Gangs of New York and Beyond in Fox's Murder Incorporated, at Auction

Murder Incorporated would've been an obvious title for a hard-hitting true-crime comic book in 1948.   The real-life Murder Incorporated, the infamous hit squad of New York City organized crime had been shut down by the early 1940s, but their legend lived on in other media.  This Fox Feature Syndicate series was true to its title as it featured true crime tales with a focus on mob killers and other notorious murderers.  Murder Incorporated's notoriety was such that the series was mentioned by both Fredric Wertham in Seduction of the Innocent, and Geoffrey Wagner in Parade of Pleasure, and it landed on countless municipal government ban lists around the country in 1948, along with much of the rest of Victor Fox's comic book line.  An interesting series in the context of both comic book history and from a true-crime perspective, there are a number of issues of Murder Incorporated up for auction in the 2022 June 19-20 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122225 at Heritage Auctions.

Murder Incorporated (Fox Features Syndicate, 1948)
Murder Incorporated (Fox Features Syndicate, 1948)

The series, which professed to be for adults only on its earliest covers, included a noteworthy mix of subjects.  For every well-known organized crime figure like Dutch Schultz, there's a lesser-known individual like Joseph Medley, who escaped from prison and targeted and killed three women with red hair 1944-1945.  One of the most interesting stories from the issues of Murder Incorporated available here covers the saga of Bill the Butcher (William Poole), known to the modern audience as the figure played by Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York.  The story in Murder Incorporated #9 broadly covers the brutal street-level NYC political machinations of Bill's era and includes the Bowery Boys, Tammany Hall, John Morrissey, and other elements of the period.

A series that is interesting from both a comic book history perspective and a true-crime perspective, there are a number of issues of Murder Incorporated up for auction in the 2022 June 19-20 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122225 at Heritage Auctions.

Murder Incorporated #2 (Fox Features Syndicate, 1948) Condition: VG+. Electrocution story. Overstreet 2021 VG 4.0 value = $104.

Murder Incorporated #4 (Fox Features Syndicate, 1948) Condition: VG. Classic lingerie cover. Overstreet 2021 VG 4.0 value = $206.

Murder Incorporated #9 (Fox Features Syndicate, 1949) Condition: VG-. Used in Seduction of the Innocent. Top staple detached. Overstreet 2021 VG 4.0 value = $68.

#3 and 12 Group (Fox Features Syndicate, 1948-49) Condition: GD/VG. Includes issues #3 and 12 (heavy staple pulls). Approximate Overstreet value for group = $105.

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About Mark Seifert

Co-founder and Creative director of Bleeding Cool parent company Avatar Press. Bleeding Cool Managing Editor, tech and data wrangler. Machine Learning hobbyist. Vintage paper addict.
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