Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Reprint This! T-Man

In 1950, Quality Comics decided to boot Plastic Man and the Spirit from its flagship title, Police Comics and insert some more traditional law enforcement types. This group included top Treasury Department operative, Pete Trask. Trask is fairly hard boiled but also has a dashing, Errol Flynn side to him. He is all business - never slowing down and speaking in short staccato outbursts. Quality eventually gave Trask his own series which ran, with some latter issue reprints, until Quality's exit from the funnybook industry. DC took over a number of Quality's titles, but must have felt that Pete Trask's best years were behind him. The art is nice, with contributions from Reed Crandall, Jack Cole and Chuck Cuidera to give it that 'Quality' look.

I'm not entirely familiar with the breadth of the Treasury Department's jurisdiction, but apparently they had carte blanche to travel the world punching communists. Trask is all over the place with a wide variety of assignment ranging from protecting the Panama Canal to infiltrating the underground 'Red Press'. This stuff is unbelievably dated but it is entertaining as hell. Fists are flying, bridges are blowing up and commies are taking their lumps. You could make a good drinking game if you took a swig every time someone said 'Red'. There are alo some great sanctimonious moments as well - such as Trask declaring 'as a free nation we can't use torture' when discussing how to get an informant to talk.

These issues are getting bloody tough to track down and it would be awesome for someone (and by someone, I mean 'Dark Horse') to put together a lovely T-Man Archives. Let's move quick and get this reprinted before the Reds get to it.

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