Trask points out an adversary's ignorance.


Medium: Comic books
Published by: Quality Comics
First Appeared: 1950
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Starting in the 1920s and '30s, "G-Man" (short for "government man") was an American slang term for an FBI agent. By analogy, "T-Man" soon became a slang expression for an agent of the Treasury Department, i.e., one involved …

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… in the enforcement of laws related to government revenue. Tho T-Men could be every bit as courageous, resourceful, intrepid, etc. as G-Men, it seems unlikely that anyone would make a hero out of someone who functioned as an enabler of tax collecting. And yet, Quality Comics (Blackhawk, Marmaduke Mouse) succeeded in doing exactly that.

Throughout the late 1940s, the superheroes that had sustained the comic book industry since the early days of World War II were dropping like flies in response to evolving public taste. By the end of the decade, Quality still had a couple in their own comics (Doll Man and Plastic Man), but converted one of its few remaining anthology titles, Police Comics, where Phantom Lady and Firebrand had gotten their starts, to the increasingly popular crime comics genre. Accordingly, Plastic Man, Candy, The Spirit etc. disappeared from its pages after the 102nd issue (October, 1950), replaced by Ken Shannon, Inspector Denver, Treasury Agent Trask and similar features in #103 (December).

Ken Shannon got the cover, and kept it almost until the title folded in 1953. But Trask's own title lasted almost four times as long as Shannon's.

The name "Treasury Agent Trask" was replaced in the very next issue by "T-Man Trask". By #105, the feature was simply called "T-Man", and hero Pete Trask's name never appeared in the logo again. Still lacking Trask's name in the title, T-Man #1 was dated September, 1951. While still appearing in the back pages of Police Comics, Trask's adventures were published in T-Man, first every other month and then monthly, as long as Quality continued to put out comic books.

In fact, the last issue, #38, was part of the company's final set of releases, dated December, 1956. After that, DC Comics took over Quality's properties, or at least those of them that it had any interest in. Apparently, DC had no interest in T-Man, because Pete Trask wasn't seen again.


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Text ©2007-10 Donald D. Markstein. Art © DC Comics.