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Moon Maid
Moonmaid

First Appearance:

(partial) December 31st, 1963
(full) January 5th, 1964

Full Name:

Mysta Tracy

Known Relatives:

Moon Governor (Father)
Moon First Lady (Mother)
Junior Tracy (Husband)
Dick Tracy (Father-in-Law)
Tess Tracy (Mother-in-Law)
Bonnie Tracy (Sister-in-Law)
Joe Tracy (Brother-in-Law)
Honeymoon Tracy (Daughter)

Created By:

Chester Gould

Mood Maid first appeared after she secretly boarded a Space Coupe on the moon and flew back to Earth with Diet Smith [1].  She wore a sleeveless and strapless black leotard, thigh high boots, and a pearl choker necklace. Upon discovering the beautiful stowaway, Diet called Dick Tracy and Lizz to his plant to meet the alien woman.  Tracy immediately dubbed her "Moon Maid" [2], and the name stuck.

A Sensation from the MoonEdit

Moon Maid was at first very withdrawn, not saying any words (which led people to assume that she was unable to speak, but it was later revealed that she knew and understood English, having learned it from Earth television broadcasts). She quickly began displaying her superhuman abilities, such as drastically changing her body temperature from 18 degrees above zero to 200 degrees. She could also shoot destructive energy beams from her hands, causing objects to explode. She did not want her picture taken and used her powers to render nearby cameras useless. Moon Maid's powers also disrupted global communications. This caused some anxiety in Washington DC, which Diet Smith helped to alleviate.

Mood Maid was placed into protective custody, but she escaped to frolic in the snow, which she found very enjoyable. She came across a pregnant woman nearly frozen to death in the snow who was about to go into labor. Moon Maid used her powers to keep the mother and her unborn child warm, and she helped deliver the baby. This exhausted her, but the three of them (Moon Maid, mother and baby) were soon found by Tracy and Smith in the Space Coupe. They were taken to the hospital, but Moon Maid refused to stay in the warm bed, preferring to sit near an open window where the sun could recharge her spent powers.

Romance with JuniorEdit

After Moon Maid recovered, Lizz and Junior threw her a party at Lizz's place,
Moon Maid & Junior in love

Moon Maid & Junior, 1964

inviting some of Junior's friends who were all closer to her age. She burned the dress that they gave her, which angered the guests, and then retreated to Lizz's room upstairs. After admiring Lizz's dresses, she started to sob on the bed, realizing that she would never be like Earth girls. She tried desperately to rip out her horns so that she wouldn't be different, but Lizz calmed her by commenting on how beautiful her horns were.

Lizz gave Moon Maid one of her hats and cut little holes in the brim so that her horns would fit through (which Moon Maid would often wear afterwards). Lizz and Junior took Moon Maid to a clothing shop to get her a frock to match her hat. After Junior complimented how beautiful she looked, Moon Maid kissed him, causing Junior to swoon.

Junior began to see more and more of Moon Maid in the next few days and they began to fall in love with each other. Moon Maid also began to speak, and was soon quite fluent. When Tracy and Diet convinced her she needed to go back to the moon, Moon Maid sadly got on board the ship, but Junior begged her not to go. He declared his love to her and with tears of joy the two embraced and kissed.

Tracy tried to convince Junior that he shouldn't be with Moon Maid because of how different she was and how radical and dangerous her powers were. This upset Junior. He and Moon Maid sneaked out that night and stole the space coupe, intending to return it after making a trip to the moon. Upon discovering this, Tracy felt extremely guilty, saying that his actions had driven Junior away "as surely as if I had used a club".

Moon ConspiracyEdit

Moon Maid & Junior 6-22-64

Junior Tracy & Moon Maid, 6/22/64

Tracy and Diet Smith followed Moon Maid and Junior back to the moon. Moon Maid had been showing Junior Moon Valley and explaining various aspects of her home. When Tracy and Smith arrived, they originally were welcomed by Moon Maid's parents, the Moon Governor and his wife, though this was revealed to be a ruse. Moon Maid's trip to Earth and back had been a plot to lure Diet Smith's Space Coupes to the moon, which lacked the vital element titanium necessary to build space-traveling vessels. Moon Maid seemed to be complicit in her father's scheme (she had known how to speak English all along, as it turned out), and a heartbroken Junior was imprisoned along with Tracy and Smith.

