Title: Active Tense
Cover: Tony Salmons
Script: Martha Thomases
Art: Tony Salmons
Colors: Christie Scheele
Letters: John Morelli
Editor: Larry Hama
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Price: $0.75
Cover Date: October 1986
Release Date: June 1986
Synopsis: Ricky and Daisy are enjoying their time together in Paris. At least Ricky is enjoying himself and Daisy is playing along as she carries out the mission that Cleo Vanderlip has given her to deliver Ricky and his golden pen containing hidden nerve gas to their secret headquarters. Back in New York, with her brother having gone missing at the end of issue #2, Dakota is furious with her father and for putting the boy in danger and storms off to cool herself down. Ricky and Daisy visit an old friend of S.J. North to borrow money, so he calls back to New York to check in and let Ricky’s father know that the boy is in Paris.
Dakota heads to JFK to take the next available flight to Paris while Cleo Vanderlip dispatches a hired assassin to prevent the detective from rescuing her brother and thwarting her sinister plans. While Dakota embarks on her flight to Paris, Ricky and Daisy go to the bank with Monsieur Beaumontain where the young North “borrows” money from his father’s safe deposit box after cleverly forging his signature. They then head out to a café for lunch where Beaumontain regales them with tales of fighting alongside S.J. North in the French Resistance movement during World War II.
While in-flight on the Concorde across the Atlantic, Cleo Vanderlip’s assassin ambushes Dakota. “I’m being strangled by a total stranger in an airplane lavatory! At least I know I’m not crazy.” The detective manages to fight off her assailant and kills him with a plastic knife that she had concealed in her boot. Upon landing at Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris, Dakota is met by her assistant Yvon in an apparent homage to Tintin and Snowy while one of Cleo Vanderlip’s agents inquires about the now dead assassin in an nod to the very similar scene in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1985 Commando.
Ricky and Daisy ditch Monsieur Beaumontain at the restaurant, running off together just before Dakota arrives to meet them. Dakota learns from Beaumontain that Daisy knows about Ricky’s gold pen and realizes that she must be part of the plot. The next day, Daisy surprises Ricky with an envelope of money, a Walkman and train tickets on the Orient Express. She tell him that she has a modeling job that afternoon and that he should visit the Pompidou Museum while she’s gone and then meet her at the Gare De Lyon to take the train. “Oh, Ricky it’ll be so much fun to go together!”
We then learn that Daisy has sent Ricky on a direct path past Dakota’s apartment in an attempt to lure her out so that another assassin can make his move. The plan works almost perfectly as Dakota spots Ricky on the street and chases after him to the museum. The scenes that follow are comical as Dakota tried to get Ricky’s attention, but he can’t hear her because he’s wearing headphones. Meanwhile, the assassin keeps trying to get just the right vantage point from which to shoot Dakota without being spotted by witnesses. “Now, Ms. North, if you would be so kind as to sand in front of a red Pollack…Spatter on spatter, non?”
The assassin shoots and misses, alerting Dakota to his presence so she spring into action. Their fight moves from the museum floor the tunnel system on the outside of the Pompidou Museum where Dakota gets the best of her attacker. In a brief exchange before the assassin plummets to his death, Dakota learns that Cleo Vanderlip is behind the attack and that Daisy is one of her operatives who has lured Ricky onto the Orient Express. Dakota rushes to Gare De Lyon to find Ricky, but she arrives just too late. “Gee, that woman out there looks like my sister.”
Will Dakota catch Ricky in time? Will Ricky get the hang of iambic pentameter? Check out next issue, when Detective Amos Culhane takes A – “Busman’s Holiday!”
Source: Kraalo Archives, Marvel Comics