Monday, October 31, 2011

Captain Marvel Jr #75 (Professor Werewolf) July 1949

Professor Werewolf (7 pp)

The moral of the story is the evils of envy and coveting another person's position. Professor Lupus is astonished at CMJ's chemical making ability. "Amazing! That problem in chemistry would have taken anyone else a century to solve! Yet it took you only a few minutes!" Art identification is unclear (perhaps Joe Certa?). The werewolf theme returns in CMJ #117 (Jan 1953) "The Werewolf of London".

Monday, October 24, 2011

Captain Marvel Jr #75 (The Hammer That Shook the World) July 1949

The Hammer That Shook the World

CMJ does a patented Silver Age Flash speed trick to gather the money at the start of the story. This is an interesting story in a number of ways. One, Jethro Dem is trying to do what God (even taking the place of God) did during the great flood of Noah. He wanted to wipe out mankind and start over with his nephew and his wife. The scenes of the destruction of the Earth are very forceful. Until you realized it was a "dream" story you believed the writers were taking some real risks with the strip. This is one story where CMJ in the non-dream state saves the world. At the end Freddy philosophizes about the nature of human progress --a very liberal, progressive and idealistic concept of progress.
Art: Bud Thompson.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Captain Marvel Jr #72 (The Camouflage Mystery) April 1949

This is a clever story devise for a comics plot somewhat similar to the Shade, a Flash villain. The disguise motif was also later used by the Spider-Man villain, the Chameleon. This story shows CMJ working closely with the police. The police are actively involved with catching the criminals. Art by Bud Thompson.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Captain Marvel Jr #72 (The Boy Scientist) April 1949

The Boy Scientist

This is a fun story without criminals (almost) or world conquering villains, but with a little boy whose  good sense is far outstripped by his inventive genius. CMJ admits, "That kid gives me an inferiority complex!" and "Can't that boy scientist invent anything but dangerous gadgets!  I'll be a nervous wreck if he keeps it up!" Junior plays nurse maid to the boy and tries to reason with him as well as rescuing the lad from his own follies. Art by Joe Certa.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Captain Marvel Jr #72 (The Night Crawler) April 1949

The Night Crawler

By 1949 we see less and less of Freddy Freeman's diary used as a plot device at the beginning and end of each story. The issue that isn't covered in this story is CMJ's secret identity. Someone reading Freddy's diary (called CMJ's Diary in this story) should be able to figure out that Freddy and Captain Marvel Jr are the same person. Apparently neither Ima Snoop nor the publishers had the time to read the diary carefully to figure it out or the writer chose not it pursue that angle. Night Crawler had the potential of being a good reoccurring villain but he was killed off after only one nine page story. Art probably by Joe Certa.