MILDRED ARGOT

Real Name: Mildred Argot

Identity/Class: Human (1930s era)

Occupation: Unrevealed (but fancied herself an amateur detective)

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Considered herself a colleague of Hodiah Twist

Enemies: Jeffrey Winters

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed

First Appearance: Marvel Preview#16 (Fall 1978)

Powers/Abilities: Mildred believed she had strong deductive abilities, but her actions suggests otherwise, as she was unobservant and prone to proposing wild theories based on little to no actual evidence..

Height: 5'3" (by approximation - see comments)
Weight: 140 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Unrevealed

History:
(Marvel Preview#16 (fb) - BTS) - Mildred Argot fancied herself a detective of some renown, though in fact she was prone to missing blatantly obvious clues in favor of proposing wild and utterly unsubstantiated theories. She had heard of fellow detective Hodiah Twist.

(Marvel Preview#16) - In 1937 (see comments) Mildred was traveling on the Manhattan El train on a night with a full moon, unaware she was sharing the carriage with a young werewolf, Jeffrey Winters, hiding among them in his human form. Other passengers in the car included the dancer Gladys Jones, the curmudgeonly retired soldier Colonel Witherspoon, and the disheveled and lovelorn Randy, who soon left the compartment to seek air on the gangway between their carriage and the next one. Mildred failed to notice Jeffrey follow and murder Randy. At the next station two new passengers, the detective Hodiah Twist and his companion Conrad Jeavons, got on, momentarily drawing Mildred's interest as she assessed them.  

  Moments after the train moved off again Jeffrey "discovered" Randy's corpse. Everyone, including Mildred, piled into the next car to see what had (seemingly) distressed the boy. Hearing Twist identify himself, Mildred informed him that she had heard of him, stated that she prided herself on having a perceptive ear and eye and introduced herself, adding that she assumed he had likewise heard of her. This assumption was immediately shot down as Twist somewhat curtly responded that he had not. A few moments later Twist stated that none of them could be allowed to leave until the murder was solved, adding that they would all disembark at the next stop to wait together for the authorities. To prevent this, Jeffrey covertly cut power to the lights, then in the darkness swiftly warped all the exit doors, trapping everyone in the carriage. Mildred restored some limited illumination by producing several large candles from her voluminous purse, but not before Jeffrey had returned to his human form. Softening his previous tone, Twist stated that he was in Mildred's debt as she had shown a noteworthy willingness to help.

   Mildred joined Twist and Jeavons at the end of the carriage where the two men examined the damaged doors, and when Gladys moved to join them,...


(Marvel Preview#16 - BTS) -  leaving Witherspoon momentarily isolated and hidden by the shadows, Jeffrey resumed his lupine form and quickly slaughtered the colonel, ripping out his tongue and crushing his skull, then hung his body up, using one of the hanging straps as a noose.

 

(Marvel Preview#16) - Turning to listen to Gladys' complaints, Jeavons noticed Witherspoon's absence from his seat, and as the group moved closer they discovered Witherspoon's corpse. Twist lifted Witherspoon's body down, and Mildred asked to examine it, suggesting Witherspoon might have been killed by having oxygen injected into his veins, causing an air bubble that stopped his heart. When Twist pointed out Witherspoon's much more brutal and very obvious fatal injuries, an undeterred Mildred responded that this did not rule out her theory. Leaving her to examine Witherspoon's body more closely, Twist and Jeavons switched their attentions to trying to figure out exactly where in the carriage Witherspoon had been attacked, hoping that might reveal the killer's identity. Jeffrey, back once more in human form, accompanied them.


