Sunday, April 15, 2012

June 1940: Flash Comics #8

Cover by Sheldon Moldoff

'The Flash!' (by Gardner Fox and Everett E. Hibbard): Flash goes up against a manufacturer who is forcing builders to buy his substandard building material. It's not the most exciting material, and the Flash is still doing that annoying trick of being invisible everywhere. There's one amusing scene where the Flash becomes a wrestler, but otherwise it's slim pickings.

'Cliff Cornwall' (by Gardner Fox and Sheldon Moldoff): Cliff investigates the disappearance of a submarine, and discovers that it has been taken by Doctor Brine and his underwater pirates. Brine has discovered an amazing fact: apparently, with a steady diet of raw carrots, apples and beetroot, a man can breath underwater for up to an hour! Wow, I did not know that. This is pretty good by Cliff Cornwall standards.

'The Whip' (by John B. Wentworth and Homer Fleming): This is a sequel of sorts to last issue's story. What I've discovered is that that story starred the original Whip of the 1800s, not the "modern day" Whip. In retrospect the time frame made it pretty obvious. In this story, some ranchers discover the buried treasure from last issue, and a banker tries to fleece them out of it. It's nothing special.

'King Standish' (by Gardner Fox and Harry Lampert): The Witch steals some rubies and hides out on an island, and the King goes after her to retrieve them. The King is infallible in his disguises, and the Witch is made to seem so utterly incompetent that it doesn't feel right. The King just seems like a jerk for toying with her so much.

'Johnny Thunderbolt' (by John B. Wentworth and Stan Aschmeier): Having lost his job and his girl, Johnny is determined to win them both back. Which he seemingly does by exposing a magician who takes his audience's money and returns them counterfeit bills. The humour and situations in this strip are starting to get a little too forced.

'Rod Rian of the Sky Police' (by Paul H. Jepsen): Rod and his friends escape from the gorilla men, and trap them in a cave. This strip has a skeleton fighting a giant gorilla, and I think that's all I need to say.

'The Money Vanishes' (by Ed Wheelan): A female hypnotist is making wealthy businessmen withdraw their money and give it to her, and a detective stops her. It's pretty rudimentary stuff, but it's not badly told.

'The Strange Formula B-9' (by Evelyn Gaines): A scientist invents a formula that can make animals and plants grow very quickly, and uses it to upstage the heads of a rival university. I gather that it's meant to be amusing, but it did nothing for me.

'Hawkman' (by Gardner Fox and Sheldon Moldoff): Hawkman tackles a mad scientist who is using a machine to manipulate sunspot activity and make people go crazy. This guy gets the full treatment, as Hawkman throws a spiked mace right into his head. A few panels later he gets shot, but I honestly think the mace did him in. It's another story that doesn't have a great deal going for it. Luckily it has Sheldon Moldoff's art, which is always welcome.

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