World’s Finest 10 – the Star-Spangled Kid vs Mr. Gadget, and the Boy Commandos head to Russia


While I generally like covers that assemble a variety of characters on them, the cover of World’s Finest 10 (Summer 1943) is just sloppy.


A recurring villain for the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripsey is introduced in this Howard Sherman story.


Tommy Tucker is an inventor with a genius for developing new machines, but a severe lack of smarts when it comes to signing contracts.  He finds that all the work he has done for the Atlas Machine Company belongs to them, and that he will earn no royalties on any of it.


This prompts him to turn to crime, with Atlas as his first target. Calling himself Mr. Gadget, his invented weaponry is impressive, and he finds it easy to form a gang.  The Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy stop one of his robberies, so he lays a trap for them.  He uses a machine that sends his phone call to every phone in the city, luring the heroes out, and almost succeeds in killing them using their own Star-Rocket Racer.


As the villain and heroes meet at the story’s climax, Mr. Gadget uses a camera that creates multiple images of him.  While the rest of his gang gets rounded up, Mr. Gadget escapes, returning in a couple of months in the Star-Spangled Kid’s series in Star Spangled Comics.


The Boy Commandos accompany a relief ship heading to Russia in this Simon and Kirby tale.  Most of the story is set in the waters off Norway, as they deal with Nazi subs.


Brooklyn and Alfy get captured, and are being held on one of the subs that the Commandos are attacking.  The story is a bit more intense than most of their tales, which is not a bad thing at all.


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