Moon Maid soon revealed that her love for Junior was genuine. She dosed the food of his guard with a sedative and freed the captive Earthmen. The four escaped back to Earth, with Diet Smith leaving a letter of goodwill for the Governor.

Marriage to JuniorEdit

Moonmaid01
Upon her return to Earth, Moon Maid embarked on a tour of American universities, where she delighted crowds with demonstrations of her amazing abilities. Junior assisted at many of these events as the two continued to grow closer. Soon the Moon Governor began to telepathically communicate with his daughter, informing her of his intent to come to Earth. Moon Maid and Junior were quite fearful at first, but it turned out the Governor had repented his previous actions. He and his wife brought gifts to the people of Earth, including precious stones, several air cars, and other moon-based technology. Junior and Moon Maid were married on Earth soon thereafter [3].

Junior was surprised to learn that Moon Maid was unfamiliar with some basic Earth housekeeping methods, and she apparently did not know how to cook. For some time, she fed her husband only frozen dinners. She later learned how to cook and became quite skilled at it.

MoonMaid02

In early 1965, Moon Maid took a job as a gag writer for the popular comic strip Sawdust. She also engaged in some vigilante acts, using her superhuman abilities to stop petty crimes. This made her the target of criminals' revenge schemes on more than one occasion.

Moon Maid & Sparkle on the moon 7-28-68

Moon Maid & Sparkle Plenty on the moon, 7/28/1968

In 1965 Moon Maid and Junior's first child was born in outer space. Named Honey Moon, she was nearly kidnapped by the sinister criminal Mr. Bribery, but his plan was thwarted. Moon Maid and Junior enjoyed a relatively peaceful domestic life.

In 1968, the Sunny Wheat Breakfast Cereal Company sponsored a Moon Maid look-alike contest, which was won by Sparkle Plenty. The prize included a trip to the Moon for Sparkle and her parents, where Moon Maid and her family served as hosts.

Death and AftermathEdit

Later, the dying mobster Big Boy issued an Open Contract on Dick Tracy as his last attempt at revenge. Many small-time killers and gunmen were tempted by this offer and Tracy was nearly killed twice within a 48-hour period. After Tracy was put under police protection, he and Tess were invited to Junior and Moon Maid's house for dinner. Junior proudly described his wife to his parents as "beautiful and a good cook" to which Tracy replied "can't beat THAT combination". Unbeknownst to the family, an explosives specialist named Little Littel planted a bomb in Tracy's car. Tess just gave Moon Maid the keys to the car so Moon Maid could run an errand. When Moon Maid turned the ignition [4], the vehicle exploded and she was killed.

Junior and his family were grief-stricken. They received letters of condolence from all over the world, including a phone call from then-President Jimmy Carter offering his sympathy. Moon Maid's funeral was attended by the Plentys, the Tracys (excluding Bonnie), and the entire Major Crimes Squad, who had all been her friends. Bonnie later expressed regret for not being present at Moon Maid's funeral.

Moon Maid's real name revealed

Moon Maid: Mysta Tracy

After her funeral, Junior angrily told his parents that he was going back to work and that he was going to find Moon Maid's killer. Tracy worried about Junior's behavior. After Junior and Officer Rodriquez (who had been responsible for Tracy's safety and was wracked with guilt over Moon Maid's death) made a discovery linking Littel to the murder, Junior took his .38 gun and confronted the Littels with the intention of killing the bomber. Ultimately, Junior couldn't bring himself to pull the trigger and was knocked out by Lily Littel with dynamite, prematurely setting off the timer. Tracy and Sam Catchem arrived in time to rescue Junior before the bomb went off. Littel had stayed to try to defuse it but he was killed in the explosion, meeting the same fate as Moon Maid.

Moon Maid's LegacyEdit

Some time after Moon Maid's death, Junior fell in love with Sparkle Plenty. Junior was hesitant to become romantically involved with another woman after Moon Maid, believing that he was bad luck (he probably also recalled his encounters with Model Jones and Thistle Dew). Junior was able to overcome his apprehension and he married Sparkle, who became a loving mother figure to Honeymoon.

