“The Bribe” is a beautifully drawn story that involves conscience and moral responsibility for the chain of events set in motion when a guy doesn’t do what is right. It illustrates my favorite law, the Law of Unintended Consequences. Sometimes actions go wildly out of control very fast. Tom Brant is the poor shlub in the story. He is seduced by a blonde and bribed to give up the combination to the boss’s safe. He knows he is doing the wrong thing, but does it anyway, and then has to live with the consequences. Religion and the concept of sin aren’t mentioned, but implied by the portraits of Satanic figures.
Morals were big in crime comics of the forties, but mainly along the lines of if a guy does the crime, he will go to the electric chair. A “scared straight” approach. (And, the publishers thought, a way of mitigating criticism of the genre.) This story, artist identified by Grand Comics Database as being Dan Barry,* and published in DC Comics’ Gang Busters #6 (1948), appeals to the conscience, unusual for a crime comic.
*UPDATE: As shown in the comments section below, longtime comic art expert, Alberto Becattini, identifies the art is being by Emil Gershwin.