Spike Smith was an entertainer and musician, whose band played comical music. He was previously know as "Spike Dyke". Spike had wavy hair, light eyes, and a pointed nose and chin.
Dick Tracy Meets "Spike Dyke"[edit | edit source]
Spike helped Dick Tracy track down Sketch Paree. Paree had previously been employed by Spike as a costume designer, but Spike had fired Paree when he showed increasing signs of mental instability. Paree stole one of Spike's prop guns and used it to murder Talcum Freely.
When Sketch learned of Spike’s cooperation with police, he tried to kill him during a show but Dick Tracy (who was hidden in Spike’s band) shot Paree dead first. The watching crowd thought the shooting was part of the show.
A recording of Spike & his orchestra's rendition of the song "Cocktails for Two" was a significant element in the case of Spinner ReCord.
Some time later, Spike and his orchestra (which included Spike's wife) inadvertently aided the fugitive Kitten Sisters. He discovered Dick Tracy's 2-Way Wrist Radio among the Sisters' possessions and used it to contact Tracy. Spike was abducted and held hostage by the escaping Sisters, but he was able to use the Wrist Radio to keep the police informed of their movements. When the police disabled the Sisters' car, Spike managed to get their gun away from them and held them until the police could take them into custody.
The Return of Spike[edit | edit source]
Years later, Spike (now going by the name "Spike Smith") contacted Tracy and asked him to intervene with Spike's son, whom Spike feared had become involved in illegal activities. Tracy agreed, and the investigation led him to an encounter with Cueball, Screwball, and Putty Puss.
Spike's son was not implicated in the criminal acts.
Appearances in Other Media[edit | edit source]
1990s Feature Film Continuity[edit | edit source]
In Dick Tracy Goes to War, Spike and his orchestra are a featured act at Vitamin Flintheart's Stage Door Canteen. Their raucous music is used at the novel's climax to cover the sound of Tracy's shootout with B-B Eyes.
Plans were made for a fourth novel entitled Dick Tracy on the Beat, the plot of which would have featured crime and corruption in the music business. Spike was planned to be a character in the book, but it was ultimately not produced.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Spike was apparently inspired by the popular novelty recording artist Spike Jones. One of Jones' signature tunes "Cocktails for Two" was heavily referenced during the Spinner ReCord storyline and in Dick Tracy Goes to War.
- There is no apparent connection between Spike Smith and the various other characters named Spike (typically criminals) that have appeared in the strip.Similarly, there is no established connection between Spike Smith and other characters with the last name Smith (such as Laffy or Memphis).
- When Spike re-appeared in the strip in 2011, his last name was changed from "Dyke" to "Smith". This is mostly likely due to increased awareness of the word "dyke" being used as a harmful slur against lesbians.