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The Blank

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First Appearance: October 21st, 1937

The killer known as The Blank (sometimes referred to as "The Man Without a Face") was actually a criminal named Frank Redrum ("Murder" spelt backwards) who disguised his features by coving it with a piece of translucent cheesecloth. This gave him the appearance of having no face.

Character BiographyEdit

A killer who escaped from the State prison in 1927, the Blank was seeking revenge on his former criminal cohorts, including the boat captain Stud Bronzen, who were members of the Redrum Slot Machine Gang of 1926 because they thought he wasn't good enough for them. Four of them he killed and the fifth he tied up and turned in to the police. Bronzen was the last member.

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The Blank seemed to have a certain moral code, as he refused to harm Junior Tracy when the boy got caught up in one of his revenge plots. However, he was willing to kill Dick Tracy and Pat Patton when he found them trying to protect one of his intended victims.

The Blank was eventually captured by Dick Tracy and unmasked. His face had been disfigured during an attempt to escape from prison, which partially allowed his mask to lie flat over his features.

Many years later, Dick Tracy's encounter with the Blank would be adapted into a play as part of a revenge plot by the Blank's grandson Johnny Nothing and the actress/director Anja Nue.

Known Gang Members/Victims:Edit

  • Neely, gassed in Dick Tracy's garage
  • Dirks, gassed in Dick Tracy's garage
  • Arthur "Nip" Dolton, killed and left in the trunk of his own car which was later was hit by a train
  • Schultzie Innis, thrown out of airplane and killed when he crashed through farmhouse roof
  • Stud Bronzen, survived being blown up and then nearly killed by comressed air; escaped but later killed in gun fight with Dick Tracy

Appearances In Other MediaEdit

Movie ContinuityEdit

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In the 1990 "Dick Tracy" feature film, the Blank was actually Breathless Mahoney in disguise. She used the piano player 88 Keyes as her agent. She adopted the disguise in an attempt to profit off of (and hurt) Big Boy by framing Dick Tracy. She also bore a grudge against Tracy for rejecting her advances. She eventually aided Tracy by informing the police where the kidnapped Tess Trueheart could be found and helping Tracy in his final showdown with Big Boy.

The novelization of the film regards Frank Redrum as a separate character, an Alcatraz inmate. The police suspect Redrum as the Blank's true identity, but Chief Brandon later discovers that Frank Redrum died in an escape attempt, making it clear that the Blank's identity belongs to someone else.  However, in order to preserve the "whodunit" aspect revolving around the Blank's actual identity in the film, only the final edition of Max Allan Collins's novelization of the film script, which, unlike previous print runs, was scheduled to be released after the release of the film, revealed that Breathless was the the Blank.  Previous editions stopped short of actually identifying the Blank's real name.  This made the prose adaptation of the film script one of the few mystery novels in the history of crime fiction in which the question of "whodunit" is left unanswered.

NotesEdit

  • The Blank was one of the first "grotesques" to appear in the strip, foretelling the coming of more flamboyant and gruesome villains.
  • There is no connection between The Blank and the criminal called No Face.
  • Marvel Comics also has a character called "The Blank". He is a low-level criminal who has faced Spider-Man and the West Coast Avengers.
  • Due the surprise nature of the Blank's identity, the action figure produced by Playmates Toys for the 1990 movie saw very limited release. Contrary to some rumors, though, it does actually exist, with both English- only and bilingual packaging.
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Known RelativesEdit

Can Be FoundEdit

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