TV Century 21 The Gerry Anderson Complete Comic History
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Our man at the U.S.S. Keith Ansell reports...

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21 Secret Agent: TV Century 21 - 1967

Agent 21The Agent 21 stories that saw print in 1967 were certainly a mixed bag - they ranged from surreal science fantasy to political conflict. One story found 21 fighting deadly Giant Leaves that would not have looked out of place in a painting by Salvador Dali, and another had him up against rebel US Army generals who were planning a military coup to take America out of the World Government. Gritty realism reared its head again with the death of Jack Reed, which was shocking – but not as shocking as Tina’s apparent return from the dead. World Space Patrol astronauts appeared in two of the stories reminding us that the strip was set in the Anderson Universe.

Part of this radical change in styles may partly be due to different writers. While the majority of 21 strips are attributed to assistant editor Tod Sullivan, sub-editor Howard Elson also recalls writing the strip (see separate interview). While his own memories indicate he was responsible for a batch of stories during the final year of the original TV21, he wrote The Assassin (Story Seventeen), as well as some of the latter Catch Or Kill strips, during this year before being promoted to the Century 21 book department to work on the annuals.

21 was appointed Head of the USS for the first time after S is retired by the World President at the end of one story but things did not work out and his old boss was soon reinstated. We learn that 21 is an honourable man – but we knew that already.

A wall map of Europe in another story clearly places the rogue state of Bereznik where Poland is today, tying in with the earlier published Stingray storybook The Deadly Alliance. SOFRAM (the Solar Organisation for Revenge and Murder) continued to make regular appearances and we see their New York base finally located and raided by the USS.

For the first and only time during the strip's five year run in the weekly comic, another artist - Jon Davis - filled in for Rab Hamilton and drew one story. Rab Hamilton’s style changed considerably during this year – it seemed almost rushed at times - he was also drawing two pages of The Girl from UNCLE for Lady Penelope for most of the year - but this helped give these stories an energy and a pace missing from the earlier Agent 21 strips.

With issue 123 the strip gained another new logo and was retitled for the third time becoming Secret Agent 21. The logo reverted to a version of the original one with issue 141 although the strip title remained unchanged.

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21 Secret Agent strip guide - part three


Story Eleven (aka Attack of the Giant Leaves*)
Writer: Tod Sullivan (?). Artist: Rab Hamilton. 2 pages, b/w.

Agent 21Part 1 - Issue 105, dateline 21 January 2067
21 and Jack Reed see what appears to be a shooting star in the sky as they leave the Century 21 Toy Factory, HQ of the Universal Secret Service, just outside Kahra on Mars. 21 reminds Jack that it cannot be a meteorite as Mars atmosphere is too thin for them to burn up. But the ‘shooting star’ explodes like a firework rocket, and multiple explosions light the sky all over Mars, releasing showers of tiny metallic alloy discs. The discs rain down all over the Red Planet – one smashing the windscreen of 21’s car narrowly missing the USS agent. 21 and Jack take the disc back to the USS lab in the Century 21 Toy Factory and work late into the night trying to discover what it is made of but get nowhere. Deciding to give up and sleep on the problem, 21 puts the disc in the lab’s filing cabinet for safe keeping and the two agents leave – but there is no sign of the usual guards. Outside the USS HQ there is what appears to be a giant 20 foot tall leaf, covered in quivering suckers, standing upright on its stem as if guarding the entrance. 21 blasts it with his ray gun but that only causes the leaf to approach the agents. 21 and Jack run back into the USS HQ but the giant leaf begins to smash its way through the wall after them…

Part 2 - Issue 106, dateline 28 January 2067
21 and Jack run from the giant leaf as it smashes its way into the USS HQ reception area. 21 orders Jack to warn the duty agents and then makes his way to the Deadly Toy stores. He grabs a deadly toy atomic tank and sets it to attack the giant leaf waiting back in the reception area. The leaf is unaffected by the tank's fire power, and a sudden burst of energy generated by the leaf's suckers destroys it. Jack and three USS armed guards arrive but 21 orders the guards to use the emergency exit at the rear of the factory and warn Kahra. 21 and Jack head for the laboratory to get the metallic disc, as21 thinks it must have something to do with the leaf and could give them a clue as to what planet it has come from. The USS agent suddenly feels a sucker grip his left arm – the giant leaf has followed them into the corridor. 21 manages to pull away and reach the safety of the laboratory but there the two agents find another leaf – although this one is only 18 inches tall. Jack shoots it with his atom blaster, and it shatters into a pile of electronic components. The giant leaves are mechanical man-made monsters…

Part 3 - Issue 107, dateline 04 February 2067
Agent 21
21 and Jack take a helijet to the Cahelium Plant in the Red Desert, as the best scientists on Mars based may be able to help. Flying over Kahra the USS agents see the city is being attacked by giant leaves. At the Cahelium Plant -protected by its dome – they are met by a group of scientists who are not aware of the invasion, and had closed the dome to protect it from a desert sand storm. 21 shows them the remains of the baby leaf Jack destroyed, and using a spectroscope deduce the leaf is composed of artificial live cells – it is a machine that actually grows. The scientists try to devise a way of fighting the leaves, while 21 and Jack try to trace where they have come from. They blast off for the nearest space station orbiting Mars, in the hope the radar will have plotted their incoming course. When they arrive they are told the station’s main generators were sabotaged so their radar was out of action – as were all other stations orbiting Mars. 21 realises this means the attack is not from space – the rockets bearing the leaf cells must have been launched by Revolutionaries somewhere on Mars...

Part 4 - Issue 108, dateline 11 February 2067
21 and Jack return to the Cahelium Research Centre and use the equipment their to trace the origin of the giant leaves. The rockets approached Kahra from the southeast, and 21 deduces they must have been launched from the Zeudian Mountains. 21 and Jack take the helijet to investigate, and Jack wonders what the rebels hope to gain by all this destruction. 'The planet.' responds 21. Twelve minutes later, they reach their destination and fly low looking for scorch marks left by the rockets. They see a forest fire raging in the valley below them and decide to land in the centre of the burnt out mountainside. 21 asks Jack to bring the rock x-ray as they disembark from the helijet so they can search for the underground cavern that must have housed the rockets. They x-ray the scorched area but the mountain seems solid. Suddenly their helijet is attacked and destroyed by a giant leaf. 21 and Jack draw their ray guns and blast the creature. The leaf approaches them but the two USS agents stay out of range of its suckers and keep firing at it. The leaf seems to realise it is not quick enough to catch its prey and lowers itself to the scorched ground and begins to thump its stem up and down. 21 thinks it must be signalling for help. A flying saucer suddenly appears and attacks 31 with an energy beam weapon. The ground crumbles beneath him and he loses his footing and begins to fall…

Part 5 - Issue 109, dateline 18 February 2067
Agent 21
21 quickly opens his deadly toy sample case, selects a catapult and fires a special hypnotic sucker dart onto the underside of the flying saucer as it passes overhead. Blowing into a special whistle, the ultra high frequency sound produced is amplified by the sucker dart and passes into the saucer - hypnotising the four-man crew. 21 orders them to land nearby, and the two USS agents board it and fly back to their base. The craft heads out into space - much to 21’s surprise - as he thought the revolutionaries had their base in the Zeusian Mountains. The flying saucer soon approaches a space station orbiting Mars, large enough to house 60 such spacecraft. Docking automatically with the station, 21 and Jack don spacesuits and head for the main control area. No one gives the two USS agents a second look until 21 bumps into a man wearing a black hood and cape - a SOFRAM Leader. 21 and Jack react like lightning and knock the Leader and his companion out. They drag the unconscious men into a storeroom where 21 quickly strips the Leader and changes into his SOFRAM uniform. Jack asks whether they intend to blow up the space station but 21 says their first job is to find out how the giant leaves are controlled. He believes the attack on Mars is just a test, and Earth will be their next target…

Part 6 - Issue 110, dateline 25 February 2067
The disguised 21 is saluted by SOFRAM troopers he passes, as he and Jack set out to find the space station’s laboratory. The station's standard layout helps the agents find their way, and they finally see the doors marked: ‘Laboratory. Unauthorised entry means death’. Entering the laboratory, they find one white-coated scientist - who stands to attention upon seeing the Leaders uniform. 21 orders him to relax and introduces Jack as ‘Attack-Controller Reed’ who will lead SOFRAM’s troops on Earth 'after the leaves have finished'. He orders the scientist to explain the leaf control systems to Jack, and he is shown a small box called a ‘lectomonia’ whose rays control the leaf cells. The scientist also tells him caffeine is an antidote to the leaf drug's effects. 21 knocks the scientist out while Jack grabs the lectomonia, and the agents head for the spaceship bay, instructing a SOFRAM trooper to prepare a saucer for immediate launch. The alarm sounds as the boarding tube is swung out and connected to a saucer – the scientist has regained consciousness sooner than expected. Instructions are given over the tannoy systems that no one is to leave the space station. 21 punches the SOFRAM trooper out of his way, and he and Jack run into the boarding tube. They manage to enter the saucer just before the tube can be retracted, and they blast away from the station with six SOFRAM strike craft in hot pursuit...

