Thursday, January 14, 2016

Feature Funnies #13

Oh, Joe Palooka, must you descend into hurtful stereotypes after so many installments of charming situation comedy? The next page really takes redneck stereotyping to an extreme, so I'm unsure what to make of this page's issue of child brides. Was older men marrying 11 year old girls really something that went on in the South in the 1930s, or is this just more stereotyping?

Now, this doesn't disappoint.  This is the first page of Will Eisner's feature Espionage, starring the suave secret agent Black X.  I personally consider this his strongest creation, before The Spirit.

Note the unusual addition of a date -- Sunday, December 23rd. Consulting a perpetual calendar, I see that the only year this story could have taken place was 1934, making Black X the oldest original character to be looked at on this blog!

Also note that, just because Black X is connected to the U.S. Espionage Division doesn't mean he has unlimited resources. Like Mission Impossible (over 20 years later), Black X can expect no aid if he gets caught.  Every Hideouts & Hoodlums Editor will have to think hard about how far he's willing to go to keep pulling the Heroes' out of trouble when they get themselves into it, or let them face the consequences.

 This one made me laugh...

From Archie O' this the first use of spring-loaded shoes in comic books? This is a minor trophy item that should allow a Hero to double his leaping ability (normal leaping, not alien or Superhero enhanced leaping).

This also looks a lot like a slick hoodlum and a thug working against the king here.

The Clock keeps a detailed file on important people, with newspaper clippings going back 28 years. In-game, it could often be helpful if Heroes were willing to do research like this in their downtime, as it will keep them from having to spend too much during a scenario doing vital research.

Player-wise, it's just a good idea to take notes about every name you hear during the campaign.

The Clock drives a convertible! I can't think of a single advantage to a Hero to driving a convertible, can you?

I may have spoken about this before, but for shadowing/trailing someone, I would roll for surprise to determine if you can trail someone without being noticed. Then there's always a chance of you being the one surprised and the trailee becomes the trailer!

Looking through keyholes is a smart move for Heroes. It can suck for the Editor, having his surprises ruined.

It's the Editor's job to stock his campaign with mobsters for the Heroes to confront, but not his job to tell the players how to deal with those mobsters. Players may see an ethical dilemma where the Editor never intended one and act accordingly -- or go in with guns blazing and asking no questions. The Editor can have consequences for those actions, like if the Clock breaks the law by letting a thief keep some of the money he stole, but he should never say, no, you can't do that.

(Scans courtesy of Digital Comic Museum)

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