"Ribs" Mocco (real first name unrevealed) was a close subordinate of the criminal Big Boy. Ribs was one of the first contacts that Dick Tracy made when he infiltrated Big Boy’s operation following the murder of Emil Trueheart and the kidnapping of Tess.
Big Boy's Lieutenant[edit | edit source]
Ribs’ mother rented a room to Tracy, who was posing as a drifter called “Joe Smith”. When Tracy (as “Smith”) expressed an interest in joining Big Boy’s gang, Ribs recruited him for a payroll robbery that was being planned, intending to double-cross him. Tracy set a trap for the criminals and Ribs was arrested at the scene of the robbery.
Ribs was arrested along with his associate Spike. While in jail, they learned that “Joe Smith” was actually Dick Tracy, and Ribs vowed revenge. Big Boy posted Ribs’ bond, and instructed him to arrange for Tracy to be killed. Ribs set up an ambush in which Tracy would be shot while riding in a taxi cab. Due to a mix-up, Tracy escaped and Ribs was shot multiple times by his associates.
Ribs survived and was taken to a hospital. Tracy visited the recovering Ribs, and attempted to get information from him. Ribs refused to talk to the detective. Ribs was questioned by Tracy about Big Boy's possible involvement in the Buddy Waldorf kidnapping, but Ribs claimed to have no knowledge of Big Boy's activities or whereabouts.
After his attempt to kill Tracy with the help of Stooge Viller failed, Ribs was not seen again. It is not known if he reformed, went into hiding, or received a long prison sentence.
Appearances In Other Media[edit | edit source]
1990 Movie Continuity[edit | edit source]
Ribs Mocco made a brief appearance in the 1990 Dick Tracy feature film. He was played by actor Robert Beecher.
Ribs was a member of the criminal underworld and was present at the meeting held by Big Boy. He wore a black suit jacket and a purple hat. Ribs was seated next to Influence. Big Boy referred to a past incident in which Ribs had tried to kill him, but Big Boy claimed that it was time to put such incidents behind them.Ribs was present during Tracy's "raid" on the Club Ritz, seated at Big Boy's table next to Numbers.
Ribs was later seen being arrested by Tracy while attempting to extort or possibly rob a shop-keeper.
Tie-In Comic Book[edit | edit source]
In the film's tie-in comic book prequel, Ribs was depicted as an aspiring crime boss and rival to Lips Manlis. Mocco (spelled "Mocca" in the comic) acquired incriminating evidence against the young playboy Johnny Mintworth and used it for blackmail. During a showdown with Mintworth, Mocco shot and killed the younger man, in full view of Dick Tracy. Mocco was arrested, but was apparently freed shortly after.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Ribs often appeared in the early Sunday newspaper strips, which were not in continuity with the daily strips at the time. In these Sunday features, Ribs would often be arrested for some crime, then be shown free again in the next week.
- Due to actor Al Pacino's pronunciation of Ribs' name in the film, some people have come to believe that the Ribs' last name is "Mocca" or "Mocha". The credits also identify the character as Ribs Mocca.