Part 7 - Issue 111, dateline 04 March 2067
The SOFRAM strike craft pursue the saucer back to the Cahelium factory on Mars. It swoops in low and flies through the opening in the rapidly closing protective dome. The SOFRAM strike craft begin attacking the dome with missiles, and the chief scientist tells 21 it should hold for a couple of hours. 21 explains about the lectomonia, and asks the chief scientist how long it will take to duplicate - it will take 2 hours to analyse it, then he can have 25 ready by nightfall. Suddenly a giant leaf approaches 21 and the group of scientists he is speaking to.
Agent 21
21 reacts in alarm but the scientists have developed the leaf from the sample, and have called it ‘Joey’ - controlled by the chief scientist’s voice alone. 21 asks the chief scientist to make a giant leaf under his own voice control. The two agents set about installing a remote control device in the stolen saucer while the SOFRAM strike craft continue to bombard the protective dome above them. The chief scientist hands 21 the leaf cell he has requested just as Jack is finishing installing the remote control device. 21 now inserts the leaf cell into a deadly toy rocket, which is then loaded into the SOFRAM saucer’s missile rack. The protective dome is now partly opened again and the remote controlled saucer flies through and heads for the SOFRAM space station. Three of the SOFRAM strike craft break off their attack on the dome and give chase. The saucer comes in range and Jack fires the deadly toy rocket at the space station. Back at the Cahelium factory the protective dome finally begins to cave in under the constant missile assault…

Part 8 - Issue 112, dateline 11 March 2067
The SOFRAM strike craft prepare to land at the Cahelium Plant but are ordered not to destroy it as SOFRAM wants to recover the leaf control machine in one piece. The Leader orders his men to keep searching for the small rocket fired into the station. Down at the Cahelium plant on Mars the four remaining SOFRAM strike craft touch down in the complex. The chief scientist at the plant orders his giant leaf ‘Joey’ to destroy the attackers. The ‘friendly’ leaf begins to assault the SOFRAM soldiers as they disembark from their strike craft to begin searching for the lectomonia machine. The troopers spread out to avoid the creatures deadly extending suckers. The chief scientist now orders the giant leaf to destroy the SOFRAM strike craft. It lifts two of the delta-winged craft and slams them together while SOFRAM pilots manage to get the other two airborne again and out of the leaf’s reach. 21, jack and the scientists hide from the SOFRAM troopers in the roof of one of the plant buildings intent on keeping the stolen lectomonia device out of enemy hands. 21 now broadcasts a radio message to his giant leaf cell in the SOFRAM space station. The radio message activates the cell shot into the space station by the remote controlled saucer – and it begins to grow rapidly to full size. The SOFRAM troopers in the station are still searching for the deadly toy missile that delivered the leaf cell when 21’s giant leaf suddenly shows itself in the launching bay. The SOFRAM Leader orders his men to fetch space suits and a lectmonia and get out into the launch bay and destroy the leaf. Down in the cahelium plant the SOFRAM troopers have found 21, Jack and the scientists hide out. Jack tries to hold them off while 21 continues broadcasting verbal instructions to his leaf up on the space station. The SOFRAM troopers prepare to fire a tear gas shell up into the roof area where the USS agents are holed up…

Part 9 - Issue 113, dateline 18 March 2067
Agent 21A SOFRAM trooper fires a tear gas shell up into the roof hideout. 21 manages to kick it back down the ventilation shaft into the midst of the SOFRAM troopers before it explodes. He orders Jack to use his deadly toys – but he has left their sample cases in the laboratory. The SOFRAM troopers cover the tear gas shell and prepare to charge up onto the roof when suddenly a squad of World Space Patrol astronauts surprise them from behind. The SOFRAM troops surrender to the heavily armed patrolmen. 21, Jack and the Chief Scientist leave the roof area and thank the WSP officers for their help. One of the astronauts says the Worlds President sent them to investigate the Cahelium Plant after radio contact was lost. The WSP captain asks about the giant leaves that are wrecking Kahra and the other Martian cities. 21 asks the chief scientist about the lectomonias he and his scientists were going to make and suggests the WSP could use them to deal with the leaves. Jack wonders how the leaf under 21’s control is doing in its mission to destroy the SOFRAM space station. Up on the space station the SOFRAM Leader and his men have failed to stop the giant leaf. It grabs the space suited Leader and hurls him out into space before breaking into the Power Generation Room. The leaf extends one of its suckers into the control panels within causing a short circuit. Suddenly the space station erupts in a massive explosion destroying everything on board. A few months’ later giant leaves made by the Cahelium Plant scientists are rebuilding the Martian cities –. 21 says that now they have the lectomonias SOFRAM can never use their giant leaves against Earth.

Reprinted:
TV2000 - issues 39/1967 to 47/1967 (as Geheim Agent 2000)

Notes:
The giant leaf is almost too fantastic for words. It looks like it has stepped straight out of a Dali painting.
Both 21 and Jack wear shoulder holsters under their jackets.
21’s mention of the thin atmosphere on Mars suggests the artificial atmosphere around the capital city of Kahra does not extend very far.
21 reminds me of FBI Agent Fox Mulder from The X Files in this story – his leaps of logic are quite astounding at times.
In part 5, the Zeudian Mountains become the Zeusian Mountains.
The squad of World Space Patrol astronauts is a great reminder that the Agent 21 strip takes place in the Anderson Universe.


Story Twelve (aka Back From the Dead!*)
Writer: Tod Sullivan (?). Artist: Rab Hamilton. 2 pages, b/w.

Part 1 - Issue 114, dateline 25 March 2067
S observes as 21 tests a new deadly toy humming bird at the USS proving grounds, behind the Century 21 Toys Factory HQ, Kahra, Mars. A missile is launched and the bird soars into the sky at fantastic speed to intercept and destroy it. S is impressed. 21 now radios ground control to start the second test and an unmanned car races past the USS agents – but not fast enough to escape another deadly toy humming bird, which swoops down out of the sky and completely destroys the vehicle. S orders 21 to put the birds into full production and include some in his kit for his next assignment – which is to act as security escort on a space transporter leaving for Earth tomorrow. It will be carrying the most advanced laser cannon ever built which can destroy a spaceship up to 1 million light years away (!!). S knows a lot of people would like to get their hands on it so it is up to 21 to see they don’t. 21 now leaves S at the Century 21 Factory and drives back to his quarters. On the way his car gets a puncture. He pulls over to the side of the Martian freeway and begins to change the wheel only to hear some one say: 'Hello Twenty-One.' He turns around and sees a young woman standing behind him. She looks like his old partner Tina…

Agent 21Part 2 - Issue 115, dateline 01 April 2067
21 cannot believe it is her, reminding 'Tina' she was shot dead by Bereznik agents while protecting him at Kiel Hospital. Tina explains the doctor who pronounced her dead was working for SOFRAM, and it was SOFRAM stretcher-bearers that smuggled her out of the hospital, taking her to a SOFRAM hideout where doctors saved her life. A dummy was placed in her coffin for the funeral. For months Tina was nursed back to health by SOFRAM but she knew that as soon as she was fully recovered they would try and force classified USS information from her. Fooling the doctors that her recovery was slower than it actually was, and practising walking in secrecy, Tina climbed out of the hospital window using lengths of knotted sheets and managed to get back to Mars. Tracked down by one of SOFRAM’s best agents, who caught up with her on a monorail heading for Kahra, Tina fought back and threw him from the train. She headed for 21’s apartment only to meet him on the roadside, so he takes Tina back to USS HQ to meet S. S doesn’t believe it, and says she will have to go before a USS clearance panel back on Earth before her story can be officially accepted. 21 says that will just be a formality and she can accompany him back to Earth on the transporter ship he is escorting tomorrow. The following morning 21 and Tina are at Kahra Space Port and watch the new laser cannon loaded into the giant space freighter. The transporter will be escorted by 20 fighter ships as well as having 21 aboard. The transporter soon takes off on its journey to Earth but unknown to 21 a sinister plot to steal the laser cannon has already been set in motion. An enemy agent outside the spaceport contacts his central control to inform them that the transporter has left with their agent aboard….

Part 3 - Issue 116, dateline 08 April 2067
21 informs Tina that the Martian space transporter will take 5 days to reach Earth therefore any highjack attempt of ‘Operation Harry’ will probably be made very soon if its going to be. Tina tells 21 he was always a worrier and says she is going to get some sleep. In her cabin Tina uses a hidden radio in her suitcase to contact… a hooded SOFRAM Leader. She tells him that everything is going to plan. She now heads for the control cabin of the space transporter closing the airlock door behind her. The captain turns around to find Tina standing behind him with a gun. She tells him to sit down and do exactly as she says, as she would hate to shoot him or his flight crew. Tina tells the captain to prepare his transporter for docking. In another part of the ship 21 spots unidentified spacecraft approaching the transporter on one of the security monitors. He orders the USS escort fighters to prepare for action. The enemy craft attack the USS fighters and a space battle breaks out around the transport ship. There are too many SOFRAM ships for the USS to fight off and they are soon destroyed. 21 orders the USS troops on board the transporter to get down to the hold and protect the laser cannon – but they can’t open the air lock into the hold. 21 runs back to the control cabin to use the master switch but finds the airlock entrance also closed. He uses the intercom and asks for the airlock into the control cabin to be opened but the captain says: 'Sorry, but I can’t.' 21 has no time to waste arguing so he takes a deadly toy tank from his sample case and sets it to blast a hole in the airlock door...

Part 4 - Issue 117, dateline 15 April 2067
Agent 2121 steps through the hole in the airlock door cut by his deadly toy tank to see Tina holding the flight crew at gunpoint. Tina tells him if he tries anything the transporter captain will die first. She tells 21 she is not Tina. She is a member of SOFRAM made to look like Tina by plastic surgery. SOFRAM troopers are beginning to board the transporter ship – she says 21 has lost this time. 21 admits she has won the first round. The transporter ship continues its journey under SOFRAM control and lands at a SOFRAM spaceport somewhere on Earth. The SOFRAM agents disembark along with their USS prisoners. The Tina look-alike orders one of the SOFRAM troopers to take 21’s deadly toys and copy them for their field agents. The trooper refers to her as X1 when he asks about the 8 deadly toy humming birds which are in an innocent looking bird cage as if they were real birds. X1 picks up the cage and asks 21 if they are pets. The USS agent suddenly leaps at the fake Tina threatening to kill her. Shocked she falls to the ground dropping the birdcage as SOFRAM troopers pull 21 away from her. X1 calls him a fool saying her death would not stop SOFRAM’s victory – but 21’s plan has worked. He didn’t want to kill her only free the deadly toy humming birds. 21 guides the deadly toy birds with the miniature controls on his wrist watch band. The deadly birds dive to attack the SOFRAM spaceport. The resulting explosions allow 21 and the transporter crew to break free of their captors and run back to their ship. X1 calls for SOFRAM troopers to stop them but it is too late - the space transporter is already lifting off. 21 calls for World Air Force support and is ordered to head the space transporter for Washington as the WAF planes proceed to destroy the secret SOFRAM space port. On arrival in Washington 21 contacts S on Mars who congratulates him on a job well done. A grim looking 21 says X1 played her part well but she will never pull another trick like that again.

