Tuesday, February 8, 2011

December 1937: Detective Comics #11

Cover by Creig Flessel

'Speed Saunders' (by Gardner Fox and Creig Flessel): Speed is back to his job on the waterfront, as he deals with anarchists who are trying to trap the US Navy fleet in New York harbour by blowing up a submarine filled with TNT.

'Larry Steele' (by Will Ely): Larry gets himself captured by Nick Orsatti, a mobster who is trying to kill the man under Larry's protection.  I'm thinking that the recent jump in quality was an anomaly.

'Cosmo' (by Sven Elven): Cosmo has a decent installment this issue, as he foils a man who faked his own murder to cover for the misuse of his ward's inheritance.

'Bruce Nelson' (by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson and Tom Hickey): 'Bulleye' is the latest adventure of Bruce Nelson.  It's a simple one-off where Nelson stops some thugs from robbing the safe of a watchmaker, but the centrepiece is a quite well-executed gunfight in the dark that ends with Nelson shooting a jar of acid over his attackers.

'Incident in Algiers' (by Whitney Ellsworth):  This prose story is about a detective seeking a man in Algeria who committed murders in the USA.  It starts as a convincingly exotic little page-turner, but is marred at the end by some dodgy humour and an overly neat ending.

'The Willow Lane Mystery' (by Russell Cole): This story involves the theft of some gold owned by two brothers, the culprit of which is very obvious.  Still, I prefer the obvious mysteries to the impossible ones.

'Spy' (by Siegel and Shuster): Bart and Sally are menaced by another anarchist who wants revenge for the plot they foiled last issue.

'Buck Marshall' (by Homer Fleming): Buck deals with another murderer. The cowboy strips have got to be the worst things around at this time.

'Slam Bradley' (by Siegel and Shuster): Slam goes undercover in an aerial circus to discover the secret of some planes that have gone missing.  This is probably the dullest installment of this strip yet.  Shorty and Snoop don't appear, so it's quite humourless.  It's not bad as a straight action strip, but well below the usual standard.  And just to prove that Slam is the ultimate ladies man, the female antagonist falls for him just two pages after he kills her husband.

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