Bookshelf: Secret Agent #2

Secret Agent #2
First Published in 1967
Published by Gold Key/K.K. Publications, Inc.

Gold Key published two comic books based on Secret Agent, a dramatic series known as Danger Man in its native Britain. The series had a complicated broadcast history, with 39 half-hour episodes being aired in Britain from 1960 to 1962 and another 45 hour-long episodes from 1963 to 1966. Two final hour-long episodes were aired in 1968 in color. Patrick McGoohan starred in both versions as John Drake, first as a NATO agent and later as a member of a secretive British agency.

When it was first broadcast by CBS from April to September of 1961, the series retained the name Danger Man. The name was switched to Secret Agent when the series returned in 1965. Gold Key’s comics were based on this second batch of episodes. There’s no month of publication anywhere in the comic. The Grand Comics Database indicates that the first issue came out in November 1966 and the second in January 1968. The second issue has a copyright date of 1967.

Secret Agent #2 Cover
Secret Agent #2 Cover – Copyright 1967 Gold Key/K.K. Publications, Inc.

Issue #2 includes just one story, “World-Wide Woman Hunt,” that is split into two parts. In it, John Drake is sent to France to track down Sateena Martinez, daughter of the brutal dictator (the Generalissimo) of an unnamed Central American country. She’s fled the country with a man named Karata and film proving that her father has betrayed his country.

Sateena has a very unusual birthmark on her right shoulder, a small start. That should make it easy for Drake to find her. And he does find her, at a Paris “fashion salon” where she has finally manage to fulfill her lifelong desire to be a model. But before he can get his hands on the film, the Generalissimo’s men make their move. Karata manages to take care of them quickly and then knocks out Drake.

Secret Agent #2 Page
Secret Agent #2 Page – Copyright 1967 Gold Key/K.K. Publications, Inc.

As the first half of the story comes to an end, Drake has finally found a way to beat Karata. He’s ticklish! In the second half, he puts on a disguise and tricks the French police into arresting Karata for theft. And he manages to convince Sateena to give him the film — all he has to do is break her lover, Carlos, out of prison.

Drake is able to free Carlos but before they can rendezvous with Karata, Carlos slugs Drake and rushes off for the Generalissimo’s palace to assassinate the dreaded dictator. Before he can, the Generalissimo has a heart attack and collapses. With her lover free and her father dead, Sateena gives Drake the films that will ensure that the Generalissimo’s regime is toppled forever.

I’ve never seen Danger Man and/or Secret Agent but I have seen Patrick McGoohan’s later series The Prisoner. So I can say with some certainty that the likeness of McGoohan in Secret Agent #2 is really quite good. He has a very distinctive face and it is successfully captured within the pages of the comic.

Secret Agent #2 Back
Secret Agent #2 Back – Copyright 1967 Gold Key/K.K. Publications, Inc.

In addition to the two-part story, the comic also includes a pin-up on the back cover, black and white artwork on the interior covers, and six pages of random cartoons. There’s Monster Museum, Chuckle Time, Quick Takes, Mini-Comics, Jest for Fun and Picture Dictionary.

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