ten_detective_aces_193401 ten_detective_aces_193403 the_cobra_bk_tctkod ten_detective_aces_193402
Full Name: Dean Bradley
Codename: The Cobra
Nationality: American
Organization: British Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: Richard B. Sale
Time Span: 1934 - 2009


Dean Bradley, aka The Cobra, is an agent with British Intelligence.

[Note straight off that I have seen the first name printed in numerous places as "Dean" and in several places as "Deen".]

How this man came to be part of that organization in the years shortly after the end of the First World War is unknown but it must have been interesting because Bradley is a fellow born to American parents while they lived in India and who grew up in that huge country even after his parents were killed during a revolt against Westerners when he was still a youngster. He was in a way adopted by a wealthy yogi who taught him many things normally not passed to outsiders. When Bradley was old enough, he was sent to England to complete his education at a prestigious Oxford college.

After his schooling, Bradley returned to his beloved India where under his legal name he took a job with British Intelligence, although I read one place that he was affiliated with the "Bombay Department of Justice", and soon gained a reputation for getting the job done quickly and decisively. When he later moved his operations to England with a sojourn to the States, his expertise and experience were readily accepted. It is interesting that to many in India, Bradley is decidedly a Westerner, treated as British for the most part but occasionally even having his American nationality mentioned, as in his being a "Yankee dick".

Even as he was so employed, Bradley began his secondary career being a costumed crimefighter who went after those that had proven untouchable by legal means. As The Cobra, his manner of dealing with these criminals was swift and deadly and designed to strike fear into their hearts as they learned there was no legal appeal and means of avoidance. With the use of a cigarette holder, said to be "peculiar greenish", which he rigged to shoot small darts whose tips had been dipped in paralyzing lethal snake venom, his impressive aim brought a good number to targets to their end silently and frighteningly.

One might think that a vigilante who kills his targets without consideration of jurisdiction or authorization would be anathema to the police but apparently in the world of The Cobra, he is highly respected by those in authority who know of him; as one Scotland Yard inspector tells his boss, "I don't know who or what the Cobra is. But I do know that he gets results."

Bradley is described as "high-foreheaded, dark-skinned, he had black eyes (elsewhere referred to as 'cobra eyes') which glittered coldly like ebony diamonds, hard, unemotional. He had no mustache. His face was thin and sharp (said to be 'hawk-faced'). His lips, narrow and straight?lined." His strength is mentioned as being "astonishing".


Number of Books:1
First Appearance:2009
Last Appearance:2009

1 The Cobra: The King Of Detective The Cobra: The King Of Detective
Written by Richard B. Sale
Copyright: 2009

A collection of 7 short stories and 1 article. Only the first three deal with The Cobra, aka Dean Bradley.
The Cobra stories are:
1. Terror Towers
2. The House of Kaa
3. The Grinning Ghoul
The article is:
1. Snakes Alive!
The other 4, non-Cobra stories are:
1. Sting of the Scorpion
2. The Whispering Corpse
3. The Reptile Murders
4. Mellow Drama


Number of Stories:3
First Appearance:1934
Last Appearance:1934

1 Terror Towers Terror Towers
Written by Richard B. Sale
Copyright: 1934

Printed in Ten Detective Aces, January 1934. Collected in the book The Cobra: The King Of Detective.
[plot unknown]

2 The House Of Kaa The House Of Kaa
Written by Richard B. Sale
Copyright: 1934

Printed in Ten Detective Aces, February 1934. Also published in Action Adventure Stories, November 2003. Collected in the book The Cobra: The King Of Detective.
"Scotland Yard thought it strange that the firm of Gorgan & Wilkins imported only regal pythons. But no law was being broken. And they thought it very strange when the Cobra, a lone avenger from India, suddenly appeared in London. But the Cobra had once helped them, so there was no investigation. And the greatest surprise of all was the appearance of Dean Bradley of the British Intelligence - who had an amazing plan to offer."

3 The Grinning Ghoul The Grinning Ghoul
Written by Richard B. Sale
Copyright: 1934

Printed in Ten Detective Aces, March 1934. Collected in the book The Cobra: The King Of Detective.
[plot unknown]


The idea of an espionage agent also gadding about as a costumed crimefighter is pretty rare and not a little silly since those in the shadows really do not want to be noticed and crimefighters kind of have to be.

Add to this the fact that Dean Bradley aka the Cobra in his fancy get-up is the ultimate in vigilante being judge, jury, and executioner - and the police are not at all upset about him. 

It makes me wonder if there fact that there appears to be only three adventures about this fellow does not stem from the fact that the premise was ... well, wrong.


My Grade: C


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