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Sandra of the Secret Service

DC’s earliest heroine debuted in New Fun #1, the lead story in the issue, a spot she would hold until close to the end of her 35 issue run.  Sandra McLane (sometimes McClane) gets recruited as a spy after stopping an assassination attempt, and throughout her run does a creditable job as a secret agent – this series is no Perils of Pauline.

The first serialized story runs from issues 1 -13, as Sandra, in true Prisoner of Zenda style, heads to the European nation of Gavonia and impersonates Princess Yonda while working with Lothar, whose assassination she prevented, and Reynolds, the American spy who recruited her.  At the end of the story, Yonda requests her help is rescuing fellow Gavonian Lorenz, who has been captured by the evil neighbouring country of Resbia, which covers issues 14 – 18.  These stories are all one or two pages long.

As Sandra heads back to the United States by ocean liner, she meets a reporter, Michael.  They both survive the ship getting torpedoed by Captain Snegg, but fall into the hands of his cloaked and hooded boss, the Brain.  The Brain runs a munitions “ring” (how exactly this is different from munitions corporation is unclear) that seeks to provoke wars in order to sell more weapons.  Hints of pre-World War 2 American isolationism.  This is the best of Sandra’s serials, running from issues 19 -25, and seeing her stories expand to three pages, the longest they would get.

She finally makes it back to New York City for issues 26 and 27, getting involved in a story of poison gas murders – though the killer is shot by a man whose girlfriend jilted him for the poison gas killer – Sandra does little except try to figure the story out.  Nevertheless, she impresses her boss, Secret Service Chief Ames, enough that he sends her on a vacation to Florida.

On the boat ride down she once again encounters Michael, and they spend four issues determining that it was the Baron Von Schmidt who stole his wife’s jewelry.  Once she gets to Florida Sandra spends her last four installments in the Everglades tracking gangsters who torture a retired mob boss by sticking burning cigarettes into his face (yow!) to get him to reveal his hidden loot.  The mob boss turns the tables, gassing the hoods who tortured him before escaping.

At the end of issue 35 the story claims it will be continued, but never was.  Likely Secret Service Chief Ames was irritated that Sandra let the mob boss get away, and so she remained in the Everglades, and founded the first retirement community down there.  Or at least thats my guess.

Sandra of the Secret Service:  New Fun 1 – 6 ( Jan – Oct 35)

More Fun 7 – 35  (Jan 36 – Sep 38)

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