Wednesday, March 2, 2011

April 1938: New Adventure Comics #26

Cover by Creig Flessel
Holy cats, the latest 'Federal Men' strip may be the greatest thing ever.  It kicks off with Steve Carson delivering a speech about traffic safety to a group of students, which isn't the most exciting start, but the opening caption certainly got my attention.  It says: "Steve Carson, Ace Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is engaged in what he considers the most important task of his life: convincing children of the need for rigid safety observance."  No, not saving Washington DC from a gigantic atomic-powered tank.  Not saving the President of the USA from being shot through the head by super-villain terrorists.  Not even stopping a giant robot from devastating New York City.  No, to Steve Carson it is far more important to tell a bunch of kids how to safely cross the street.  The mind boggles.

After Steve has recruited all of these little goosesteppers into his Junior Federal Men Club, everything goes swimmingly until a drunk driver hits adorable little Jane.  The JFMC kids summon a police car, and who should show up but SANDY KEAN.  Sandy mother-fuckin' Kean from 'Radio Squad', kids, in the world's first inter-title crossover, shows up to chase this drunk driving maniac.  (Cliche alert: there is one shattered fruit stand.)  And Sandy doesn't mess about.  He chases this guy off a bridge to, and I quote, "a terrible death!"

Then Steve Carson shows up in the final panel to announce that "Jane will be crippled for the remainder of her life."  Perhaps I'm heartless, but this thing had me in hysterics.  It's so absurdly grim and earnest in its attempts to get kids to be safe, but it takes everything just one step too far.  I'm sure Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster never intended it as a parody, but it's a great one.  'Federal Men', all is forgiven.

It looks as though Bob Kane is becoming DC's new go-to guy for humour strips.  His latest offering is called 'Rusty and His Pals', and its about a gang of kids who get blown out to sea and taken aboard a pirate ship.  It's not bad so far, but "The Goonies" sort of gave me a soft spot for kid gangs.

'Captain Desmo' is a new serial by Ed Winiarski, who looks to be picking up a fair bit of work at the moment.  Desmo's a pilot adventurer, up against the villainous Genghis Ahkim, but other than that it didn't really stick with me.  As often happens, late night reading had me napping between every panel.

No comments:

Post a Comment