Monday, December 27, 2010

December 1936: More Fun Comics #17

Cover by Vin Sullivan
'Doctor Occult' (by Siegel and Shuster) is great.  This installment sees Occult and The Seven (his wizard allies) going up against the army of evil sorcerer Koth.  Occult uses a magic belt to summon a phantom army, while Koth gets owned by The Seven, and it's all very exciting and epic.  I'm just disappointed to see Occult back in a plain white shirt in the final panel; I hope he keeps rocking the cape, bare-chest and magic belt ensemble.

'Calling All Cars' (also by Siegel and Shuster) is interesting this month, as Sandy Kean goes on a rampage as he tries to bust up a gambling den.  It's not as exciting as their work on 'Federal Men' or 'Doctor Occult', but it does point towards what they will eventually do with Superman.  Superman is something of a crusader against social injustices in his early appearances, and he has some very simple and direct solutions (which I very much doubt would work most of the time).  Sandy Kean just walking into a gambling establishment, busting heads and wrecking furniture is very much a precursor.

According to, this is the final installment of 'Don Drake', which was a sub-standard Flash Gordon/John Carter type of story by Clem Gretter.  The strip ends with Don and Betty still trapped in the Room of Blinding Light, and I can only assume they die there.

'Jack Woods' (by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson and W.C. Brigham) also reaches a conclusion of sorts, as its first storyline ends.  Jack's a cowboy who has been up against the Mexican bandit Pancho Villa, and in this installment he fights him with a knife and then punches him out of a window.  Of course, neither of them had much personality to speak of, so I couldn't care less which of them won.  But I'm always up for someone going through a window.

This is the month in which New Comics changes its title to New Adventure Comics, and there are two very large ads for the series in this issue.  Unlike Detective Comics, this one is out when the ad says it's out.

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