Larry Steele

Created by Will Ely
Pseudonym of John William Ely. Other psedonyms include Will Ely

One of DC Comic's first gumshoes, LARRY STEELE was a rookie private eye, a clean cut young man about town from a "good family" still learning the ropes of his chosen profession, but he soon evolved into a more typical shamus.

His family ties are downplayed, he moves from Los Angeles to New York. In some adventures he's portrayed him as a overly polished dweeb; others make him out to be a mildly tough private dick. Sometimes he works with the Feds; sometimes he's flying solo. Secretaries come and go. Whatever. Continuity in comic books of that era -- especially back-up features -- was always more of a theory than a practice.

He smokes a pipe, he carries a gun in a shoulder holster; he flirts with attractive females. Several of his early cases stretched out over several issues, but few of his adventures -- or even the art work -- are particularly memorable, unless you count the preponderance of characters, male and female, sporting widow's peaks.

In Detective Comics #33, he gets a new secretary, Brenda Darling, a stand-up dame who knows how to handle a gun, at one point shooting a gun out of a killer's hand. Maybe they should have dumped Larry, and given Brenda her own series.

He seems to have been created by Will Georgi, who also handled the art chores in Larry's early appearances, but he was written and drawn by numerous people over his 48-issue run. At one point he was written and drawn by Ken Ernst, who went on to a successful 43-year run on the Mary Worth comic strip.

COMICS

  • DETECTIVE COMICS
    (1937-present, DC Comics)
    48 appearances?
    Created by Will Ely
    Artists: Will Ely, Ken Ernst, Irwin Hasen, Steve Brodie, Cliff Young, Ed Winiarski
  • "Mystery of the Wholesale Kidnappings (Part 1)" (July 1937, Detective Comics #5)
  • "Mystery of the Wholesale Kidnappings (Part 2)" (August 1937, Detective Comics #6)
  • "Mystery of the Wholesale Kidnappings (Part 3)" (September 1937, Detective Comics #7)
  • "Mystery of the Wholesale Kidnappings (Part 4)" (October 1937, Detective Comics #8)
  • "Mystery of the Wholesale Kidnappings (Part 5)" (November 1937, Detective Comics #9)
  • "The Nick Orsati Case (Part 1)" (December 1937, Detective Comics #10)
  • "The Nick Orsati Case (Part 2)" (January 1938, Detective Comics #11)
  • "The Nick Orsati Case (Part 3)" (Febuary 1938, Detective Comics #12)
  • "The Nancy Jenks Affair (Part 1)" (February 1938, Detective Comics #12)
  • "The Nancy Jenks Affair (Part 2)" (March 1938, Detective Comics #13)
  • "The Nancy Jenks Affair (Part 3)" (April 1938, Detective Comics #14)
  • "The Plot To Kill Larry Steele (Part 1)" (May 1938, Detective Comics #15)
  • "The Plot To Kill Larry Steele (Part 2)" (June 1938, Detective Comics #16)
  • "The Maine Castle Mystery (Part 1)" (July 1938, Detective Comics #17)
  • "The Maine Castle Mystery (Part 2)" (August 1938, Detective Comics #18)
  • "The Island of Wanatba (Part 1)" (September 1938, Detective Comics #19)
  • "The Island of Wanatba (Part 2)" (October 1938, Detective Comics #20)
  • "The Accident Racket" (November 1938, Detective Comics #21)
  • "Mansion of Maniacs" (December 1938, Detective Comics #22)
  • "The Corpse in the Car Trunk" (January 1939, Detective Comics #23)
  • "The Model Murder Mystery (Part 1)" (February 1939, Detective Comics #24)
  • "The Model Murder Mystery (Part 2)" (March 1939, Detective Comics #25)
  • "The Taxicab War" (April 1939, Detective Comics #26)
  • "The Murder of Ace Mullins" (July 1939, Detective Comics #29)
  • "The Old Man and the Kidnappers" (August 1939, Detective Comics #30)
  • "Mrs. Velvet" (September 1939, Detective Comics #31)
  • "Doris Dumont" (October 1937, Detective Comics #32)
  • "Brenda" (November 1939, Detective Comics #33)
  • "Jonas Henkel" (September 1940, Detective Comics #43)
  • "The Inevitable Nephew" (October 1940, Detective Comics #44)
  • "The Lady Cabdriver" (November 1940, Detective Comics #45)
  • "The Case of the Circus Killer" (December 1940, Detective Comics #46)
  • "The Case of the Ardent Actress" (January 1941, Detective Comics #47)
  • "The Case of the Fugitive Killer" (February 1941, Detective Comics #48)
  • "The Case of the Streamlined Train" (March 1941, Detective Comics #49)
  • "The Case of the Dark Horse" (April 1941, Detective Comics #50)
  • "The Adventure of the Sweet Scent" (May 1941, Detective Comics #51)
  • "The Case of the Cunning Crooks" (June 1941, Detective Comics #52)
  • "Mystery of the Late Mr. Barnes" (July 1941, Detective Comics #53)
  • "The Case of the Bitter Almonds" (August 1941, Detective Comics #54)
  • "The Case of the 'Killer Horse'" (September 1941, Detective Comics #55)
  • "Larry Steele, Private Detective" (October 1941, Detective Comics #56)
  • "The Case of Double Trouble" (November 1941, Detective Comics #57)
  • "The Case of the Frightened Sister" (December 1941, Detective Comics #58)
  • "The Case of the Gangster Gauchos" (January 1942, Detective Comics #59)
  • "The Case of the Tell Tale Candle" (February 1942, Detective Comics #60)
  • "The Seal" (March 1942, Detective Comics #61)
  • "The Case of the Murdered Commander" (April 1942, Detective Comics #62)
  • "The Case of the Light That Blinds" (May 1942, Detective Comics #63)

RELATED LINKS

A listing of all the private eyes who have shown up in DC Comics.

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.



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