Sunday, January 10, 2016

Detective Comics #19 - part 2

In the adventure of Cosmo, the Phantom of Disguise, the bad guys have a seaplane (called an amphibious plane in Supplement III: Better Quality) at their island base. Who knows what else they have for Cosmo to loot; Cosmo does the one thing guaranteed to ruin any game session -- he turns the problem over to the authorities (in this case, the U.S. Air Corps) and then sits back and watches non-Hero characters solve the scenario for him. How boring!

In the adventure of Steve Malone, District Attorney, Steve's opponents have a smokescreen ejector in their car (as found in Book II: Mobsters & Trophies).

Steve offers a bribe for tips to help him gather information faster, feeling $100 is a good deal for valuable information.

When Steve and his supporting cast member, Jim, are about to raid a hideout and split up, Steve says he has a whistle he can use to summon Jim if he needs help. This seems like a good idea for any Heroes to have.

When the boss mobster flees to his private airplane, Steve jumps up, grabs the underside of the plane, and then clambers up into the plane.  I'm not even sure how to handle that game mechanic-wise. Sure, I suppose you could break it down into smaller components -- roll to hit the plane, save vs. plot to reach the top of the plane -- or just assign what seems like a good random chance, like a 1 in 10 chance of success.

Jerry Siegel liked to start his Slam Bradley stories with a bang and this one has Shorty walking into their shared apartment to find an ape!  An Editor can keep things moving in the campaign with random encounters, even when the Heroes are being relatively stationary. This is especially good for when the Editor doesn't know what to do next; just toss a wandering encounter at them and, hopefully, by the time the encounter is resolved you may have thought of a good reason for it to have happened (or your players will come up with something even better while they're guessing!).

Disguise works both ways; not only does a little domino mask or a pair of glasses keep people from learning the good guy's true identity, but a bad guy can disguise himself with just a fake mustache and avoid detection by Slam and Shorty.

In Africa (man, this story sure went a long way from an ape in his living room!), Slam and Shorty find a hidden city behind a waterfall, and across a chasm spanned by (of course) a rickety bridge. The city is called the City of the Ape-Men, but it seems to be a city of apes and men instead of ape-men. The tribesmen keep and control the apes and have Slam fight them with whips. How the Man in the Tall Hat controls the tribesmen, how he found them, and what he was doing in the U.S. is never explained. That the Man in the Tall Hat resembles the Man in the Yellow Hat from Curious George is purely coincidental; Curious George came out in 1941!

(This issue can be read at Comic Book Archives)

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