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MYRA NORTH

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Full Name: Myra North
Series Name: Myra North, Special Nurse
Nationality: American
Organization: None
Occupation Other - Nurse

Creator: Ray Thompson, Charles Coll
Time Span: 1936 - 1941

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Myra North is a nurse.
       According to the tag line associated with her adventures, she is a 'Special Nurse' though what the 'special' aspect exactly meant to the one giving it to her remains a mystery. She is, at least, very much a nurse, highly skilled and versatile and clearly able to handle all sorts of medical emergencies that come her way. As we see on numerous occasions, that will include handling gun shot wounds and even more often blows to the head.
       In addition to, or in place of, the nurse identifier, I could easily have stated that North is an adventurer and I would have been just as accurate. North has no set workplace or employer; she answers ads for jobs and has no compunction about travel. In fact she seems to thrive on going to new places and experiencing new things.
       North is unattached romantically at our initial introduction but will become enamored with a police detective named Jack shortly thereafter and their relationship will last throughout the adventures we have. Jack is definitely hooked on North and will show himself willing to go wherever she goes just to be near her. It is Lane who will provide intel on her when, preparing for a mission that North will handle undercover, Lane checks to insure she meets the requirements of a stewardess by being "a registered nurse, under twenty-six, not over 5'5" [or] 120 pounds...[and have an] attractive appearance".
     North does go a lot of places and gets involved in a lot of different scrapes and turmoil all filled with international intrigue and royalty being at risk from revolutionaries and nihilists as well as democratic countries being threatened by would-be despots and fascists.


     In addition to North's romantic interest, Jack Lane, she has two other individuals who spend a considerable amount of time working with her in her non-medical activities.
     In the first adventure she and Lane find themselves allied with a very intelligent and quite resourceful Chinese fellow named Lew Wen. Wen is a very friendly individual though he is very good at not telling exactly who he works for or why. One thing that is certain is that he is an operative for someone and whenever he shows up, he is quite welcomed by both North and Lane.
     The second important fellow is another oriental named Dr. Wu. He is met when North, Lane, and Wen find themselves going up against the very dangerous would-be world conqueror, Ling Sin. She has as her main advisor the highly intelligent Wu but Wu and she have a major break and Wu decides to cross over to the other side. Once he does so, he becomes a very valuable ally to North for several subsequent adventures while Wen decides bowing out for a time is prudent. In fact for a while North is even referenced as his assistant.


    While it is pretty obvious that the 'Special Nurse' title comes from the fact that she is an independent contractor, hiring her services out on a case-by-case basis and willing to go where her temporary patients need her. Her love of travel and exploration makes this form of nursing far preferable to her than a more common steady employment at a hospital or clinic.
     The 'Special Nurse' takes a far different meaning with North, however, because she is a magnet for excitement and danger and on many occasions in her event-filled career she will help affect the flow of history.
     In the various exciting nursing gigs that she comes across, she will rescue a young heir to the throne of a Balkan nation, save the life of the sitting king of the same land and stop a takeover by a would-be despot, assist in stopping the invasion of another country by a neighbor using a really big tank, stop the raiding of a major Egyptian tomb find, prevent a scientist from advancing his brain transfer experiments, save the life of one or members of a secret international intelligence organization, combat the most dangerous spy in all of the world, break up a major counterfeiting enterprise, and so much more.
     Oh, there is also the whole matter of the would-be world conqueror from a hidden land north of Greenland with majorly advanced technology. Her motivation there was certainly altruistic but also preventing the female bad gal from forcing North's heartthrob, Lane, from marrying him had to play a part.
     Mixed in with these extraordinary adventures will be, to her great relief, simple cases of giving care to elderly or recovering patients, although invariably these people will be challenged with attempted murder or kidnapping or robbery or the like. In fact in the 36 escapades detailed in the newspaper chronicles, nothing remotely uneventful ever happens.
     'Special Nurse'? I would say so.


Good Lines:
- From Myra, amusing considering the scrape she is always finding herself in "A can't understand why anyone goes looking for trouble!"
- Dr. Wu talking about swing bands from the late 30's says "Modern Confucius might remark, 'Music good for soul but jumping jive bad for sole".

NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:6
First Appearance:1939
Last Appearance:1939

     The Dell published anthology comic Crackajack Funnies contained numerous issues with reprints of segments from both the Daily and Sunday arcs. Many of the issues also contained "Crackajack One Page Thrillers" text adventures, six of which dealt with Myra North.
     The issues were #9 - #14.

1 "An Emergency Case"
Written by Ray Thompson
Copyright: 1939

Printed in Crackajack Funnies #9, March 1939.
Myra North and Jack Lane were heading to attend a theater play when North got a call telling her that her services were needed by a Doctor Charring, whom she says she cannot ignore. As Lane reluctantly heads back to NYPD headquarters, she is picked up a limo as promised. From then on, nothing is as it was indicated as her aid was needed to help a gang member shot during a heist.
Click here to read the story.

