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JET SCOTT

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Full Name: Jet Scott
Nationality: American
Organization: CIA
Occupation Agent

Creator: Sheldon Stark , Jerry Robinson
Time Span: 1953 - 2010

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Jet Scott is an agent with the "Office of Scientifact".
       That is a department likely associated with the Pentagon as Scott is seen on several occasions being directed by and reporting in to a General Gray working out of that DOD headquarters. Adding to this assumption is the fact that Scott has at his beck-and-call all manner of military equipment and considering the speed with which it is delivered, it is safe to say that the department has a good deal of clout.
       This department is the one that is called whenever there is any activity outside normal affairs, though not just military in nature. Underwater explosions threatening shipping lanes, missing deadly viruses, radioactive outbreaks, and so on. Some are definitely military-oriented but many are not so his patch would seem to be the 'unusual' or 'unexplained'.
       I would postulate that Scott is a civilian employed by Scientifact as we never see him in uniform even back at headquarters; his normal attire is a well-fitting suit and tie.
       Scott is a very good looking man in his probable mid-to-late 30's. Being an operative for a government agency devoted to investigating scientific mysteries and anomalies, Scott is understandably quite educated and very intelligent. His knowledge is wide spread across a good number of different studies which is important because the trouble he will have to deal with are quite varied. He is smart enough and secure enough with his intelligence that he does not need to explain things to people unless they ask. Luckily for those readers like myself who are not so in the loop, invariably somebody nearby will ask so he will graciously explain things.
       He is capable of taking care of himself in a fight or scuffle and is not adverse to using weapons when called for but he does not always need to resort to violence even in self-defense; he is just ready to if it comes to that.
       He is also more than capable of dealing with the ladies; not an adventure goes by, it seems, that some beautiful woman wants to show her appreciation for his efforts with kisses and he is too much a gentleman to turn them down. He is decidedly, however, a man on the go so there is no one person to dominate his attentions.
       
       One special tool available to Scientifact is the very impressive 'ECOM', short for 'electronic computer'. This amazing machine, remembering that the year was 1954 when we first start following Scott's activities, could be fed lots of disparate information and then spit out some pretty impressive conclusions to help guide Scott. The first case we see it in action had a missing scientist needed urgently to stop a plague and the folks at Scientifact entered lots of data such as "favorite food, poached eggs; collects butterflies; also ancient Mayan carvings ...". The technician gave "each factor a plus or minus value to set up the problem. The tape is set up by electronic scanners". Out came ticker tape that showed the missing professor was heading for Cibola which was interesting because no one seemed to know what that was. Scott will call up ECOM more than once in his career.
       [Note on the above: I mean no disrespect for the postulated computer of the 'near-future' as shown in the Scott tales. It clearly is shown to be what computers were thought likely to be able to soon do.]



COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:3
First Appearance:1953
Last Appearance:2010

1 Jet Scott and the Sword of Fire Jet Scott and the Sword of Fire
Published by Amalgamated Press
Contributors: Sheldon Stark (writer), Jerry Robinson (artist)
Copyright: 1953

Published in Super Detective Library #34, 1953
Revisioning of the 4th story arc - Jet Scott is asked to convince the 'vacationing' Arab ruler of Wadani to return with Scott to that oil-rich desert country to learn what is causing fires along the vital pipeline across the arid land. The king is not thrilled with the idea because his beautiful and alluring wife, Ha'Ruba, is deadlier than a cobra and far more ambitious.
Click here to read the story.

2 Jet Scott Volume 1 Jet Scott Volume 1
Published by Dark Horse
Contributors: Sheldon Stark (writer), Jerry Robinson (artist)
Copyright: 2010

Collection of the first year of comic strips, both daily and Sunday, in hardcover format.

3 Jet Scott Volume 12 Jet Scott Volume 12
Published by Dark Horse
Contributors: Sheldon Stark (writer), Jerry Robinson (artist)
Copyright: 2010

Collection of the second year of comic strips, both daily and Sunday, in hardcover format.

