Monday, November 28, 2011

Captain Marvel Jr #78 (Danger Across the Tracks) October 1949

Danger Across the Tracks

The issues of luck and coincidence plays a strong role in this story. At the beginning of the story while rescuing the two small boys from fallng, CMJ thinks, "It's a lucky thing Freddy was visiting this part of town, or I would never have been around to help!" One of the boys says, "Gosh, we're sure lucky you were around Captain Marvel Jr! If it weren't for you, we'd have been killed! Thanks!" This is also an example of a "social justice" story. Freddy concludes by giving the moral of the story (referring to property owner Tim Dwight), "I'm glad to see he's learned that there is more to life than making big profits! Being a good citizen and helping those less fortunate than yourself brings real joy!" Art by Joe Certa.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Captain Marvel Jr #78 (The Unknown Invasion) October 1949

 (The stories from CMJ #78 are taken from a Canadian reprint edition.)

The Unknown Invasion

In this outer space invasion story the extra-terrestrials resemble the later science fiction movie "The Blob". This well written story by Otto Binder even has educational content. Freddy Freeman thinks, "I read once, in astronomy, that certain stars give off blue light, with no red in it! On any planet of such a sun, the native people would not even know there is such a color! These protoplasm invaders don't see red at all!" This story is so much better crafted than Binder's earlier efforts like "CMJ Battles on Another World!" (CMJ #6) "CMJ Battles the Moon Menace" (CMJ #9). Art by Bud Thompson.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Captain Marvel Jr #75 (Crime's Trumpeter) July 1949

This story shows that CMJ can be affected by mood altering sound (music). This is similar to "The Pied Piper of Himmler" (CMJ #2). Jazzbo also uses the horn to change CMJ back into Freddy by the magic lightning. He realizes that CMJ and Freddy are the same person but dies at the end. Interesting Biblical reference though the horns blowing (actually rams horns) didn't knock down the walls of Jericho. God give the city into the hands of the Israelities (Joshua 6:2, 16). Their actions obeying the divine command signaled that God was the cause of the walls falling down.

An ending caption states: "Perhaps no one will ever know! Fate is wiser than any mortal, and she has her own private sense of humor!" This is one of the more philosophical CMJ tales. One crook at the beginning of the story while trying to shoot CMJ notes , "I can't hold my hands still! But it doesn't matter! Bullets don't hurt CMJ anyhow!" Art: Bud Thompson.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Captain Marvel Jr #75 (The Outlaw of Crooked Creek) July 1949

This yarn presents Freddy Freeman as a cowboy and CMJ as a crack shot with a western revolver. This story obviously taps into the strong western comics trend during the late 1940s. Seven of the 13 comic titles Fawcett was then publishing were western themed. Mr. Crumpet, the newspaper publisher, appears in several other CMJ stories  (CMJ #59, CMJ #66, CMJ #73 , MF #27). Art by Joe Certa.