art by John Severin, story by Colin Dawkins
Extra #1 (1955)
One of the things that EC tried in the later days, continuing into some of their "New Direction" titles, was adding a few on-going characters to their books. One of them was "Slick" Steve Rampart, intrepid globe trotting photographer appearing as John Severin's contribution to the short-lived titled EXTRA.
In his debut adventure, Rampart is off to a diplomatic conference in Geneva, where he hopes to get a photo of the elusive General Marcus. He notices some odd behaviour in one of the other photographers, so he follows the suspicious character, breaks into his room to find out what's up with his camera and getting beaten up for his troubles. Later he sneaks back and does something with the camera, and the next day reveals that the fake camera was actually a gun, part of a plan to shoot the General and start a war. As an extra bonus, the photo taken by the switched camera provides the evidence they need, and the would-be assassin gets shot by his own rigged camera.
It's not a bad set-up for an ongoing series, though of course it didn't last long enough to really develop. Some nice work by Severin, not his best, but even lesser Severin is always worth a look.