Thieves learn that Professor Houston has been perfecting a machine which will create radium energy and plot to steal it. Daughter Betty telegraphs Mandrake for help. He is just returning from Shanghai and Tibet on the S.S.Mohawk. A lama in Tibet has told him a formula for mixing the already tough Platinite with steel to make it even tougher. However, Platinite is very rare and only found in one place, in America.
The Wasp uses the sign of a wasp on a wall as well as a buzzing sound to announce his presence to the professor, which Mandrake later reveals was simply a torch shining through an image of a wasp to project a picture. Mandrake survives two death attempts and a car chase before meeting the professor, with friends Bennett and Webster who turn up just after him. The prof reveals that his ray is far more powerful than radium and gives a demonstration of the inevitable death-ray, which at the end of the first episode is inevitably used on Mandrake.
Mandrake has convinced The Wasp's men that he has some platinite which The Wasp needs for his ray machine as it can only run a short while with a steel casing before destroying itself. The villains keep after Mandrake and fights follows kidnappings, follows car chases (all sped up for excitement) follows death traps, follows fights. There is little real storyline and action is used to drag the serial along at a hectic pace. There is also some magic thrown in, notably a very good sleight of hand show in the first episode. You do not see the performer's face but this was not done by Hull since the white cuffs of the magician can be seen throughout whereas with Hull's costume, the cuffs were hidden.