screen! He's real ... real as the dangers our country faces today! You life and mine! Your country and mine! The democratic institutions we all love so dearly ... these are the stakes involved! And they're the highest ... they're worth dying for! And some men are dying for them this very minute ... in that little known firing line of our peace offensive ... the counter espionage service!"
       Grant has definitely been in the spy business for quite some time for on a mission he comes across, unhappily so, a femme fatale named Myra against whom he competed in "Spain, 1942! And before that, Vichy, France. Italy. Germany. Japan. Shanghai. Portugal." Even if we go on the assumption that the Spain of 1942 was one of Grant's first missions, and there is no evidence for that, he has been in the counter-espionage business for nearly a decade. And successfully so, given that when handed a difficult assignment, Grant's boss, nicknamed "B.B.", explains, "You brought it on yourself with that last job of yours! Spiriting Major Thomas right out from under the noses of the Czech secret police! And, of course, you speak every Slav language."
       Grant is a fairly tall, athletic dark haired man who, as appropriate for that era, routinely dresses in a suit and tie (even when parachuting). He is decidedly good looking and not adverse to the company of the fairer sex nor are they lacking in interest in him. He does have a fun pick-up line when he offers a lady at a bar a drink and adds, "Say 'Yes' or 'No'. It doesn't matter. I just want to hear what an angel sounds like."

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:39
First Appearance:1950
Last Appearance:1953

       Before Marvel Comics became known as that, it was Atlas Comics. (It was Timely Comics before that, of course.) For the most part the Golden Age of Superheroes was gone and comicbooks looked for other type of stories to entertain the readers. Comedy was king. Romance was big. War stories were big. Science Fiction was growing. And spies were fighting Communists all over the planet.
       Spy Cases was one of the anthology imprints that told the daring tales of the constant fight to keep the Reds from conquering the world. Doug Grant was a repeating character in the magazine and, oddly, he seemed the only repeater. Every other agent was a one-shot deal.
       The first six issues had one Doug Grant adventure. #7 - #12 had two stores each. From #13 to the last issue, #19, there were 3 tales each. This means that though the magazine lasted only 19 issues, there were a whole lot of Doug Grant tales.
       The numbering scheme is an interesting one because it runs 26-19.
       As was quite common back then, for mailing purposes, companies would stop one title and start up another in its place, keeping the numbering intact.
       In this case, the magazine started back in 1943 as Kid Komics detailing adventures of the sidekicks of the Human Torch and Captain America. It lasted 10 issues. Then it became for a single issue Kid Movie Komics. #12-#20 saw it as Rusty, America's Funniest Family. Then it turned into the comedic The Kellys for #23-#25.
       At that point it became Spy Cases and went #26-#28. From then on, though, the numbering switched to be consecutive from the first Spy Case, in other words, #4 through the last #19. Hence the oddly 26-19.
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MY COMMENTS

       Like a couple of other spy series from the early 50s, this series starts out really well. Doug Grant is an agent extraordinaire out in the big world fighting the really bad commies and showing them how much better democracy is. [That sounds a whole lot snider than I would like but I cannot figure out how to tone it down.] The stories are darn good ones and if they had stayed like that, I would have graded the series higher. The artwork is top-notch and the plotting very good. As was normal for then, we learn virtually nothing about Grant the individual but we certainly get a ton of action.
       But then the Korean War happened and spy stories took a backseat and war stories became the publishing rage. So Grant doffed the cloak and dagger and picked up a helmet and a rifle. As war tales go, these were pretty good but when I was wanting more spy adventures, I get military adventures.
       Luckily the series does go back and the good stuff return.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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