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LARRY NOBLE

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Full Name: Larry Noble
Series Name: Yankee Eagle
Codename: Yankee Eagle
Nationality: American
Organization: Military Intelligence
Occupation Freelance Agent

Creator: Al Gabriele
Time Span: 1942 - 1943

ABOUT THE SERIES

     Larry Noble, the Yankee Eagle, is a freelance agent with American Military Intelligence.
     Well, sometimes he is. He is certainly eager to take a couple of assignments from them and it is implied by a statement from the Secretary of War that he has done so on numerous occasions in the past.
     Mostly, though, he is a movie stunt man, considered one of the very best, when he is not out chasing excitement and danger. As if driving a speeding car off a cliff at a hair-spin curve at the instruction of a film director or rigging stunt where his parachute looks like it fails during a leap from an aircraft because the camera man needs that particular look, all were not exciting and dangerous enough.
     We can watch Noble as he travels the world, either with a film crew or just on his own for whatever reason he might come up with. It seems in each place he lands he finds trouble and thrills and loads of people who either desperately need the help of the Yankee Eagle or loads of people who would love to be the ones to bring about the end of such a famous adventurer.
     Which brings us to that nickname of his which also seems to be his codename when working for Uncle Sam. How he came to be called the Yankee Eagle is never mentioned nor is it even hinted at how long he has been called that by people all over the world (or how people all over the world even know about his being called that). What is known is that he is addressed as that by enough people, be they those he is rescuing or the German or Japanese agents he combats, that it is obvious he is well known.
     From his depictions, Noble is a fairly tall man with brown hair and an impressive physique, understandable since he earns his living as a daring stunt man and spends his time off leaping into dangerous situations.


Note: it must be pointed out that this individual, Larry Noble, the Yankee Eagle, is from everything I can find absolutely not connected with Jerry Noble who also goes by the nickname of the Yankee Eagle. Granted, both are Americans and both work on occasion for some branch of the American government and both had their adventures recounted in the same magazine, albeit a year apart from each other. But these two Noble fellows are not related.

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:10
First Appearance:1942
Last Appearance:1943

       In the last month of 1942, one year after the U.S. had been drawn into the conflicts in Europe and Asia, the pages of the numerous titles of comicbooks put out by Quality Comics were filled, as most such publications were, with people of all walks of life somehow dealing with the enemies of America.
       Smash Comics, one of its premiere titles, was certainly no exception. It has been running for several years already when, in issue #38, it "introduced" a new character who would also spend time fighting both the Germans on the one side and the Japanese on the other and agents from both back home in the middle. He would do so for ten adventures before disappearing forever.
       I highlighted the word introduced because while Larry Noble, the Yankee Eagle, was indeed seeing his initial story being told there, a year before another chap named Jerry Noble, the Yankee Eagle, had seen his short run come to an end.
       Neither Noble made mention of the other and while Jerry was the very well off son of a prominent Senator and was largely a man of leisure, Larry was definitely a working stiff who had to worry about getting the next gig. And since Larry's gig would be as a stunt man doing highly dangerous feats of daring, he obviously had to worry about it once he got it.


1 Men Marked For Death! Men Marked For Death!
Published by Quality Comic
Contributors: Al Gabriele (artist)
Copyright: 1942

Published in Smash Comics #38, December 1942 - 8 pages.
The Japanese hired a secretary to a "nitrate king" to see to his elimination so the secretary could act as his proxy and get the firm to sell all its nitrates to Japan and not to America. Larry Noble is brought into the matter by accident when a valet of the now-deceased magnate slips a note pleading for help into Noble's hand during a boxing match.

Click here to read the story.

2 Bataan Bataan
Published by Quality Comic
Contributors: Al Gabriele (artist)
Copyright: 1943

Published in Smash Comics #39, January 1943 - 8 pages.
Larry Noble, known as the Yankee Eagle, is asked to visit the Secretary of War where he receives a special assignment. The mission takes him to occupied Philippines where he bails out over Bataan to search for a missing lieutenant named Graymore, a man who has plenty of intel on planned Japanese offenses.

Click here to read the story.

3 The Crow The Crow
Published by Quality Comic
Contributors: Al Gabriele (artist)
Copyright: 1943

Published in Smash Comics #40, February 1943 - 8 pages.
For some reason, Larry Noble was hiding behind trash cans when one gangland leader named The Crow, with a nose to explain the nickname, and his men try to rub out a rival gangster named O'Leary, all to control shipments of rubber and gas. All of the latter's men except himself are killed and he heads to the Crow's hideout for revenge, Noble tailing him closely. When O'Leary is killed, Noble leaps in.

Click here to read the story.

