KING COBRA

Real Name: Samson Barrick

Identity/Class: Human criminal (1940s era)

Occupation: Thief, murderer

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: His two henchmen (unidentified)

Enemies: Jim Bennett (see comments), John Harvey, Miss America (Madeline Joyce)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Greenie" (nickname); Cobra; "You demon" (as called by Miss America)

Base of Operations: Mobile; a railroad shanty

First Appearance: Miss America Magazine I#3/1 (December, 1944)

Powers/Abilities: Garbed in a green costume and cowl/mask, with the symbol of a red striking cobra on his forehead and chest, King Cobra displayed no paranormal abilities; he was proficient in the use of firearms (including a handgun and a Tommy Gun) and explosives.

Height: 5'11" (by approximation)
Weight: 175 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Unrevealed

History:
(Miss America Magazine I#3/1 (fb) - BTS) - The past of King Cobra is largely unrevealed (see comments).

(Miss America Magazine I#3/1) - King Cobra and one of his henchmen went to the home of John Harvey to steal the plans for a new bomber plane; he shot and killed Harvey with a handgun while Harvey was speaking to Jim Bennett on the telephone--King Cobra overheard part of Harvey's conversation with Bennett.

   Hearing the gunshot over the phone, the concerned Bennett raced to Harvey's home, while Bennett's niece--Madeline Joyce--phoned the police; then Madeline changed into her costume and flew towards Harvey's house to investigate on her own as Miss America.

   While King Cobra and his henchman were ransacking Harvey's home, searching for the plans, Miss America came crashing through a window. After the heroine punched his henchman, King Cobra shoved a table at her, and Miss America retaliated by throwing a chair at him. Then the henchman clubbed Miss America from behind with the butt of his pistol, knocking her out for several minutes. Unsuccessful in their attempt to locate the bomber plans, King Cobra and his henchman made their getaway. Shortly afterward, Miss America regained consciousness and heard her Uncle Jim and the police arriving, so she flew away before they could see her.

   After King Cobra got to his hideout in a railroad shanty, he figured that Harvey might have told Bennett where the bomber plans were hidden, so he was determined to visit Bennett's home on the next night.

(Miss America Magazine I#3/1 - BTS) - As executor of the deceased John Harvey's estate, Jim Bennett took Harvey's will and fishbowl into his possession at his home.

(Miss America Magazine I#3/1) - The next night, King Cobra struck at Bennett's home and grabbed John Harvey's will (mistakenly believing it was the bomber plans), then went back to the shanty; but after reading the will, King Cobra was incredulous when he learned from it that Harvey had left his entire estate to his goldfish...but after mulling over the unusual last request, it occurred to him exactly where Harvey had hidden the bomber plans! Suddenly, Miss America came crashing through the door of the hideout. King Cobra fired a Tommy Gun at the heroine to corner her against the wall, then ordered his henchmen to tie her up. With Miss America bound on the floor, King Cobra wired up dynamite in the shanty, turning the building into a deathtrap set to explode when a train passed by, then he and his men left to return to Jim Bennett's home to retrieve the fishbowl.

   As Miss America lay tied on the floor, unable to break her bonds, she heard the whistle of an approaching train in the distance, so she began to roll herself out the door of the shanty. The explosive-laden building blew up when the train passed, but the heroine had managed to roll a safe distance away; after cutting her bonds with a piece of wreckage from the explosion, Miss America flew back to her Uncle Jim's house.

   King Cobra and his men were holding Jim Bennett at gunpoint when Miss America rushed in; after punching the henchmen senseless, she knocked the fishbowl into King Cobra's face and stunned him.

   When the police arrived and took King Cobra and his men into custody, Miss America explained to her uncle the significance of the goldfish: John Harvey knew that King Cobra would kill him to get the bomber plans, so he had converted the plans to microfilm and sewed them in a pouch on one of the goldfish, and by mentioning the goldfish in his will, he knew Bennett would take the fish into his custody and sooner or later discover the secret hiding place for the plans.

Comments: Created by Bill Finger (writer) and Ken Bald (artist).

Throughout this 7-page story--The Case of the Goldfish!-- Jim Bennett was erroneously referred to as Jim Benton (four times in word-balloons and captions), but I guess this continuity glitch was retroactively corrected using the "Bruce/Bob Banner Solution," so Madeline Joyce's uncle's name is officially James Benton Bennett.

King Cobra and Miss America seemed to be familiar with each other, so possibly they had encountered each other previously in an earlier unrecorded adventure.

It was never revealed what King Cobra was going to do with the bomber plans--perhaps he was working as a Nazi agent.

Other than an intimidating name, King Cobra really didn't have much going for him (...not even poison darts or a similar gimmick); he was basically just a gangster in a funny costume.

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

CLARIFICATIONS:
King Cobra/Cobra has no known connections to:


John Harvey

Apparently an aircraft designer, he had the plans for a new bomber plane in his possession. Concerned that King Cobra would kill him for the plans, Harvey prepared for this contingency by reducing the plans to microfilm and sewing them in a pouch secured to one of his pet goldfish; additionally, Harvey updated his will and left his entire estate to the fish, in the hopes that his odd last request would alert his executor--Jim Bennett--to the secret hiding place of the bomber plans.

One night, Harvey frantically telephoned Bennett, letting him know that King Cobra was after the bomber plans, but he was shot dead by the criminal before he could tell Bennett any more.

--Miss America Magazine I#3/1


John Harvey's fishbowl

A simple glass container, it held John Harvey's pets--two ordinary goldfish. But Harvey had used one of the fish as a hiding place for the plans of a new bomber plane--he had sewed a pouch to one of the fish containing a microfilm copy of the plans.

--Miss America Magazine I#3/1


images: (without ads)
Miss America Magazine I#3/1, p6, pan1 (Main Image, King Cobra firing Tommy gun)
Miss America Magazine I#3/1, p3, pan3 (Headshot, King Cobra)
Miss America Magazine I#3/1, p2, pan7 (King Cobra (right) against wall as Miss America clobbers one of his henchmen)
Miss America Magazine I#3/1, p7, pan3 (King Cobra (left) gets hit with fishbowl by Miss America)
Miss America Magazine I#3/1, p6, pan1 (John Harvey speaks with Jim Bennett on telephone)
Miss America Magazine I#3/1, p4, pan5 (fishbowl (foreground), King Cobra and his henchmen capture Jim Bennett)
Miss America Magazine I#3/1, p5, pan1 (shattered fishbowl on table, Miss America's hand (right) holds goldfish and she reveals its significance to Jim Bennett; King Cobra and his men taken into custody by police (background))


Appearances:
Miss America Magazine I#3/1 (December, 1944) - Bill Finger (writer), Ken Bald (pencils), Sid Greene (inks), Dan Barry (colors), Bessie H. Little (editor)


Last updated: 07/21/17

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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