2 Myra North Files A Claim Myra North Files A Claim
Written by Ray Thompson
Copyright: 1939

Printed in Crackajack Funnies #10, April 1939.
An elderly handicapped woman in a Tulsa hospital asks a favor of Myra North; deliver an oil lease to the Recorder's Office in Shawnee before her grandson, Jed Wilson, has a chance to get it from her. Wilson, though, is prepared for such an end-around play.
[Note: this feels like a Western short story forced into being a Myra North tale.]
Click here to read the story.

3 Sea Tragedy Sea Tragedy
Written by Ray Thompson
Copyright: 1939

Printed in Crackajack Funnies #11, May 1939.
Myra North is on a vacation cruise off the west coast of South America. Also on the ship is a wealthy elderly lady and her person physician who recommended the voyage. When the Captain gets worried about the woman, he asks North to look in on her, an act which will put her in the way of a murderous plot by the doctor and an accomplice.
Click here to read the story.

4 Myra North Traps The Jewel Thieves Myra North Traps The Jewel Thieves
Written by Ray Thompson
Copyright: 1939

Printed in Crackajack Funnies #12, May 1939.
Traveling by train from New York to Chicago accompanying an elderly wealthy lady, Myra North is aware that the woman has a quarter of a million in jewels hidden in her clothing. So are a band of jewel thieves.
Click here to read the story.

5 "The Not-So-Friendly Friends"
Written by Ray Thompson
Copyright: 1939

Printed in Crackajack Funnies #13, May 1939.
While taking care of a middle-aged man in his home, Myra North is dismayed that a couple of times when her patient looked like he was improving, he had relapses. Then she realized that coincided with visits from a couple of good friends of his.
Click here to read the story.

6 "The Injured Gangster"
Written by Ray Thompson
Copyright: 1939

Printed in Crackajack Funnies #14, May 1939.
Myra North is less than pleased to be snatched off the streets yet again to be driven to the hideout of notorious gangster Pete Gallenti. That man was suffering from a gunshot wound that North was forced to treat.
[Note: this story references a dead brother that North supposedly had, making me believe it was another tale forced into the North universe.]
Click here to read the story.

YOUNG ADULT BOOKS

Number of Books:1
First Appearance:1938
Last Appearance:1938

     The Whitman Publishing company was incredibly adept at taking many storylines popular to adults in magazines, books, movies, radio, and newspapers and making versions geared towards the juvenile market. It used as its medium the cleverly sized "Big Little Books".

     It did so one time with Myra North and it used the two people who created and produced the stories in the papers to do it.

1 Myra North Special Nurse and the Foreign Spies Myra North Special Nurse and the Foreign Spies
Written by Ray Thompson, Charles Coll
Copyright: 1938

Published in Whitman's Big Little Book series, #1497
[plot unknown but by the title, Myra North gets mixed up with espionage matters dealing with agents of a foreign government. The back says "based on the famous newspaper strip" which sounds like it might be an original story.

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:1
First Appearance:1939
Last Appearance:1939

     It was not uncommon back in the 30s to repackage popular comic strip series into the new comic book format. This usually happened in the pages of anthology titles with each issue having 2-6 pages of 3-4 strips each.

     Dell was especially good at this and in its Crackajack Funnies line it had a lot of different characters show up. Myra North had a pretty decent run for a while before being replaced by others. It then would either reuse some of these reprints in other titles or make use of other strips that it had had prepared but chose not to use yet. I never found any comic book having original Myra North content; it was all taken from the Daily and Sunday runs.
     I am very curious, but woefully ignorant of, whether the colorization of the Daily strips had been done by colorists at Dell or by the original team of Thompson and Coll. Whoever did it, they did a good job and it would have been considered vital because the comic books were all in attractive 4 colors and Dailies were, of course, black and white.
     In comparing the actual panels of the original strips with those in the comic books, I was fascinated to see that many were re-cut to make them fit and often a panel or two were deemed not important enough to make the transition.
     I was also shocked to see that the editors (I blame them, not the artists) very often decided to start a reproduction in the middle of an adventure and to sometimes halt before the story actually ended. Continuity did not seem that important.

