Sunday, October 23, 2011

January 1940: All-American Comics #12

 Cover by William Smith

'Red, White and Blue' (by William Smith): Red and his sidekicks (that's really what this series has become) go up against a foreign agent who has blown up a munitions factory with an exploding arrow. I was getting bored with this as Red uncovered more and more evidence against the obvious suspect, but halfway through the real culprit emerged when I wasn't expecting it. A nicely done swerve in an otherwise straightforward yarn.

'Hop Harrigan' (by Jon L. Blummer): Hop has a temper tantrum (stop the presses!) and flies off in a huff. He ends up flying all the way across the Pacific Ocean, rescues a whole bunch of Chinese refugees, and becomes America's number one hero. Hopefully this leads to a real shake-up of the status quo for this strip, because at the moment it's not really doing anything.

'Wiley of West Point' (by Lieut. Richard Rick): There's a dance, and Wiley is taking his home-town girl Betty. But look out Bob, Sylvia King is jealous! I can't fathom why this strip has suddenly taken a turn into soap opera and romantic entanglements, but it's still more interesting than the cadet training shenanigans it started out as.

'Adventures in the Unknown: A Thousand Years a Minute' (by Carl H. Claudy and Ben Flinton): Ted and Alan are jerks. Still in prehistoric times, they escape from a tribe of ape-men with the help of their primitive friend Ikki. They plan to take Ikki back with them to 1939, to "donate him to a zoo or a sideshow", which is some real gratitude. After that Ted accidentally shoots Ikki in the head, and a few panels later the two of them are back in 1939 cracking jokes.  They're like the dumbest jocks you ever met, only they have a time machine.

'Scribbly' (by Sheldon Mayer): Scribbly's little brother Dinky is being romantically pursued by Sisty Hunkel, who won't take no for an answer. There are a couple of good gags here amidst the cliches, and overall this was just funny enough.

'Ben Webster' (by Edwin Alger): Ben and Taffy Tate are on the trail of Abner Mattix. They find a dying man in the desert who offers to lead them to Mattix in Lost Canyon, but he disappears just before Mexican bandits appear to capture them. They should never have trusted that dude, he had stubble.

'Death's Playground' (by George Shute): In this prose story, Jimmy is still trying to get evidence on some aircraft saboteurs. He takes his info to the boss, drinks some drugged milk, and wakes up in a locked room. And this damn storyline is still continued next month. Will it never end?!?

'Popsicle Pete' (by Art Helfant): Searching for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the kids startle some crooks and find their ill-gotten gains. It's a decent enough gag that could lead to more stories.

'Gary Concord the Ultra-Man' (by Jon L. Blummer): Gary has been captured by the warlord Tor, who was dumb enough to use a guard who is sick of war and only cares about his wife and mother. Of course Gary converts the guy and escapes, while Tor conquers half of America in about three panels. Gary is preparing to fight back when the chapter ends. Say what you want about this strip, it gets shit done.

No comments:

Post a Comment