Monday, November 25, 2013

Capt. Marvel, Jr. #38 (May 1946, The Magic Act)

The Magic Act

This is a story involving drug trade an issue that would play very prominently into crime comics that were to become very popular a few years in the future. This is a real world crime problem upping the "ante" from the usual thieves or co men Cap Jr. battled. The dope-crazed crooks at the beginning of the story suicidally try to stop an armored car with their bare hands. The villain Spavini is a malevolent cross between Harry Houdini and Mandrake the Magician. The art has a lot of atmosphere aided greatly by the detailed backgrounds. Art by Bud Thompson.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Captain Marvel Jr. #38 (May 1946- The Stolen Half Century)

The Stolen Half Century

The rather anemic artwork (as in the first Greybeard tale) prevents this story from being a good CapJr. yarn. Perhaps August Froehlich's reliance on medium shots,  8-panel grid pages --pp. 5-7 and Mac Raboy tracings prevent this story from being at all visually memorable. The writer strives to make this story relatable on a human level (a 50th wedding anniversary gift from a loving husband to his wife) but the art work militates against the noble thematic ambitions. Script by William Woolfolk.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Captain Marvel Jr. #38 (May 1946- Capt. Marvel Jr. Fights the Arabian Knights)

Here we see Cap Jr. helping out a young man (Ali) win his lady love. The Blue Boy can fly at a speed where "he can hardly be seen!" using these powers to lift a "magic cushion" into the air. At the conclusion of the story Ali "confesses to the sultan that his magic cushion was a trick!" The sultan responds, "I admire your honesty, my son, and I know your love for my daughter is true! I forgive you and wish you both happiness." The writer here expresses moral sensitivity resolving this "deception for the sake of good" situation. The background artwork in the first five pages is extensive and well-done for the Arabian setting, but the last four pages the backgrounds are minimal. It is almost like the background artist wasn't available for the last part of the story. This is an enjoyable story and the World's Mightiest Boy fits in well as a blue genie. Script by Otto Binder. Art by Bud Thompson.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Captain Marvel, Jr #37 (April 1946, "The Man Who Fell Up")

The Man Who Fell Up

Capt. Marvel Jr. is confronted with a moral dilemma in choosing to save "hundreds of lives" in the office building while allowing two criminals to be hurled to their deaths into space. While Cap Jr.'s quick decision was the right one, Freddy's smirk and parting comment, "I guess that's the last we'll ever hear of those thugs!" seems a little callus. Even thugs are human beings. Art by Bud Thompson. It should be noted that once again Thompson apparently was obligated to use photostats or tracings of Mac Raboy drawings of Captain Marvel Jr. This would change in later years.