Cueball was a criminal figure who operated in Dick Tracy's city. He was a large, imposing figure with a pronounced brow and a bald head (which he would occasionally polish). Cueball had a reputation for being a skilled billiards player.

Working with B-B Eyes[edit | edit source]

Cueball and his brother Screwball were first seen working for the criminal B-B Eyes at his bootleg video distribution house. The men delivered illicit DVDs to a shop set up by Junior Tracy (who was working undercover) to draw out the bootleggers. Screwball was suspicious of Junior, but Cueball dismissed his brother's worried claims.

Cueball and Screwball inadvertently abducted Honeymoon Tracy, who had hidden in their truck to observe their activities. When B-B Eyes discovered this, he praised the brothers, stating that killing Dick Tracy's granddaughter would help settle Eyes' vendetta against Tracy. 

Tracy was able to track Honeymoon's location and he freed her from the deathtrap that the criminals had devised. Cueball and Screwball were arrested, facing charges for both bootlegging and kidnapping. 

Victim of Putty Puss[edit | edit source]

Cueball02.jpg

Cueball was released on bail and was recruited by B-B Eyes to work for the new Mr. Crime. Cueball went to work at a billiards hall/nightclub. He allowed the owner of the club (secretly Mr. Crime) to use his name and reputation as way to generate business.

On the evening when Vera Alldid visited Cueball's, Cueball arranged to have the artist's club soda dosed with a drug, causing Alldid to become belligerent and confront his ex-wife Sparkle Plenty at her home.

"Cueball's" was a successful pool hall and live music venue, as well as a front for a drug smuggling operation. One of Cueball's tasks was to conceal narcotics in the instrument cases of the bands that played there. This attracted the attention of Dick Tracy when the son of Tracy's friend Spike Smith played at "Cueball's". Smith feared that his son was getting drawn into the drug smuggling ring, and Tracy agreed to investigate.

"Cueball's" was also targeted by the fugitive criminal Putty Puss, who saw an opportunity to steal the club's proceeds, co-incidentally on the same busy night that the Major Crime Squad was planning to bust the drug ring. Putty Puss impersonated Cueball and took the night's receipts from the club's accountant. The deception was discovered and Cueball pursued Putty Puss. The two men engaged in a shootout, which left Cueball dead and Putty Puss severely wounded.

Screwball later sought revenge against Putty Puss for his brother's death, but was apprehended.

Appearances in Other Media[edit | edit source]

Dick Tracy Vs. Cueball[edit | edit source]

Dick Wessel as Cueball

Cueball was the primary villain in the 1946 feature film Dick Tracy Vs. Cueball, starring Morgan Conway as the titular detective. Cueball was played by Dick Wessel.

In the film, Cueball was a thief and a killer who stole some valuable diamonds. His weapon of choice was a leather hatband that he would use to strangle his victims.

Cueball's attempts to sell the diamonds were thwarted by treachery from his contacts, and he went into hiding at a local underworld location. He was eventually lured into a trap by Dick Tracy, and (after briefly abducting Tess Trueheart) a chase ensued. Tracy chased Cueball to a railroad yard where Cueball was struck by a train and killed.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • RGCueball.jpg
    The film Dick Tracy Vs. Cueball credited Chester Gould as the creator of the characters, with "Story by" credit for Luci Ward and "Screenplay by" credits for Dane Lussier and Robert E. Kent. Thus, several people are credited with "creating" Cueball.
  • The 1940s Dick Tracy films (and the earlier serials) have entered the public domain, thus allowing characters from those films to be used in the strip without having to secure rights from the original producers (see also Gordon Tracy and Gruesome).
  • In the film Dick Tracy Vs. Cueball, Cueball's real name is given as Harry Lake. It has not been established in the strip if this was Cueball's real name, and if Screwball's last name would therefore be Lake as well.
  • Cueball's physical appearance in the strip is very similar to his appearance in the film, though he was not depicted wearing a hat (with his signature leather band).
  • According to Mike Curtis, the Cueball in the strip is meant to be at least partly African-American, which apparently was not the case with the film character. Presuming the film is canon (which is possible since it did not violate canon in the way that the Republic serials or the Beatty film did), the two Cueballs could be regarded as separate characters. 
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