Created by Allen Bellman
One of the earliest private eyes in what would become the Marvel Universe, SKIP McCOY (aka "Detective Skip McCoy") may have been, at best, a minor footnote in comic book history, but he sure got around.
We know he was a detective, but he seemed to conveniently fluctuate between working for the police and as a private investigator, depending on the needs of the story, which were variations on the "Can you solve it?" formula, often solved as much by a knowledge of trivia (June has thirty days!) as by the visual clues. Of course, there wasn't room for much more detective work -- from what I've seen, all the stories were one or two page deals, usually under the "Let's Play Detective!" or "Are You a Detective?" banner.
He appeared in various Atlas and Marvel titles as a back-up feature, surrounded by stories featuring such soon-to-be-iconic figures as Captain America, the Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner. But he was just as likely to pop up in true crime comics and westerns.
The feature was the bainchild of Allen Bellman, a freelancer who did a lot of work for Timely and Marvel. According to an 2004 interview reprinted on the Timely-Atlas Blog, he knew (editor) "Stan (Lee) needed fillers for the books so I went to him with the idea. It was my idea to have the reader turn the book upside down at the end for the answer to the mystery. Soon afterwards other magazines were doing the same thing and copying me! I'd see it all the time."
NOTE: It's not clear if Skip was always the featured detective in these stories. Just as his occupation mutated to suit the story, it's possible that Bellman would use other detectives. Those I've been more-or-less able to confirm as "Skip McCoy" stories are marked by an asterisk.
Private Eyes of the Marvel Universe.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith, with a special thanks to John McDonagh for the heads up.
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