The Crimson Avenger started off as a sort of hybrid of the Shadow and the Green Hornet, both successful pulp heroes. Lee Travis, the young published and editor of the Globe Leader, would dress up in a dark blue suit with a matching wide-brimmed hat, with a large red cape and cloak, packing two pistols that he would shoot through openings in the cloak.
He had a faithful chinese servant, Wing, who knew his identity, and functioned largely as his driver, though he did capture a fugitive on his own once. Wing was capable of speaking clear English.
The Crimson, as he was usually referred to in these stories, was assumed to be a criminal, by both the law and other bad guys, and Lee Travis fostered that image both by the intricate schemes he pulled to bring down the villains, and also by running a $5000 reward for his capture in his newspaper.
Many of these stories use a panel of the headline of the paper for their opening, virtually all have that headline-panel at some point in the first page.
In his first story, the Crimson Avenger goes after a shady defense lawyer, offering to kill the DA for him, but in fact setting him up, effectively entrapping him. Pretending to be a criminal helped him pull off a few of these plans, but frequently he would be only step ahead of the law himself. It backfired on him somewhat in issue 26, when he was assumed to be part of a subway payroll robbery that saw a policeman get murdered, and he was now wanted as a cop killer.
Lee Travis went through two secretaries in this part of his run. We meet Miss Stevens in issue 21, but she fades into the background and by issue 28 his secretary is Miss Blaine, who holds up very well after being captured by jewel thieves.
This run of the Crimson Avenger ended with Detective 29, July 1939, but the character would return with some major changes in the next year
Crimson Avenger continues in the Early Golden Age
Crimson Avenger: Detective Comics 20 – 29 (Oct 38 – July 39)