Reprinted:
TV2000 - issues 48/1967 to 51/1967 (as Geheim Agent 2000)

Notes:
What a shock to see Tina Palamac again at the end of part 1. Shewas last seen over a year ago in issue 62, dateline 26 March 2066.
Curiously for the 21st century (unless there was some kind of fashion revival), Tina is shown wearing very 1950s style seamed stockings in part 1.
The story suggests that 21 designed the deadly toy humming bird.
21 drives a wheeled car.
The new laser cannon is said to have a range of up to 1 million light years, eh? Now that is very advanced.
The giant space transporter looks fantastic. It reminds me of the submarine aircraft carrier that appeared in the first Stingray comic strip (see TV Century 21 No. 1).
Space transporters are much slower than the overnight passenger ferries to Earth.
Was the puncture of 21’s car somehow staged by X1? If not, it seems too much of a coincidence for ‘Tina’ to have been waiting on the roadside for him.


Story Thirteen (aka Communication Breakdown*)
Writer: Tod Sullivan (?). Artist: Rab Hamilton. 2 pages, b/w.

Part 1 - Issue 118, dateline 22 April 2067
Agent 21
The Earth-Neptune Rocket Ship NT3 is docking at the Neptune Orbiter, and the mixture of human and alien passengers will soon be taking the Neptune Ferry down to the surface of the planet. One of NT3’s cabin crew, a young human woman named Rescon, intends to spend her holiday on Neptune but as she heads for the ferry terminal a Customs Inspector bumps into her knocking her hand luggage to the floor. As his colleague picks up Rescon’s bag he spots an electronic device which has fallen from it. Rescon pulls out a stun gun and shoots them. The two unconscious men are soon found but it is too late to stop Rescon leaving. Sometime later S calls 21 and Jack Reed into his office at USS HQ, and shows them the device – it is part of a radio and radar jammer. A gang is trying to smuggle equipment onto Neptune, and he wants 21 and Jack to find out who and why. Jack gets a job as a steward on the Earth-Neptune Rocket run and find out anything he can, while 21 concentrate on Neptune itself. He arrives on Neptune to hear the tannoy announcement reminding visitors to wear space suits when they leave the pressure dome surrounding Neptune City - and thinks it is funny how scientists have failed to give Neptune a false atmosphere, unlike the other planets in the Solar System. 21 books in at the Astrodome Hotel, where Roscon always stayed when on Neptune, and once in his room he uses the deadly toy bloodhound to check for bugs. It stops in front of the wardrobe and 21 opens the door to find it empty - until a secret door at the back suddenly opens and a ferocious guard dog leaps out at him…

Part 2 - Issue 119, dateline 29 April 2067
21 rolls onto his back and kicks the dog away from him, ripping the top sheet off his hotel bed and throwing it over the animal. He then leaps astride the covered dog and hammers it into unconsciousness with double fisted blows. 21 now rises to his feet and enters the wardrobe to check where the secret door leads. He sees a flight of stairs and a corridor. The USS agent makes his way down the corridor and comes to a door. He gently turns the handle only for a heavy wooden door to start sliding down behind him. 21 leaps back into the corridor before the sliding door closes realising he was standing in an air lock - the poisonous atmosphere of Neptune was on the other side of the door he attempted to open. 21 returns to his hotel room and a short while later he is back at the airlock wearing a space suit and carrying his deadly toy sample case. He opens the outer door and steps out into the deadly Neptune landscape. 21 sets his deadly toy bloodhound to lead the way along a trail that starts at the airlock door and disappears into the distance. Sometime later a six wheeled all terrain truck comes into view over a rocky ridge. Two space suited men beckon 21 over thinking he is someone called Jenson. 21 gets into the truck and draws his ray gun – the men realise he is not Jenson. The USS agent threatens to shoot the men if they don’t act normally and drive him to their camp. The truck speeds across the barren rocky Neptunian plain and eventually an ominous looking man made tower surrounded by smaller buildings comes into view. One of the men informs 21 he is looking at 'the end of the Solar System'...

Part 3 - Issue 120, dateline 06 May 2067
Agent 21
The truck driver boasts that he and his gang will soon be the masters of the Solar System. 21 reminds him that at the moment he is holding the gun. The USS agent tells the driver to stop the truck and takes three deadly toy rabbits from his sample case. The gang members think he is joking but 21 sets the rabbits to race towards the camp. He has assumed there will be an arms detector force field around the camp and he is proved correct as the deadly toys explode upon contact with it. Alerted by the explosions space suited guards run from the buildings surrounding the tower and take up defensive positions. 21 now launches a deadly toy plane to attack the base and then orders his captives to drive on towards the tower. His gamble that the guards will give one of their own trucks little attention while trying to shoot the plane down pays off and once in the base 21 orders the truck driver to park behind the tower. The USS agent now knocks the two men out with his ray gun and runs into the tower as hover tanks are alerted to defend the enemy camp. In the tower 21 is suddenly challenged by a guard who wants to see his pass – but the USS agent swings his sample case into the guards chest and knocks him out only for another guard to appear behind him with a gun…

Part 4 - Issue 121, dateline 13 May 2067
The guard with the gun orders 21 to raise his hands ‘very slowly’. The USS agent operates a hidden button in the handle of his sample case as he raises his hands and closes his eyes. A tiny magnesium flare drops from beneath the case and explodes with blinding light. 21 now runs forward into a nearby lift and selects the top floor. He finds himself in a control room filled with electronic equipment manned by technicians. 21 pulls the handle of his sample case priming the plastic explosive packed in the lid and prepare to throw it into the midst of the surprised technicians – but suddenly space suited armed guards appear behind him. One knocks 21 to the floor with the stock of his ray rifle and another grabs the sample case and hurls it out of a nearby window just in time – it explodes before it hits the ground. The guards now question 21 asking him who he is. He says he is just a toy salesman hoping they would buy some of his lines. The gang leader Colonel Brass approaches and orders the guards to take 21 outside and shoot him – but then decides the agents death can wait until he has learnt how Brass and his men plan to be Masters of the Galaxy. At that moment rocket liner docks at the Neptune Orbiter space station and Jack Reed wishes his fellow steward Tim Denvers a good time on Neptune. Jack has placed a homing device on Denvers suspecting he may be a member of the gang smuggling radio and radar jamming equipment onto the planet. Jack now requests a private rocket from the Space Station Controller so he can follow the ferry down to Neptune. The Controller is aware Jack is a USS officer but asks him what gives him the right to command a private rocket. Jack reminds him that the penalty for knowingly obstructing a USS officer is 10 years imprisonment. A few minutes later Jack blasts off for Neptune in a private rocket. The Controller now contacts Colonel Brass in the tower on Neptune to tell him Jack is on his way and will arrive in the hour… the Controller is a member of the gang too...

Part 5 - Issue 122, dateline 20 May 2067
Jack Reed has arrived on Neptune and now sits in a hired car monitoring the homing device he placed on Tim Denvers from the screen in the lid of his deadly toy sample case. Jack is puzzled – the homing signal appears to be coming from under the road not from within the Astrodome Hotel. Minutes later Jack enters Denver’s hotel room to find it empty. Denvers has been ordered to make sure Jack survives the tunnel and follows him out onto the surface of Neptune so has left a hand written note for the USS agent in the wardrobe. Jack finds Denver’s note, which reads: ‘Escape Tunnel Instructions. 1) Remember to wear space suits. 2) Open tunnel door by switch in the back panel.’ Back at the tower, some miles away from Neptune City, Colonel Brass receives the signal informing him Denvers has left the airlock and so orders his men to pick him up – and the USS man Reed. 21, now tied up securely, asks Colonel Brass what his plans are.
Agent 21
Brass asks him what would happen if the Solar System suddenly had no radio, radar, telephone or television and then answers his own question saying there would be chaos – cities would be turned back to the 16th Century within 6 months. In 12 months the Solar System would be his for the taking. Brass looks around him at the complex communications jamming equipment in the tower and says it is all his invention and he will be Master. The arrival of Denvers and Jack (who is now securely tied up like 21) interrupts Brass’s commentary. Denvers has smuggled in a frequency control unit – the final component required by Brass. The Colonel orders his men to put the prisoners in one of the storerooms while he installs the unit. The two USS agents are taken to a paint storeroom and the door locked behind them. They hear Brass give instructions to start the generators – there is now only 5 minutes before all communications in the Solar System will be jammed…

Part 6 - Issue 123, dateline 27 May 2067
Colonel Brass gives the order to switch the communications jamming equipment on and start the output build up. Transmission will begin at 15 million decibles (sic). Locked up in the paint storeroom Reed wonders why Colonel Brass’s gang needs so much paint. 21 explains that the atmosphere of Neptune rust bare metal as he struggles to his feet and presses a hidden catch within his boot releasing a sharp blade from the toe cap. 21 now gets behind Jack and cuts his assistant’s bands. Jack then releases 21 who has devised a plan of escape. He orders Jack to empty a can of paint just inside the storeroom door while he sets another can of paint alight. The USS agents now move to the far side of the room and wait. A few minutes later one of Brass’s guards sees smoke seeping under the door into the control room and raises the alarm. Brass orders him to put out the fire so the guard enters the paint store and slips over on the pool of paint tipped over by Jack. 21 pounces on the guard, knocks him out and then throws the burning can of paint into the control room. 21 orders Jack to keep Brass’s men busy using the fallen guards gun while he makes more paint bombs – but he then sees jack’s deadly toy sample case on the other side of the control room. He tells Jack to cover him but his assistant throws the gun to 21 saying he is a better shot. Jack runs across the control room determined to get his sample case - but is shot by one of Brass’s guards as he reaches it...

