Danny Danger

Created by Leonard Starr and Richard Hughes

“Yep, it’s like In always say! Dames and excitement — excitement and dames!”

Danny and a couple of his “fatal weaknesses.”

I thought Mickey Spillane‘s comic book eye Mike Danger had a pretty silly name for a P.I., but toss in the cheese of alliteration, and DANNY DANGER‘s is even sillier.

Danny was a private detective who appeared regularly in the pages of Operation: Peril, a short-lived comic book anthology series that featured various adventure, sci-fi, war and mystery stories in the early nineteen fifties. In fact, the “jet-propelled private eye whose cases waver perilously between romance and homicide” often was the lead-off story. He was your typical hard-boiled eye, a strapping, broad-shouldered redhead with an office, the World-Wide Detective Agency,  in New York City, and an elderly spinster secretary named Emmy who kept an eye out for him — a nice change from the typical fawning office babe, though Danny doesn’t score any etiquette points for referring to her as a “bag.” Then again, horndog Danny wasn’t entirely respectful to women of any age, usually addressing even total strangers as “babe” or “sweetheart.” No wonder he had trouble with “dames,” whom he frequently names as his “fatal weakness.”

He may have been a little smirkier and hornier than most, but otherwise he was pretty typical — up for almost anything, good with his fists (he even knew some martial arts), not shy about using his gun, and had the usual love/hate relationship with a local cop (Inspector Gravel of Homicide). And given the number of times he’s slugged, beaten up or knocked unconscious, his cranium must have been made of solid steel.

A good example of the post-Spillane comic book eye, then, of the 1950s. Nothing spectacular, maybe, but at least by the fifties, they were trying — the stories featuring Danny were noticeably tougher, more action-packed, and better written and drawn than those of the forties. The genre was evolving…

THE EVIDENCE

  • “”Who am I? That’s a question many a hood wishes he’d asked before running into me, Buster…because a tussle with Danny Danger means an up-river stretch for crooks who are lucky — and the hospital for those who aren’t! I’m a private eye – I’ll cover any beat and take any kind of case – and the one I’m ready to crack includes everything from roughhouse to romance!”
    — Danny clues us in on how tough he is.
  • “…a gorgeous hunk of curvy whistlebait!”
    — “Sing a Song of Murder” (When was the last time you heard a woman described like that?)

COMICS

  • OPERATION: PERIL
    (1950-53, American Comics Group)
    16 issues

    • “Enter Danny Danger” (October-November 1950, #1)
    • “The Case of the Chinese Gold” (December 1950-January 1951, #2)
    • “Danny Danger” (February-March 1951, #3)
    • “Danny Danger” (April-May 1951, #4)
    • “Danny Danger” (June-July 1951, #5)
    • “Sing a Song of Murder” (August-September 1951, #6)
    • “Danny Danger” (October-November 1951, #7)
    • “Danny Danger” (December 1951-January 1952, #8)
    • “Danny Danger” (February-March 1952, #9)
    • “Danny Danger” (April-May 1952, #10)
    • “Danny Danger” (June-July 1952, #11)
    • “Espionage Ace” (August-September 1952, #12)
      Danny’s recalled back into the Army reserves and shipped off to Korea. His last appearance, although a new story was promised for the next issue.

COLLECTIONS

  • The Complete Danny Danger: The Tough, Cool-Headed but Hot-Blooded Private Detective (2018) | Buy this book
    Contains all the stories.

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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