1 The Comics The Comics
Published by Dell
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Copyright: 1937

An anthology comic series from Dell reprinting newspaper comic strips. Each of the 5 issues contained 4 pages of Myra North stories as follows:
#1-2 - Mar-Apr 1937 - segments from the Sunday arc Myra North and the Anguran Prince
#3-5 - May-Sep 1937 - segments from the Daily arc The Case of the Urbanian Diamonds

2 Crackajack Funnies Crackajack Funnies
Published by Dell
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Copyright: 1938

An anthology comic series from Dell reprinting newspaper comic strips. 31 of the first 35 issues had (usually) 4 pages of Myra North stories as follows:
#1 - Jun 1938 - partial segment from the Sunday arc Myra North and the Threatened Actress and a partial segment from the Sunday arc Myra North and the Brain Experiment.
#2-3 - Jul-Aug 1938 - segments from the Sunday arc Myra North and the Brain Experiment.
#4-5 - Sep-Oct 1938 - segments from the Sunday arc Myra North and the Murdered Sculptor.
#11-14 - May 1939-Aug 1939 - segments from the Daily arc The Case of the Radio-Controlled Naval Cruiser.
#15-20 - Sep 1939-Feb 1940 - segments from the Daily arc The Case of the Skyway Bandits.
#21-24 - Mar 1940-Jun 1940 - segments from the Daily arc The Case of the Doves of Peace.
#29-32 - Nov 1940-Feb 1941 - segments from the Sunday arc Myra North and the Invisible Man.
#33-35 - Mar 1941-May 1941 - segments from the Sunday arc Myra North and the Mystic Dragon.

3 Four Color Four Color
Published by Dell
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Copyright: 1938

A one-shot issue from Dell republishing much of the reprinted strips in the Crackajack Funnies as follows:
- segments from the Sunday arc Myra North and the Brain Experiment.
- segments from the Sunday arc Myra North and the Murdered Sculptor.
- segments from the Daily arc The Case of the Abandoned Babies.
- segments from the Daily arc The Case of the Radio-Control Naval Cruiser.

4 Red Ryder Comics Red Ryder Comics
Published by Dell
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Copyright: 1942

An anthology comic series from Dell reprinting newspaper comic strips. This title started with issue #6 and continued to issued #144. The first 13 of these issues (#6-18) had had (usually) 4 pages segments of Myra North stories as follows:
#6-7 - Apr-May 1942 - segments from the Sunday arc Myra North and the Mystic Dragon.
#8-11 - Jul 1942 - Jan 1943 - segments from the Sunday arc Myra North and the Blue Death.
#12-15 - Mar 1943 - Sep 1943 - segments from the Sunday arc Myra North and the Secret Terror.
#16-18 - Nov 1943 - Mar 1944 - segments from the Sunday arc Myra North and the Pacific Peril.

COMIC STRIPS

Number of Arcs:36
Number of Strips:1245
First Appearance:1936
Last Appearance:1941

     The adventures of Myra North got there start in the newspapers as a Daily comic strip on February 10, 1936. A Sunday edition would come into existence on July 12 of the same year.

     The two styles (daily versus Sunday) ran separate storylines for the entirety of their runs. There is no apparent crossover between the two sequences.
     The feel for the two divisions was quite different at times. Both had North getting involved in lots of international intrigue but the Daily also roamed into the more standard detective/mystery genre at times while the Sunday stories moved into the science-fiction realm for a while.
     North's sole love interest, Jack Lane, played parts in both the Daily and Sunday though in both he would at times be called away leaving North to either fend for herself or rely on a colleague.
     In the Daily run that colleague was often Lew Wen, a Chinese intelligence operative who worked for Interpol, at least on paper. In the Sunday run, Wen decides quickly that he has angered too many countries so he decides to lie low for a while and his very good friend, Dr. Wu, steps in to help.


     None of the Daily run and most of the Sunday run were without names to the story arcs. The names listed are mine, therefore, and are marked in quotes. The last few in the Sunday do not have quotes as these are the few with actual names.
     Since the last few actually named Sunday arcs started with 'Myra North and the', I kept that style for all the Sunday run. The Daily run, however, I chose to start each arc with 'The Case of the'.


     I have listed the story arcs below in the order they were presented but with Daily first and then the Sunday. I did this because many of the arcs of both runs will overlap with the succeeding one just a tad. Mixing Daily and Sunday runs, which had not overlaps with each other, seemed too confusing.


     In the final Daily strip, which ran on March 25, 1939, Jack and Myra are heading to the local justice of the peace to get married and have a "perfect storybook ending".

     Meanwhile the Sunday strips would continue for an additional two years and five months. Jack Lane would be a near constant companion of Myra North for a year and then would be seen locking up a bad guy at the beginning of the Mystic Dragon matter and not seen again!
     I would conjecture, romantic fool that I am, the final four Sunday adventures would happen sometime chronologically before the final Daily adventure. This would leave Myra and Jack off to wed and not have Myra ditch him for a lot more excitement without him.

