Monday, June 24, 2013

Master Comics #79 (May 1947- Bulletman)

Bulletgirl's parting comment best sums up this tale, "This is the daffiest Case We've Ever Ben On!" This reminds one of the 1944 Captain Marvel Jr. story from Master Comics #47 (MC #47-90) called "Corporal Hitler Jr". It seems likely that the three goofy villains of this story were penciled by a different cartoonist than drew the figures of Bulletman and Bulletgirl. It also likely that the same inker delineated the entire story. As with the earlier Cap Jr. story the contrast of styles is jarring. In comparison to the wonderfully animated, energetic style of the villains the Bullet Pair drawings come out very stiff and lifeless. This humorous romp is very atypical as most of the Bulletman tales which are serious crime stories.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Master Comics #79 (May 1947- Captain Marvel Jr.)

Captain Marvel Jr.

In this story we see that Freddy is the president of the newsboy club. The crippled newsboy is president, at least, by CMJ #48-239. (April 1947) the month before this issue. Justice in the Fawcett universe is an amazing thing. Cliff, the bad boy of this yarn, commits two acts of attempted murder, destroys private property and threatens bodily harm with a firearm to young boys and yet he is given only a very light sentence. This is one of those stories about an idyllic all-boy outing--a picnic/journey that is disrupted by the bad guy who is later redeemed. These sorts of boy stories are so foreign to the spirit of 21st century comics they seem to have taken place on another planet, definitely a more civil and congenial time.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Master Comics #78 (April 1947- Radar)


By the time this story was written World War II (the war against Fascism) had been over with -- for almost two years. In March 1946 former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill give his famous "Iron Curtain" speech in Fulton, Missouri sounding a warning to the West of aggressive expansionist Soviet Communism. Communism was rapidly replacing the Axis as a threat to international peace. It seems as if the Fawcett editors were still worried about Fascism more than Soviet style communism. Interestingly Radar is an international policeman more connected to the United Nations than the United States.

That aside it seems strange that the former dictator of Turania would expose himself to the dangers of personally kidnapping the new President Borra rather than assigning the job to his henchmen. Also using a gun silencer to kill Borra instead of kidnapping him only to kill him later seems a more efficient way to deal with the problem. It is interesting that Radar has a partner to work with, Officer Chang. This gives someone for Radar to talk with and provides a multi-racial element to the story.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Master Comics #78 (April 1947-Corny Cobb)

As mentioned previously the artist of this strip used perspective to add some depth to his mostly linear drawing style. Page two which shows the two protagonists in their law office shows perspective used in odd angles which gives the pages rather flunky and disorienting feel. Also note panel three has a silhouette panel which one of the very few "spotting of blacks" in the entire four pages. Perhaps this was an intentional mirroring the frivolous, silly nature of the subject matter.

It should also be noted the text story "Wrong Number" is by John Broome who later wrote some of the best Silver Age Flash and Green Lantern stories. This brings up the intriguing possibility that Broome may have written some of the Captain Marvel Jr. stories of this period.