Well, now that a month and a half’s worth of doctor’s appointments are behind me — and my high blood pressure is down and under control through medication, exercise, and a good diet; and my borderline high cholesterol is being monitored and treated; and my blood work is mostly positive; and my heart rate is good; and my prostate fine; and no polyps or masses detected — I can now live until ninety or so if I continue taking proper care of myself, which my girlfriend and I have every intention of doing. So knowing I have forty-seven years left to live, it’s time to get really serious about writing about comics!

She was a curious young teenager to some, a nosey young girl to others, and whenever her name came up in conversation, people went, “Who?” She had one close friend, this Tracey Thompson, and a total of two adventures in Adventure Comics in the early 1970s. She wore no colorful costume, and displayed no intriguing superpowers. She did not receive an entry in Who’s Who in the DC Universe, and if she did make a cameo in Crisis On Infinite Earths, I think only writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez noticed. She’s apparently safe, this Tracey Thompson, from resurrection or Vertigoization. (As long as a Vertigo editor doesn’t stumble onto this article. Then there could be trouble.) Even when she was first being introduced to seemingly uninterested comic book readers, she wasn’t given any space on the covers of the two books she appeared in (so y’all just have to settle for cool repros featuring Supergirl).

Tracey is very curious, and that’s what got her into about sixteen pages of trouble. The teenaged brunette didn’t drive around in any kind of a Batmobile, but she did ride a motorcycle. She didn’t have a sidekick like Batman or Green Arrow, but she did hang out with her best friend, Betsy, who tried to keep Tracey out of trouble but to no avail. So just how did this girl warrant a back up feature in Adventure Comics in 1970? I have no idea. I just stumbled on her stories because I wanted to check out the Supergirl lead feature Mike Sekowsky wrote, drew and edited at that time. There are no creator credits for Tracey’s adventures, but it’s unmistakably Sekowsky’s artwork; I wouldn’t be surprised if he also wrote them. Maybe he figured a down-to-Earth, Nancy Drew-type feature would interest the young female readers. Maybe Tracey was created in contrast to the more popular and powerful Supergirl. Maybe she’s Flash Thompson’s sister, and these are the tales Marvel Comics refused to reveal!

Whatever the case, in Adventure Comics #401 Tracey and Betsy investigate the mystery of “The Strange House.” Is it haunted? Are the ghosts they see inside real? Or is there something a tad more criminal going on? A little of both, actually. There was one more Tracey tale to tell in Adventure #402 (involving a lame motorcycle gang), and then that was all, folks! Harmless fare, all but forgotten, and brought to your attention because life is good and obscure comic book characters must be saved. And with forty-seven years to go I have time to save them all.



About The Author

Jim Kingman

Jim Kingman is a writer for Comics Bulletin