1   "The Case Of The Urbanian Diamonds"
Strips: D01 - D66
Dates: 02/10/1936 - 04/25/1936
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Daily story arc #1
Answering a call for a nurse, Myra North reports to a Mister Hyster who has a suite of rooms in a hotel likely in New York. He has a patient named Spike she is to treat but she is to ignore all she sees and hears. Spike suffers from a gun shot. in his coat pocket is a very expensive-looking diamond necklace. He tells her Hyster is part of a big jewel-smuggling ring wanted by numerous countries. North is determined to learn more. She will eventually learn that the diamond necklace as well as secret fortification plans (for some place) are enroute the 'Gold Coast' of West Africa and a country called Ubania, a poor nation with a source of diamonds.
Note: there are a couple of large inconsistencies that are glossed over completely but which are fun to ponder:
First, Hyster, who has a full pointed beard, is able to hide it completely in a disguise using only a little make-up.
Second, Jack Lane, suspecting something untoward was happening on a yacht in the harbor, swam out to it and then shows up onboard immaculately dressed in suit and tie.
Third, North and Lane spend an entire night in a small rowboat only to discover in the morning a Chinese fellow in a coma beneath a tarp.
Click here to read some or all the story.

2   "The Case Of The Urbanian War"
Strips: D67 - D96
Dates: 04/27/1936 - 05/30/1936
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Daily story arc #2
Now in the Red Cross Service at Harum, the capital of the West African nation of Urbania, recently at war with one of the Great Powers over its rich diamond mines, Myra North is distress when she believe Jack Lane is killed in a bombing raid that destroys the hospital. The attending physician, Dr. Devries, is a bit too friendly with North and tries to slip her a mysterious potion when she is not aware. Lane, not dead but investigating enemy movements, learns that Devries is really in the pay of Hyster and is trying to capture North on his behalf.
Click here to read some or all the story.

3   "The Case Of The Tomb of Rohatep"
Strips: D97 - D165
Dates: 06/01/1936 - 08/19/1936
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Daily story arc #3
As Jack Lane helps bring a successful end to the war for the side of Urbania, Myra North is drugged and kidnapped by Dr. Devries on behalf of the evil Hyster but it is Devries who has a plan to use North. In Egypt a ways outside of Cairo, an excavation by famous British archaeologist, Sir Edmond Galaway, is about to open a tomb that has not been explored for fifty years. North is under the effect of a drug that makes her obey all of Devries' commands. Galaway is certain that the actual sarcophagus of Rohatep of the Fourth Dynasty was never found and he wants to be the discoverer. Hyster and Devries are really after the treasures sure to be with the body.
Click here to read some or all the story.

4   "The Case Of The Electric Chair Of Professor Garstin"
Strips: D166 - D204
Dates: 08/20/1936 - 10/03/1936
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Daily story arc #4
Accepting an offer to join Sir Edmond on a vacation voyage across the Med to Monte Carlo, Myra North and Jack Lane are introduced to a few celebrities also onboard the liner. One is a famous international banker named Ellis Granville who begs a private meeting with North. In it he reveals that a notorious scientist from Vienna named Julius Garstin "holds [Granville's] very life in the palm of his hand". North initially refuses to get involved but when he is pushed by his fiancee, Celia, to bet a fortune at the roulette table, loses it, and then tries to commit suicide, North is determined to learn what hold that Viennese doctor holds over Granville. To do that, she inveigles a top as a nurse at his clinic. She soon learns of his bizarre experiments to use an electric chair as part of his procedure to make old people younger.
Click here to read some or all the story.

5   "The Case Of The Colossal_Tank"
Strips: D205 - D252
Dates: 10/05/1936 - 11/28/1936
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Daily story arc #5
Jack Lane has been ordered to Paris by American Intelligence to report to a man named 'M' and Myra North is accompanying him. On the train, Lew Wen joins them. Wen tells Lane that 'every civilized nation is have its representative here for secret conference'. Country 'X' (sic) is threatening the other countries with "a colossal, movable fortress, actually capable of destroying everything in its path". Myra North was not content to just wait in the hotel for Lane and gets herself taken prisoner in that very same gigantic tank.
Click here to read some or all the story.

6   "The Case Of The Secret Council Assassin"
Strips: D253 - D88
Dates: 11/30/1936 - 01/09/1937
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Daily story arc #6
Back in Paris, Jack Lane and Lew Wen are again heading to a meeting with 'M' of Military Intelligence and they are directed to bring Myra North. In a private meeting with North, 'M' practically forces her to agree to be an agent for him on a mission to find a dangerous killer planning a major assassination of a member of the Secret Council.
Click here to read some or all the story.

7   "The Case Of The Lady Ainsley"
Strips: D289 - D330
Dates: 01/11/1937 - 02/27/1937
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Daily story arc #7
Wanting very much a simple, action-free nursing assignment, Myra North likes the advert that Jack Lane found for her in the newspaper. It is to be the companion and nurse for an elderly Lady Ainsley in a quite mansion in the country. Shortly after getting the job, North finds Bruno, a brutish man ordered to be her bodyguard in the previous adventure, had followed her because "nobody has told me to stop". He gets a job as a butler. Lady Ainsley is a bit of a clairvoyant and senses trouble is coming, and it is in the form of ne'er-do-well nephew Andrew.
Click here to read some or all the story.

