Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Detective Comics #18 - part 2

This installment of Bruce Nelson continues his adventure in aviation. His attackers use the stunt Find Blind Spot.

When Bruce's plane crashes, "his ankle was badly sprained and one arm wrenched painfully", but this is all just flavor text -- in reality, Bruce would only took x amount of hit points of damage from the crash.

Bruce utters the racist statement about his black companion, "There's plenty of white man in that big black."  To be fair, Bruce is burning up with fever at the time and likely delirious. Disease is not flavor text.  It can be resisted with a saving throw vs. poison, but if one succumbs, disease should have game mechanic penalties (in the case of jungle fever, Bruce is apparently incapacitated to the point where he can barely move (but is still able to attack on the next page).

A large python attacks Bruce and Ungi. Curiously, in addition to constricting, the python is able to headbutt anyone it is constricting for additional damage. I've never heard of a python doing that, though I suppose it's possible.  Ungi is only stunned for one turn by the headbutt -- further proving to me that H&H needs a rule where any melee attack has a chance to stun for 1 turn.

We meet Steve Malone, District Attorney, in this issue. His adventures are clearly set in New York City (with his first scenario taking him specifically to Brooklyn).  Steve's starting equipment includes a book of matches, a revolver, a flashlight, and a car with a short wave radio.

At his first hideout, Steve runs into seven hoodlums at once. Since Steve is probably a level 1 Fighter, his Editor clearly never meant for him to win that fight. Luckily, his Editor planned a deathtrap for him to be placed in, instead of killed outright. The deathtrap is: Steve is tied to a chair and a bomb with a lit fuse is sitting next to him. This isn't too hard to get out of. Steve could a) tip over the chair and see if it loosens his bonds, b) tip over his chair and headbutt the round bomb so it rolls away from him, c) try to snuff out the fuse between his shoes, d) try to tiptoe away from the bomb while balancing the chair on his butt. But Steve has a rookie player and his Editor, seeing that he's presented too much of a challenge, gives him a break and has two beat cops show up in time to save him.

Seeing that Steve's player is going to need more help, the Editor has those beat cops tag along and go into the killer's hideout first.

Really, the smartest person in this scenario is the dead diplomat's wife, who hid her husband's treaty by sewing it into her dress.

By now, stratosphere planes were becoming almost a common trophy item in the comic strips. Even though jet aircraft would not be reliably tested, for real, until 1940, two years from now, the idea or using rockets to make planes fly had been around since 1928. In this installment of Slam Bradly, Slam helps the inventor of a stratosphere plane. In this story at least, stratosphere planes look like futuristic jets and not ordinary planes. Furthermore, the stratosphere plane is said to be able to reach Europe in a "few hours", making it as fast as the supersonic jets of the 21st century.

Unlike the average comic book plot, this one has unexpected switch after unexpected switch, The person we believe to be the scientist's daughter turns out to be working for the crooks who want the plane, and the scientist, who believes Slam and Shorty are working with the crooks, becomes their adversary for part of the scenario. He captures them in his lab with trick chairs that extend straps around wrists and torsos, and then tries to torture them with a heat ray. When the crooks show up to steal the ship, the scientists frees Slam to fight them. But when the girl helps Slam, and the scientist escapes, we find out we'd been misinformed again -- this scientist was actually a thief who stole the ship previously. The girl really is a scientist's daughter, but of a previously unseen and captured scientist (in the story's one disappointing note, the missing scientist is found, uncreatively, locked in a closet).

At the end, Shorty asks for a reward by handing over a blank check and saying "figure it out".  While not the most Lawful solution possible, this could be a helpful reminder for an Editor who doesn't always remember to offer a big reward at the end of his adventures.

(This issue can be read at Comic Book Archives)

No comments:

Post a Comment