Red Logan‘s series returns in Detective Comics nearly a year after it ended in More Fun. Red is in England, working out of an office in the Daily Mail in London as a foreign correspondent for the Times Courier, still with Ivan as his massive sidekick.
He is held in high esteem by Scotland Yard, who not only call him in to aid with their cases, but actually pull their own officers so he can investigate on his own. This may be because Red saves the life of Inspector Enright, the one who keeps calling him in.
Red’s first case involves what appear to be vampire murders, but are actually deaths caused by a mad scientist stealing people’s blood. His second case, with murders done by a cobra lowered into a sleeping person’s room, is clearly derived from a Sherlock Holmes short story with the same method of murder. In issue 40 Red works with a blind detective after a woman killed by a speeding car is discovered to have stolen war plans in her possession, which leads them to a boarding house that is a nest of spies.
That is the final story in England. With no explanation Red returns to the US for his final three adventures, though as the bombing of Britain had begun by this point, I’m sure that’s why he was brought home.
Issue 41 has his most interesting story, as Red testifies at the trial of gangster Bugsie Gordon, who is found guilty and executed, but who seemingly returns from the grave to kill those who caught him. Red figures out that the murderer is really Bugsie’s twin brother.
Red’s final case seems to be based on the Linbergh kidnapping, as he hunts down the mob behind the kidnapping and murder of a child. Red goes all out with this one, shaving his head, getting his teeth capped and even getting a lotion from a skin doctor to alter his colouring.
And though Red is triumphant in bringing the killers to justice, one cannot help but wonder if the skin lotion was not the safest thing to use. Red Logan never appears again, and I suspect anything potent enough to alter your skin colour is going to have some nasty long term side effects.
Red Logan: Detective Comics 38 -43 (Apr – Sep 40)