8   "The Case Of The Terror Of The Claw"
Strips: D331 - D384
Dates: 03/01/1937 - 05/01/1937
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Daily story arc #8
Myra North is frantic to hear news of Jack Lane who has been away on a mission for the Secret Circle. She gets a letter from 'M' saying that Lane is in trouble in Morentia where he is thought to have been taken prisoner by 'The Claw', the most notorious spy killer in Europe.
Click here to read some or all the story.

9   "The Case Of The Jewel Thief Bluebeard"
Strips: D385 - D432
Dates: 05/03/1937 - 06/26/1937
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Daily story arc #9
Lew Wen tells Myra North and Jack Lane that he has been hired by a large insurance company to trap a notorious jewel thief costing them millions and needs their help. He sets North up in a beautiful manor to impersonate an American heiress complete with an awesome new wardrobe. As part of her ruse she visits a beach club where she meets slick Count Zamaroff who warns her she is in danger from the jewel thief known as Bluebeard.
Click here to read some or all the story.

10   "The Case Of The Abandoned Babies"
Strips: D433 - D504
Dates: 06/28/1937 - 09/18/1937
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Daily story arc #10.
Myra North is using the huge amount of reward money from the insurance company from the previous adventure to open a nursery for abandoned babies. She hires a Dr. Jason (who Jack Lane is jealous of immediately) to help. Right after the opening, Lew Wen is making breakfast when he finds in an egg a message typed on onion skin paper. It directs North "for the future welfare of the clinic" to go to a certain location and take special care of what they find there. What they find there are infant twins, along with a note demanding no one try to trace their origin. After that, things get strange but there is a princess from a small European nation involved.
Click here to read some or all the story.

11   "The Case Of The Crooked Criminologist"
Strips: D505 - D558
Dates: 09/20/1937 - 11/20/1937
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Daily story arc #11.
With the matter of the two babies taken care of, Myra North asks Dr. Jason what his plans were. Jason explains he has been in talks with noted Austrian criminologist Dr. Emil Van Boden to be his assistant in his famous experiments to remove criminal tendencies. North is offered a job as well and readily accepts (no mention of the clinic's future). When she tells Lane about the offer, he says she should take it and does not seem upset their wedding plans got delayed again. This doctor's operation, though, puzzles Jason when he watches one as he believes it would cause the patient's to lose fear, not criminal desires.
Click here to read some or all the story.

12   "The Case Of The Mad Counterfeiter"
Strips: D559 - D600
Dates: 11/22/1937 - 01/08/1938
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Daily story arc #12.
After congratulating Myra North on her capture of the gang in the previous adventure, Police Commissioner Johnson asks her to help out in another case. This one deals with Willie Steen, "killer and counterfeiter who dodged sentence on a plea of insanity". She is to go undercover at the sanitarium to find proof of what he is up to and Jack Lane will be her liaison.
Click here to read some or all the story.

13   "The Case Of The Mystery On Arnold Island"
Strips: D601 - D654
Dates: 01/10/1938 - 03/12/1938
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Daily story arc #13.
At the very end of the last adventure, Jack Lane was injured severely in the head. He is now suffering greatly from it and being taken to a hospital where his perceived rival for Myra North's affection, Dr. Jason, is now working doesn't help his delusions. Jason recommends that the two join him as he visits a wealthy client in Florida. The client is a Mr. Arnold who owns an impressive estate on a cay. On their flight there they are approached by a man named Nolan who begs for help and seems to need it as gunmen await their arrival. The secret behind the mystery lies with the manufacture of synthetic gems of all sorts.
Click here to read some or all the story.

14   "The Case Of The Evil Eye Of The Professor"
Strips: D655 - D732
Dates: 03/14/1938 - 06/11/1938
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Daily story arc #14.
Hearing that a flood was occurring in another part of the state, Myra North and Jack Lane rush there to aid the afflicted. North realizes that the town of Bonville where the Aunt and Uncle who helped raise her live is in the path of danger. That peril is increased when word that a dam had opened up and even more water was heading there. Lane has a run in with a looter, an old coot named Black Luke who vows revenge. Luke has the aid of a mysterious man called the Professor with apparently the ability to curse people with his Evil Eye.
Click here to read some or all the story.

15   "The Case Of The Radio-Controlled Naval Cruiser"
Strips: D733 - D786
Dates: 06/13/1938 - 08/13/1938
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Daily story arc #15.
Lew Wen suddenly shows up and tells Myra North she is wanted for an assignment back in D.C. Jack Lane, meanwhile, has to head back to his job as a NYC detective. The mission for North is to go undercover at a nightclub where it is suspected plans for the Navy's latest invention are being peddled. That invention is a brand new heavy cruiser that can be totally radio-controlled. North will discover that the intentions are not just to steal the plans but also to destroy the actual ship and she is the one on the best position to stop it from happening.
Click here to read some or all the story.

