Taking a look at Pep Comics #11, where the Shield jumps on the "kid sidekick" bandwagon with...
Yes, the Spectacular Boy Detective. Take that, Robin!
And the bad guy there was called the Vulture, for you comic historians out there.
They try to give him an origin, but (as a surprise to no one who has ever read a comic book in their lives) it involves a child conveniently becoming an orphan:
Yup, Dusty's father was on that ship, so that removes any pesky parental units trying to keep the hero of this tale from throwing their child into the path of full grown adults discharging firearms.
Okay, and then:
"Whee"? I mean, I understand that he's kind of lost in the moment and "forgetting his own grief," but he had lost his only parent not ten minutes earlier. Not that most kids these days wouldn't be back in the emotional saddle after a trip to Chuck E. Cheese, but I presumed there was more attachment between kid and parent back then.
Oh, well. It's not like he was my kid.
And, Dusty... that young boy... was ME!
And so, we have Dusty, the (sometimes Spectacular) Boy Detective, recipient of one slapped-together costume if ever there was one:
That seems like a rather one-sided deal, considering you made a point to display his characteristic red hair and you're calling him by his real first name whether he's in costume or not.
And it wouldn't be a "Shield" story if Betty didn't complain, so here ya go:
I notice that Betty is reading Pep Comics herself, so it seems like she should already be in the know about everything. Maybe she's just looking for coupons.
And does Joe only have the "room"? Is Dusty going to be bunking with him? What are the sleeping arrangements here? I'm starting to think that an alternative court-ordered placement is looking to be a bit more appropriate for Dusty's welfare.
See you tomorrow!