Leslie Lenrow (aka “The Ferret”)

Created by Irwin Hasen & Stockridge Winslow

LESLIE “THE FERRET” LENROW is an early private eye character from Marvel Comics way back in 1940, in an issue of Marvel Mystery Comics. According to the comics, he’s a “well-known author and private investigator” who lives in Greenwich Village.

Unlike most of the other heroes (The Human Torch, Electro, The Submariner, etc.) who also appeared in the comic, The Ferret didn’t have any real superpowers–but he did have a bullet proof vest and–get ready!–a trained pet ferret!

Named Nosey. So there!

Leslie was also a pretty good detective, handy with his fists or a gun–which he had no problem using. But he was more than just another hard-boiled slugger, complete with fedora and trenchcoat, like DC’s ham-fisted Slam Bradley–although he occasionally used what were at the time relatively scientific methods when working his cases. They typically involved jewel thieves, counterfeiters, bank robbers and other assorted gangsters, who weren’t exactly fans of his long string of “crime doesn’t pay” articles.

Commissioner Walter Novak and the rest of the local constabulary weren’t big fans, though — mostly because he delighted in embarrassing them in his column.

Unfortunately, he only appeared about a half dozen times, but more recently he’s popped up in a few flashback tales with the Human Torch, and even makes a very brief appearance in the Ed Brubaker-scripted, retconned World War II-era The Marvels Project #4 (2009) where he’s summarily stabbed to death by a Nazi in New York City after just a few panels.

Or at least as bumped off as any character in comics can ever be.

I’m sure he (and Nosey) will be back.


  • The Ferret is not the first private eye from comics’ past that Ed Brubaker has had a hand in bringing back from the dead–he’s performed the same duties for the afore-mentioned Slam Bradley and Marvel’s Dakota North.


    (1939-57, Timely Publications)

    • “Ferret: Mystery Detective” (February 1940; #4)
    • “King of the Counterfeiters (March 1940; #5)
    • “Murder of a Cosmetics Queen” (April 1940; #6)
    • “Ferret: Mystery Detective” (May 1940; #7)
    • “Mystery Detective” (June 1940; #8)
    • “Ferret” (July 1940; #9)
    (2009–2010, Marvel Comics)
    Eight issue limited series
    Written by Ed Brubaker
    Art by Steve Epting

    • “Part Four” (December 2010, #4)
      The death of the Ferret.



Report submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. A very special thanks to Rick Frisby for ferreting out the goods on this weasel.

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