Part 7 - Issue 124, dateline 03 June 2067
Jack is mortally wounded but manages to slide the sample case back to 21 before dying. 21 shoots his killer and then grabs the case, while still defending himself with the ray gun, and takes out a deadly toy tank. He sets it to rumble forward into the control room and start destroying the control panels. Colonel Brass orders his men to stop the tank only for 21 to set 6 deadly toy soldiers on them. Brass’ men run from the control room – they have had enough. Brass orders them to come back as it is only one man. Suddenly the control panel behind the Colonel explodes knocking him out. 21 pulls Brass out of the control room as more panels explode. He is soon running from the tower with the unconscious Colonel (now wearing a space suit) thrown over his shoulder. Seconds later an enormous explosion completely destroys the tower and all of Brass’s jamming equipment. Officials in Neptune City detect the explosion and two police hover trucks are soon approaching the ruins of the tower to investigate.
Agent 21They see 21 with the unconscious Brass walking towards them. Back in Neptune City 21 establishes his identity and is told the Neptune police have rounded up the rest of Brass’s gang. The Neptune President congratulates 21 saying if the gang had succeeded it would have caused chaos across the Solar System. 21 says all he knows is the USS have lost a good man. Jack Reed was still only a youngster but he would have become a great special agent - 21 will miss him.

Reprinted:
TV2000 - issues 52/1967 to 06/1968 (as Geheim Agent 2000)

Notes:
This story confirms that scientists have given all colonised worlds in the Solar System artificial earth-like atmospheres except for Neptune.
The scene showing 21 beating the guard dog senseless in part 2 is quite brutal for a children’s comic - it looks like he could have actually killed the animal.
The surface of Neptune looks very much like the surface of Mars as seen in the Zero X strip.
The tower is really ominous and would not look out of place in The Lord of the Rings.
Part 5 suggests that Tim Denvers has booked into the same hotel room as the Stewardess Rescon – or that all rooms in the Astrodome Hotel have secret doors in the back of their wardrobes, accessing the tunnel that leads out onto the surface of Neptune beyond the pressure dome covering the city.
From part 6, the strip title changes to Secret Agent 21 with another new logo.
Presumably the blade is in 21’s boot inside the space suit.
We don’t realise Jack is mortally wounded until part 7.
I thought 21 should have carried Jack’s corpse out of the tower but I suppose it made sense to save Brass so he could be interrogated later.


Story Fourteen (aka Revolution*)
Writer: Tod Sullivan (?). Artist: Rab Hamilton. 2 pages, b/w.

Part 1 - Issue 125, dateline 10 June 2067
Senior Special Agent 21 is in Washington on World Security Council duty. He stands guard while the council is in session. The World Security Chiefs make their reports including S closes his with a promise that 21 will investigate a certain Martian Research Plant. After the meeting has been adjourned 21 asks S why he wants him to investigate the research plant as he thinks it is a waste of time. S agrees but says it will give 21 a pleasant break. 21 now leaves the World Security Building on his own only to see a man running along the street below the high walk he is on – and four Military Police troops are chasing the man with weapons drawn. The MPs shoot the man in cold blood. 21’s instincts tell him something is very wrong and then the MPs spot him and turn their guns on the USS agent. 21 draws his weapon and a short gunfight takes place leaving only one MP standing. The surviving trooper runs for help leaving 21 free to vault over the handrail of the high walk and drop down onto the street below. The USS agent runs to the man shot by the MPs and offers to get an ambulance but he says 'No time – tell them… Military Coup…' before he dies of his wounds.
Agent 21
Suddenly the street is filled with military hovercraft and a squad of armed Military Police troops surrounds 21. The Captain in command of the squad asks what the man said before he died. 21 tells him he said 'Nothing', but is called a liar and receives a backhanded blow across his face. 21 hits back with a roundhouse punch putting the MP on his back. The Captain struggles to his feet and orders his men to arrest 21 – for murder. 21 laughs telling him the Military Police has no jurisdiction in Washington but an MP suddenly knocks him out from behind with the stock of his pistol. The MPs now bundle the unconscious USS agent into one of their hovercraft along with the other casualties and seconds later have gone leaving no trace of the recent gun battle...

Part 2 - Issue 126, dateline 17 June 2067
The Military Police troops bind the unconscious 21’s wrists and ankles before searching him. They discover his identity papers giving his name as ‘Brent Cleever, Toy Salesman for Century 21 Toys Incorporated, Kahra, Mars’. The Military Police Captain orders his men to throw 21 into the nearby river. The cold waters bring 21 to his senses but with his wrists and ankles bound he will soon drown - unless…
21 slips his special wristwatch over his handcuffs and pulls the winder. There is a flash of intense heat and the USS agent’s wrists are suddenly free – if not a little scorched. He now desperately swims to the surface and the shore. The MPs return to their Washington HQ Building where their chief Provost General Belper asks how the mission went. The Captain tells him about the toy salesman’s interference. Belper knows that Century 21 Toys is the cover for the USS and orders his men to go back to the river and find the body. Minutes later four police hover jeeps packed with frogmen and troops leave the Military Police HQ. Meanwhile 21 has hauled himself up onto the side of the river and desperately works at freeing his ankles. A squad of military police troops begin searching for the USS agent on both sides of the river with drag ropes. They have been ordered to shoot on site if 21 is found alive. 21 has freed now freed his ankles and starts to climb over the hedge bordering the riverbank only for the MPs to spot him…

Part 3 - Issue 127, dateline 24 June 2067
Agent 21
21 runs into the park on the other side of the hedge as the Military Police troops begin firing at him. The MPs follow him into the park while the police hover jeeps are ordered around to cover the park exit. The USS agent races through the park heading for the road on the other side. When he sees the hover jeep approaching 21 whips off one of his shoes, twists the heel and throws it in their direction. The resulting explosion destroys one of the vehicles allowing the hunted USS agent to dart across the road and head for a car showroom opposite. He quickly smashes his way through a glass window into the showroom. Minutes later he drives one of the new cars straight out through the display windows and away down the road forcing the MPs to jump out of his way or be run over. 21 abandons the car near the hotel where S is staying while in Washington and makes for the building’s rear fire exit on foot. The USS agent quickly ducks into the shadows as two MPs march past. He lunges for the troops knocking the first one unconscious with a karate chop and kicking the gun out of the others hand. 21 now applies pressure to a nerve point on the neck of the second MP saying that a little more pressure will kill him - unless he tells the agent about the military takeover. The trooper tells 21 to increase the pressure because he won’t talk…

Part 4 - Issue 128, dateline 01 July 2067
21 carries the now unconscious MP trooper up the rear fire escape to S’s penthouse flat in Washington. The USS Chief is surprised to see 21 and demands to know what is happening. He says Provost General Belper of the Military Police has visited him twice that night already. 21 puts the unconscious MP into an easy chair and tells S he thinks the Military Police are planning a revolution. He now injects the trooper with a dose of PN37 from S’s sample case. The special truth drug works and the MP reveals that the First Tank and Fourth Armoured Division of the US Army will take control of Government House as soon as the command order is given. S says he will call in the USS and the World Army but 21 thinks that is too risky as the phones will be monitored. They need time so 21 suggests S call General Belper and say he has caught 21. S is afraid the MPs will then just shoot him saying he tried to escape but 21 is prepared to take that chance. S makes the videophone call and soon Belper and four armed MPs arrive at his flat to arrest the agent. 21 makes out he tried to convince S of the plot but the USS Chief would not believe him. S asks Belper to go easy on 21, as he was a good agent before he cracked up. As the trooper leave with their prisoner one of the MPs thanks S for catching 21 so the USS Chief gives him a deadly toy bloodhound from his sample case saying it is a present for his son. He accepts it believing it is just a harmless toy. General Belper and his men return to MP Headquarters with their prisoner and 21 is locked up in a cell – but not before he discovers that other US Army generals are at MP Headquarters for a meeting with Belper. Belper calls for the rebel generals plans to overthrow the US Government be speeded up just in case S does call in his USS agents. They agree and soon tanks are rolling…

Part 5 - Issue 129, dateline 08 July 2067
White helmeted rebel forces quickly surround the White House Buildings in Washington and soon General Belper is making radio and TV broadcasts to the world stating that 'At 02.00 hours today a council of officers was formed to govern the USA in its hour of crisis. Our first decree is to withdraw the United States of America from the World Government'. 21 listens to this from his prison cell within the Military Police HQ. He wonders who can stop the rebels now. Meanwhile troops have been sent to capture S but when they break into his penthouse flat it is empty. The MP Captain orders his men to search the apartment as he can’t have got away – the hotel has been under constant watch. An old janitor walks past with his mop and bucket only to be pushed out of the way by the MPs who order the hotel sealed off. The old janitor just walks out past the armed soldiers that surround the building and when he is clear uses his wrist radio to contact 21 – the old janitor is S in disguise.
Agent 21
S tells 21 he has given one of the soldiers a deadly bloodhound, and suggests he get it off him. Soon 21 sees the MP with the deadly toy bloodhound walking beside him just outside his cell. The USS agent calls the trooper over and says the ‘toy’ dog is cute and can he have a closer look. The unsuspecting MP orders the deadly toy to walk over to 21’s cell door…

Part 6 - Issue 130, dateline 15 July 2067
The toy bloodhound walks towards 21’s cell. 21 radios S to let him know when it reaches his cell door and the disguised USS Chief presses his gold ring detonating the deadly toy. The cell door is blown open and the MP is caught in the blast. 21 soon leaves the cell block dressed in the dead MPs uniform and bluffs his way past three troopers coming to investigate the blast only to be recognised by Belper. The USS agent shoots Belper but the gun fire brings more MPs. 21’s gun jams but the troopers suddenly fall before him - a row of deadly toy soldiers have disposed of them. The disguised S calls for 21 to follow him. They must get out of the building fast as the USS Chief has ordered deadly toy tanks to attack the Military Police HQ. Three rebel generals appear and order 21 and S to stay where they are...

