Real Name: Snipe Gooligan (see comments)
Occupation: Student; former
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Bucky (Fred Davis), Captain America (Jeff Mace) (see comments), Yvonne Zimbalist
Enemies: Bullfrog (Kelsey Riordan), Fire Bandits
Known Relatives: Mrs. Gooligan (mother, first name unrevealed)
Base of Operations: His mother's apartment in New York City
First Appearance: Captain America Comics I#59/1 (November, 1946)
Powers/Abilities: Snipe was a normal boy who presumably had the average strength-level of other boys of his size and age. Despite his mischievous behavior, ungrammatical speech-patterns, and Brooklyn accent, Snipe seemed to be a clever and resourceful boy with a keen and deductive mind.
Snipe carried a variety of items in his pockets, including a handful of marbles, a peashooter, a top, two darts, a handkerchief, and a bottle of Tiger Sweet perfume.
Height: 5'4" (by
Weight: 100 lbs. (by approximation)
(Captain America Comics I#59/1 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Snipe Gooligan is unknown, but he grew up in an impoverished inner-city neighborhood. After his father died, Snipe helped out his mother by selling Tiger Sweet perfume; but he had been innocently duped by his employers, who were actually the notorious Fire Bandits, and they were using Snipe to distribute fire-bombs disguised as perfume bottles so they could burglarize the apartments of the wealthy perfume buyers during the resultant fires.
(Captain America Comics I#59/1) - Snipe attended the Lee School, where one day his class got a new student, "Bucky Barnes" (see comments), and a new teacher, "Steve Rogers" (see comments). Snipe introduced himself to his new teacher by targeting him with his peashooter, for which "Mr. Rogers" put Snipe over his knee and administered a spanking--Snipe got the message and learned to respect the new teacher's authority. To make sure that Snipe wasn't carrying any more "ammunition," "Mr. Rogers" ordered him to empty all the items from his pockets, which included a bottle of perfume.
After school, three boys were teasing Snipe and accusing him of being a sissy because he carried perfume, but Snipe stood his ground and made it clear he wouldn't put up with their guff (Snipe: "One more crack like dat, an' somebody's gonna be wit'out teeth!"). "Mr. Rogers" came walking by, and Snipe inquired if he might be interested in purchasing the bottle of Tiger Sweet perfume (Snipe: "Ya wanna buy it fer yer goil friend?"), but "Steve" declined the offer, because he thought the malodorous concoction smelled more like Tiger Sweat.
Later that evening, "Steve" asked "Bucky"
about his opinion of Snipe--"Bucky" thought he was a good kid, more
headstrong than malicious ("...sort of a diamond in the
rough."). Then they noticed a building near the school on
fire. As Captain America and Bucky, they went to help victims
escape from a burning apartment building, and they first encountered
the Fire Bandits. The phoney firemen were trying to rob one of
the apartments, and Cap and Bucky fought them, but the three criminals
escaped. The next day after school, Cap and Bucky saw Snipe
meeting with the Fire Bandits nearby, and they tackled the robbers,
but they were distracted by a mob of boys who tried to get the heroes'
autographs; the criminals made their getaway, and Snipe also ran off.
(Captain America Comics I#59/1 - BTS) - Knowing that Captain America only fought crooks, Snipe became suspicious of his employers, so he returned home to his mother's apartment, where he looked over his perfume salesbook--he noticed that the addresses of his customers matched the addresses of apartment fires and robberies listed in a newspaper article. Seeing a connection, Snipe headed to the perfume factory to confront his employers and accuse them of the crimes.
(Captain America Comics I#59/1) - Becoming concerned that Snipe was involved with the robbers,
Cap and Bucky changed to their civilian identities and visited Snipe's
home to investigate. Snipe's mother let them know that he was
gone, but Cap noticed Snipe's salesbook on the kitchen table and saw the
same connection Snipe had seen earlier--figuring that the perfume
manufacturers where somehow responsible for the fires, Cap and Bucky
headed to the perfume factory.
At the Tiger Sweet perfume factory, as Snipe was confronting the mobsters, Captain America and Bucky came bursting in and battled all six of the gang members, but they were outnumbered and outgunned, and the gangsters were about to shoot the two heroes. Snipe wanted to assist Cap and Bucky, and he got an idea--taking a dart and a handkerchief from his pocket, Snipe wrapped the hanky around the dart, set it afire (presumably, he also had some matches), then threw it toward the ceiling to set off the building's automatic sprinkler system, which also activated the fire alarm. The Fire Bandits were distracted at being doused with a spray of water, which gave Cap and Bucky the chance to renew the fight--Snipe also joined in the battle, and used a perfume bottle to clobber one of the gangsters. Shortly afterward, firefighters arrived and helped Cap and Bucky overpower the gang members, and the Fire Bandits were taken into custody.
The next day, Snipe came into school and gave his new
teacher a peace-offering: an apple; "Mr. Rogers" thought that maybe
Snipe's experience with the Fire Bandits had knocked the mischief out of
him... but then he noticed that the apple had a worm in it (or,
as Snipe would probably have pronounced it, a "woim"), while
Snipe sat at his desk, trying to look innocent.
