The End of the 1946 Crimebuster Story
Note: we've been looking at a classic Crimebuster story written by Charles Biro and drawn by Norman Maurer, but this is the last page. If you want to see the all-new Crimebuster story The Case of the Lacrosse Rape Hoax, then please click the highlighted text, and thank you! Issue #2 will start up online on the first Friday in March 2017!)
Yessir, that's the end. And as we just saw, all that stuff Charles Biro wrote at the beginning, that stuff about how boys who are worth their salt being surrounded by the worst environment and the most fertile crime-breeding elements yet despite this, their inherent sense of fair play and good sportsmanship will make them immune to juvenile delinquency, all that stuff, it really didn't seem to work out for Joe. Tommy had the good fortune to be raised in an environment with an attentive, kind male figure and he ended up a good policeman, while Joe got raised by a dumb alcoholic with a mean streak and ended up dead at a young age. I guess Joe wasn't worth his salt, is the conclusion we can draw from this.
Otherwise the orphanage would have to be worst environment and most fertile crime-breeding element, right? And I guess it's not.
Something else, too, is that a couple pages previous we had Joe in the manhole and the thug calling after him. Now, the page previous to that had had one of the thugs, the guy who beat the cop to death, that guy said "everything's all set for tonight." So I presumed that the next page was that evening, at a different location.
However, it appears that it was the same location, and they just left the left-for-dead cop in the same manhole where they were getting the gas from, and I guess they had Joe go down and hook up the gas hose in the same place, where he could see the corpse of his former brother who had been beaten to death, and Joe was okay with that, or at least if he was upset he didn't remark on it.
Anyway it was a pretty good story with some exciting things happening. Thanks for reading, and next week we'll get to Issue #2 of The Case of the Lacrosse Rape Hoax!
Two cops show up in the aftermath of the explosion that Crimebuster caused. One cop, Jim, he says "Good lord! Looks like Dante's Inferno! Guess this is the only survivor!" The other cop says "Jim, call an ambulance! Hey! I hear a voice! Sounds like it's coming from the manhole!" A faint voice says "H E L P!"
In the cavern, we see Crimebuster lifting the body of Officer Tommy Neilson. The cop with a flashlight says "Glory be! The young lad's found Neilson! What's keeping that ambulance!" Crimebuster says "He's in bad shape, but still breathing! Needs a doctor quick!"
An ambulance arrives. A doctor (in suit and tie - I guess back then doctors traveled with paramedics? I don't even know what ambulance protocol was in 1946) says "This one will be okay! Just a bump on the head, but what a bump!" in regard to one of the thugs who had jumped clear of the crash. The officer, let's say it's Jim, Officer Jim says "Forget him! It's those other two fellows that need attention... Neilson's in bad shape, and the lad here has a bullet in him! As for this punk here, we'll take care of him! From what Crimebuster tells me he has a date with the D.A.!"
In a circular panel, we see that Crimebuster and Officer Tommy Neilson are both situated in the same room in Ward G of a hospital. Loover is there, and Loover says to Crimebuster "Have I been kicking myself around for letting you go on that case! Supposing that bullet had hit an inch lower! You certainly busted the gasoline racket, though!" Crimebuster smiles and says "We have Neilson here to thank for that! The tough part is that he can't remember what happened! How'd those fellows on the truck make out? I saw one start to jump!"
Loover takes something small and metal out of his pocket, and says "Wiped out! The only identification we could find was half a locket on the body of one!" Officer Neilson yells "Half a locket! Wait...let's see it quick!"
Loover holds the locket next to the one on Tommy's chest. "It matches! What does it mean Neilson?"
Neilson replies "Now I remember what happened! Joe, my brother, was one of those racketeers, and now he's ... dead! Let me tell you the whole story!"
The images fade, and we're back in the Bright Hills orphanage's spacious auditorium which can hold hundreds of boys. Crimebuster finishes the story and says "...and that's the story that Tom Neilson told! If you think I made this up you can ask him yourself! He's on duty every afternoon down at Rogers Square! Maybe you can even get him to show you the medal of valor he received from the city for his bravery!"
The gathered boys are impressed. "Oh, boy! What a swell story!" one says. Another boy excitedly replies "An' it's true!"
Crimebuster, in an elliptical panel, looks around, at a curtain behind him. He says "Now if I can just find Squeeks... Shh... wait a minute!"
Crimebuster pulls back a curtain. We see a table, and the magician's silk hat. The magician is not there, I guess he couldn't wait and scrambled to his dressing room to start in on that bottle of booze. Squeeks the monkey is looking in the drunk magician's hat, feeling around for that rabbit he pulled out earlier. All of the boys laugh at the monkey.
On the tablecloth is written "The End."