Tuesday, July 17, 2012

June 1940: Hit Comics #2

Cover by Lou Fine

'The Red Bee' (possibly by Toni Blum and Charles Nicholas): There's a flu epidemic, and the corrupt politicians are too busy revelling in their graft to help anyone. The Red Bee busts them up, and everything ends happily ever after. This is an unremarkable story, but it does one thing right: the scene with the politicians feasting, laughing and proposing a toast to bigger and better taxes to come is very effective in setting them up as complete douchebags.

I'm also wondering what the deal is with Michael, the Red Bee's pet bee and sidekick.  He's always flying around and stinging the bad guys, but shouldn't he be dead after stinging someone?  Are we on Michael III by now? 

'Neon the Unknown' (by S.M. Iger and Alex Blum): Neon leaves the French Foreign Legion and goes to Europe to put a stop to the dictator "Radolf". He starts by rescuing some intellectuals from a concentration camp, then captures Radolf and threatens him with torture until the dictator agrees to step down. It's another ultra-simplistic "this is how to stop the war" scenario of the sort that the Golden Age was very fond. I was surprised to see concentration camps being dealt with here. I knew the world at large wasn't aware of what was going on with the Jews, and I had sort of lumped the camps in with that. But it's now apparent to me that the German imprisonment of radicals and intellectuals was well known at the time.

In other stories:

'Hercules' (by Dan Zolnerowich) deals with some crooks who plan to blow up a dam. 'X-5 Secret Agent' (by Will Eisner and Charles Sultan) stops the sabotage of an oil train. 'Jack and Jill' (possibly by John Lindermayer) protect the wife and baby of a smuggler, who has threatened to kill them both. 'The Old Witch' (by Pierre Winter) tells a story about a man who relives the life of his ancestor, whose lover was accused of being a witch. In 'The Strange Twins' (by S.M. Iger and Alex Blum), the villainous Rod captures his twin Doug and masquerades as him.  'Bob and Swab' (by Klaus Nordling) deal with thieves who have taken over a banana plantation. 'Casey Jones' (by Munson Paddock) is carrying supplies for the Allies on his train, and must deal with saboteurs.  And 'Blaze Barton' (by Henry Kiefer) is caught in a battle between the subterranean Core Creatures and bat-men from Venus.

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