Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December 1936: New Adventure Comics #12

Cover by Whitney Ellsworth
'17-20 on the Black' (by Tom Cooper) comes to a conclusion of sorts, and an odd one at that.  Our hero Jim Gale leaves his enemy Frog Morton for dead, and he even proposes to the lady in black who started the whole pearl-hunting adventure (never mind that they can't have spent more than five minutes together, but that's Golden Age character development for you).  After being told she won't marry a gambler, Gale makes one last bet to try and win a fortune, and loses everything.  And that's where things end, although we're told that the story will continue next month in 'Jim Gale and Co.'  I wouldn't have minded seeing this one get cut, as it's yet another non-descript adventure strip.  The most memorable thing about it is the horribly racist speech patterns of Jim's Chinese sidekick Kim.

This appears to be the last we'll see of 'Maginnis of the Mounties' (by Richard Matheson).  The last strip sees him saving the lives of the outlaws who tried to set him on fire a few months ago.  As uninspired as most of the strips are at the moment, this was one of the dullest. At least it bows out with a conclusion of sorts.

'Federal Men' (by Siegel and Shuster) takes an interesting detour this month, as scientist Professor Grant recounts a tale of the Federal Men of 3000 AD.  It's probably most notable for featuring a character named Jor-L, a name which Siegel and Shuster would later recycle for Superman's Kryptonian father.  If you're looking for an in-universe rationale (and I always am) I guess it's not too much of a stretch to believe that the legend of Superman would still be inspiring people to name their kids after his relatives that far into the future.

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