Friday, August 26, 2016

In Which Fawcett Comics Apparently Figured Out that Crossovers Sell Comics

So we get to Master Comics #22 with the introduction of Captain Marvel Jr., who would be the face of the title until it's cancellation some 100 issues later:

Hmmmmm... Look at Bulletman and Captain Nazi fighting there.  Now scroll down to yesterday's post where Bulletman grapples with Captain Nazi.  I'm pretty sure they just flipped the image over and recycled it.  That's a pretty bold thing to do, considering the recycled image came from the most recent issue, but hey... comics were a dime.

Anyway, the tale that brings them together starts out with a guy named Dr. Eternity who has a list of people he wants to preserve in wax, hence his name.  Here we see the fallout after the doctor's goons take away his latest victim: 

Okay, keep in mind that if the doctor had wanted her, Lady Eliot could have been snatched at the same time.  Clearly, he has no interest.  She is in no danger at all.

Keep that in mind for a second:

Okay, what does Susan have to do for Lady Eliot?  Hand her tissues while she cries?  She's in no danger.  I think Jim was just not in the mood to be saving her that day.

And then this happened:

I think Whiz Comics was selling quite well at the time.  I'm not sure why we had to keep shilling the title at the expense of breaking the Fourth Wall.

Anyway, here comes Captain Marvel Jr. to save the story from going completely fubar:

Oh, man.  Et tu, Freddy?

Okay, the word that makes him change is "Captain Marvel."  Everyone got that?  If he says the word, the lighting strikes, no questions asked:

Yes, the lightning absolutely should have struck again and changed him back to Freddy.  There is no cooldown period.  Granted, that put the writer in a heck of a pickle because Junior shouldn't have been able to introduce himself without calling down the lighting, but them's the breaks.  Figure it out!  That's why they pay you fifty cents a page to write this stuff!

Ugh.  Let's watch Junior beat up Captain Nazi.  It'll make us all feel better.

Okay, I feel better.

Oh, Junior.  How can I stay mad at you?

Here's something you can use as your Tinder avatar:

No extra charge.  I live to give.

See you Monday!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Captain Marvel and Bulletman vs. Captain Nazi! And It's as Awesome as It Sounds!

If anyone thinks that Fawcett couldn't deliver the dramatic goods, I give ye Master Comics #21:

Yup.  A Bulletman/Captain Marvel crossover with the first appearance of Captain Nazi.  Prepare for a wave of awesomeness!

First, let's check in on Adolph:

Near as I can tell, Nazis weren't common in Master Comics up to this point, unless Minute-Man's foe Illyrea was a Nazi and that just slipped past me.  Anyway, here's Captain Nazi:

And Adolph basically wants him to fight the varsity squad of the Fawcett Comics Universe:

What?  El Carim gets a pass?

Anyway, the notion of a super-powered Nazi is a pretty scary one, leading to this dramatic one-man invasion scene:

For the 1940's, that ain't half bad!

Anyway, here Captain Marvel and Bulletman meet:

They split up while Captain Nazi looks to bring about death and destruction on a massive scale:

But seriously?  None of that is going happen with Captain Marvel guest-starring:

Yup.  Captain Marvel brings the awesome.


As we'll see, the notion that Captain Nazi can "knock Captain Marvel's ears off" is something that wouldn't happen on Captain Marvel's worst day, but empty bluster from the Nazi is kind of the point.

Moving on, Captain Nazi tries to kill carnival goers by bringing down a Ferris wheel:

That's some pretty dang nightmarish imagery.

And there's more:

But Bulletman isn't having that at all:

Which leads to the big conflict:

Now, Bulletman is strong and powerful.  I'm not taking anything away from him.  But he is nowhere near Captain Marvel-level powerful.  He just isn't.  So, if Captain Nazi can't take Bulletman in hand-to-hand combat, it's a foregone conclusion that Captain Marvel could beat him every morning before breakfast and twice on Sundays.

Did you notice Captain Nazi has a holster?  It ain't just for show!:

I think this was meant to show that we could overcome Nazi weaponry.  Everything about this story seems to have some underlying message.


Yup.  Even the children aren't safe if Adolph has his way.

But that ain't happening on our watch:

So, even though he's 0-for-2 against our heroes, Captain Nazi is still stupid enough to announce his plans:

Nerve or stupidity... take your pic.

Anyway, he follows through because there he is:

Well, Captain Nazi, I'm kind of surprised you're surprised, considering you double-dog-dared someone to stop you.  I'd think you'd have figured it out at this point.  Ah, the hubris of the so-called "Master Race."

Dynamite thrown at Captain Marvel?  As if:

Again... as if.

So, as you can see, I really liked this story.  It had a sense of purpose from a writing standpoint, some pretty daring artwork, and an underlying message that the enemy is real, scary and right at our doorstep but we can overcome.  This tale got a big thumbs-up from me.

Well, if we overlook the ending:

Way to break the Fourth Wall, guys.

I don't care.  It was still awesome.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

In Which You Learn More about a Forgotten Team of Villains than You Ever Wanted to Know!

The cover to Master Comics #17 employed a rarely-used technique:

On the one hand, you'd think that having some panels highlighting the interior action might intrigue a kid flipping through the wire racks looking for something good.  Still, it's rarely been done over the ages and that's probably because the one big eye-catching picture on the cover is more effective.  I certainly prefer to have a big picture.  That was the thing about LP's... the big album cover.  Nowdays, everything's digital so they barely bother with cover artwork at all anymore.  Stupid kids... stay off my lawn!

Anyway, Bulletman was tasked with fighting "The Unholy Three," which is actually the name of a novel written by Clarence Aaron "Tod" Robbins.  The novel was made into a silent movie in 1925 with acting legend Lon Chaney.  It was then remade only five years later as a "talkie," also with Lon Chaney.  And, fun fact: It was Lon Chaney's last film and the only one where you can hear him speak!


What?  Oh, yes.... I suppose you'll be there too, Bulletgirl.  If you simply MUST.

The Unholy Three consisted of a little person, an ape, and a strongman.  Guess which one Bulletgirl chose to fight:

But when faced with a physically equal opponent:

Yup.  It's all "Jim!  Save me!"

Seriously, are we just going to say our real names in front of every bad guy we meet?

I guess we are.

Anyway, Jim saves Susan.  Again.

Well, he might as well handle it alone.  Susan just gets in the way.

Ugh!  Show me Bulletman fighting the ape!

That's better.

Anyway, the Three get away and go back to the lair of the mastermind.  I forget his last name, but his first name is Twiddley.  It's not like you're going to forget a first name like Twiddley.

Notice Susan is right behind Jim, but no one cares.

And then Jim faces off against the Twiddley who has nothing more than a gun.  And it's well-established that a guns are useless against Jim so he's in no real danger whatsoever.

So, what does Susan do?

She beats on the harmless guy for no real reason other than to say she did something.

Hold it, someone's on the phone...

Ah... never use the phone in comics.  Rookie mistake.

And the whole issue ends like this:

It's unusual that a comic from that era announced what was coming.  I don't know why it was unusual, but it was.  In any event, I suppose it was to get you excited about it, WWE-style.  And it was nice for Jim to say "we beat them once," when Susan didn't do anything but pick on a little person and smack an old man while Jim did all the heavy lifting.  But chivalry was more prevalent in that culture, I suppose.

Anyway, back to The Unholy Three movie.  The characters in the movie were a little person, a strongman and a ventriloquist, which was less redundant than having an ape and a strongman like this team in the comics.  But the homage is obvious, and kind of a cool bit of background info, don't you think?

See you tomorrow!