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SECRET AGENT XXX13

se_xxx13_cb_ut2 se_xxx13_cb_tssgp se_xxx13_cb_ut1 se_xxx13_cb_ttocn se_xxx13_cb_tswa
 
Full Name: Unknown
Series Name: Secret Agent XXX13
Codename: XXX13
Nationality: Australian
Organization: Australian Intelligence Service
Occupation Agent

Creator: Emile Mercier
Time Span: 1943 - 1946

ABOUT THE SERIES

Secret Agent XXX13 is an agent with the Australian Intelligence Service.

We use the operative's codename here because as of yet we have no idea what his given name actually is. Obviously he has one but for security reasons, they are not telling us hence our having no clue. I did notice that he is referred to in one narrative solely as 'XXX' which we might take as a nickname codename.

When we first meet him he is heading quickly but also, apparently suavely (is that a word) to meet his boss at HQ, his images showing he is a very snappy dresser in what appears to be a bespoke double-breasted suit and a dashing light-colored fedora. XXX13 is a moderately tall, very slender man with either extremely close-cut hair or nigh-on to being bald.

He comes across in that initial encounter as a cool, easy-going fellow, asking his boss, "What's on yer mind!" We do not any enough of that meeting to learn how his Chief responds to XXX13's cavalier-ness.

In later adventures we get a ever-so brief glimpse into his skillset when we observe him in disguise (is he a master at such things) tailing a dangerous suspect. He is also quite intrepid, as we are told this is taking place just after he had manage to "escape from a dastardly plot to do him to death". In yet another escapade (literally and figuratively) he has just gotten free from captivity aboard his enemy's yacht - even going so far as to sink the vessel hoping to put an end to his foes right there.

As to the foes he faces, we know for sure of only one but he is a repeat customer by the name of Count Nyne - a German-speaking nogoodnik who not only plagues XXX13 more than once, he has thrown at our operative "the gorgeous but snaky spy known as Cursya".

COMIC BOOKS, GRAPHIC NOVELS, AND MANGA

Number of Stories:5
First Appearance:1943
Last Appearance:1946

According to an article entitled Panel by Panel: a history of Australian Comics by John Ryan (a portion of which I read on the website Comicoz), while employed by Frank Johnson Publications, an Australian printing company, during the early 30s, Emile Mercier "created a series of parodies which delighted readers both young and old. Over three decades later, these comics remain as testimony as to what can be done with the comic book medium to make us laugh". He did this with often "zany and rib-tickling humor".

Among Mercier's other repeat parody characters, in addition to this page's XXX13 which "aimed its shots as Secret Agent X-9", we know about Mudrake the Magician [taking on Mandrake], Speed Umplestoop [Speed Gordon], Tripalong Hoppitty and Three-Gun Ferdie.

There may be more than these 5 stories out there.


1 The Secret Weapon Assignment The Secret Weapon Assignment
Published by Frank Johnson Publications
Contributors: Emile Mercier (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1943

Printed in Star Pocket Comics #4 in 1943.
XXX13 is called into HQ to get assigned to find out who has taken Secret Weapon No. 4629Bx.

2 [Unknown Title] [Unknown Title]
Published by Frank Johnson Publications
Contributors: Emile Mercier (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1944

Printed in Star Pocket Comics #8 in 1944.
[plot unknown]

3 [Unknown Title] [Unknown Title]
Published by Frank Johnson Publications
Contributors: Emile Mercier (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1945

Printed in Star Pocket Comics #12 in 1945.
[plot unknown]

4 The Trail Of Count Nyne The Trail Of Count Nyne
Published by Frank Johnson Publications
Contributors: Emile Mercier (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1945

Printed in The New Cracker in 1945.
"XXX13 is on the yacht of Count Nyne and he plans to get away plus sink it."

5 The Secret Snood Gun Plans The Secret Snood Gun Plans
Published by Frank Johnson Publications
Contributors: Emile Mercier (writer and artist)
Copyright: 1946

Printed in the King issue of Magpie Comics in 1946.
"Count Nyne has stolen the plans for the new Snood Gun and XXX13 has been sent to get them back."

MY COMMENTS

Considering how little actual pieces of this strange fellow's adventures I have been able to come up with (okay, it was a fellow spy-fan and frequent contributor who did all the heavy lifting and actually found all this stuff), I really should not give it a grade. Except... Considering what I do see, I can tell that I really was not missing all that much.

Historically it is important as it is an Australian comic book from a time when they were just getting their feet wet in the industry down there. So from that viewpoint, worthy of attention. Otherwise, not so much.

GRADE

My Grade: C+

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