At the end of the Depression year of 1933, tiny Magazine Publishers could see which way the pulp winds were blowing. Street & Smith had broken new ground when they launched The Shadow Magazine in 1931. Doc Savage came two years later. As did The Phantom Detective.
In the Fall of ’33 Popular Publications released both The Spider and G-8 and His Battle Aces. The public was obviously hungry for heroes. And editor Rose Wyn decided that her outfit had to offer one too!
With top writer Paul Chadwick, she brainstormed Secret Agent “X," and uncanny composite of Doc and The Shadow, with a dash of the Phantom thrown in. The first issue appeared at the end of 1933 with a February 1934 cover date. Coincidentally, the popular King Features newspaper strip, Secret Agent X-9, debuted that same month! But for that hyphenated X, lawsuits might have shut down one or the other hero.
A nameless mystery man with a wartime past, backed by a shadowy group of powerful philanthropists, Secret Agent "X" took on the toughest assignments of the dirty thirties. Operating out of the half-haunted Montgomery Mansion, “X” was also known as the Man of a Thousand Faces. A past master of disguise, he infiltrated the Underworld
to crush crime in all of its hideous manifestations.
Every hero needed something to distinguish himself from his rivals. The Shadow could blend into the shadows. Doc Savage was a superman. The Spider shot first and asked no questions later. Every one of them was a consummate quick-change artist. In that respect, “X” would be no different.
For Secret Agent “X,” Rose Wyn decided to pit him against villains who were maestros of unbridled horror. Melodrama was the rule of the day. But Secret Agent “X” plunged into maelstroms of raw bloodlust undreamed of by The Shadow and Doc Savage. His foes were truly depraved. Terrorists. Torturers. Kidnappers. Stranglers. Arsonists. These were the types of tabloid master criminals “X” hunted.
In Ambassador of Doom, the enigmatic “X” travels to Washington, D.C., to investigate skullduggery in our nation’s capital. There, he gets on the trail of the Green Mask, a murderous master of espionage whose ultimate loyalties are impenetrable. Before the trail of treachery has been exhausted, Secret Agent “X” will have struggled through Malay torture rites and worse in order to preserve America’s deepest secrets from an implacable foreign foe.
Ambassador of Doom is read with chilling intensity by Milton Bagby.