(Captain America Comics I#61/2) - Snipe
accompanied "Bucky Barnes" when the two skipped school so "Bucky"
could get an autograph from French actress Yvonne, with whom "Bucky"
was infatuated. They were invited into Yvonne's hotel room, then
the Bullfrog came along and tried to steal her emerald necklace.
During the scuffle between "Bucky" and the Bullfrog, Snipe and Yvonne
were knocked out, but Snipe's hand had covered the necklace. The
Bullfrog was unable find the necklace, so he fled. When Yvonne
and Snipe regained consciousness, Yvonne considered Snipe a hero (much
to "Bucky's" chagrin) because he had prevented the theft. Yvonne
invited Snipe to a private party aboard her agent's yacht. Snipe
was initially not interested in Yvonne, whose publicity image led him
to believe she was from France; but later Snipe heard from Yvonne's
agent that she only faked her French mannerisms and that she was
really from Brooklyn--upon hearing this, Snipe's interest in the girl
was suddenly piqued...
Comments: Created by Stan Lee (writer) and Jack Binder (artist)
I'm assuming that "Snipe" was actually his name, and not a
nickname--maybe he was named after the species
Snipe hasn't been seen since these two stories, and his subsequent activities are unknown. I'd like to think that Snipe's association with Captain America and Bucky were a good influence on him, and maybe he was inspired to chose a career in law-enforcement; or maybe he joined his old buddy Bucky as a member of the V-Battalion; or, since he seemed to have a keen mind, maybe he became a detective ("Snipe Gooligan, Private Eye") -- when he figured out the Fire Bandits' scheme and went to confront them, he kind of reminded me of a tough-guy hard-boiled detective from the writings of Mickey Spillane (who used to write for Timely Comics); and since he'd be an adult by the late-1950s/early-1960s (Marvel time), maybe he could be used on a case involving members of the First Line.
In regards to "Steve Rogers" and "Bucky Barnes": Timely Comics was still publishing the adventures of Captain America and Bucky into the late-1940s, with the characters referred to as "Steve" and "Bucky" in their civilian identities. But modern Marvel continuity has established that Cap (Steve Rogers) and Bucky (James Buchanan Barnes) were lost and presumed killed-in-action in April, 1945, and their costumed identities were assumed by replacements (@ What If? I#4). Cap was replaced first by William Nasland (formerly the Spirit of '76), and later (following the death of Nasland at the hands of Adam-II's android in 1946) by Jeff Mace (formerly the Patriot), while Fred Davis filled in as Bucky.
But since these stories with Snipe were published decades before the above retcon occurred, Captain America was depicted as "Steve Rogers," while his young sidekick was depicted as "Bucky Barnes". Maybe this continuity glitch could be explained by saying that Mace and Davis temporarily assumed those names after undergoing programming from the "False Memory Chamber"--maybe the two had living relatives they wanted to protect from enemy reprisal should their alter-egos ever be compromised, so making them believe they were "Steve Rogers" and "Bucky Barnes" (two "dead" men with no known family members) would seem to be a perfect way to conceal their true identities. Jeff Mace had black hair, while "Steve Rogers" was depicted with blond hair in this story, so I guess Mace also colored his hair or wore a wig when he assumed his cover-identity.
In Captain America Comics I#59/1, "Steve" had just accepted a teaching position at the Lee School, and "Bucky" enrolled as a student.
As for the original Cap & Bucky having "no known family members", that's not true for Bucky Barnes who had a sister and Captain America: America's Avenger#1, making Captain America: The 1940s Newspaper Strip a part of the mainstream Marvel Universe, made the woman claiming to be Bucky Barnes' mother (see Captain America The 1940s Newspaper Strip#3) a known living family member.
Yvonne's last name was revealed in Fred Davis' profile in Captain America: America's Avenger#1.
Profile by Ron Fredricks.
Snipe Gooligan has no known connections to:
The widowed mother of Snipe Gooligan, she and her son lived in a run-down apartment in New York. She used her late husband's insurance money and her meager earnings from her job to support herself and Snipe, but they barely managed. Then one day, Snipe got a job selling Tiger Sweet perfume and began bringing home extra money.
When Snipe's new teacher paid a visit, Mrs. Gooligan was concerned that her son's grades had dropped--she didn't know that Snipe's teacher was secretly Captain America, who was investigating because Snipe had innocently been duped into working for the Fire Bandits.
--Captain America Comics I#59/1
images: (without ads)
Captain America Comics I#59/1, p16, pan4 (main image, Snipe Gooligan sitting at his desk in classroom, trying to look innocent)
Captain America Comics I#59/1, p6, pan2 (Snipe introduces himself to "Mr. Rogers")
Captain America Comics I#59/1, p15, pan1 (Snipe strikes one of the Fire Bandits gangsters with perfume bottle)
Captain America Comics I#59/1, p12, pan4 (Mrs. Gooligan speaking to "Mr. Rogers")
Captain America Comics I#59/1 (November, 1946) - Stan Lee (writer), Jack Binder (penciler), George Klein (inks)
Captain America Comics I#61/2 (March, 1947) - unidentified writer, Al Avison (penciler), Syd Shores (inks)
Last updated: 07/05/16
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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