Friday, July 31, 2015

Popular Comics #22

Our coverage of November 1937 begins with another issue from Dell Comics, which begins with some pages of Dick Tracy I'm choosing not to show here. For those who want to go down to the bottom of this post and follow a link to where you can read them, you'll see Dick talking about poisoned chewing gum (trophy or trap?), and a hot playing tip -- you can write secret messages in butter with a toothpick, which will show up under ultraviolet light, or scratch a message onto paper with a pin and you can read the impressions if the light hits it just the right way.

Of course, we're also asked to believe that a bed mattress can serve as safe cover from a sub-machine gun, so the whole veracity of those tips feels up in the air to me now...

Speaking of questionable things, Don Winslow is shown hollow ice cubes holding poison gas. I guess that could work, but if you're really concerned about not leaving bomb fragments behind, why not just rain the poison down on the island in liquid form? Oh well. At least you could leave a freezer-full of poison gas-filled ice cubes in a walk-in freezer in a hideout, to catch Heroes who habitually try to break everything.

Bos'n Hal learns that incendiary bullets and whale oil are a bad mix -- but should incendiary bullets do additional damage if they hit living targets? Because Hideouts & Hoodlums uses an abstract combat system and one-time damage assignment, it largely ignores continuing effects like bleeding and burning. In Book II: Mobsters & Trophies, I assigned incendiary bullets an additional +1d4 damage because I figured players would expect it, and yet the anticipated demand hasn't been there; my players get more excited about armor-piercing rounds. More to ponder...

Smilin' Jack teaches us that radio compasses on planes were once a luxury, not a necessity!

Did I say before that the Skull Valley strip was getting out there? I didn't know the half of it! Here, we get flying plants, giant tumbleweeds, intelligent cavemen, gas cacti that shoot their needles like darts, and "nameless monsters" that have triceratops-like heads, but backwards-bending legs with clawed feet! I'm not even sure where to start statting!

...Seriously, the flying plants and the giant tumbleweeds are noncombatants, the gas cacti are more like a trap than a mobster-type, cavemen were already statted in Book II, and I can't tell the size of the nameless monster to help me place a HD value on it.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus)

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