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Mr. Bribery

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Mr. Bribery
Bribery

First Appearance:

July 3rd, 1965

Real Name:

Unrevealed

Known Aliases:

Mr. Bigg

Known Relatives:

Ugly Christine, Sister (Deceased)

Known Associates:

Miss Deal
Matty Square(Deceased)
Nah Tay (Deceased)
George Chin Chillar (Deceased)
Notta Chin Chillar
Soapy Lava (Deceased)
Joel Deadlead
Yolly Times (Deceased)
Maay (Deceased)
Unnamed Twin Space Coupe Thieves (Deceased)
T-Bolt
Venus
Apollo
Mr. Melies
B-B Eyes
Mumbles
Doubleup
Blaze Rize
Abner Kadaver
The Munro Brothers

Created By:

Chester Gould

Mr. Bribery was a murderer, drug smuggler, pickpocket, influence peddler, and blackmailer. He was also the leader of a criminal operation which he ran with the aid of his loyal sister Ugly Christine. He was a thin, bespectacled man with short dark hair that he wore slicked back.

Bribery had several bizarre habits, including talking to his rose bush, allowing his pet cat Kitty to smoke cigars, making decisions with the aid of a Ouija board, branding his underlings on the forehead with the letter "B", and decapitating people and shrinking their heads.

Bribery's Early SchemesEdit

One of the most eccentric and ghoulish villains that Dick Tracy encountered, though Tracy was unaware of Bribery's activities for some time. Bribery had been a mentor and patron of the criminal Matty Square, and he devised the trap for Tracy that ultimately cost Square his life.

Bribery also employed the Ecuadoran native Nah Tay as a front for his criminal enterprise, and used Nah Tay's skill a head shrinker to intimidate his associates. Bribery made an unsuccessful attempt to kidnap Honeymoon Tracy shortly after she was born, and he and his sister were rescued by Nah Tay.

Bribery then assigned Nah Tay to murder Dick Tracy. When Nah Tay refused to kill Tracy, Bribery arranged for Nah Tah to be kidnapped by the Space Coupe pilot Maay, who ejected Nah Tay into Earth's orbit.

The Stolen Space CoupeEdit

Later, Bribery arranged for the theft of a Space Coupe. He attempted to double-cross his twin pilots, but they managed to gain an advantage on Bribery. In the process, $100,000 cash (supposedly the twins' pay for the theft) was ejected into space in orbit around Earth, much like Nah Tay had been.

BriberyPrison

The stolen Space Coupe returned to Earth and was put in a secluded hiding spot. The twins held Ugly Christine hostage while Bribery arranged for another payoff. Christine and Bribery managed to surprise the twins and killed them, depositing their bodies at a construction site.

When Bribery and Christine attempted to return to the hidden Space Coupe, they attracted the attention of Dick Tracy, who had found the stolen vehicle and was waiting for them. Tracy followed the pair back to their hideout, and discovered evidence of their many crimes. Ugly Christine was taken into custody (but quickly committed suicide by throwing herself from a magnetic Air Car and falling into a fiery chimney) while Bribery, his cat, and his secretary Miss Deal escaped.

Later, Miss Deal inadvertently led police to their new hideout. Bribery attempted to kill her as punishment and she kicked him in the face. Bribery was eventually apprehended by Tracy (January 18th, 1965) and sent to the State Prison, where his prisoner number was 620. His cat Kitty (which he had stolen from Matty Square) gave up cigars and become part of the Police Department menagerie.

Alliance with the Chin ChillarsEdit

Bribery & Chin Chillars

Mr. Bribery & the Chin Chillars, June 1967

Bribery escaped from prison by bribing the Warden and hiring George and Notta Chin Chillar to steal a Space Coupe, with the offer of trying to recover his money that was still in orbit. After recovering the cash, the Chin Chillars gave Bribery alcohol to drink until he passed out and then "returned" Bribery to prison by dropping him from a great height through the roof of the prison carpentry shop. The Chin Chillars had intended that Bribery would die in the fall (June 26th, 1967). His body was never shown, but several characters commented on his gory condition. The money was later destroyed while the Chin Chillars were escaping from Dick Tracy.

The Return of Bribery Edit

BriberyReturns

Mr. Bribery, aka "Mr. Bigg", as drawn by Joe Staton.

Mr. Bribery survived the fall. Years later, it was revealed that he had taken on a new identity - Mr. Bigg. Under this name, Bribery became leader of the criminal organization known as The Black Hearts. He continued his practice of branding the high-ranking members (such as Venus and Apollo) with a letter B on their foreheads.

Bribery returned to Dick Tracy's city and adopted the upper floors of the 52 Gallery as his base of operations. He worked closely with T-Bolt, his driver and bodyguard.

Bribery's operatives kidnapped the industrialist Diet Smith, planning to use him to gain access to a Space Coupe. Smith recognized Bribery and was surprised.

NotesEdit

  • Unlike many of the other successful criminal figures depicted in the strip (both before and since), Mr. Bribery does not seem to have been at all connected to The Apparatus, or any of that group's ancillary operations. His organization appears to have functioned completely independently, with Bribery answering to no higher authority. It is possible that some of the corrupt public officials that Bribery influenced later became beholden to The Apparatus as well. It is reasonable to presume that the remnants of Bribery's organization became the original foundation of the Black Hearts, and that Bribery was consistently at odds with that other group.
  • The circumstances of Bribery's life after his nearly-fatal fall have not been revealed. It is not known if he served the remainder of his prison term and was released, or if he escaped (possibly after being presumed dead). He revealed to Diet Smith that his body double (whom he identified as Joie Packet) had taken his place. It was not established when the switch took place, or if it was Bribery or Packet that had been dropped from the Space Coupe.
  • The revelation that Joie Packet was a body double calls into question the accuracy of information that Pat Patton had read in an official police report about Bribery, which identified "Joie Packet" as Bribery's real name.

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