Part 7 - Issue 131, dateline 22 July 2067
S’s deadly toy tanks begin to bombard the Military Police HQ Building. The three rebel generals order S to stop his deadly toys but the USS Chief says he will need his sample case to do that. One of the generals picks up S’s sample case and asks what to do with it. 21 tells him to pull the handle sharply as it cuts all connections to the deadly toys – it actually primes explosives within the case. 21 now tells the rebels they only have 60 seconds before the building goes sky high. One of them shoots 21 before the three generals run for it. S can’t rouse the wounded 21 so he grabs the primed sample case and runs after the fleeing rebels. S throws the sample case after the generals as they leave the HQ Building running for a car parked nearby – the case explodes in midair completely destroying the vehicle and killing the rebels. S is caught in the blast but survives.
Agent 21Next morning World Television announcer Bob Newart reports the attempted takeover on TV’s across the globe. He informs his audience that two brave USS agents smashed the revolution and are both now in hospital recovering from their wounds Some time later the World President visits S in hospital and tells him it is time for him to retire and for a younger man to take over. A nurse pushes 21 into S’s room in a wheel chair and the WP tells him he will be retiring from active service too – from now on 21 will be in charge of the USS. Three weeks later 21 is fully recovered from his gunshot wound and visits S who is still in hospital. S tells him that he will be joining the World President’s staff once he gets out of hospital and wishes 21 good luck in his new role. The two men shake hands…

Reprinted:
TV2000 - issues 07/1968 to 13/1967 (as Geheim Agent 2000)

Notes:
Commander Zero and Commander Shore appear to be sitting each side of S at the World Security Council meeting in part 1 – but if this is 2048 it can’t be them.
In part 3, 21 presumably used his karate skills to smash the glass window and break into the car showroom?
Presumably the unconscious MP that 21 carries up to S’s penthouse flat in part 4 was the one the USS agent applied nerve pressure to, in the hopes he would tell him about the military coup. (i.e. the extra pressure just knocked him out rather than killed him)
21 removes his white jacket before he is taken prisoner by the MPs.
S gives 21 a handful of pills before he phones Belper but they are not explained in the text of the story. Maybe they contained homing devices so S could trace him after the MPs have taken him away? Or maybe they made him act crazy so Belper would believe that 21 had cracked up?
Presumably S has been promoted as General Belper calls him ‘Air Marshal Zodiac’ - the last time S was referred to by his real name he was a General. S is again referred to as ‘Air Marshal Zodiac’ by the rebel generals at the end of Part 6, and the World President in the final part.
We discover S is also a master of disguise in part 5.
How does 21 receive S’s radio message in his MP prison cell? He appears to be holding something like a wallet but surely he would have had all of his possessions taken from him by the MPs? The wallet must contain a hidden radio transceiver.
The World President is drawn as Nikita Bandranaik.


Story Fifteen (aka Tough at the Top*)
Writer: Tod Sullivan (?). Artist: Rab Hamilton. 2 pages, b/w.

Part 1 - Issue 132, dateline 29 July 2067
Agent 21The World President has retired S and 21 is now in charge of the Universal Secret Service. He sits at his desk at Century 21 Toys Incorporated, Kahra, Mars and issues the days orders to his agents before going on a tour of inspection of the toy factory. His methods are different to S’s – he insists on tests and more tests. 21 calls a top level conference and tells all his department heads that he has decided to destroy SOFRAM once and for all. His men tell 21 that the USS do not have enough agents to spare for a full scale operation like that but the new USS Chief says they will use brain not brawn. The action begins with USS agents making a surprise raid on an isolated SOFRAM base on Earth. All the captured SOFRAM operatives are taken back to Mars for questioning. As a result of this other SOFRAM bases are now located and destroyed across the globe on land and sea. In space USS Commandos attack a SOFRAM space station and capture a hooded SOFRAM Leader. Sometime later the remaining SOFRAM Leaders hold a council of war at their HQ in New York. Some Leaders want to strike back at the USS straightaway but Leader Number 1 decides to wait a while – let 21 have his little moment of glory. At that moment in Washington S asks the World President how 21 is doing in his new job. The WP tells S about 21’s full-scale attack on SOFRAM. S says he is asking for trouble. The WP thinks it will put 21 to a real test…

Part 2 - Issue 133, dateline 05 August 2067
21 plans his raid on SOFRAM’s Headquarters – but first he has to find it. In Unity City S convinces the World President that the USS will not be able to smash SOFRAM. He says they are too big and have infiltrated every walk of life. The USS raids are cancelling SOFRAM’s effectiveness at the moment but even if they find the evil organisations HQ and smash it fragments of it will be left and soon reform. It will take the USS years build new files and track the splinter organisations down. The WP agrees with S and decides they must stop 21 – and the only way to do that will be to force his attention onto something else. The WP orders S to arrange to have him kidnapped. In SOFRAM’s New York HQ at the moment Leader Number 1 has decided on a plan – to kidnap the World President. SOFRAM troops break into the WP’s Palace grounds that evening and capture him. Meanwhile back at USS HQ, Kahra, Mars the SOFRAM prisoners from earlier raids are still being questioned using the latest interrogation techniques. One appears to know the location of his organisations Headquarters. It is in New York, Earth. The following day the USS surround the building but find it deserted - except for the council of SOFRAM Leaders still seated around meeting table. Leader Number 1 tells 21 that SOFRAM have captured the World President – and he will only be returned alive once all SOFRAM prisoners have been released, all SOFRAM bases and equipment have been repaired and 21 has been handed over to them….

Part 3 - Issue 134, dateline 12 August 2067
21 refuses to accept the SOFRAM Leaders demands and orders his commandos to arrest them. Suddenly the floor opens beneath the seated Leaders and they swiftly drop out of sight – steel shutters sliding back into place above them. 21 orders his men down stairs - fast. The USS Chief and his commandos race down into the room below the council chamber but there is no sign of the SOFRAM Leaders. 21 calls for his sample case and takes out a deadly toy bow and shoots an explosive arrow up above his head blasting a hole in the false ceiling. 21 and his men now climb up into the false ceiling area and find the empty conference chairs of the Leaders and a lift shaft descending to a lower level nearby. 21 drops an exploding tennis ball from his case into the shaft in the hopes of stopping the Leaders escape. The blast rocks the building. The USS Chief and his commandos now use ropes to descend the lift shaft and find the explosion has blasted a hole through the floor to an underground river running beneath the SOFRAM HQ building. They climb down through the hole to stand beside the subterranean river but there is no sign of the SOFRAM Leaders. 21 decides they must have escaped down the river so he takes what looks like two large balloons from his sample case. Within minutes they have been inflated to become two large rubber dinghies and the USS Chief’s party make use of them to pursue the Leaders down the river. 21 sends a deadly toy plane on ahead to scan the tunnel for traps – but the danger is behind them. A metal gantry spanning the underground river holds three laser cannons. Suddenly the deadly cannons begin firing at the USS Chief and his men…

Part 4 - Issue 135, dateline 19 August 2067
Agent 2121 and his commandos are thrown out of their dinghies into the underground river as the laser beams churn up the water around them. Treading water, the USS Chief takes a deadly toy submarine from his sample case and launches it back to attack the overhead cannons. The cannons are destroyed in a vast explosion that breaches a SOFRAM built dam – the river water now rushes into a basement area beneath the SOFRAM HQ dragging the USS men with it. 21 and his bedraggled commandos are observed by two SOFRAM Leaders from behind a large glass screen – with the World President guarded by SOFRAM troopers. He asks the Leaders what they intend doing with their captives, and the response is, 'Kill them Mr. President – What else?' Suddenly, USS Commandos break into the basement and rescue the World President, but the SOFRAM leaders escape by helijet in the fighting. The remaining SOFRAM troopers are captured, and 21 is surprised to find S leading the USS force. The World President now turns to 21 and tells him it is a big step from General to Air Marshal. 21 agrees and says he has decided to ask S to take over the USS again. S accepts but feels he has cheated 21 out of a promotion, though he himself has been 'tricked' into a new lease of life.

Reprinted:
TV2000 - issues 14/1968 to 17/1968 (as Geheim Agent 2000)

Notes:
This is the first time we see the USS Commandos in action.
Part 1 of this story is headed ‘The Official Life Story of the Head of the USS’.
The USS File number 21/4/11/2047 given at the end of Part 1 seems to suggest Story Fifteen is set in November (or April if American dating is being used) 2047 but this conflicts with previous dating given in the Agent 21 strips - that is, Story Ten (aka An Eye for an Eye) clearly states that SOFRAM attacked the Space City construction site on 22nd November 2047.
The USS File number 21/7/14/2048 given for Story Sixteen (aka Double Cross) may resolve this problem. It suggests July 2048 and confirms American dating is being used. I think Story Fifteen’s USS File number should therefore have read 21/4/11/2048 suggesting April 2048.
Presumably the World President is visiting the World Security HQ in Washington when S visits him there in Part 1.
In Part 2 the World President and S are now in Unity City.
Presumably SOFRAM intentionally let the location of their New York HQ slip so that the Leaders could confront 21 with their ultimatum regarding the World President’s life.
This story suggests that SOFRAM’s HQ was actually in the basement of their New York Building, and they only had their conference room above ground level.
The World President is drawn as Nikita Bandranaik.
The World President’s comment regarding rank suggests that 21 is a General, as S is now an Air Marshal.