The Mystery of the new Moon MaidEdit

In 2012, a mysterious woman was sighted in the City who physically resembled Moon Maid and seemed to have many of her same abilities, though she kept the lower portion of her face covered. Whether this was an imposter, a relative, or somehow the original Moon Maid reborn remained an open question for some time. The new "Moon Maid" was seen at visiting Mysta's grave site at Wildwood Cemetery, which she vandalized with a sledge hammer.

The resurrection of Moon Maid was eventually revealed to be the work of Dr. Zy Ghote and Dr. S. Tim Sail, in conjunction with Stellaluna and Retik, a pair of moon-obsessed siblings. However, Moon Maid's exact nature and identity continued to be a mystery for some time.

It was eventually revealed that the "new Moon Maid" was actually Glenna/Mindy Ermine, who had been surgically and genetically altered by Ghote and mentally conditioned by Sail. Diet Smith offered to pay for plastic surgery to restore her original face, but Mysta had no memory of her former life, so she decided to remain as she was. She chose the new name of Mysta Chimera.  Diet Smith also hired Stellaluna and Retik to help Mysta re-adjust to society. 

Some time later, four shadowy figures paid their respects at the restored grave site of the original Moon Maid (10/19/2013), and the silhouettes of these visitors suggested that they were Moon People (possibly the Moon Governor and his family). The nature of these mysterious visitors and their connection to Mysta/Moon Maid has not been established.

Appearances in Other MediaEdit

Archie's TV FunniesEdit

MoonMaidArchie02
Moon Maid was a character in the "Dick Tracy" segments of the 1971 animated television series "Archie's TV Funnies", produced by Filmation Associates. Moon Maid's appearance closely resembled her depiction in the comic strip. She was portrayed as Junior's wife, and she sometimes helped with cases. Moon Maid rarely used her super-human abilities, though the cartoon did use many high-tech sci-fi elements from the Moon Period, including the Air Car.

NotesEdit

  • Moon1

    Sheila Hanson, Miss Moon Maid.

    In 1964 there was a nation-wide contest to find a "real-life" Moon Maid. It was sponsored by the strip's syndicate, and the final judging took place in Hollywood, CA. The winner was apparently 19-year-old Sheila Hanson, who was a student at the University of Mississippi at the time.
  • Moon Maid (and her fellow Lunarians) was one of the very few characters to appear in the strip who had genuinely superhuman abilities (not based on technological/scientific enhancements). The only other one appears to have been Little Boy Beard, who had superhuman strength.
  • In addition to their superhuman abilities, Moon Maid claimed that Lunarians were especially long-lived. She claimed that the oldest Moon Person on record lived to be 1,300 Earth Years old.
  • Moon Maid played a diminished role in the strip during the later years of Chester Gould's tenure on the strip, appearing only sporadically. When production of the strip was taken over by Rick Fletcher and Max Allan Collins, the Moon Period was written out and Moon Maid was referred to only as "Junior's wife" before she was killed. 
  • The death of Moon Maid and the severance of Earth-Moon relations were reportedly the new creative team's effort to bring Dick Tracy back to its roots and original purposes, rather than being a heavily science fiction-themed strip like Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers.
  • Moon Maid's real name "Mysta" was revealed when Junior visited her grave in 2012. "Mysta" was also the name of the space-faring main character of a serial adventure published in Planet Comics from 1945 to 1952.
  • The year of Moon Maid's death stated on her gravestone (when shown in 2012) was partially obscured, but it clearly read "August" (the month of the car explosion in 1978). Due to the nature of the comic publishing schedule at the time, the explosion was originally depicted on Sunday, August 6th, then repeated on Monday, August 7th (and again on the 8th).
    Index
  • Moon Maid appears on the cover of IDW's The Complete Dick Tracy Vol. 21 (the first non-villain to do so since Volume 6).

ReferencesEdit

  1. (December 29th, 1963)
  2. (December 30th, 1963)
  3. (October, 1964)
  4. (August 6th, 1978)

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