  A few moments later Mildred called the others' attention back to her as she rose from Witherspoon's corpse, announcing she had solved the case, and proposed that the entire carriage (barring presumably herself) had worked together to kill the colonel. With Twist and Jeavons' attention focused on Mildred,  Jeffrey seized the chance to become the wolf again, stunned the inattentive Gladys with a blow from behind, then doused the candle. With the carriage once again in darkness, Jeffrey grabbed Mildred and threw her bodily through one of the car windows. Her body lodged half in and half out of the carriage, and though Twist quickly came to her aid, he immediately realized that the impact had killed her. After Twist pulled Mildred's corpse back into the carriage, he and Jeavons checked on the remaining two passengers, and witnessed Jeffrey resume his werewolf form to attack. Twist managed to repel it by blowing burning ash from his pipe into its eyes, and it fled onto the roof with Twist in pursuit. As the monster moved in on him, he called to Jeavons to come to assist him. Aware that werewolves were not easily slain, Jeavons glanced round for a weapon, at which point Mildred posthumously helped eliminate the threat, as Jeavons suddenly recalled the silver dagger pendant the amateur sleuth had been wearing round her neck. Taking it, Jeavons climbed onto the train roof and fatally stabbed the werewolf.

Comments: Created by Don McGregor (writer, uncredited), Richard Marschall (editor, credited instead) and Gene Colan (penciller) and Tony de Zuniga (inker).

   Mildred Argot prided herself on her detective abilities and says to Twist: "I've heard of you, Mr, Twist... I pride myself on having a perceptive ear and eye... Mildred Argot at your service... You've heard of me, I trust?" (To which Twist replies, "Not that I recall," but then he also does not recognize the names of Doc Savage, The Shadow and Hopalong Cassidy...)

   We can infer from the above exchange that Mrs Argot expected to be recognized by Twist as a colleague. I would surmise that Mildred Argot is none other that Patricia Wentworth's
Miss Maud Silver. "Mildred" and "Maud" both start with M and Argot is sort of close to argent (silver). Miss Maud Silver's first full-fledged case was THE CASE IS CLOSED (1937). She first appeared as a minor character in Wentworth's GREY MASK. (1928). Wentworth also chronicled the cases of Miss Maud Silver's Scotland Yard contact, Chief Inspector Lamb. There is more info on her here. (Info courtesy of Win Eckert.) - Jean-Marc Lofficier

   There is also the possibility that Mildred has modeled herself after Maud Silver, in the same way Twist modeled himself after Sherlock Holmes.

   It's not revealed whether Mildred was aboard the fateful El train by chance, or whether like Twist she had deduced the killer's patterns and realized he was likely to strike there. Given how huge a coincidence it would be for her to be present merely by happenstance, I'd lean towards the latter option, if she hadn't been shown to be such an inept detective in other regards. Despite her bizarre theories, did some part of her suspect a werewolf? It was very handy that she was wearing not only a silver pendant, but a silver pendant in the shape of a knife.

   We never see Mildred standing up next to any other characters, so it's hard to judge her height, but she gives the impression of being somewhat short and heavyset.

   The date of the werewolf incident isn't given in the story, but we do have some clues as to when it took place. Gladys mentions that if they die on the train they'll never know if La Guardia will get re-elected as mayor; while she could be saying this any time after he was initially elected (1933), her comment gives the impression that it's close to the time that he needs to run for office again, which happened in 1937 and 1941. Gladys, who appears to be no older than her late twenties, remembers his previous campaign, in 1933, and recalls that the repeal of prohibition (in December 1933) temporarily put her out of work, which counts against the story taking place in 1941. Additionally, the elevated trains went into serious decline around the late 1930s, with the Sixth Avenue line closing in 1938 and other following over the next few years. So it would seem most likely that the werewolf on the El incident took place some time in 1937.

Profile by Loki, expanding on the sub-profile first written by Jean-Marc Lofficier for the Hodiah Twist entry.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Mildred Argot should not be confused with


images: (without ads)
Marvel Preview#16, p18, pan3 (main)
Marvel Preview#16, p14, pan1
(headshot)
Marvel Preview#16, p19, pan5 (thrown by werewolf)
Marvel Preview#16, p20, pan1-2 (smashed through window, death)


Appearances:
Marvel Preview#16 (Fall 1978) - Don McGregor (writers), Gene Colan (pencils), Tony DeZuniga (inks), Richard E. Marschall (editor)


First Posted: 10/24/2021
Last updated: 10/24/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are  and 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:
http://www.marvel.com

Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters