Dime Comics (Bell Features) Nos. 128.
Leo Bachle Dime Comics Nos. 1-4, 6-23. John G. Hilkert Dime Comics No. 5.
Leo Bachle Dime Comics, Nos. 123. André [Kulbach] Dime Comics Nos. 2427. Paul Dak Dime Comics No. 28.
Leo Bachle's involvement with Bell Features began late in 1941, when, as a sixteen-year-old high school student, he met John Ezrin, Bell's major financial backer. Ezrin noticed Bachle browsing through some Bell comic books and asked the young man for his opinion of the publications. Bachle, an aspiring comic artist who had been drawing his own strips for several years, didn't hesitate to criticize some of the Bell artwork. Ezrin was amused by Bachle's brashness and challenged the young man on the spot to draw an action scene depicting two men fighting. Ezrin was sufficiently impressed by Bachle's drawing that he told him to dream up a comic book character and to bring his idea to the Bell Features office the next day. That night at home, Bachle created "Canada's super hero" Johnny Canuck. The next day, Ezrin and Bell Features publisher Cy Bell were favourably impressed with Bachle's creation and the young artist joined the Bell team of freelancers.
Johnny Canuck, a Captain in the Allied air forces, is Canada's answer to Nazi oppression, operating like a freelance agent. He is also referred to as "Canada's super hero."
Dime Comics Nos. 1-19: tight pants, knee-length leather boots, and bare chest; Nos. 20-28: Blackhawk-like leather jacket.
World-traveller; one adventure in Canada
No long-term sidekicks
Summary of Major Adventures/Enemies
1. LIBYA (Dime Comics No. 1)
Johnny is shot down while fighting Nazi planes over Libya. He lands among a lost race ruled by a brutal tyrant who challenges Johnny to a sword duel. Johnny wins and becomes the king of the lost race. Johnny then learns of the secret mineral wealth of these people and realizes that it can be used by the Allies. Johnny is arrested by the Germans, but escapes after his new-found subjects attack the Germans. Johnny organizes an attack on the Germans as Hermann Goering orders reprisals for German losses. Johnny single-handedly destroys three tanks, but is finally captured and condemned to die. But before they can shoot him, the Germans are attacked by British planes, and Johnny takes the opportunity to break his bonds and to slip into the jungle. Johnny is praised by Churchill and denounced by Hitler.
2. BERLIN (Dime Comics Nos. 2-5) After destroying a munitions factory, Johnny decides to confront Hitler in person. He sneaks into Nazi headquarters and takes a uniform from a Gestapo officer. With this disguise he's able to enter Hitler's office. Hitler tries to sound an alarm, but is thwarted by Johnny; however, the dictator manages to fire a gun, which brings his guards running. After slugging Hitler, Johnny is captured but manages to obtain a knife from a beautiful female prisoner, Etta. On the way to his execution Hitler wants him guillotined Johnny cuts his bonds and escapes, returning to the German underground. But the gallant Johnny decides to go back to the Nazi fortress to rescue Etta. Johnny manages to flee with her, but she is shot by a guard. After killing the guard, Johnny appropriates a uniform from a Nazi officer and takes the wounded Etta to a German doctor.
Etta is saved, but Johnny is recaptured. Johnny escapes again, only to end up confronting Hitler, whom he slugs. Two generals are about to arrest Johnny, when Hitler revives and kills the two Germans because they have witnessed his humiliating encounter with Johnny. Johnny and Etta are captured again, and Hitler tries to force Etta to become a spy by threatening to torture Johnny. Johnny then becomes convinced that Etta is a traitor. Johnny is beaten up. Johnny, Etta, and Hitler end up having a confrontation, in which Johnny slugs the Führer for the third time! Johnny and Etta escape.
3. RUSSIA (Dime Comics Nos. 611) Johnny parachutes behind German lines to coordinate Russian guerilla actions against the Nazis. A German spy, Frau Holtz, is dispatched to trick Johnny into leading the Germans to the Russian guerillas. Holtz realizes that Johnny hasn't yet established contact with the Russians and reports this to her superiors. Holtz is punished for not capturing Johnny when she had the opportunity. Johnny then rescues Holtz, whom he thinks is a Russian, and rides with her to a guerilla encampment. The Russians think Johnny might be a German spy, after Holtz misleads them. Johnny is held prisoner until he can be positively identified.
Meanwhile, the Germans torture a Russian prisoner to learn where the guerillas are hiding. When the Germans attack, it appears that Johnny will be released, but his would-be liberator takes him for a Brit, until Johnny convinces him that he is, in fact, a Gestapo agent. Johnny then takes the paratrooper's gun but is subsequently shot by another paratrooper. Before he can be finished off, a Russian rescues him.
Johnny recovers from his wounds and is sent to Cairo, where he is to deliver a new Russian fighter plane, "The Spirit of Russia."
4. AFRICA (Dime Comics Nos. 1216) Johnny is sent to Africa, where he contacts Inspector Harris and his secretary, Miss Beaton. Johnny thinks he recognizes Beaton as Fraulein Holtz and expresses his concerns to Harris, who dismisses Johnny's suspicions. Not long after, Johnny is captured and taken to a perilous cave, where he discovers the real Harris and Beaton. Attempting to escape, Johnny plunges into a river and is attacked by crocodiles. Johnny kills the largest croc, but is then attacked by a leopard. He manoeuvres out of the path of the charging cat, and it ends up being devoured by the crocodiles. Then another leopard attacks Johnny. He kills the leopard, but unbeknownst to him, he is being watched by the Bawanias. The Bawanias capture Johnny and take him to a German agent, who tries to buy Johnny's services. Johnny plays along and acts as a decoy to lure a new U.S. long-range fighter plane. Johnny defeats the Nazis again.
5. CHINA (Dime Comics Nos. 17) Johnny travels to Far East and becomes involved with attempts to smuggle guns to Chinese guerillas. He joins P. J. Silts and his beautiful niece Veda on the gun-runner Mary Ann. The Japanese attack and Silts is killed. The Japanese try to flee with the cargo of guns and ammo. Johnny then blows up the fleeing Japanese.
6. TIBET (Dime Comics Nos. 1819) Johnny is sent to Tibet to rescue General Chang, a Chinese guerilla leader, who is being held for ransom by bandits. Johnny pretends to be a German agent, but the Japanese intervene and almost kill Johnny his scalp is creased by a bullet! Johnny rescues Chang.
7. YUGOSLAVIA (Dime Comics No. 20) Johnny is dispatched to contact Marshall Tito. He ends up bombing the Nazis with the assistance of a beautiful partisan.
8. SOUTH PACIFIC (Dime Comics Nos. 2123) Johnny is ordered to bomb the Japanese railway hub at Kokato. He is shot down and captured. The Japanese then starve him in preparation for interrogation. Johnny is tortured, but as he is returned to his cell, he manages to steal a bayonet, which he uses to tunnel to another cell, occupied by an old man. The old man is killed by the Japanese, and Johnny swears revenge. When taken for interrogation again, Johnny grabs a gun, kills his captors, and steals a uniform. He then steals a plane and escapes.
9. CHINA (Dime Comics Nos. 2427) Johnny is attacking Japanese positions in China, when he is shot down. The Japanese chase Johnny, but he is rescued by guerillas.
War with Japan is at an end, but Johnny learns of a secret Japanese factory. Johnny penetrates the factory and discovers that the Japanese are manufacturing an atomic bomb. Johnny is captured, but manages to escape and blow up the plant.
Johnny rescues an old man from two thugs. The old man tells him that he has been robbed of a precious object. Johnny disregards a warning to stay out of it and tries to assist the old man. He breaks into the house where he believes the thugs are hiding. Johnny is eventually joined by a Chinese agent and manages to find the precious Golden Turtle inside an idol. After defeating the thugs, Johnny learns that the old man was actually a Japanese agent bent on stealing the ancient Chinese relic.
10. HALIFAX/NORTH ATLANTIC (Dime Comics No. 28) [Post-war setting and Johnny's first Canadian adventure.] Johnny is sent off the coast of Halifax to solve the mystery of ships and planes that have gone missing. Johnny's plane is forced to land on a huge artificial island, where he is confronted by Rudolf Hindor, a war criminal who is controlling a private army through the use of brain serum and amassing ships and planes through the use of a radio magnetic ray. By pouring glucose into the brain serum, Johnny disrupts Hindor's mind control and is able to lead a revolt against the tyrannical super-criminal!