The true crime comic books of the Golden Age were generally true to their genre — they were at least loosely based on the real exploits of notorious criminals more often than you'd think. They largely seem unfamiliar today because the subjects of their stories have largely fallen into obscurity. Although Eddie Bentz, the subject of Gangsters Can't Win #2's cover feature, is not a household name today, he was one of the most notorious bank robbers of his era. Teaming up with the likes of Machine Gun Kelly and Baby Face Nelson, Bentz was also the likely mastermind of one of the most infamous bank robberies in history: the theft of $2.8M from the Lincoln National Bank of Lincoln, Nebraska in 1930. Gangsters Can't Win #2 has an overview of Eddie Bentz's long and outrageous career, and there's a Gangsters Can't Win #2 (D.S. Publishing, 1948) CGC VG/FN 5.0 Off-white pages up for auction in this week's 2021 July 25-26 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122130 from Heritage Auctions.
As outlined in Gangsters Can't Win #2 and implied by its symbolic cover, Eddie Bentz became known for his meticulous planning of his heists and their exit strategies. The Lincoln National robbery stood as the largest cash bank robbery in the country for decades. Bentz used the proceeds from his exploits to fund an extravagant lifestyle which included collecting rare books and coins. He was ultimately apprehended by the FBI in 1936, asked to be sent to Alcatraz, reportedly telling the judge that all of his friends were already there.
And that's where the Eddie Bentz story in Gangsters Can't Win #2 ends. Ironically, Bentz was paroled from Alcatraz a few months later. One can't help but wonder what a man who pulled off some of the greatest robberies in history and used some of the proceeds to fund his collecting habit would think of the notion that a comic book featuring him was now sought after by collectors today. There's a Gangsters Can't Win #2 (D.S. Publishing, 1948) CGC VG/FN 5.0 Off-white pages up for auction in this week's 2021 July 25-26 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122130 from Heritage Auctions.
Gangsters Can't Win #2 (D.S. Publishing, 1948) CGC VG/FN 5.0 Off-white pages. Skull cover. Overstreet 2020 VG 4.0 value = $68; FN 6.0 value = $102. CGC census 7/21: 2 in 5.0, 8 higher.