PEDDLER OF DOOM

Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human (1940s era)

Occupation: Criminal/robber

Group Membership: Leader of his unidentified gang

Affiliations: His gang

Enemies: Miss America (Madeline Joyce), unidentified bank customer

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "A murderous rat disguised as an old woman" (as called by Miss America)

Base of Operations: Unidentified florist shop (presumably in New York City)

First Appearance: Marvel Mystery Comics I#56/4 (June, 1944)

Powers/Abilities: Having no paranormal abilities, the Peddler of Doom was armed with a handgun.  He worked in conjunction with his criminal cohorts to rob bank patrons.

   The Peddler wore a dress and shawl to disguise himself as an old woman, and he carried a basket containing red and white roses.  Although there seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary with the red roses, the white roses served a dual purpose:

  1. The white roses "marked" the intended victims as carrying large sums of cash.
  2. The white roses were laced with an unspecified narcotic, the fumes of which rendered the victims unconscious so the Peddler's cohorts could easily steal their cash.

Height: 5' 8" (by approximation)
Weight: 160 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Bald




History: (Marvel Mystery Comics I#56/4 (fb) - BTS) - The past of the Peddler of Doom is unrevealed, but at some point he formed a criminal alliance that operated from a florist shop.  The gang had developed a narcotic which they injected into white roses, and they formulated a robbery scheme using the roses.  Disguising himself as an old woman selling flowers, the Peddler would station himself inside bank buildings, and he would sell the white roses to bank patrons he noticed withdrawing large sums of cash.  When the victims drove off, they were overcome by the fumes of the narcotic-laced roses, which resulted in them crashing their cars; the Peddler's cohorts would follow the victims, then finish them off and steal their cash.  The Peddler and his gang had committed at least three robberies in this manner.

   The police were baffled by the car-crashes, but they knew the motive for each was robbery, for they found the victims' clothes ransacked; their sole clue for each crime was the strong scent of roses.

(Marvel Mystery Comics I#56/4) - Madeline Joyce was driving through the city when she heard a news report on her car's radio about the robberies -- when the clue about the scent of roses was mentioned, it reminded Madeline to pick up some flowers for her Uncle Jim, so she stopped at the florist shop. The Peddler happened to be inside the shop at the time, picking up a fresh supply of roses -- Madeline noticed the salesman catering to the shabbily-dressed "old woman" and wondered how "she" could afford such expensive flowers.

   When she stopped at a nearby bank, Madeline saw the same "old woman" trying to sell a flower to a bank customer who had just made a large cash withdrawal; suspicious because the "old woman" was selling the rose for only half of what it was worth, Madeline went behind the bank and changed into her costume.  As Miss America, she noticed two thugs in a car following the bank customer's roadster as he drove off, so she flew after them.  When they reached a lonely stretch of road on the outskirts of the city, Miss America saw the bank customer's automobile suddenly skid off the road and hit a tree.  The two thugs in the pursuing car stopped and were about to club the unconscious bank customer, then Miss America came swooping down.  The heroine confronted the thugs and knocked them senseless; as the state police arrived, she snatched the white rose from the victim's lapel and he regained consciousness.  Convinced that she had a lead in the case of the baffling robberies, Miss America flew back to the city.

   Arriving at the florist shop, Miss America roughed-up the salesman before he could push an alarm button to warn his cohorts, then she forced him to show her the hidden trapdoor leading to the cellar lab.  After walking downstairs, Miss America stood outside a door and overheard the Peddler talking with the remaining two gang-members about their crimes, so she smashed into the lab.  All three gang-members attacked, but the murderous trio were no match for the fury of Miss America; the Peddler threw a small table at the heroine (he missed), and as Miss America punched the other two criminals and knocked them out, she noticed how strong the "old lady" seemed to be.  With his two cohorts sprawled unconscious on the floor, the Peddler begged for mercy, but Miss America pulled the "old woman's" shawl off, revealing "her" to actually be a man!  The Peddler pulled out his handgun, but before he could fire a shot, the heroine threw a punch to his chin and knocked him out.

   Miss America flew off when the police arrived to make the arrests, and she figured the "hot seat" (electric chair) was going to have plenty of customers.

Comments: Created by Otto Binder (writer) and Charles Nicholas (artist).

This crook was never referred to by any particular name, so I just identified him with the story's title -- "Peddler of Doom". 

Profile by Ron Fredricks.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Peddler of Doom has no known connections to:


Peddler of Doom's gang

Operating out of a florist shop, they were the criminal cohorts of the Peddler of Doom and assisted him with his robberies.

None identified, they included the florist shop salesman, the two thugs who followed the intended robbery victims in a car, a chemist who created the narcotic-laced white roses (perhaps he was the owner of the florist shop?), and one additional gang-member.  The gang was defeated by Miss America and arrested by the police.

--Marvel Mystery Comics I#56/4










Unidentified florist shop

Appearing to be a legitimate business, it had a secret laboratory in the cellar where the Peddler of Doom and his gang created the narcotic-laced white roses they used in their robbery scheme.

--Marvel Mystery Comics I#56/4












Unidentified bank customer

He had just withdrawn a large sum of cash from the bank when the Peddler of Doom approached him and sold him a white rose for twenty-five cents; he pinned the rose to his jacket lapel.  But unknown to him, the rose was laced with a narcotic drug; while he was driving his car, he was overcome by the fumes and rendered unconscious, and his automobile crashed into a tree (He was driving an open roadster, so the effects of the narcotic fumes took longer than usual).  Two of the Peddler's cohorts were following him, and they were about to club him to death and steal his cash, but he was saved by the timely intervention of Miss America.

The heroine fought the two thugs, and just as the state police arrived, Miss America snatched the white rose from his lapel; he revived just as the heroine flew off to confront the rest of the gang.

--Marvel Mystery Comics I#56/4







images: (without ads)
Marvel Mystery Comics I#56/4, p2, pan5 (Main Image, Peddler of Doom selling white rose to unidentified bank customer)
Marvel Mystery Comics I#56/4, p7, pan3 (Peddler of Doom begging Miss America for mercy)
Marvel Mystery Comics I#56/4, p7, pan4 (Peddler of Doom revealed to be a man by Miss America)
Marvel Mystery Comics I#56/4, p7, pan5 (Peddler of Doom getting punched by Miss America)
Marvel Mystery Comics I#56/4, p4, pan1 (two unidentified gang members by unidentified bank customer's wrecked roadster)
Marvel Mystery Comics I#56/4, p6, pan1 (Miss America interrogating salesman at florist shop)
Marvel Mystery Comics I#56/4, p6, pan5 (unidentified chemist injecting white rose with drug, unidentified thug, Peddler of Doom)
Marvel Mystery Comics I#56/4, p2, pan1 (business area of florist shop, Peddler of Doom picking up roses from salesman)
Marvel Mystery Comics I#56/4, p6, pan4 (secret lab in cellar of florist shop, Peddler of Doom, unidentified chemist, unidentified thug)
Marvel Mystery Comics I#56/4, p2, pan5 (unidentified bank customer buying white rose (Madeline Joyce in background))


Appearances:
Marvel Mystery Comics I#56/4 (June, 1944) - Otto Binder (writer), Charles Nicholas (pencils & inks), Vince Fago (editor)


Last updated: 03/26/17

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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