4 Heiress Still Missing Heiress Still Missing
Published by Quality Comic
Contributors: Al Gabriele (artist)
Copyright: 1943

Published in Smash Comics #41, March 1943 - 8 pages.
Larry Noble is only mildly interested in the case of a missing heiress to a major movie studio when he reads about it in the newspaper. Soon, however, he will fall, literally, in the middle of the scheme by her cousin to take control of the company.

Click here to read the story.

5 'In the Land of the Khan' 'In the Land of the Khan'
Published by Quality Comic
Contributors: Al Gabriele (artist)
Copyright: 1943

Published in Smash Comics #42, April 1943 - 8 pages.
Larry Noble is in the desert of [likely] Northern Africa in an area where local tribal law dictates that strangers must be eliminated. He is there to do stunt work with a small film crew when the team is snatched by a tribal patrol and taken to their Khan. He turns out to be an Oxford grad. As Noble and company try to figure out a way to survive, they learn that a British patrol has entered the region and now Noble must find a way to save them as well.

Click here to read the story.

6 The Sailor Missed His Boat The Sailor Missed His Boat
Published by Quality Comic
Contributors: Joe Cavallo (artist)
Copyright: 1943

Published in Smash Comics #43, June 1943 - 8 pages.
Trying to return to the States from the Far East, Larry Noble is stranded on the small island of Jawalla. He worries that if he does not get back in time, another stunt man named Malone would get his latest stunt gig. As he ponders what he can do, he meets an American sailor who had been sightseeing and missed the American fleet that just left. That is when they discover a Japanese scouting team preparing the way for that nation's fleet to take control.

Click here to read the story.

7 The High Priest of Yuan Chi The High Priest of Yuan Chi
Published by Quality Comic
Contributors: Joe Cavallo (artist)
Copyright: 1943

Published in Smash Comics #44, July 1943 - 8 pages.
In the interior of China for an unspecified reason, Larry Noble joins with a group of embattled Chinese guerillas trying to find a way to stop the approaching Japanese. One of the soldiers laments they do not have the help of the Warriors of Kwan Chung, fierce fighters in the nearby hills who "obey no one but their god of war, the idol of Yuan Chi" and "while Yuan Chi sleeps, the swords of his warriors remain unsheathed (sic) and rusting in their scabbards". Noble decides to wake the idol up!

Click here to read the story.

8 The Moulding Page The Moulding Page
Published by Quality Comic
Contributors: Vernon Henkel (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1943

Published in Smash Comics #45, August 1943 - 8 pages.
While spending "a quiet hour in the Congressional Library in Washington", Larry Noble notices an older man get suddenly excited about something he read and then race away. Curious, Noble checks what the man read and is himself surprised. Since the man had utter a German exclamation as he ran, Noble is certain he needs to alert Army Intelligence. The book in question had come from India years ago and mentions a formula for a very powerful gunpowder that is hidden in a small Buddha idol. Noble volunteers to head there to retrieve it.
Click here to read the story.

9 The Good Neighbor Policy The Good Neighbor Policy
Published by Quality Comic
Contributors: Vernon Henkel (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1943

Published in Smash Comics #46, September 1943 - 8 pages.
At a Trans-American Conference of all the nations in the Western Hemisphere in D.C., stirring speeches against Germany and Japan and all would-be fascists is stunned when one of the prominent speakers is shot dead while on the dais. The two gunmen escape to National Airport where they hire a friend of Larry Noble, the Yankee Eagle, to fly them to South America. Noble is asked by a dying FBI agent to follow them and see that justice is done.
Click here to read the story.

10 Mary Slade Mary Slade
Published by Quality Comic
Contributors: Vernon Henkel (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1943

Published in Smash Comics #47, October 1943 - 8 pages.
Larry Noble was just walking home after catching a gang of bank robbers for excitement, which he still found a bit boring, when he hears a scream from a building. Investigating, he finds a young woman in distress, upset at the sight of her brother, dead with a knife in his back. She swears she did not kill him but does admit the two were at odds over their father's estate. The lady is Mary Slade and she asks him for a ride home without contacting the police. Noble agrees to look into the matter himself and discovers a scheme to transmit vital intelligence to the Japanese.
Click here to read the story.

MY COMMENTS

       I got to really like this character even though his stories were rather short and there were not that many of them. Plus there was the fact that he tended to bounce all over the place without any continuity.
       Still, he was a fun-loving, action-loving, danger-loving sort that would describe me to a "T" as well, if I was anything at all like Noble, which I am thankfully not.
     I would love to have known how the switch from the very odd stories of his "predecessor" with the Yankee Eagle moniker to the stunt man stories of action of this iteration of the Yankee Eagle happened.
     In my imagination based on absolutely nothing whatsoever, I can see the man I credit as the creator, Al Gabriele, being told to write some new Yankee Eagle stories and him reluctantly agreeing only on the condition that he got to change him completely, including his first name. Probably did not go down that way, but, hey! It could have!
     However it came about, I gave the second Noble a whole grade higher than the first.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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