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Stooge Viller

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Stooge Viller
Stooge01

First Appearance:

January 4th, 1933

Known Relatives:

Maxine (Sister)
Binnie Viller (Daughter)

Known Associates:

Steve the Tramp
Old Mike the Smuggler (Deceased)
Iggie
Burney
Professor Emirc

Appearance of Death:

January 7th, 1940

Can Be Found:

Dick Tracy, The Thirties: Tommy Guns and Hard Times
The Complete Dick Tracy Vol. 1
The Complete Dick Tracy Vol. 2
The Complete Dick Tracy Vol. 6
Dick Tracy: The Complete True Hearts and Tommy Guns Trilogy

Created By:

Gould

Stooge Viller was a career criminal. He had dark hair, light eyes and wide mouth. He was a very confident man, and was especially skilled as a pickpocket.

Framing Dick TracyEdit

Stooge Viller was brought to Dick Tracy's city by members of the Big Boy's Outfit, who planned to use Viller's skills to frame Tracy for counterfeiting. Viller was successful, and Tracy was disgraced. Since Tess Trueheart found it hard to believe Tracy was innocent, she broke up with him. Stooge Viller had developed an attraction to Tess, and they started dating. Tess soon discovered evidence against Stooge. Stooge panicked and shot her. Tess survived, Tracy was exonerated, and Viller was later arrested.

Alliance with Steve the TrampEdit

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Stooge re-appeared in Tracy's life several times. He staged a prison break with Steve the Tramp. Stooge and Steve briefly joined Stooge's sister Maxine in her criminal efforts, but they were thwarted by Tracy. Stooge and Maxine fled to Halifax, where they encountered Pat Patton, Junior and Hank Steele. During a struggle, Stooge shot and killed Steele, then fled.

Stooge returned to the city with the help of a former associate Mike the Smuggler. They kidnapped Tess Trueheart and set a trap for Tracy. Tess escaped, Mike was killed in an explosion on his boat, and Stooge went back to prison, where he was seen fighting with Steve the Tramp.

Release and DeathEdit

Later, after being released from prison, Stooge reunited with several of his previous criminal associates. He sought out the reclusive inventor Professor Emirc, and arranged to sell the Professor's inventions (designed to aid criminals) to the underworld. Stooge enjoyed some success with this endeavor. At one point, he and his gang captured Dick Tracy and stranded him inside an abandoned well, intending that the detective should suffer for several days before they returned to kill him. Tracy escaped and was returned to the city, with the help of Tess and her Girl Scout troop.

Stooge became fixated upon the idea that he would re-enter the life of his estranged daughter Binnie. Stooge made several attempts to contact Binnie, but she wanted nothing to do with him. Stooge became so obsessed with Binnie that the members of his gang decided that he was no longer reliable and removed him from his position of authority. Desperate, Stooge kidnapped Binnie and took her to his apartment. Tracy tracked the child to Stooge's home, and the two men struggled.

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Stooge was accidentally shot when he kicked at a gun that Binnie was pointing at him and it went off. He attempted to escape, but the severity of his wounds and the exertion of trying to flee weakened him and Tracy took him into custody. As he lay dying in the hospital, Viller managed to reconcile with Tracy, and Stooge asked Tracy to not tell Binnie about his death. His last words were "Always tell her, I'm in the big house". Tracy agreed to honor Stooge's last request.

Stooge's official cause of death was stated as "gangrene".

Appearances in Other MediaEdit

1960s Animated SeriesEdit

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Stooge Viller was in the 1960's "The Dick Tracy Show". He was often partnered with Mumbles. Although he did not interact much with Tracy directly, he was typically defeated by Tracy's "funny" sidekicks, (Hemlock Holmes, Joe Jitsu, Go-Go Gomez and Heap O'Calorie). Stooge and Mumbles' schemes rarely made sense, and frequently backfired on them.  

Stooge often acted as Mumbles' interpreter.  In one episode, for example, Mumbles was in court, and the case was about to be thrown out because his testimony was incomprehensible. Go-Go Gomez was sent to find Stooge and bring him to the courthouse before Mumbles was released from custody.

1990 Movie ContinuityEdit

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Stooge Viller was a minor character in the 1990 "Dick Tracy" feature film. He was played by Jim Wilkey.

Stooge was a member of Lips Manlis' criminal organization, and was one of the mobsters gunned down by of Flattop and Itchy at the Seventh Street Garage at the beginning of the movie.

Stooge partially resembled his appearance in the comic strip, with the round face and wide mouth, but was depicted as having orange hair rather than black and missing his signature cigarette holder. It is unclear which lines in the scene were spoken by Viller, other than when he was seen to say "hmph, cat".

Like Little Face, Stooge Viller is not featured in the comic book prequel to the film, nor was he made into an action figure by Playmates Toys.

On his Topps trading card, he was referred to as "the Stooge" and in the book adaptions his last name was given as  "Villers".

NotesEdit

  • Stooge's appearance has been likened to that of the actor Edward G. Robinson
  • Stooge is one of the few villains that creator Chester Gould re-used on several occasions. He was shown to be in and out of jail several times during the 1930s, similar to Big Boy and Steve the Tramp.
  • Stooge's prisoner number was 2603. This was consistent from the first time he was incarcerated to the time at which he was released.
  • Stooge was released from prison in 1939, and was said to have served 6 years. This seems like an inappropriately short sentence given the severity of his crimes, which included the murder of Hank Steele. Similarly, none of the characters in the strip seem to have aged 6 years, particularly Junior (see sliding time-line).

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