Crime Must Pay the Penalty

    (Current, 1948-1956)
©1953 Current Books, Inc.

Crime Must Pay the Penalty was wonderfully lurid crime comic of the late forties and early fifties. Like so many other crime comics of the time, this title purported to tell “true cases of actual crimes!” noting, of course, that certain names had been changed to protect innocents.

Despite its “true cases” claim, many of the stories have a striking resemblance to old murder/mystery chestnuts. For instance, “Signed in his Own Blood” tells of an assassination ring whose agents followed a strict chain of secrecy in conducting their murders. No agent knew any other agent except the one who gave him his orders. One day, an ambitious lieutenant tricked the head into signing his own death warrant. He belatedly realized the ploy and murdered the lieutenant, but by then the order had already gone out. Having just killed the trigger man’s contact, the boss was doomed to one day take a bullet from an unknown assailant in his own organization.
Jump to issue: