Steve Malone makes it all the way to the end of his run without ever entering a courtroom or trying a case. Not what you would expect from a series about a district attorney, but as in his earlier tales, Steve is a much more go out and hunt down the bad guys yourself kinda dude.
His assistant, Happy, appears in about half of his stories, and he does get a secretary, Nancy, in issue 35. He sends her out as bait for a kidnapping ring, and though she gets freed, we never see her again, and it wouldn’t surprise me if she gave her notice after that.
Kidnappers make up the bulk of the foes Steve faces. He does expose the Police Commissioner as the man behind the gambling rackets, in Detective Comics 38. The stories are simple and straightforward, the mysteries fairly easy to solve. Towards the end of the run, as in Speed Saunders, there was often a box inviting the reader to guess who the killer was before proceeding with the conclusion.
In Detective 46, “The Bargain Deaths,” he faces a killer in drag, and deduces it must be a man when he catches a quarter dropped in his lap[ by closing his legs, rather than opening them and using the skirt. Clever.
In most of the stories the art is mediocre, but reliable. The only story where it stands out is issue 52, in which a yacht crashes onto Long Island Sound with a man hanging from the rafters inside. The man is never shown, but his shadow is seen, cast on the wall, and we see the facial reactions of the people looking at him.
In his final story Steve is called to the home of a wealthy retired judge with a gambling son and a niece begging for money for her husband. When the judge is killed, Steve figures out that its the jewelled-earring wearing nurse who was the killer, not the money hungry youths.
Steve Malone’s series ends at this point, and his character is never seen again, but after such a high-profile career I would expect that Steve went into politics and had a long and lucrative tenure in Washington D.C.
Steve Malone: Detective Comics 35 – 42 (Jan – Aug 40), 44 – 59 (Oct 40 – Jan 42)