COMIC STRIPS

Number of Arcs:14
Number of Strips:718
First Appearance:1953
Last Appearance:1955

       The New York Herald-Tribune was a newspaper which hit the streets between 1924 and 1966. As part of its services, it also ran a small comic strip syndicate with several of the strips proving quite popular and long lasting. Miss Peach and B.C. in particular. One of the lesser known strips it provided to subscribing newspapers was Jet Scott.
       This strip was created by two men. Both of the men were already quite experienced and would continue to be well respected long after this short series came and went. Sheldon Stark wrote for six decades for radio, television, movies, and the stage, as well as his work in the comic strip industry for which he was best known as the ghost writer on the Inspector Wade strip. Jerry Robinson has many plaudits to his credit but the biggest, IMO, was his work on the early Batman comic book where he created the Joker and helped in bringing other characters like Robin and the Penguin.
       The adventures of Jet Scott would run exactly 2 years, starting in September of 1953 and ending in September of 1955.
       The story arcs consisted of a series of weeks, usually 6, and included the Sunday edition (as opposed to Sunday being its own storyline).
       As was normal for when the Sunday was part of the daily arc, realizing that some newspapers might not have a Sunday edition or might not wish to carry the Sunday strip in their pages, the contents of the colored Sunday pages were usually interesting or attractive additions only. If something unique happened on that page, it would be recapped on the Monday page.

       I have collected from various newspapers my own set of strips and have included them in the story arc description. Viewers are able to read each of the strips. The quality is the best I could find. They should be considered "fair reading condition" at best.
       For a much more enjoyable reading experience, I would recommend buying Dark Horse's excellent two-volume collections.

       Speaking of that set, since I could find no other definitive list of titles for the arcs, I have chosen to go with the names Dark       Horse chose, at least for the first half. I have not yet learned their names for the second half.

       At the very end of each story arc, on the ending Saturday, there is usually a panel or two leading into the next story arc. Since the Sunday strip was at the end of each week's run (i.e., stories ran Mon-Sun) that meant that after seeing the next adventure's lead-in on Saturday, the reader would see a bit more of the ending of the previous one on the next day's Sunday edition before again seeing a lead-in panel or two. Since that Sunday was usually filled with Jet Scott kissing the girl-of-the-arc good-bye, it was never a big deal.


1 The Bantrax Incident   The Bantrax Incident
Strips: 1 - 42
Dates: 09/28/1953 - 11/08/1953

Noted Professor Potter of Peabody University has gone missing which in and of itself was worrisome. Worse, though, is that he had been working on 'banthrax bacili', deadly germs which could kill thousands. When he vanished, so did a test tube of that horrible disease. It is the job of Jet Scott to work with Potter's beautiful daughter, Tawney, to locate the man and the germs. Using a powerful computer (this is 1953), they determine he is likely out looking for "The Seven Cities of Cibola" said to hold great treasure.
Click here to read some or all the story.

2 The Pacific Paradox   The Pacific Paradox
Strips: 43 - 84
Dates: 11/09/1953 - 12/20/1953

An old friend of Jet Scott, Cap'n Orkey, a fishing boat skipper, encounters a mystery when divers off his boat encounter horrible conditions at sea bottom off the West Coast. Add in the fact that the fish he seeks have all fled the area. That is the same area where a dozen earth tremors have hit in the past two days. Scott is sent to investigate. Almost immediately he is approached by the alluring young woman named Feather to forego his search and when that fails, her rich father tries to buy him off.
Click here to read some or all the story.

3 The Curious Case of Mother Makrae   The Curious Case of Mother Makrae
Strips: 85 - 126
Dates: 12/21/1953 - 01/31/1954

As he dines with a lady friend in a fancy restaurant in a tall building, Jet Scott is on hand when the building starts to experience tremors. After the occupants flee, the building collapses and it is not the first edifice in the city to suffer that fate. Scott is determined to learn why but it will be his inquisitive companion who spots the first clue and almost dies due to it. The problem lies will a harmless little old lady and her playful monkey companion.
Click here to read some or all the story.

4 The Sheik of Wadani   The Sheik of Wadani
Strips: 127 - 186
Dates: 02/01/1954 - 04/11/1954

Jet Scott is asked to convince the 'vacationing' Arab ruler of Wadani to return with Scott to that oil-rich desert country to learn what is causing fires along the vital pipeline across the arid land. The king is not thrilled with the idea because his beautiful and alluring wife, Ha'Ruba, is deadlier than a cobra and far more ambitious.
Click here to read some or all the story.

5 The Creeping Death   The Creeping Death
Strips: 187 - 228
Dates: 04/12/1954 - 05/23/1954

Jet Scott is stuck in New Zealand due to weather. On a nearby island of Kakariki, the natives are rushing to evacuate because of the return of the Creeping Death. This unidentified problem is bad enough to eat away all flesh and muscle from animals, leaving on their bones. On that island is a friend of Jet Scott, a Dr. Huckeby, who sends his sister, Jill, to bring him to the island to investigate.
Click here to read some or all the story.

