For the second "Spy Smasher", see: Katarina Armstrong
Alan Armstrong was a wealthy sportsman in the 1940s. He was engaged to Eve Corby, whose father was an admiral in the U.S. Naval intelligence division. Alan donned his first costume, a khaki military-looking uniform, aviator cowl with goggles and red cape, when Admiral Corby confided to him that a recent string of apparent accidents could actually be the work of spies. Alan decided to confront these possible spies on his own as Spy Smasher. His wealth and knowledge of aviation made it possible for him to construct the Gyrosub , a vehicle that combined the abilities of an auto gyro (a cross between a small airplane and a helicopter), a speedboat and a submarine.
As Spy Smasher, Alan fought such villains as The Mask, Dark Angel, America-Smasher, Red Death and Tigress I. By 1942 Alan altered his costume to an all green one with a red diamond chest emblem. Eve eventually learned Alan and Spy Smasher were one and the same, but nothing has yet been revealed as to the fate of their relationship since the War Years.
After the WWII was over and the need to smash spies became superfluous, Alan switched his name to Crime Smasher and battled more common type enemies of society.
Now a more aged man, Alan often appeared in recounting old stories of his days as Spy Smasher. One such tale involved a time during the Cold War era where he paired up with Billy Batson’s father, Archeologist C.C. Batson.
Jack Knight, formerly Starman, also mentioned he believed Spy Smasher changed his name to "Crime Smasher" (for a short period) after WW II. It is yet to be mentioned if Spy Smasher was a part of the All Star Squadron during WW II or part of another team combining all former Fawcett heroes.
As some of the earlier Spy Smasher stories have lapsed into the Public Domain, AC Comics have reprinted some of those Golden Age stories.
Equipment, Skills and Abilities
In his prime Alan exhibited peak human strength and endurance of a man who continually engaged in physical exercise. Alan was a skilled pilot. He was also skilled in hand-to-hand combat and possessed great intelligence and inventiveness.
Alan funded and constructed the Gyrosub, a vehicle that combined the abilities of an auto gyro (a cross between a small airplane and a helicopter), a speedboat and a submarine. The Gyrosub allowed Spy Smasher to travel on land, in the air, and on/under the water.
Katarina Armstrong (2006
see: Katarina Armstrong
Katarina Armstrong was a high-ranking anti-terrorist government agent who’s affiliated with several American and International agencies. Becoming the second person to claim the name of Spy Smasher, it is unsure at this time what Katarina’s exact ties to the first (Alan Armstrong) specifically are. However, her diamond insignia costume and personal identity clearly suggest they are in some way related.
Much still has not been revealed about Katarina’s past, but in college she met
Barbara Gordon and struck up a most unusual friendship. Coming from different backgrounds and both highly competitive with one another, Katarina and Barbara disagreed on everything yet remained inseparable. Their friendship became strained when Katarina cheated in a track race by tripping Barbara to win. Friendship became rivalry after college as the two went their separate ways, but kept constant surveillance on one another from that point on.
Their paths crossed once again when Barbara sent a team of agents into to rescue the daughter of mob boss “Shark” Brennan, kidnapped to prevent him from turning state’s evidence. Katarina became determined to shut Barbara’s operation down by any means necessary. It wasn’t long before Katarina coerced Barbara into turning control of the Birds of Prey over to her. Kat sent the Birds into on a salvage mission that revealed the long thought deceased Ice of Justice League International was still alive. While there Kat and the Birds fought the Secret Six, to which Kat found herself equally matched against Deadshot. Kat also takes the time to fire Lady Blackhawk for dissent.
As the team returned to the Bird’s base camp Katarina was challenge by Barbara for control of her entire operations. After the two beat each other to a stand still, Katarina soon found herself confronted by every former agent of the Birds of Prey. Threatened by Black Canary , Katarina leaves disgraced and humiliated. However, Kat left a final parting gift for Barbara that revealed some background information on the teenaged Misfit .
It is later revealed that Katarina was severely reprimanded by Checkmate. It is mentioned that Josephine Tautin personally carried out Katarina’s disciplinary action, much to her enjoyment. Sasha Bordeaux also apologized to Barbara in person for Kat’s actions.
Skills and Abilities
Katrina is expert marksman on a similar level to Deadshot (of the Secret Six), Katrina has extensive knowledge in various forms of hand-to-hand combat and is a somewhat of a strategist with extensive government connections at her fingertips.
Below is a list of agencies Spy Smasher operates under;
Federal Bureau of Investigation
United States Department of Homeland Security
United States Department of Defense
Department of Extranormal Operations
Central Intelligence Agency
Department of Defense (Australia)
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
On Earth-22, a new Spy Smasher is seen as a member of Batman's Legion against the rogue metahumans. The new Spy Smasher is described in supplementary text as "This update of the oft-forgotten Fawcett character and movie serial hero is intended to be a combat equipped, post-Cold War indepenent operative with a somewhat nomadic status." He is seen first at the Titans Tower bar, and later in the battle at the Gulag.
Spy Smasher benefited from the talented direction of William Witney and the action expertise of Republican Pictures. The 1942 Spy Smasher serial episodes were previewed in movie houses from week to week before the start of the featured films. Twelve episodes were filmed, each one running approximately eighteen minutes in length. Actor Kane Richmond played the part of Spy Smasher, and his alter ego Alan Armstrong. Margueritte Chapman played the role of Eve Corby, Alan's fiancée who usually found herself the target victim of the hero's arch-nemesis, the Mask (played by Hans Schumm).
In 1966 the serial was re-released for television with the title “Spy Smasher Returns” and edited down to approximately 100 minutes.
Justice League Unlimited
The Alan Armstrong Spy Smasher appaeared in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Patriot Act". The appearance is done in the style of a black and white film serial, similar to his actual serial. In the appearance, he storms a Nazi castle in order to stop an experiment that would create a superhuman. The project is briefly referred to as the "Captain Nazi Project" on documentation. Armstrong destroys the castle and escapes with serum in hand in his Gyrosub.