Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Right Down to the Bleached Hair on My Leg!

It was pretty common back in the day to have an established character introduce a new one.  And it must be effective, because you may recall that  DC really went bananas with every character in the DC Universe trying to convince us that the 1990's version of Starman wasn't one of the worst creations ever .  It makes a certain amount of sense, of course... if you like one character and see him/her embracing another, that lends a certain amount of credibility.

And yet, this cover kind of did the opposite for me:

Okay, for starters, did the Shield get a hold of some Pym Particles, because he's gigantic there for no particular reason... and don't try to blame it on "artistic license," because Dusty is drawn to scale.

But more to the point, I'm not sure why this is necessary.  The Hangman is in Pep Comics.  If I want to read my other favorite features in Pep Comics, I'm kind of stuck.  It's like the fact that I pay for ESPN on my cable bill even though I haven't watched five minutes of ESPN programming in the last 20 years.

And I don't really need to "look for him," Dusty, ya little tool.  This ain't Where's Waldo?

It just seems like someone with a badass name like "The Hangman" wouldn't be palling around with someone like the Shield... and certainly not Dusty, the Boy Detective.

But, as I got into Pep Comics #18, it became apparent that the Hangman is nowhere near as awesome as we'd hoped:

"Rounding up law-breakers and turning them over to the law?"

Well, that rather disappointing.  Hangmen aren't really known for leaving live specimens after they do what hangmen do, if you know what I mean.  Meh.

But the bad guy in this story had the right idea... he impersonated the Hangman and started killing people.  Which, again, if you think about it, the bad guy's version made a whole lot more sense in reconciling the whole "hangman" motif.

But there was a flaw in this criminal mastermind's plans:

Okay, it's a tenuous scenario at best when you propose to disguise yourself when you have such a unique identifying feature.  It's hella stupid to take off your glove so that other people can get a good look at said unique identifying feature.

Maybe he thought no one would take the witness seriously because he's black.  And, to be fair, he was pretty much correct:

At first, I almost didn't run these panels because... well, the guy is clearly a minstrel character and I'm really not into unearthing those cringeworthy, dreadful moments in comics history that were clearly meant to be demeaning and hurtful.

And yet, although I'm very leery of this character just based on the representation of African Americans, I wondered if I had to give it some kudos for showing the cops as the jackasses in the situation.  

Then I saw that the characters name is "Anthracite," which is a type of coal, and I realized that my first instincts were correct and this character is an embarrassing part of our shared comics heritage.  As always, I'm running the pics so that we can recognize the ugliness of racism in comics so that we can all be mindful of how groups of people are portrayed.

And with that, we'll move on.  Hey!  Anyone want to Jitterbug?

Never mind.

I'm still having a hard time with the "Madam Satan" feature:

I mean.... Hey, Kids!  Comics!  Thrill to the exploits of the Shield and Dusty the Boy Detective.... and Madam Satan, Black Evil from the Maw of Hades!  All for one thin dime!

Let's end today with an installment of Well ... There Ya Go! (tm!)

Well... There Ya Go! (tm!)


Aaron Carine said...

I always heard that the Hangman did hang bad guys, although maybe that came later.

Adam Barnett said...

Well, he should... I mean, if you're going to call yourself the Hangman but you never hang anyone, it's only a matter of time before criminals figure out that you're bluffing.

MarvelX42 said...

There have been other characters by the name of "The Hangman". You may be thinking of one of them.