Friday, January 2, 2015

New Fun #1

Today we start waaaayyy back in the beginning -- February 1935 and the very first comic book by what would later become known as DC Comics -- New Fun #1!

Now, I am no secret millionaire; I do not have vaults full of rare and valuable comic books dating back to the mid ‘30s.  Nor am I taking a trip all the way to Washington, D.C. to see the copies in the Library of Congress. I believe there are ways to acquire these back issues on microfilm, but I have not looked into doing so enough. What I do have is the magic of the World Wide Web at my disposal.  You can find any comic book cover online these days, and the early issues of New Fun are particularly useful to us because their covers consist of a random full page of interior art and story!

In the contents and on the cover of this first issue is cowboy Jack Woods.  The cowboy, although a staple of comic books almost from its inception, did not have its own H&H class until Supplement III and, before that, had to be statted as Fighters.  The next edition of H&H will likely not include the Cowboy class, so poor Jack will go back to being a Fighter again (unless Editors wish to use the OH&H material, which should still be compatible).

Here, we see the convention of the genre where good guys (read as Lawful Alignment) wear white hats.  

Also note that, though combat in H&H is typically handled by dealing damage to each other until one side is unconscious, combat is won here by flipping the mobster (probably a bandit or brigand) and rendering him prone (at which point the mobster probably failed a morale save).  Now, one of the hallmarks of H&H is that, while the game mechanics are under the control of the Editor, players are free to assign whatever flavor text they wish to the results of those mechanics. So a player could roll to hit, be told by the Editor that he hit, and then decide that the damage he does is from flipping the mobster over his shoulder (the Editor would then be free to ignore that his mobster is prone during his next action, since that was just flavor text).

Optional rules for special maneuvers, like flipping/throwing/knocking down an opponent, were published twice in The Trophy Case ("Special Effects in Unarmed Combat" in vol. 1 #5 and a more complex system, "Blocking in One-on-One Melee Combat", in vol. 2 #2). The next edition of H&H will also feature optional grappling rules. 

2017 update: I finally have access to the some more of the contents of this comic!

The Wing Brady page features the Power Dive stunt, exactly as it's written up for the Aviator class in The Trophy Case #7.

In 2023 Super-Police, the police still drive ordinary cars and use ordinary phones, but have access to a stratoplane-submarine.

There's a comic strip Tom Mix ad for a "zyp gun" that shoots a plunger on a string. Two kids use their zyp gun to send a message to Tom. I don't think Heroes are going to want to carry plunger guns with them, but a written note on the end of an arrow would be a swift and silent method of delivering messages.

(Contents read at Read Comic Online

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