Thursday, July 02, 2009

Reprint This! Starr Flagg - Undercover Girl

When looking for gems from the Golden Age that need to be reprinted ASAP, I often fall into the trap of thinking only of books published by the Big Two (DC and Timely/Atlas). Over the past several years, I have become more and more impressed with the variety and quality of titles put out by Magazine Enterprises. They had a very strong stable of writers and artists and published plenty of entertaining books in a variety of genres. One character and title that has always intrigued me is Starr Flagg - Undercover Girl. This strip originated in the crime anthology Manhunt in 1947. As far as I can tell, most stories are written by Gardner Fox with art by the great Ogden Whitney. There's some Bob Powell cover art, but I'm not sure if anyone other than Whitney drew the stories.

The number of female heroines in the 40s with enough stories to fill a TPB can likely be counted on your fingers and toes (and that's including everyone from Mary Marvel to Tony Barrett from Overland Coach). From what I've seen, Starr Flagg is a fun and exciting spy series that just happens to feature a female lead. Many of the early covers suggest that she spent most of her time in bondage, but that couldn't be further from the truth. She comes across as pretty tough and equally wily - sort of a spiritual sister to Sam Spade. She moved from Manhunt to her own eponymous series in 1952. That only lasted a few issues and before long, ME ceased to exist. I believe that there were some reprints scattered throughout the solo title (also part of the A-1 confusion), so I can't say for certain how many pages of original Starr Flagg stories exist, but I'd buy whatever someone could package. I believe at least one story was reprint in one of Bill Black's titles, but we need to give this series the full treatment.


Jeremy A. Patterson said...

AC did reprint one of her stories in 'Men of Mystery'#8. It was the story from 'Manhunt' #9!

She also made two cameos in the Femforce series!


benday-dot/craig said...

Scott... I have only ever seen the covers (with the terrific Powell art) while browsing the GCD. I had no idea Ogden Whitney did the interiors. I do love Whitney's art, devouring his ACG stuff with relish.

Have you ready any of the Miss Fury stuff (from Timely I think)? A good, and wonderful chunk of it it is reprinted in a Greg Theakston Pure Imagination trade. It's got very nice Tarpe Mills art.

Scott M said...

I knew you'd have the info, Jeremy. Thanks!

Craig - I've only seen online scan of Miss Fury. Came very close to purchasing some of the original Timely stuff back when I was a richer man.

Darkness U.S.A said...

I've only heard of this character today while browsing the Public Domain Superhero Wiki ( seems to be a interesting character worthy of a movie or at least a TV series. Whitney's art is amazing!