Saturday, March 7, 2015

Mainlining One - Police Trap!

Joe Simon and Jack Kirby formed one of the great and most important teams in the history of comics. Together they were a powerhouse during the Golden Age of comics developing memorable and lasting concepts for many of the publishers of the era including of course Marvel (Timely) and DC. On the fame and success of those efforts they tried to latch onto the real financial rewards which comics offered, the ability to produce and publish their own comics. To that end they created "Mainline Comics" in the early 50's, a time in comic book history when there were was considerable shaking as a consequence of the attention comics were getting from disapproving adults and elected officials alike.

The Mighty Men of Mainline - Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
Over the course of the next several weeks the Dojo will be presenting all four of the Mainline books which the short-lived company produced and track their ultimate fates. Like many failed comic publishers of the time the product found its way into the hands of the Charlton folks who in their own distinctive manner made use of it in all sorts of surprising ways.

First up is the crime book Police Trap.

Mainline produced four issues of Police Trap in 1954 and early 1955, all sporting exciting Simon and Kirby covers. Underneath were stories by Simon and Kirby, but also work by Mort Meskin, Bill Draut, John Prentice, and others.

Charlton took over a year later in 1955 and produced two more issues of the comic, doubtless already ready for publication when Mainline went under. But after six issues by two companies Police Trap ended, at least as a title.

With the seventh issue the title was changed to Public Defender and showcased the adventures of attorney Richard Manning.

The series ran through issue twelve before ending in 1957 bringing to a close one quarter of the Mainline experiment.

The title Police Trap was revived by the pirate operation I.W.Waldman / Super Comics brand which gathered up a bunch of original material from the old issues as well as sundry other crime comics and generated four weirdly numbered issues in 1963 and 1964 -- a sad coda to a noble effort.

Be here next Saturday for more Mainline.

Rip Off


  1. Police Trap isnt Hayley Mills in that one :)

    1. No that's Lindsay Lohan in the remake...for real, and over and over!

      Rip Off

    2. I prefer the original. I watched it over and over again when I was a kid


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