Story Sixteen (aka Double Cross*)
Writer: Tod Sullivan (?). Artist: Jon Davis.
Parts 1 to 3, 2 pages, b/w. Parts 4 & 5, 1 page, b/w.

Part 1 - Issue 136, dateline 26 August 2067
Agent 2121 reads the headlines of the Unity Press newspaper in S’s office at USS HQ, Century 21 Toys Inc, Kahra, Mars. They announce ‘Junior Scientist Converge on City foe Conference’. 21 comments that one of the boys has sent him an interesting gadget but S reminds him he should be more concerned with the SOFRAM spy trial beginning tomorrow. Young scientists arrive in Unity City from all over the world where a bus awaits to take them onto the conference – but SOFRAM operatives have replaced the bus crew. The boys disappearance is reported to the World President’s office. The WP is aware one of the boys is a friend of 21 and informs the USS agent of the situation. 21 is at a secret USS training centre on Earth and wastes no time heading for Unity City. He hopes that his young friend David still has the original of the gadget he sent him – it was a miniature radio transceiver in a slide rule. If so he may be able to contact him and find out where he is. Meanwhile at a SOFRAM base many miles from Unity City the young scientists are being encouraged to join the organisation by hooded Leaders. The Chief Leader tells them the World Government is finished and SOFRAM will soon take over the world. David takes his slide rule transceiver from his bag hoping to contact 21 but one of the Leaders sees it and wants to know what it is...

Part 2 - Issue 137, dateline 02 September 2067
The SOFRAM Leader is distracted by an important announcement from a Senior Leader: The World Government has offered to return the master spy Sobege to SOFRAM in exchange for the young scientists. SOFRAM agree to the exchange and 21 is to take Sobege by hydrojet to an agreed rendezvous point – but only after all memory of the Universal Secret Service has been removed from Sobege’s mind and a homing device planted under one of the spy’s fingernails by USS doctors. As night falls ‘Operation Switch’ gets underway. 21 approaches the SOFRAM vessel far out at sea and insists they hand over the young scientists before he releases Sobege. The SOFRAM captain tells him 'the boys didn’t want to come but others have instead'. Suddenly SOFRAM boats surround 21 – he is trapped! 21 orders Sobege up onto the deck of his hydrojet and then strips off his jump suit exposing a scuba suit beneath and dives into the sea…

Part 3 - Issue 138, dateline 09 September 2067
The SOFRAM ships use searchlights to try and locate 21 in the pitch-black water but they soon give up and head back to their base, taking the hydrojet with them. They believe he will never find his way back to land without his boat. 21 still has a few deadly toys and David’s slide rule communicator hidden on him. Swimming beneath the surface follows the signals given off by the homing device planted on Sobege in the hope it will lead to the SOFRAM base. Sharks approach 21 but he uses an exploding deadly toy fish to stop them. After a long swim 21 finally reaches the SOFRAM base apparently located on a small island, and finds his boat docked at the quayside. Meanwhile at the SOFRAM base some distance inland the young scientists are being subjected to constant pressure to join the evil organisation. Back at the quayside 21 distracts a SOFRAM guard with a deadly toy mouse before knocking him out and tying him up. He now continues to follow the homing signal heading north across the island to the base where Sobege is about to make his report to a hooded SOFRAM Leader. 21 contacts David using the slide rule communicator and the lad tells him the young scientists are being held in an area called Stage Three. The USS agent approaches the base and sends a deadly toy bloodhound ahead of him to check for booby traps. The bloodhound moves forward along the pathway until an explosion suddenly destroys it. 21 hopes the blast will now draw the SOFRAM troopers away from him as he makes his way towards the base by cutting across the rocky ground beside the pathway. Meanwhile in the base Sobege admits to the Leader that he can remember nothing about the USS. The Leader realises he has been tricked by the USS and says the young scientists will never be returned to Unity city alive…
Agent 21
Part 4 - Issue 139, dateline 16 September 2067
The SOFRAM Leader gives the order to move the young scientists out of Stage Three. Meanwhile 21 is now in the SOFRAM building. He destroys a monitor camera as he approaches Stage Three but the fault is detected in the Monitor Control Room. The alarm is raised and SOFRAM guards are sent to capture 21. The USS agent snaps on the deadly toy musical box and the guards crumple before the ultra sonic sound waves. 21 now radios David on the slide rule communicator but the SOFRAM Leader hears. He grabs the device and decides David will be the first young scientist to visit Stage Four for elimination...

Part 5 - Issue 140, dateline 23 September 2067
Two SOFRAM guards drag David away to be assassinated in revenge for the brainwashing of Sobege. Suddenly 21 appears, shoots the guards with his ray gun and asks David to take him to where the other young scientists are being held. Outside Stage Three 21 tells David to get the boys out fast, and slips a pair of goggles on, sending a deadly toy train which releases a thick black choking smoke into the room. He reminds David to tell the boys to join hands so he can lead them into the corridor – and to hold his breath as he runs through the smoke. The USS agent now dives into Stage Three and swiftly punches the two blinded SOFRAM guards unconscious. Under cover of the smoke screen, which is now billowing out into the corridors after them, 21 and the boys reach ground level and escape the SOFRAM base. The USS agent throes an exploding ball down the main lift shaft to delay pursuit before they all head back to the quayside where 21’s boat is moored. A SOFRAM guard at the quayside orders them to halt and asks what is going on. 21 tells him it is a special assignment for the boys. The guard is suspicious but 21’s bluff allows them to reach the quayside Unnoticed David positions himself on all fours behind the guard allowing 21 to suddenly push him backwards over the quayside into the sea. The USS agent and all the young scientists quickly board the hydrojet and head back to Unity City. Minutes later a squadron of World Security jets scream overhead at 21’s request with orders to bomb the SOFRAM base
Agent 21

Reprinted:
TV2000 - issues 18/1968 to 22/1968 (as Geheim Agent 2000)

Notes:
Jon Davis’s style is quite different to Rab Hamilton, to the extent that the characters of S and 21 are almost unrecognisable.
We are not told how David became friendly with 21 – but the World President is obviously aware of their relationship, which is surprising. I presume David hopes to join the USS when he graduates from university.
The USS File reference at the end of Part 1 is given as 21/7/14/2048 – which suggests the story takes place in July 2048.
With part 4, the strip reverted to its original format of 1 page per week for two weeks to allow room for ‘This is SPECTRUM’ - a feature alerting readers to the up and coming Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons strip starting in issue 141.
21 must have some pretty large pockets in his scuba suit to hold all the deadly toys he uses in this story – also his deadly toys are obviously waterproof.


Story Seventeen (aka The Assassin*)
Writer: Howard Elson. Artist: Rab Hamilton. 2 pages, b/w.

Part 1 - Issue 141, dateline 30 September 2067
Agent 21USS Agent 46 is on an assignment in Stockholm but is shot dead by Bereznik’s top assassin Thor Johnason before he can escape with the plans he has stolen. Two days later S and 21 meet with the World President at World Security HQ, Washington. The WP suggests that the USS eliminate Johnason before he kills any more of their agents. S orders 21 to handle the assignment. USS agents begin the hunt for Johnason and corner him in the Swedish Mountains but 21 doesn’t just want the assassin - he wants his organisation as well. A few days later 21 arrives in the area – his plans carefully laid. 21 can’t believe his luck when he sees the body of a man lying in the road he is driving along. 21 stops his car and the man suddenly jumps up, gun in hand – it’s Thor Johnason using one of the oldest tricks in the book as he suspected. Johnason recognises the USS agent but does not know that this is all part of 21’s plan. The assassin orders 21 to drive him through the roadblock further up the road. 21 drives Johnason to the roadblock where he orders the USS agent on guard there to stand aside but both men are ordered out of the car. 21 suddenly pulls his gun and shoots the USS man and then drives through the roadblock much to Johnason’s amazement shooting four more USS agents as he swerves the car from one side of the road to the other to avoid return fire.

Part 2 - Issue 142, dateline 07 October 2067
An hour later the USS agents at the mountain roadblock regain consciousness. They are lucky the man that shot them was using a stun gun – and he looked like 21. They radio USS HQ and are told 21 is on a mission of utmost urgency - he must be tracked but not intercepted. Meanwhile 21 drives into Stockholm as directed. Thor Johnason says he could use 21 in his organisation – but how can he trust him? 21 says because he wants to make some decent money. Johnason offers the USS agent 10,000 dollars for a weeks work – as his personal bodyguard and assistant. 21 accepts and thinks Johnason is playing right into his hands. They soon pass through Stockholm and head north. Night has fallen by the time they have reached the assassin’s headquarters – a large isolated house in the snow-covered mountains, with a private monorail running past it. Johnason informs 21 that five businessmen are flying in for a top-secret meeting with him tomorrow. It is 21’s job to see that they are not disturbed. The USS agent turns in for the night – tired after the days events. He thinks the businessmen are more probably Bereznik secret service members. During the night 21 senses someone enter his room and open his deadly toy sample case. He leaps put of bed and has soon knocked out the intruder. Suddenly the image of Johnason appears on a large TV screen on the bedroom wall and tells 21 the intruder was a test, which he passed with full marks – but the toughest test is yet to come.

Part 3 - Issue 143, dateline 14 October 2067
Agent 21The next morning, Johnason’s business conference begins. 21 recognises the five men as a Bereznik secret police committee – he hopes they won’t recognise him. Johnason orders the USS agent to stand guard outside the conference room. 21 uses a deadly toy monkey from his sample case to listen in on the conversation within the room. The Bereznik secret police committee have agreed upon Johnason’s next victim – USS agent 21. Johnason is amused but he does not know that 21 has heard everything. A few minutes later Johnason and his Bereznik paymasters have boarded the assassin’s private monotrain and 21 is called to join them. 21 realises it is now time to take action. He pulls his gun and shoots two of the secret policemen before shooting Johnason, then makes a run for it into the next cabin of the train – but Johnason is far from finished and releases gas into 21’s compartment. The USS agent recovers consciousness sometime later to find himself roped at the wrists and dangling beneath the speeding monorail train.

