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Operator #5


Operator #5, ìAmericaís Undercover Ace,î was Jimmy Christopher, a Secret Service agent defending the United States from all manner of threats for nearly six years. The Popular Publications pulp hero was joined by newswoman Diane Elliot, young assistant Tim Donovan and others to battle an array of invaders, most notably the Purple Emperor, dictator Rudolph I of Balkaria.

Background

Operator #5Operator #5
Publisher: Popular Publications
Publication range: April 1934-November 1939
With a rapier hidden in his belt and an explosive-packed skull ring, Jimmy Christopher lead the charge as Operator #5 against such foes as ìThe Yellow Scourge,î ìLegions of Starvation,î ìThe Red Invadersî and ìHosts of the Flaming Death.î But it proved to be the Purple Invasion that gave readers what some have described as the War and Peace of the pulp magazines and Operator #5ís zenith.

From August 1936 through March 1938, Christopher, joined by the lovely Diane Elliot, who earned a place as a secret agent in the series, and teen sidekick Tim Donovan, tackled dictator Rudolph I of Balkaria (a thinly disguised Germany), who was known as the Purple Emperor, and his varied minions.

In addition to Elliot and Donovan, Christopher sometimes was assisted by:

The contributors

Though credited to the house name ìCurtis Steele,î Operator #5 was written by three fictioneers: Frederick Davis, Emile C. Tepperman and Wayne Rogers.

Davis wrote the initial 20 adventures, with Tepperman picking up the reigns with the December 1935 number, ìRaiders of the Red Death.î Five issues and six months later, Teppermanís Purple Invasion cycle began with ìDeathís Ragged Army.î It ended after 13 novels with the emperorís defeat in ìThe Siege that Brought the Black Death,î in March 1938.

Tepperman got in one more story before Rogers took over as author of the final nine published novels.

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