Sci-Fi And The P.I.

Golden-Age true-crime comics generally followed a certain formula that detailed the gory rise and even more gory fall of a notorious gangster or moll. Sometimes, two-fisted private eyes in the mold of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe would also be featured.

Wanted Comics, an obscure title published by an even more obscure company (Orbit), played around with the genre a bit in one of its later issues by placing a stock two-fisted private investigator into a B-movie science-fiction plot and allowing the chaos to unfold. The results are better than anyone had a right to imagine, and the story remains a fun read to this day.

As a bonus, the tale is drawn – quite well, I might add – by Mort Lawrence, the artist who succeeded Bill Everett on the Sub-Mariner.

From Wanted Comics #27 (Orbit, July 1950), here’s “The Case Of The Missing Prince.”

Wanted 027-41

Wanted 027-42

Wanted 027-43

Wanted 027-44

Wanted 027-45

Wanted 027-46

Wanted 027-47

Wanted 027-48

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