Part 4 - Issue 144, dateline 21 October 2067
21 realises the monorail train is now heading back to Johnason’s house – so he has to free himself quickly. The USS agent kicks the heal of his right shoe releasing a knife blade from it’s toe. He now manages to swing his right leg up over his head and cuts the ropes around his wrists as the monotrain crosses a lake. 21 falls into the water and swims to safety. On board the monotrain Johnason has spotted 21’s escape and alerts his guards back at the house. Within minutes armed men on skis are leaving Johnason’s headquarters and searching for 21 with orders to shoot on sight. Meanwhile not far away 21 swims to the snow covered shore of the lake determined to get back to Johnason’s house and finish off the assassin. Johnason’s guards spot 21 but luckily the USS agent has a deadly toy helicopter in his jacket pocket that drops gas bombs onto the men knocking them all unconscious. As soon as the gas clears 21 takes a pair skis and a ray rifle from one of the guards before continuing to head back to Johnason’s house. 21 suddenly find himself skiing towards a ravine – with more of Johnason’s guards giving chase behind him…

Part 5 - Issue 145, dateline 28 October 2067
21 manages to leap the ravine but is shot in the left arm by one of Johnason’s guards as he makes his escape on the other side. 21 manages to get back to Johnason’s headquarters where armed guards are waiting for him – but the USS agent uses two deadly toy rattlesnakes that were hidden in his trousers legs to hypnotise the three men. With his left arm stiffening up from his wound 21 enters the house. Suddenly the Bereznik assassin appears in front of him with a gun in each hand. He tells 21 that the corridor they are in has been sealed off so there is no escape this time. 21 acts instantly and launches himself at Johnason. The assassin drops his weapons saying he does not need a gun to finish the USS agent off. The two men fight – 21 is thrown onto the floor with a bone-jarring thud. Johnason leaps at 21. The USS agent throws his feet up to defend himself and kills the assassin with the knife concealed in the toe of his right boot. His mission accomplished 21 uses his laser belt to cut his way out of the sealed corridor and then he rigs up explosives around the house before leaving the mountainside headquarters for the last time. Minutes later 21 drives away as the explosives detonate and Thor Johnason’s house and evil organisation is destroyed behind him. A few days later 21 has returned to Kahra, Mars and stands in S’s office with his left arm in a sling. S congratulates him on a job well done.

Agent 21

Reprinted:
TV2000 - issues 23/1968 to 27/1968 (as Geheim Agent 2000)

Notes:
The logo changes again to a version of the original one, but the strip retains the title Secret Agent 21.
While TV Century 21 assistant editor Tod Sullivan is accredited to the first three years of Agent 21, Howard Elson recalls writing this story.
We see 21 looking at a map, which clearly places Bereznik where Poland is today.
The deadly toy helicopter looks like a Spectrum Helicopter – but this story is set in 2048, not 2068.


Story Eighteen (aka Perpetual Conflict*)
Writer: Tod Sullivan (?). Artist: Rab Hamilton. 2 pages, b/w.

Agent 21Part 1 - Issue 146, dateline 04 November 2067
In S’s office, Kahra, Mars, the USS Chief reminds 21 of the recent raid on SOFRAMS New York hideout. He shows 21 a piece of electronic equipment found in a secret room beneath the flooded basement and tells 21 that USS scientists think it could be a prototype perpetual motion machine. 21 is shocked – if SOFRAM succeed in solving the secret of perpetual motion they would no longer require oil, water, reactors – they would become unbeatable. S says there is only one man who can help the USS with the device and orders 21 to send two agents to bring him to Mars. Twenty-four hours later two USS agents visit a lonely villa high in the Swiss Alps – the home of Professor Rautzen, the World’s leading expert on Perpetual Motion. Rautzen asks where they are taking him and is told Mars – but before the Professor can get into the agents car a squadron of SOFRAM troopers appear. A gun battle blazes but the USS agents are outnumbered and soon left for dead. The SOFRAM troops now drive off with Rautzen. One of the mortally wounded USS agents overhears the SOFRAM troopers tell Rautzen they are taking him to Jupiter and manages to radio the information to his base. The message is passed on to S who informs 21 – he orders him to personally rescue Rautzen. In ten minutes 21 is aboard World Space Patrol ship A17 heading for Jupiter…

Part 2 - Issue 147, dateline 11 November 2067
World Space Patrol ship A17 approaches Jupiter. 21 orders Navigator Coleman to set a continuous orbital course so that he can launch a deadly toy rocket from his sample case to try and detect the SOFRAM base. The pocket laboratory in the deadly toy can detect no trace of the SOFRAM rocket or base. Suddenly the WSP Captain spots missiles approaching his ship and gives the order to fire interceptors. The missiles are destroyed but the A17 is caught in the blast and the skipper suffers a broken neck and dies at the controls leaving only 21 and Navigator Coleman. Coleman detects two more SOFRAM missiles approaching. 21 dives into the Captain’s chair and orders Coleman to plot the missiles course – he is trained to fly the A17 and intends to take her clean between the two missiles. Coleman tell 21 it is suicide. The USS agent tells him to get a grip and just before the missiles strike he orders Coleman to fire the retros. The retro blast knocks the missiles off course and they pass either side of the A17. Coleman now tells 21 the missiles came from Jupiter’s Moon Number Eight. 21 orders Coleman to sit tight and heads for the Jovian Moon. Down on Moon Eight two hooded SOFRAM Leaders watch the A17 approach their base on a large video screen...

Part 3 - Issue 148, dateline 18 November 2067
Agent 21
One of the SOFRAM Leaders decides there is no point wasting further missiles. They will bring the A17 down with their protogen beam – and drop it into the cyanic swamp. The beam is switched on and 21 suddenly loses all control of the WSP rocket ship. The A17 is pulled down into the Jovian Moon’s deadly cyanic swamp. The hydrocyanic acid in the swamp begins to corrode the metal walls of the A17 – 21 knows they only have a few minutes to escape before they are doomed. 21 and Coleman strap on hoverpacks and take respiro-reaction tablets before flying out of the rapidly sinking rocket ship – the USS agent carrying his sample case under his arm. 21 tells Coleman to breath, reminding him the respiro-reaction tablets will counteract anything poisonous in the Jovian moon’s atmosphere. The two men touch down on solid ground and 21 selects a deadly toy robot from his sample case. He tell Coleman it will help them locate SOFRAM’s base by homing in on the radio signal generated by the equipment there. Meanwhile in SOFRAM’s underground base Professor Rautzen is brought before a hooded Leader. The Leader is pleased Rautzen has agreed to help them develop perpetual motion. The Professor says SOFRAM have given him no choice – there is no escape from the Jovian Moon. The SOFRAM Leader says there will be no escape foe anyone when they have harnessed perpetual motion. It will enable SOFRAM to become Masters of the Universe – and their first act will be to destroy Earth…

Part 4 - Issue 149, dateline 25 November 2067
21 and Navigator Coleman follow the deadly toy robot across the Jovian Moon’s surface in search of the hidden SOFRAM base. Coleman asks 21 how will they get Rautzen clear as their rocket is a write-off. 21 tells him they will borrow one from the enemy. He can fly it if Coleman can handle the navigation. Meanwhile inside SOFRAM’s underground base the hooded Leader asks Rautzen to give him a simplified explanation of perpetual motion. Rautzen says it is a force that creates power from nothing – and the source of the force is believed to be far outside the Solar System. The Leader grabs Rautzen and tells him he will finish the construction of the machine SOFRAM have been working on – a machine that will tap the source of the force by accelerated light beam. The Leader tells Rautzen that when SOFRAM has control of the force they will be able to travel the whole universe on the fourth dimension, alter the orbits of planets or destroy them at will. Outside on the surface 21 and Coleman have finally located the SOFRAM base. They wait until nightfall and then 21 releases a deadly toy mosquito to sting the SOFRAM trooper guarding the entrance with nerve gas. 21 and Coleman now enter the base. The USS agent tells Coleman to grab the guard’s rifle but not to shoot unless he has to. He wants Coleman to leave the action to him. They round a corner and see a SOFRAM trooper carrying a tray with a meal on it – possibly for Rautzen. They follow him and knock him unconscious outside Rautzen’s cell. They open the cell doors but Rautzen is in an exhausted brainwashed state. He suddenly starts shouting for help…

Part 5 - Issue 150, dateline 02 December 2067
Rautzen’s shouting brings a squad of SOFRAM troops and a hooded Leader to the cell area. A gun battle follows in which Coleman is killed but the Leader insists on 21 being captured alive. Eventually the USS agent is overpowered and disarmed. 21 sarcastically thanks Rautzen for his help. Rautzen says SOFRAM would have killed him if he had tried to escape. The Leader calls Rautzen a wise man and asks him if he wants to work for SOFRAM now in harnessing the secret of perpetual motion. Rautzen accepts the Leader’s offer. 21 is hustled into the master control room where a giant complex machine nears completion. The Leader tells the USS agent that the device will soon harness the most tremendous power in the universe – and 21 will be kept alive to watch them use it. The Leader now injects 21 with a sleeping drug and he is thrown into a cell while Professor Rautzen helps SOFRAM complete their perpetual motion machine. Days later 21 comes around feeling like death warmed up. He intends to make SOFRAM wish they had killed him outright. He no longer has his case but still has a few tricks up his sleeve – or in his shoe. 21 removes one of his shoes and takes a hidden phial of violently corrosive acid from the heel, which he uses to dissolve the cell door lock. The USS agent decides he must destroy the perpetual motion machine and kill the traitorous Rautzen with his bare hands so he can’t help SOFRAM build another one. 21 manages to find his way to the machine room where two SOFRAM Leaders and Rautzen stand ready to operate the device. Suddenly one of the Leader’s orders the USS agent to step into the room saying they have been expecting him. Everything is now ready for 21’s death – and the destruction of Earth…

Agent 21
Image: Pages 4, 7 and 8 of the coloured TV2000 compilation in issue 32 for 1968.

