Dick Tracy Wiki

The man known as Number One was the leader of a spy ring in Europe. His base of operations was in London, England.

Number One was a tall, gaunt man with no hair and a large nose. He typically dressed all in black and wore a beret. He smoked cigarettes using a long holder (which also held a stiletto) and wore a monocle over her right eye.

Number One's spy organization had operatives in several key locations, including the telegraph office of Scotland Yard and the personal chauffeur of the military officer General Craigh. Through these agents, Number One's group was able to obtain the plans for new experimental sound-based weapons.

Number One's activities were being observed by the Scotland Yard detective Inspector "Scotty" Scotson. Scotson contacted Dick Tracy in the United States and asked for Tracy's help investigating Number One. Tracy and Sam Catchem came to England, surviving two attempts on their lives during the trip (committed at Number One's behest).

Tracy, Sam, and Scotson began to slowly dismantle Number One's operation. Sam discovered Number One's headquarters in a bookshop and was able to convey the information in a message to Tracy. Shortly after sending the message, he was taken captive by Number One's gang.

Tracy found the bookshop and attempted to sneak in through the basement. He was discovered and Number One shot him through the shoulder. Tracy then fell a short distance down an elevator shaft. Believing that Tracy was dead, Number One sent the rest of his men away, then prepared to set the building on fire with Sam Catchem still inside.

Tracy had survived and was able to quickly recover his strength. He crawled out of the elevator shaft and confronted Number One just as the spy was preparing to depart. The two men fought in the burning building and Number One attempted to stab Tracy with his stiletto. Tracy disarmed the man and knocked him unconscious. Tracy and Sam then fled the burning building, taking Number One with them.

On the sidewalk, Tracy and Sam were informed by Scotson that the rest of the spy ring had been apprehended nearby. Number One was arrested and taken into police custody.


  • Number One appeared in Dell Comics' Dick Tracy Monthly #21 (cover date September, 1949). This original full-length story was produced for specifically for the comics. The writer and artist(s) were not credited.