By Deejay Dayton
Feb 23, 2015 - 21:57
Red Logan is an investigative reporter for the Times Courier who thinks nothing of diving out a window to jump on a speeding car to follow a lead on a story. He is sent on a simple assignment to the Cosmopolitan Museum, and a display of Chinese woven tapestry. The museum's director gets shot, the tapestries get stolen, and in chasing the bad guys Red gets captured, trussed up and thrown off of a bridge.
He survives, of course. Not only does he track down the thieves, he figures out that the tapestries are being used to smuggle opium, and that the museum director was the mastermind, getting shot was just to divert suspicion.
After that three-parter, Red has a one shot tale, in which gangster Giovanni Gumbardo is acquitted, despite overwhelming evidence. Red roots out the ones who threatened the jurors, and gets additional evidence of a protection scam, and Gumbardo is sent to prison.
I believe this is why, in the next issue, 35, Red is moved to the Foreign Office, and sent far away from potential gangland retribution, on a serial that runs to issue 40.
He sails to Boronia, acting almost as bodyguard for the Boronian ambassador, but plans go haywire when the dictator of the country is murdered. Boronia and Blurbia mass for war, but Red uncovers documentation showing that someone else was behind the murder, provoking the situation to cause a war, and so peace is maintained. Doesn't make a lot of sense, but this is early 1939, and reflects the fears of war.
There is an actual bodyguard, who just sort of leaves that job to become Red's sidekick in this tale, Ivan, a massive Russian.
In issue 37 a shared universe is created, with a casual comment. Ivan does not recognize him at first when they meet in a crowd, and Red says "Who did you think that it was, Slam Bradley?"
Bam, a universe is born.
Up to this point every one of the series existed in a universe of its own. There was no connection at all between them, no notion that characters from one strip could appear in another.
It's debatable whether Slam Bradley is a real, living amateur detective in Red Logan's universe, or whether he exists merely as a character in Detective Comics, which can be read by Red Logan. The statement could reflect either reality.
But here is where it all began. Who did you think it was, Slam Bradley?
His serial concludes in issue 40, and his run in More Fun Comics does as well.
Red Logan continues in the Early Golden Age.
Red Logan: More Fun Comics 31 - 37 (May - Nov 38), 39 - 40 (Jan - Feb 39)