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Dick Tracy, With Special Guest Stars… (concluding)

Part Three of a series highlighting the special guest appearances of comic strip characters that have appeared in the Mike Curtis and Joe Staton version of Dick Tracy. Parts One and Part Two covered the years 2011-2016, this time we cover 2017 to the present.

We start 2017 with a very special character as a guest star.

As noted last issue The Spirit actually appeared at the tail end of 2016, but that was just an intro. It is really a 2017 story. The Spirit brings along a couple friends and enemies:


The Spirit story lasts three months and includes a little of The Spirit’s history.

While this series is concentrating on the guest stars, let’s not forget that it is the star of the Dick Tracy comic strip is Dick Tracy. And Mike and Joe are not afraid to throw in some classic Tracy into their new, improved version.

Of course there is the requisite Dick Tracy (and Spirit) action:

Along with maintaining the spirit (heh, heh) of the characters, Mike and Joe also stay true to the premise of the creators of the guest characters. Here, for example, The Spirit gets roughed up and shot; and what’s a Will Eisner Spirit story without Denny Colt being abused?

 

That story ends and we immediately get another guest appearance:

Harold Teen and gang are a walk-on as the special guest-star in this story in a non-comic character.

I guess “non-comic” can be argued.

 

The next special guest comes in 2018.

Britt Reid is the grand-nephew of The Lone Ranger, and, like his ancestor, has a secret of his own.

The Green Hornet has a six week run before disappearing in a green mist.

 

2019 brings with it the 95th anniversary of a little orphan, so we get a visit from Annie.

This is a short story but, leapin’ lizards, I bet the 2024 Annie visit will be a lalapalooza!

 

Mike and Joe, along with comic strip guests, have also revived the Dick Tracy Minit Mysteries series.
In 2019 they combined the two for a two week puzzler.

From the Friday Foster whodunnit, we next get a Halloween whoizzat?

The Addams Family is a one-shot appearance,
and that brings us up to the current special guest stars of Steve Roper and Mike Nomad.

Because of multiple omissions an Addendum has been added.

 

Acknowledgements

This series about the Dick Tracy guest stars would not have been possible without:
The Finding Beauty in Ephemera blog, where Ralph Graves discusses things in much more detail.
The fine comics reading folks at the rec.arts.comics.strips Google group keeping track of such stuff.
And GoComics, who maintains a complete 21st Century archive of Dick Tracy comic strips.

 

Community Comments

#1 Denny Lien
December/7/2019
@ 4:56 pm

In the SPIRIT story, Spirit-uber-villain The Octopus also made an “appearance” (in quotes because, as always, only his gloved hands were shown). And I believe it was also that story in which Doc Savage was briefly referenced (though not depicted) as a “real” historical character within the Tracy Universe.

Superman and The Shadow are *probably* also canonical in the Tracy Universe, since Kandykane Lane has commented about two of her sisters (apparently Margo and Lois) who also have interesting men in their lives.

Mr. Magoo (not named, but clearly he, per sillhoutte) showed up in a darkened theater talking with his old friend Dick Tracy for a few days while watching a Vitamin Flintheart performance.

I seem to also recall Dick Tracy getting lost out in the country a few years ago and getting directions from Snuffy Smith, but maybe that was just a fever dream.

Otherwise, great essay series — you picked up all of the other ones I remembered, and a couple that I’d missed.

Still hoping for DICK TRACY to someday have a guest shot from Mary Worth, since her strip is already cross-canonical with THE PHANTOM and thus also with MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN and others. But this might cause the universe to implode.

#2 Kip Williams
December/7/2019
@ 5:26 pm

Excellent mini-series, which increases my appreciation for the current DT creative team.

#3 Darryl Heine
December/7/2019
@ 7:35 pm

Some other comic strip guest stars I like to see team up with Dick Tracy in 2020:
Brewster Rockit
Smokey Stover
Terry of Terry and the Pirates
Archie Andrews

#4 Mike Curtis
December/8/2019
@ 2:41 pm

Hi
Can I add a couple of appearances you missed?

Good friend JERRY LAWLER has appeared twice, first with the Mole and Thunderchild, the second time at the Mole’s wedding.

I didn’t write that Minit Mystery, staffer Jim Doherty did.

Thanks for the great article!

Take care

Mike Curtis

#5 Mike Curtis
December/8/2019
@ 5:52 pm

It’s been a long day. Jim Doherty, our original police liasion and author of the Crime stoppers for many years, did not write the Friday Foster crossover and Minit Mystery. I did. Sorry, Jim.

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