Public Domain Super Heroes
Johnny Dynamite

Real Name

Johnny Dynamite

First Appearance

Dynamite #3 (September 1953)

Original Publisher

Comic Media

Created by

Ken Fitch (as William Waugh) & Pete Morisi


Johnny Dynamite was a hard-boiled private detective, known as "The Wild Man from Chicago." He was a tough guy with contacts on both sides of the law. He was good friends with a DA, but was readily accepted by denizens of the underworld. His office was on State Street in a big city (probably New York). Johnny was shot in the right eye by Myra Benz, who tried to knock him off with a gun disguised as a camera. After losing the eye, Johnny wore a patch. He smoked cigarettes constantly, cursed frequently, and had a bad habit of getting shot and beaten by his enemies. But, he gave as good as he got. He was an experienced and persistent detective and often carried a concealed handgun (his guns included a palm pistol, .45 and a colt revolver, possibly others), though in later cases, he mostly relied on his fists. He seemed to take his cases very personally, and killed many of his early foes, claiming they were reaching for a weapon. Some, such as Myra Benz, he brazenly killed without any true justification beyond his own sense of justice.

Johnny often worked with police homicide detective Luke Hennessy. Johnny's sister lived in Maine, and her daughter, Marcella Rush, was an aspiring actress who got hooked on heroin when she came to New York and shot a man who tried to rape her. Johnny had a number of girlfriends at different times, including Judy Kane, but most were killed or turned out be killers.

Public Domain Appearances

  • Dynamite #3-9
  • Johnny Dynamite #10-12
  • Foreign Intrigues #14-15


  • Max Allan Collins reportedly acquired the character from Charlton in 1987 not knowing that rights to the character had already expired years earlier. Collins produced new stories featuring the character in 1994 and 2003.

See Also