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Duane, Ford. Ford Duane was created by Arthur Leo Zagat (Dr. Bain, Tiger Carlin, Dikar, Jed, Ann Marsh, Tom Dick & Harry, Doc Turner) and appeared in twelve stories in Operator #5 and Secret Service Operator #5 from 1934 to 1938, beginning with “Second Hand Death” (Operator #5, Oct. 1934).
Ford Duane is a brave, tough operator for the American intelligence service. By day he is “Ford Duane,” the bent, old owner of a used bookstore, the Tomb of Defunct Books, on lower 4th Avenue in New York. But in the store there is a hidden compartment with a UV lamp, which Duane uses to read the secret messages concealed for him in books. When necessary, Duane throws off his disguise and becomes the Red Finger, the “ace of the Military Intelligence Service” and America’s top man for stopping the terrible weapons of gas and disease. The Red Finger wears a gray mask over his nose and mouth and a black glove whose trigger finger is painted red, as if it was freshly dipped in blood. The Red Finger’s arch-enemy is the Yellow Peril Baron Odon, who wields (among other things) an orb in which is contained the Bubonic Plague and which Odon plans to release into the vent system of the subway. The Red Finger captures, tortures, and kills a number of spies before finally getting the orb.
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