Saturday, April 11, 2015

Popular Comics #12

We're finally up to 1937, a year and a half pre-Superman.

And first up is Dick Tracy, who demonstrates disguise skills. Should this be available to everyone, or a special feature of the Detective Class?  The Detective Class debuted in The Trophy Case v. 2 no. 7, badly needs playtesting, and will probably have to sit out from re-release in the next edition of Hideouts & Hoodlums.

There's also a neat ambush trap, with gunmen loaded up inside a fake gas tanker blocking the road.

One of the oldest tricks in the game for making mobsters seem fresh and different is to combine them. So here we get a mad scientist, coupled with a jaguar on a leash, and you get an encounter more interesting than it would have been with either one of them alone (who were statted in Book II: Mobsters & Trophies and Supplement III: Better Quality respectively).
Tiny Tim has graced these pages before, but no previous installment looked as gonzo-creative as this one!  Here we get ride-able giant robots in the shape of a man (large robot?), a stork robot, "Dreadnaught Crabs", and a mechanical dragon.

Despite how impressive the latter two sound/look, I'd guess they're really no more than 6 HD robots, since they are easily destroyed by the "fire-spitter" weapon mounted in the beak of the stork robot. This seems to shoot fireballs or concussive blasts of devastating effect.  At least the stork robot has to be piloted by a midget or child-sized pilot.
Skippy learns that the most satisfying traps are sometimes ones the victim has to trigger himself -- like a camera that sprays ink in the face of the person activating it. In a more dangerous hideout, you could replace the ink with acid -- but be careful of clever Heroes taking that trap and turning it into a weapon!

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus)

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