16   "The Case Of The Skyway Bandits"
Strips: D788 - D868
Dates: 06/13/1938 - 11/12/1938
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Daily story arc #16.
Myra North is reunited with NY Detective Jack Lane as he shows up as she ends her latest assignment. He tells her that he has been accepted into the FBI and that he has a case which needs someone of her skills. Allied Airlines has had several commercial planes hijacked and forced to land in a remote area of Arizona where its wealthy passengers have been robbed. Lane wants North to be put on as a stewardess. The case takes an interesting turn when it is learned that famous actress Lovie Lavere was flying to the West Coast with her known satchel of jewelry and the gang leader, a man called 'Spider', wants to kidnap her.
Click here to read some or all the story.

17   "The Case Of The Doves Of Peace"
Strips: D865 - D924
Dates: 11/14/1938 - 01/21/1939
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Daily story arc #17.
The agent for actress Lovie Lavere is impressed that Myra North has been able to get the temperamental star to follow orders so he invites her to come with them to the next movie location to act as technical advisor since the leading lady role is that of a nurse. At the studio, though, it is learned that a series of dangerous 'accidents' have been plaguing the lot. At the heart of these troubles is a mysterious organization called the "Doves of Peace".
Click here to read some or all the story.

18   "The Case Of The Child Movie Star"
Strips: D925 - D978
Dates: 01/23/1939 - 03/25/1939
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Daily story arc #18.
As a thank you for her work saving a prominent Hollywood studio, Myra North is invited to the premiere of the latest movie of child star, Dolly Darlin. Seated next to the little girl, she learns that the child is upset because, while she is an orphan, she has come to love her guardian, her talent agent she calls 'Daddy Bob'. It seems that a long unknown Aunt has turned up demanding control of the young actress and her estate. The 'aunt' is really a member of a criminal gang run by a very nasty fellow called 'The Count'. North goes undercover as an ex-con nurse hired to handle the 'little brat' actress.
Click here to read some or all the story.

19   "Myra North and the Anguran Prince"
Strips: S01 - S21
Dates: 07/12/1936 - 11/29/1936
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Sunday story arc #1
Myra North is in Cairo, Egypt, when she is summoned to the hospital to help care for a young boy, age around 12, who was found injured on the steps of the dispensary. He cannot recall who he is and no one else seems to know. Then Myra finds a note warning her that his identity "is no concern of yours - BE WARNED". She calls him 'Curly' due to his hair. He is really Prince Adrian of the Balkan country of Angura. The military attaché to the legation to Egypt is not a nice man.
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20   "Myra North and the Mechanical Eye"
Strips: S22 - S38
Dates: 12/06/1936 - 03/23/1937
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Sunday story arc #2
Curly insists that Myra North accompany him on a trip to visit is cousin, Allan Brockton, in England. That man is a famous inventor of the 'mechanical eye', a device that can take snapshots of things that already happened. The government is very interested in it as are foreign agents.
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21   "Myra North and the Threatened Actress"
Strips: S39 - S50
Dates: 04/04/1937 - 06/20/1937
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Sunday story arc #3
Myra North is a bit surprised by the request of Inspector Henley to accompany him to meet the star of a London stage play, a beautiful French woman named Mina D'Arle, whose life has been threatened. The lady has a problem with an ex-husband, a cad and gambler named Gus Sterner. There are other suspects besides Sterner so North, who volunteers to help, has her work cut out for her. The weapon used to try to kill her is a new invention called the "Blue Death".
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22   "Myra North and the Brain Experiment"
Strips: S51 - S61
Dates: 06/27/1937 - 09/120/1937
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Sunday story arc #4
Receiving a request for help, Myra North leaves England for Florida. The radiogram read "Need assistance and advice on important case concerning old friend of yours ... Beg you leave at once for Pine Glades' and was signed Dr. Duval, known to be a great brain specialist. At the same time, Duval has sent a message to Jack Lane requesting his presence. The doctor's plan involves a bizarre brain surgery with Lane and a chimp and a desire to thwart a bank's security system.
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23   "Myra North and the Murdered Sculptor"
Strips: S62 - S71
Dates: 09/19/1937 - 11/21/1937
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Sunday story arc #5
Myra North and Jack Lane decide to drop in to visit a famous New York sculptor named Jeffrey Garland, an old friend of Lane, at his lofty penthouse apartment. The man's valet tells of Garland's sad death three weeks before under mysterious circumstances. Garland had died during a dinner party he was holding to show off his unfinished sculpture of a beautiful nude woman. Later, the valet notices later that missing was his appointment book.
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24   "Myra North and the Queen of Destruction"
Strips: S72 - S97
Dates: 11/28/1937 - 05/22/1938
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Sunday story arc #6
Myra North and Jack Lane want to celebrate their solving the previous mystery with a visit to a Chinese restaurant in a district where Lane has heard their old friend, Lew Wen, was "doing some kind of secret investigating". At the restaurant they learn that Wen has disappeared weeks before while looking into "sinister epidemic among Chinese women, many have been stricken". Soon they will become captives of the 'Queen of Destruction', a Chinese woman with powerful weapons and an underground headquarters where she plans to replace male leaders around the world.
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25   "Myra North and the Threat of Ling Sin"
Strips: S98 - S121
Dates: 05/29/1938 - 11/06/1938
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist), Ray Thompson (writer)
Artist: Charles Coll

