Bob Brant and the Trouble Shooters
First Appearance: Man Comics #27 (August 1953).
Man Comics #27, 28.
Years Active: 1950s-?
The Trouble Shooters consisted of four boys:
Two ancillary members of the Trouble Shooters are Carol (the feisty redhead
who is Bob's nominal love interest) and Bess, who has green hair (bad coloring
mistake, either on Carol's hair stylist or on the colorist of Man Comics)
and is Daffy's girl ("Hey, Bess! You're my chick! Remember?"). They're
though, so of course they run away in tears and fear when danger
presents itself. (Somewhat oddly they aren't used as hostage material,
Bob Brant, the blond leader who wears a "B" letter sweater--he's
a devoted son but is inquirious, adventurous and two-fisted and would undoubtedly
have grown up to become Captain
America (I) if the role wasn't already taken. Bob is fearless;
where the other Trouble Shooters are frightened at the thought of investigating
a haunted museum, Bob dives right in. Bob has a pet raccoon (unnamed) and
is around fifteen or sixteen. Bob, like the other Trouble Shooters, is
a good fighter, quite capable of taking on and beating Commie agitators,
mobsters, and counterfeiters.
Daffy, who is tall, dark-haired and skinny. He always wears a shortsleeved
white oxford underneath a sleeveless black sweatervest, and has an unfortune
Moe Howard/Guy Gardner haircut. He is Bob's second in command, and seems
to get involved in matters either when dared to by Bob or when he's unwilling
to let Bob take the lead.
"Feathers," an "Indian" (his origin and why he's hanging with these
whiteboys is unexplained) who wears a headband with two red feathers but
(oddly, for the stereotype) is very intellectual in manner and speaks like
I recall some pertinent facts from my study of medieval history, pertaining
to the efficacy of structural armor. When the wearer stood upright, it
was quite remarkable in its ability to face punishing blows! But once the
wearer was forced from his feet the heaviness of it made it impossible
for him to arise again, or to move with any fluency at all!
He has a plain white oxford and slacks, and is usually reticent.
"Bomber," who has red hair and is short, scrappy, and not unlike
a number of Jack Kirby kid heroes (Scrapper, Brooklyn, etc). Bomber is
in a lower grade than the rest of the Trouble Shooters--he is literally
half their height and, despite his rodomontade, cannot be more than nine
or ten years old.
Bob's older brother--his age seems to vary from story to story; in one
he only looks a few years older, while in another he seems at least 20
years Bob's senior--is Lance, a government agent (literally; he introduces
himself as "Lance Brant, government agent"); he is called in to investigate
smuggling and Red trouble-making, so he is in all likelihood in counter-intelligence
and perhaps the C.I.A. (In one story he describes himself as working for
the "Intelligence Department.") Mr. Brant, Sr., works for an unnamed department
of the United Nations, although he's very concerned with fighting The Evil
Communist Menace, as all good Americans should be.
In three of their stories they fight bad guy counterfeiters dressed
up as mummies; Lance has a solo adventure stopping an "atomic pistol" (capable
of burning holes through cement and disguised as a toy gun) from being
"shipped to the Reds in Korea;" and the Trouble Shooters fight Roger Carstairs,
a killer mutant who is one of their schoolmates. In Feathers' words, "Roger
is a mutation. A super-being with intellectual powers far beyond present
understanding! He belongs in a world 2 centuries from now when mankind
has gradually evolved to an advanced condition!" Roger describes himself
as "a super being...a new step up in Man's evolution." He has the power
to "project mental images and kill from a distance! MY mind can control
the minds of others! Make them imagine things that aren't there...things
that KILL!" (Roger buys it at the hands and guns of his own hoodlum henchmen.)