Part 6 - Issue 151, dateline 09 December 2067
The SOFRAM Leader explains that a beam of energy harnessed by the perpetual motion machine will be directed at Earth - blasting it to atoms - and prepares to push the power lever. 21 steels himself to reverse the power lever in the hope it will stop the beam and destroy the SOFRAM base. But before he can make his move Rautzen suddenly lashes out at the SOFRAM guard and shouts for 21 to take his rifle. The USS agent grabs the weapon and shoots two SOFRAM troopers, but in the battle that follows 21 is hit and knocked senseless. Rautzen manages to drag the USS agent out into the corridor and half carries him towards the nearby rocket bays. The SOFRAM Leader tells his troops to let them think they have escaped. He intends to proceed with the plan to destroy Earth – and then they will destroy the rocket 21 and Rautzen have escaped in. Meanwhile 21 comes around and finds himself strapped into a blast-off couch aboard a SOFRAM rocket. 21 sees Rautzen beside him at the controls preparing to take off. The USS agent says they can’t leave the perpetual motion machine in the hands of SOFRAM but Rautzen says: 'Forget the machine'. As the rocket takes off from the Jovian Moon he tells 21 that SOFRAM never had him under their control and that he had made his own plans for dealing with them. Rautzen had betrayed 21 in order to gain the Leader’s confidence and allow him to carry out his plan to destroy the SOFRAM base. He fooled SOFRAM into thinking he knew the secrets of perpetual motion which they were searching for to power their machine – and booby-trapped the device with micro explosives. Back on the Jovian Moon the Leader triumphantly presses the button to destroy Earth and the micro explosives detonate destroying the machine and the SOFRAM base. 21 congratulates Professor Rautzen and offers him a job with the USS if he ever gets tired of researching perpetual motion.

TV2000Reprinted:
TV2000 - issues 28/1968 to 30/1968 (as Geheim Agent 2000) and issue 32/1968 (as Geheim Agent voor Overmacht - 'Secret Agent is Supreme!'), coloured compilation.

Notes:
The A17 is seen to be crewed by two members of the World Space Patrol in Part 2.
Navigator Coleman and the A17 skipper both wear the wide collared uniform of the World Space Patrol.
Part 4 gives the USS file reference as 21/4/X3/2047? Logically this story should be set in 2048 – unless the stories are being published out of sequence, which would explain the old style logo I suppose. Personally I prefer to think the file reference should read 21/4/X3/2048.
Rautzen is pretty energetic for an old man in Part 5.
Jupiter’s Moon Number Eight inexplicably becomes Moon Number Nine in Part 6’s story recap.
Why do SOFRAM want to destroy Earth? Rule it yes, but to destroy it is crazy.
It is a pity Coleman doesn’t get a mention at the end of this story.
The cover for the TV2000 reprint (right) of the final parts is based on two of the final frames for part 5, and is painted by Mario Caria. The last of the three insets is Professor Rautzen from the first frame of the same part.


Story Nineteen (aka A Matter of Honour*)
Writer: Tod Sullivan (?). Artist: Rab Hamilton. 2 pages, b/w.

Part 1 - Issue 152, dateline 16 December 2067
Agent 21S visits a prisoner at the USS Security Commission HQ, Kahra, Mars – the prisoner is Agent 21! S reminds him he is being charged with deliberate treachery against the USS and his Court Martial convenes the following day. S insists 21, who has always been his best man and his friend, explain his actions – but the USS agent remains silent. Early next morning the Court Martial assembles chaired by S and the prosecuting officer begins by showing a film taken by ultra range impulse photography. It shows an attack on an unarmed space freighter by the PPU – the so-called Planetary Piracy Union. The prosecutor informs the court that this was the fifth freighter to be plundered in a fortnight so the USS had decided to launch a campaign against the PPU intent on finding its HQ and destroying it. He tells how 21 was placed as an undercover man on a space freighter to be deliberately exposed to PPU attack. Suddenly the prosecutor is interrupted by a USS guard entering the courtroom who warns S that an alien craft is approaching fast – it’s a PPU rocket ship! S adjourns the trial and orders battle stations be sounded. USS Interceptor Space Fighters are launched from Kahra Space Port to attack the PPU ship…

Part 2 - Issue 153, dateline 23 December 2067
The PPU ship signal that it comes in peace and requests permission to land at Kahra – the pilot announces himself as Gennaro Necchi, a member of the Planetary Piracy Union who wants to submit himself as a witness in the trial of 21. S gives his permission in the hopes they will now learn why 21 turned traitor. The Court Martial reconvenes and S calls Gennaro Necchi to speak in 21’s defence. Necchi picks up the story from where the prosecutor left off…
The space freighter with 21 aboard stopped at a refuelling satellite where Necchi led a PPU team disguised as technicians, waiting to attack the freighter crew and plunder the ship’s cargo. A fight broke out between the freighter crew and the pirates in which Necchi fell onto a conveyor belt and knocked himself out. 21 dived to save the PPU leader from being crushed to death. The pirates finally overcame 21 and the freighter crew and transferred the cargo to their own disguised ship. Necchi decided to take 21 as a prisoner back to the PPU base to find out more about him and why he had saved his life. Necchi’s uncle was the PPU Chief and he recognised 21. He congratulated Necchi for taking the USS agent a prisoner and told his nephew he intended to torture 21 – before killing him…

Part 3 - Issue 154, dateline 30 December 2067
Necchi continues to speak in 21’s defence, stating his Uncle was turning the PPU into a unit for murder and space domination whereas their code had originally been only to steal from rich freighter companies. Necchi tells the court he helped 21 escape, taking the agent's case to his cell and telling him a rocket was ready fuelled in Bay 39. 21 used a deadly toy soldier to cut his way out of the cell, making his way unseen to the Rocket Bay 39 and blasting off for freedom. The alarm raised, Necchi's Uncle ordered him to lead the pursuit ships and shoot 21 down. The space pirate tells S he knows what happened after that - the USS Search Fleet sent to locate 21 told him to keep radio silence while they ambushed the PPU ships on his tail.
Agent 21
The film taken by ultra image impulse photography shows 21’s spaceship cutting across the line of fire, allowing the pirates to escape. 21 committed 'treason' because he owed him a debt and believed in him. Necchi’s evidence throws a different light on the case – but insists 21’s orders were to break up the PPU. 'Then he succeeded' says Necchi, telling the Court that his Uncle has been overthrown, claiming mercy for himself and his loyal men. The Court is dissolved in uproar – the case against 21 is dropped. S reprimands 21 as agents should never show human qualities, but 21 explains that it was a strange situation – almost like chivalry in the Middle Ages and is unlikely to ever happen again. Necchi shakes 21’s hand and says when he is released from prison he will model his life on the USS agent’s.

Reprinted:
TV2000 - issues 38/1968 (as Geheim Agent 2000)

Notes:
This story ends with the ominous footnote ‘Late Bulletin: The End of Twenty-One’. You will have to wait for the next part of this Guide to find out more.


*These stories were originally untitled and are titled here for reference only.

- - - - - - - - - - - -


Agent 21Century 21 Toys Inc

On the outskirts of thriving Kahra, capital city of Earth’s colony on Mars, stands the ordinary exterior of the Century 21 Toys factory. Behind this facade is the most deadly and efficient organisation in the galaxy - the Universal Secret Service. When Century 21 Toys Incorporated was taken over by the Universal Secret Service there was no change as far as the general public were concerned. They continue to be one of the largest toy producers in the galaxy. However when an agent passes through a hidden doorway in the toy factory he will descend through a gravity lift to silent corridors lined with unmarked doors. Each door leads to a section of the USS:

Agents Survival Section
Responsible for the safety and defence of all USS agents, it designs and manufactures miniaturised, camouflaged weapons and equipment, which an agent carries, concealed on his person.

Assignment Vehicles Section
Housed in a vast underground workshop, it deals with the running and repair of cars and spacecraft used by USS agents.

Armaments Section
Reinforced walls contain the sounds and smells of the battlefield as weapons are checked and tested - from standard ray pistols to atomic grenade pitcher guns.

Deadly Toy Section
At first glance a mirror of the factory above, this section contains workbenches and conveyor belts littered with toys in various stages of assembly. This section adapts the toys for use by senior special agents.

Control Section
Located on the ground floor of Century 21 Toys, the office of Universal Secret Service Chief S (Air Marshal Zodiac) is dominated by a sleek, pine-finished desk which houses powerful microcomputers enabling him to directly control the operations of all USS agents. Unwelcome visitors can be subdued by metal clamps housed in the visitors chair facing S, while a bullet and radiation proof screen can be raised around his desk at the touch of a button. The desk also conceals S’s personal entrance to the departments below - as well as an emergency exit from the toy factory. A videophone on his desk provides a direct link to all USS department heads.

(This information is abridged from the TV Century 21 Annual copyright 1967)


- - - - - - - - - - - -


The Gerry Anderson Complete Comic History would like to thank:
Howard Elson
Ronald Kroon
and Paul Winsum
- for their help with this feature.

Version 1.1 - 01.12.05

Any comments or notes about any of the strips, please contact technodelic@blueyonder.co.uk.

All text © The Gerry Anderson Complete Comic History, and its respective writers, and may not be reproduced without permission.
All images © their respective copyright holders



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