Sunday story arc #7
With Myra North recovered from the plague she had been given in the previous adventure, she and Jack Lane consider leaving the whole 'dangerous adventure' business. Unfortunately, the danger from Ling Sin is apparent with learning about the mysterious hidden land north of Greenland and the civilization there that is so very much more advanced than ours. This shows up with it is learned that Lane is somehow 'touched' by the memory of Sin so the fight must be taken to her. Even worse the threat that she will use the advanced technology to conquer the rest of the planet.
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26   "Myra North and the Weapon of De Rushko"
Strips: S122 - S128
Dates: 11/13/1938 - 12/25/1938
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Sunday story arc #8
Saying goodbye to the friends they had made with the people at the top of the world, Myra North and Jack Lane prepare to leave while Lew Wen realizes it is safer for him to stay for a while. The leader there tells North and Lane about a threat to the 'outside world' he has learned of. "[On] a tiny, secluded island in the South China Sea. On tis island a ruthless scientist creates a monstrous new device for destroying human life. He will sell same to the highest bidding power". North and Lane, with the help of Dr. Wu, head to that locale to do what they can to stop the danger.
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27   "Myra North and the Falcon"
Strips: S129 - S136
Dates: 01/01/1939 - 02/19/1939
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Sunday story arc #9
Another mission is sent to Myra North and Jack Lane from the High Council of the hidden civilization north of Greenland. This one takes them to the U.S. and a ghost town called Gringo near the Gulf of Mexico where they will find a dangerous man called the Falcon "due to a weird custom of concealing his features with a hood". They are told "this sinister personage is engaged in an amazing scheme to rob your country of its natural resources, discovery of which would inevitably lead to war. He must be stopped!"
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28   "Myra North and the Oracle of Taotl"
Strips: S137 - S144
Dates: 02/26/1939 - 04/23/1939
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Sunday story arc #10
Having completed the mission in Gringo, Myra North with Jack Lane and Dr. Wu are surprised to see a stowaway on their plane. A creepy looking older man with a wide brim hat and a dangerous pistol orders them to head due west to "Toltec Canyon, near the Arizona border". After he is subdued by Dr. Wu, he tells them that his name is Jonathan Crag and his life as an archaeologist has been dedicated to searching for 'The Oracle of Taotl', supposedly handed down by the Aztecs. They decide that while they have no interest in wealth and fame from finding it, the oracle feature could be useful.
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29   "Myra North and the Search For Heavy Water"
Strips: S145 - S154
Dates: 04/30/1939 - 07/02/1939
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Sunday story arc #11
Flying back from their latest adventure, Myra North, Jack Lane, and Dr. Wu are greeted by a cadre of military aircraft who prompt them to land. The man in charge has an urgent message for Wu from a Professor Luna who is engaged in "some revolutionary power experiments [for America] in Cuba". His work is being threatened by a "mysterious tropical malady" which Wu says shows "hostile forces at work". The Professor's experiments have to do with growing specialized vegetation that could replace coal as a major energy source, one that is renewable.
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30   "Myra North and the Secret Pact"
Strips: S155 - S165
Dates: 07/09/1939 - 09/17/1939
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Sunday story arc #12
In a continuation of the previous adventure, the villain of that tale, Alfton, has escaped but have taken Myra North as a prisoner so Jack Lane and Dr. Wu give chase. Unfortunately, the escape vehicle that North is a captive on is a fully functional warship, completely remote controlled. Alfton has a short schedule to keep, though, in which to take possession of a small box and deliver it to another nation. The contents of that box has grave ramifications for that region if not the whole world.
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31   "Myra North and the Miracle Weapon"
Strips: S166 - S174
Dates: 09/24/1939 - 11/19/1939
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Sunday story arc #13
Myra North and her friends are at the US Embassy in Satan Rica in South America when she is introduced to a Naval attache. He has a mission he would like her to undertake; to go undercover as a nurse to an American munitions millionaire as his nurse. The Navy wants to know why the man has made numerous recent trips to South America. Soon after assuming the position, North is shocked to see her client accosted by the head of the notorious International Secret Police, someone who has run into North before. The case will revolve around the arms dealer selling a new type of gun to the ISP.
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32   "Myra North and the Invisible Man"
Strips: S175 - S189
Dates: 11/26/1939 - 03/03/1940
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Sunday story arc #14
Myra North is awakened in the early morning by a phone call with stunning news; the evil Hyster, who has plagued her more than once, has been released. The local authorities are confident they can curtail any illegal activity by shadowing him constantly but Hyster makes a visit to a genius but greedy scientist named Zero who has the ability, for a price, to make Hyster invisible. With that power, Hyster is out to make a good deal of mischief because he has two major goals: get rich quickly and get revenge on Myra North.
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33   "Myra North and the Mystic Dragon"
Strips: S190 - S221
Dates: 03/10/1940 - 10/13/1940
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Sunday story arc #15. This adventure is the longest of the Sunday arcs.
To Dr. Wu and his now assistant Myra North is sent "the famous 'Mystic Dragon' of Kublai Khan for safe keeping during the Hostilities". This not so secret delivery is learned of by the infamous "crafty and eccentric scientist Zero" by reading of it in the newspaper. Zero sees it as the opportunity of a lifetime. Zero's interest is because the 'opalescent crystal' eyes of the ivory statuette begin sparkling like live coals when certain gems are brought near them. Zero is certain there is some process he must learn to the reaction. While combatting Zero, the two learn of his strange potion which temporarily change him, Hyde-Jekyll style, into a tall, handsome, sophisticated looking British man. The tale gets even stranger with the introduction of an Indian metaphysician and the legendary Scheherazade as well as Sinbad the Sailor, not to mention a bit of time travel by Zero and an underwater civilization!
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34   "Myra North and the Blue Death"
Strips: S222 - S235
Dates: 10/20/1940 - 01/19/1940
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Sunday story arc #16
An "old spy-chasing comrade" of Myra North and Dr. Wu, Captain Gunsen, asks for their help in solving a major difficulty. In Center City where factories involved in work "on a colossal new defense weapon" have had employees "dying like flies under the most mysterious circumstances". News reports refer to the unexplained cause as the "Blue Death", so named because the bodies have no signs of violence and no clues as to the cause except for a faint blue tinge to the skin.
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35   "Myra North and the Secret Terror"
Strips: S236 - S252
Dates: 01/26/1941 - 05/18/1941
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Sunday story arc #17
In a "lonely forest preservation outpost several hundred miles north of the U.S. border" a "mask-faced man of indeterminate nationality" (Ha! definitely German!) learns of the failure of his man, named Grupp, in the previous adventure. Grupp, the one-eared menace, receives new orders. His first step is to sneak into Myra North's hotel room and kidnap her. We learn that Grupp is part of "The Secret Alliance, North American" branch. We also discover, as does North after pretending to turn to their side, that a huge invasion is being planned along the Northwest border with Canada!
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36   "Myra North and the Pacific Peril"
Strips: S253 - S267
Dates: 05/25/1941 - 08/31/1941
Contributors: Ray Thompson (writer), Charles Coll (artist)
Artist: Charles Coll

