Ellery Queen (1975–1976)
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The Adventure of the Comic Book Crusader 

A tyrannical comic book creator is shot to death in his office, and Ellery Queen becomes the prime suspect.


(as Peter Hunt)


(characters created by) (as Ellery Queen), (characters created by) (as Ellery Queen) | 3 more credits »

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Episode cast overview:
Bud Armstrong
Alma Van Dine
Kenny Freeman
Deputy Commissioner Hayes (as Archie Johnson)
Phil Collins
George Sperdakos ...
Vincent Porter
Lyle Shannon
Alan Landers ...
Ronald Himes
Moe Fletcher
Maggie Nelson ...
Sandy Ward ...
Guard, Harry


Ellery picks the wrong man to mess with when he becomes irate with a comic-book editor who had dictated a series of books depicting Ellery as a two-fisted brawling sleuth. The following night, as the editor is working alone in his office, a custodian hears three gunshots. The editor is found slumped over a panel he was reworking, and with a blue pencil he has crossed through Ellery's dialog balloon. If that wasn't incriminating enough, newspaper reporter Frank Flannigan finds the murder weapon, a revolver, in Ellery's fish tank, where the water has long since washed off all prints. Ellery must clear himself in a big hurry before he goes to trial. Written by Peter Harris

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Family | Mystery





Release Date:

2 October 1975 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Flannigan and Moe use 1940s slang terms for money; a "fin" is five dollars, and a "sawbuck" is ten. See more »


Inspector Richard Queen: [as Ellery goes to answer the front doorbell] If that's Velie, tell him I'm not interested in any homicide cases at the moment! I'm reading Orphan Annie!
See more »

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User Reviews

Episode 4 introduces Frank Flannigan
18 October 2009 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

Episode 4, "The Adventure of the Comic Book Crusader," introduces actor Ken Swofford in the role of Frank Flannigan, muckraking reporter and gossip columnist for the New York Gazette (a character who reappeared in 4 more episodes-5, 13, 15, and 21), also Maggie Nelson as Flannigan's faithful secretary Vera (who makes only 2 return appearances in 13 and 21). Our story begins in the offices of comic book publisher Bud Armstrong (Tom Bosley), who has been granted the rights to produce an action-packed two-fisted comic book portrayal of Ellery Queen by the mystery author's new publishing contract. An angered Ellery objects to the one-dimensional 'ZAP! POW!' depiction of himself, especially since Armstrong and his employees consider their version as the authentic one and the actual person as an annoyance. A heated exchange ends with Armstrong being threatened by Ellery, who cannot work afterwards and spends the evening walking to clear his head. It is revealed that Bud Armstrong has his employees bound to an iron-clad contract that gives him sole credit for all their efforts while he has the power to constantly berate them for his own mistakes. While Ellery is out walking, Armstrong is working alone in his office when an unseen intruder enters and fires three gunshots that prove fatal, but not before the victim leaves behind a dying clue, a finished sketch that clearly identifies Ellery as his murderer. The lone witness is a cleaning woman who saw no one but heard the shots, whose husband (Herbie Faye) tips off Frank Flannigan about the incident. Inspector Queen comes under fire from Deputy Commissioner Hayes (Arch Johnson, in the second of his three appearances) for his refusal to arrest his son, so Ellery takes the heat off his father by turning himself in. Meanwhile, Flannigan receives from an anonymous source a book written by Ellery that tips him off as to the whereabouts of the murder weapon: in the bottom of a fish tank in the author's own home! Also under suspicion are Bud Armstrong's staff: the dumb blonde secretary (Lynda Day George) who spent numerous 'late nights' alone with her boss, and the artists who did lettering (Donald O'Connor), coloring (Joseph Maher), backgrounds (George Sperdakos),and figures (Eddie Firestone). Flannigan gets his greatest showcase in this initial appearance, his intrusive antics leading the Inspector to freely admit that, in regards to the Gazette, "I don't read it, I wrap fish in it."

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