Tuesday, September 20, 2011

November 1939: Feature Comics #28

Cover by Ed Cronin

'Captain Fortune in the Days of the Spanish Main' (by Vernon Henkel): Fortune gets into fight with some pirates in a tavern, and his crewman Pierre is killed. For the rest of the strip he chases the pirates and their leader Captain Clegg, then kills them for revenge. It's as rudimentary as it gets, but at least Fortune has a believable motivation.

'Ned Brant' (by Bob Zuppke): This month Ned is playing ice hockey, and loses the game for his team when he is sent off for punching another player. Isn't punching other players kind of the point of ice hockey these days? Anyway, this was not good.  The only thing I liked about it was that ice hockey hasn't really been touched on before this.

'Rance Keane, the Knight of the West' (by William A. Smith): Rance stops a gang of bank robbers who had staged a diversion to get all the men out of town while they committed their crimes. His new sidekick Pee Wee sleeps through the whole thing, which is hardly the best argument for his introduction.

'The Clock Strikes' (by George Brenner): When D.A. Dan Nolen spends a page promising his wife that he'll retire, there's only one possible outcome:

The Clock proves that Nolen's assistant was bribed to kill him, in a story that I got little enjoyment out of aside from the gleefully cliched death at the start.

'Jane Arden' (by Monte Barrett and Russell E. Ross): Jane is still undercover as a jewel thief's partner, but he's starting to suspect that she's double-crossing him. I honestly can't believe that this story is still going.

'The Dollman' (by Will Eisner): Dollman goes up against Dr. Rodent, a crook who is blowing up cargo ships with bombs carried by rats, then collecting the silver and gold from the bottom of the ocean. This is okay, and it does feature a scene of the Dollman fighting against said explosive-laden rats that looks great.

'Reynolds of the Mounted' (by Art Pinajian): Reynolds deals with some crooks who are smuggling weapons into Canada. So, so boring.

'Barrel Rolls and Tail Spins' (by A.L. Allen): This prose story begins promisingly, with the meeting of a cautious boy and a reckless pilot, but the second half devolves into cliche, with a gang of smugglers. The two halves of the story never really mesh together.

'Slim and Tubby' (by John J. Welch): Benton is booked into another boxing match for the money he needs to save the ranch. It's well worn material.

'Charlie Chan' (by Alfred Andriola): When heiress Donna Grant is kidnapped, Charlie must go undercover as a cook to infiltrate the gang. I was already thinking this story was too long when I got to the "to be continued" caption.

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