Sunday story arc #18
Dr. Wu and Myra North, along with their pilot hotshot, Mac, are asked to fly to Honolulu to help when the "War Department hears ominous rumors of [a] plot to destroy [the] U.S. Pacific Fleet". This plot would come from Germanic forces using a large number of submarines. North and Wu are able to stop them. Interestingly, and a tad eerily, the German fleet is destroyed off the coast of Hawaii by a surprise air attack by a large number of U.S. fighters. Remember, this defense took place in August of 41; the actual Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor would happen roughly four months later.
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MY COMMENTS

     I was certain of two things when I read the first few strips in this series. First, it was almost certain to fit into this compendium. Second, I was going to enjoy reading the stories.
     When I finished collecting every strip, both Daily and Sunday, and reading them, both certainties remained. Myra North belonged in this collection and I really enjoyed it.
     I had some doubts at first, though, as I read a couple of descriptions of this comic strip and was left with the feeling the reviewers thought of this series as a medical soap opera with some extra excitement thrown in. What I found in my reading of the actual strips, though, was something totally different!


     As was so very common in the mid to late 30's comic strips and comic books that wanted to deal with international tensions, the countries involved were all fictitious but the concept of one country lusting after a neighbor's territory rang true. What made the idea interesting was the fact that it was not a near-perfect operative saving the day but rather a nurse having the tenacity to not just stay quiet but to get involved.
     In North's case, it was her insatiable curiousity that got her looking deeper in the first place. Then you throw in the fact that she really does not like getting thrown into a closet or a jail and you have one very stubborn and interesting person to follow!

GRADE

My Grade: B

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