Thursday, December 3, 2015

New Adventure Comics #28 - part 1

We're still a bit ahead from this title headlining with the Sandman, so this issue begins with "Anchors Aweigh", a brand new Don Winslow clone (the lead character's name is even Don Kerry!).

Like I observed recently, aviator stunts seem to be something every comic book character masters as soon as they sit in a plane. Here, we see the stunt Power Dive, as described in The Trophy Case v. 1 no. 7

Although Hideouts & Hoodlums is the Golden Age Comic Book Roleplaying Game, Editors need not limit themselves to American comic books, or even comic books for inspiration. The "Anchors Aweigh" story seems inspired by the Tintin comic strip adventure "The Crab with the Golden Claws", combined with the Raymond Chandler story "Nevada Gas".

Tom Brent is also a new character debuting this issue. He's a sailor; I have not felt sailors need their own character class yet. The ones I've read so far are either Fighters or (in Popeye's case) Superheroes. Tom Brent is definitely of the Fighter persuasion. The mood of the story is dark, with heroin smugglers being the villains, and a stash of morphine being used to frame Tom. It is also unusual for taking place in Marseilles, France, rather than the U.S. Note that France won't be conquered for almost another two years.

It's only 1938 and it's already been too long since Steve Carson of Federal Men has had a cool adventure. This serial, vs. The Cobra, might change that. We've already got a hideout set-up here, with a concealed trapdoor in the back room of a flower shop leading into a deep shaft with ladder rungs in the wall. At the bottom is a trapped metal door -- touch it and you're shocked unconscious (or forced to save vs. science to avoid being stunned).

A death trap awaits Steve in the lair of the master criminal -- a fight with a large cobra that is not only a poisonous snake but, curiously, a constrictor snake as well (maybe it's a mutant!).  How do we know it's a death trap instead of a normal combat? Because of its placement in the storyline (after Steve is powerless in The Cobra's clutches).

Nadir, Master of Magic continues to go around not using magic.  Sure, he claims he's giving a lady he rescued a potion to dispel the hypnotism placed on her, but I can't help but think that "potion" is really just a bit of brandy, or maybe even just a strong coffee. He does, however, seem to have a magic Ring of Evil Detection and he uses the Crystal Ball again he used in his first appearance.

Captain Desmo continues to vex me; the man fights way beyond the abilities of someone who should, at this stage, only be a first level Fighter. He exhibits the special ability of "combat machine" (multiple attacks vs. weak foes) as a Fighter of at least third level, and I can't easily guess how big a penalty to the die roll to assign to not only a disarming shot, but one that shatters a dagger with the bullet.

In this story, Desmo picks up his first supporting cast sidekick, Brooklyn-born Gabby McGuire, who is probably a first-level Fighter. Desmo also happens to know a Hindu mystic named Seyah Ashear, but Seyah is more of a Detective than a Magic-User, using clues to induce information for Desmo, rather than divination spells. Knowing a Detective as a Supporting Cast Member is very handy for players who aren't good at picking up on clues on their own.

(This issue can be read at Comic Book Archives)

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