Mark Marston of the Interplanetary Police is a science-fiction serial, but really only on the surface. They wear “futuristic” costumes, and there is some vague high-tech, but really the entire series could be presented as present day, or even historical, from what actually happens. It was never more than two pages long for the duration of the run, which likely was no help in breaking free of the standard format.
Mark and his partner, Sergeant Monty Montague, are assigned to look into the disappearance of Professor Hillary, designer of a sun ray cannon. They are fairly certain the Red People, from the Red Planet (Mars?) are behind his abduction, and indeed they are. His daughter Gail joins the police on their investigation, which takes them to the tower where the Red People and their king, Sarno, hang out while on Earth. Though called a tower, it really seems much more like an extensive castle, complete with a laboratory, dungeon, throne room and traps.
The three get captured by Sarno, who gets his scientists to transform Gail into a Red person, though before this happens Mark and Monty escape their captors and send the poisonous gas that was meant to kill them, back on the Red people, who flee. Gail tries to find her way out of the lab, accidentally setting off the base’s self-destruct. They manage to find her father and escape just before it explodes.
This serial runs in More Fun from issues 15 – 26. As a reward, Mark and Monty are sent to Blue Bay, and Gail tags along, having fallen in love with Mark.
No sooner have they arrived than Lord Greystone is murdered by a mysterious cloaked and floating man, using cobra venom as his weapon. Gail runs into him with her “giro” (flying car), and the police follow the blood trail back to what seems to be a combination zoo/laboratory. They have two suspects, the attendant of the reptile house, and a chemist, both of whom have some slight evidence against them, but not really much in the way of motive. The series ends with Mark and Monty unsure of what to do next.
And so I guess the case got filed as unsolved, and they were fired from the Interplanetary Police for incompetence.
Mark Marson: More Fun 15 – 31 (Nov 36 – May 38)