Monday, July 22, 2013

Captain Marvel Jr. #31 (July 1945 "CMJ and the Robombs of the Rising Sun")

We've basically come to the end of the Fawcett era Capt. Marvel Jr. material that I've had backlogged that is new to the internet. It is possible in the future that I will obtain other Captain Marvel Jr. or Master Comics issues that haven't been on the web so some "new" stories may yet appear here. This week I'll start presenting issues of CMJ that have already appeared elsewhere on the web-from my personal scans. I desire to develop commentary on this stories as I have done for the ones published at this blogsite for the past two years. It is important to keep the dialogue going on these stories. Hope that you will enjoy the ride on taking a second look at these Golden Age Blue Boy tales. We will be starting off with the "decade" of the CMJ "30" numbered issues. We have already posted issues 33 and 39. Over the next several months we'll be posting issues #31, 34 (35), 36-38 and 40. This period is a pivotal time where the strip converts from the World War II epoch to the Post War Era.

Captain Marvel Jr. #31 is an early transitional issue were we have a Pacific Theatre World War II story, a GI homecoming story and a rather mediocre Dr. Sivana tale. The artwork also seems to be in transition. The art is very factory like- it appears there were several artists involved with the ever present Mac Raboy photostats and copies of Cap Jr. The art was probably "knocked out" to meet a deadline without a lot of pride involved in the final product. This is especially evident in the Dr. Sivana story. It certainly says something about the strength of the title character that the title survived, but better days were definitely ahead for the Blue Boy.

CMJ and the Robombs of the Rising Sun

This story was the last actual World War II tale that Captain Marvel Jr. participated in. By the time this story hit the newsstands Japanese troops were pretty much routed out of the Philippines and Germany had surrendered in Europe. The Japanese Robombs were taken from the V-1 buzz bombs that the Germans used against Great Britain during the second "Blitz" in 1944. According to Wikipedia the Germans shared plans for the Buzz Bomb with the Japanese in 1943 and several Japanese missiles were designed but never manufactured. Unlike the land-launched Buzz Bombs the Japanese Robombs were launched from an undersea base--this was about ten years before the Regulus, a submarine launched cruise missile, and 15 years before the United States' first missile launching Polaris Submarine. Apparently Captain Nippon was disposed of by the Cap Jr.'s redirected super Robomb as he didn't appear again during the Fawcett years. The art is by what I'd term the Fawcett Art Department. Certainly many Mac Raboy photostats or tracing were used for the Blue Boy.