6 The Shadow Over Stone Bay   The Shadow Over Stone Bay
Strips: 229 - 277
Dates: 05/24/1954 - 07/11/1954

Jet Scott heads to San Francisco to board the "Ice Queen", a cargo ship hauling a load of supplies to Stone Bay, Alaska. It is part of a contract a woman named Gale Tyson inherited to supply a research station in that remote region. Several previous attempts have failed due to ship wrecks caused by heavy fog; fog that weather conditions should not have allowed. Scott's job is to figure out why the fog is there but trouble starts even before he steps onto the vessel when he is deliberately run down by a forklift operator.
Click here to read some or all the story.

7 The Trial of Elmer Steck   The Trial of Elmer Steck
Strips: 278 - 333
Dates: 07/12/1954 - 09/05/1954

Elmer Stent gets hunches. This low-level employee in the government's code department gets intuitive ideas on things about to happen. His office mate, in debt to a bookie, is given a chance to get out of hock by getting Stent to break some coded messages. Jet Scott is brought into the matter when it is learned that those decoded messages have leaked.
Click here to read some or all the story.

8   "The Coldest Spot on Earth"
Strips: 334 - 375
Dates: 09/06/1954 - 10/17/1954

The Army wants a report on a new frozen food process from a factory in Yatesville on the Indian River. Jet Scott's boss sends him there to investigate while take the cover of a taking a fishing vacation out for trout. Head scientist at the lab in that facility is Luke Yates and he has been working on a revolutionary fast-freezing process with one small problem; frozen things never thaw out.
Click here to read some or all the story.

9   "Brainbox"
Strips: 376 - 424
Dates: 10/18/1954 - 12/05/1954

A very unpleasant seeming man called Cyrus Tycoon by his niece has appropriated her very young son and presented him to the scientific and governmental worlds as a child prodigy. The three-year-old seems to be able to come up with incredible answers to a wide range of questions but in truth Tycoon is grooming him to help the older man rack in a fortune in the stock market. At least, up until she appeals to Jet Scott for help.
Click here to read some or all the story.

10   "Lallypoosa County"
Strips: 425 - 473
Dates: 12/06/1954 - 01/23/1955

'For years nobody paid any attention to Lallypoosa County ... not even those who lived there!' That's how this adventure starts but when the vote for the state governor ends up tied and only Lallypoosa is still to vote. Floodwaters had prevented the vote there up until now. Suddenly it is very important. Or rather the one remaining undecided person in a 51-vote run-off. She wants an eatin' contest to decide. Jet Scott has a scientific approach to things.
Click here to read some or all the story.

11   "The Great Gushby"
Strips: 474 - 529
Dates: 01/24/1955 - 03/20/1955

The illusionist The Great Gushby worked in a small-time circus where his big act was the illusion that he could cause his assistant to levitate. The truth was that it was no illusion but the action of a device he created which allowed him to defy gravity. When he uses it rob an armored car, suddenly Scientifact is interested enough to sent Jet Scott to investigate.
Click here to read some or all the story.

12   "The Safron Paint Company"
Strips: 530 - 585
Dates: 03/21/1955 - 05/15/1955

The owner of the Safron Paint Company is a beautiful, alluring woman with a particular interest in a special radioactive paint her company has developed, as well as a sinister plan to use it to get revenge on the man who jilted her. The idea is to volunteer to paint a factory he owns with this paint and watch it all explode. Luckily, Scientifact is alerted to an anomaly with some photographs and sends in Jet Scott.
Click here to read some or all the story.

13   "The Runaway Experimental Ramjet"
Strips: 586 - 634
Dates: 05/16/1955 - 07/03/1955

The pilot of an experimental ramjet reports that his controls were frozen and the craft was heading 'for stratosphere'. When the vessel, belonging to Fairmount Planes, reached 220 miles above sea-level, the rockets ceased and the plane went into orbit. A three-stage rocket is prepped to drag him out of orbit.
Click here to read some or all the story.

14   "Trouble At Gateway Studios"
Strips: 635 - 718
Dates: 07/04/1955 - 09/25/1955

The head of Gateway Studios, J.B. Gates, is in a tizzy with several different films in production but behind schedule. A blonde bombshell named Anno Caressin holds the hope for saving his bacon but gossip columnist Lulu is a danger. That's when a technical advisor named Jet Scott shows up. One thing he was not expecting to do was look into a series of mishaps that have plagued the studio.
Click here to read some or all the story.

MY COMMENTS

       I really enjoyed the Scott stories. Obviously by the fact that it was not around more than two years, not a lot of people at the time agreed with me but I know that had I been older than 3 at the time, I would have followed his adventures every day with gusto.
       The science that the author presented was based on known data at the time, dumbed down, I am sure, so normal folk like myself could grasp what was happening and enjoy it.
       Scott's adventures were not espionage per se but they did deal with government operative handling strange and exotic problems and that was good enough for me to know I had to include him in this compendium.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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