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Wade, John. John Wade was created by William R. Cox (Duke Bagley, The Bat (IV), Captain Satan, Tom Kincaid, Malachi Manatee, Phil Towne, Dan Trout) and appeared in twenty stories in Detective Tales from 1939 to 1945, beginning with “A Boom in Blood” (Detective Tales, Aug. 1939).
John Wade is a Con Man. He lives in a crooked city, run by a crooked political machine and patrolled by crooked cops, and he views himself as just making his way in the world: “I’ve never fleeced an honest man yet. I don’t believe there is an honest man.” Wade does have some standards, but it’s a dirty world: “I take a crook, I take him plenty, I admit it. If it’s the right guy, I don’t have trouble because I pay off a certain party. It’s the wrong guy, I got heat on me. So where the hell does honesty stop and crookedness begin?” But the governor of the (unnamed) state begins moving against the real criminals in the city, and as a favor to the governor Wade begins solving crimes and punishing the bad men for the governor. Wade is bodyguarded by Ricky Boles, a giant muscle man and former legbreaker for racketeers. Wade is handsome:
He was a tall man, slim and too well-dressed for fence-hopping. His creases were impeccable. He was a man of creases, in a manner of speaking.
He had a creased face. It was cris-crossed with lines; laughing lines, squinting lines, lines that had been etched by the vicissitudes of thirty-seven years of living…his eyes were narrow and wide-spaced and intelligent. About him, blending with his air of quiet elegance was an aura of confidence.
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