Sunday, January 31, 2016

New Adventure Comics #31 - part 2

Don Coyote is another gag strip, and another one of those "I thought I'd never use this strip as an example" situations.  When Don is challenged to a duel, he is given a knife, while his opponent plans to use a spiked mace, or morning star.  There's also a peculiar encounter with a skunk that Don refers to as a "wood pussy" ...which possibly only makes sense in the context that this is a pseudo-medieval setting and skunks, non-indigenous to Europe, would have gone unrecognized there.

This installment of Tod Hunter, Jungle Master, starts with Tod and company, very sensibly, planning shifts of watch duty for the night while they camp outdoors. Have to watch out for those wandering encounter checks!  They don't encounter anything all night, but they do meet two men on an elephant the next day. Isn't it often like that with random encounter rolls?

In The Golden Dragon, Ken Cockerill, comes to in a prison cell and gets led through an interesting-looking hideout. Outside the cell is a "vast shadowy hall, with towering sculptured forms on the walls. At the far end was something that looked like a huge altar, extending the entire width of the building." The altar has a writing desk by it. On the side of the hall is a "sculpted doorway" that "led into a sort of grotto, lighted by a small low altar covered with candles."  The Golden Age habit of including descriptive narrative captions was unnecessary in illustrated stories, but is gold for using as boxed text to read during adventure scenarios!

In the grotto, Ken sees an illusion, but it's unclear if his captors are casting Phantasmal Force, or if this is some feature specific to the grotto.

In Rusty and His Pals, at the center of the island is a high stone wall, probably meant to be the remnants of a dead volcano. Inside its circumference are trees, a pond, and a two-story house. The house is one big prison cell; all the outside doors lock from the outside, and apparently the windows can't be opened (or easily shattered, though Rusty and his pals don't seem to have thought to try that yet).

Despite the care Fred Guardineer has put into Anchors Aweigh, this strip has been relegated to the back of the issue. Red is captured in this issue and is brought before a hooded man who is apparently the "Diablo" he's been looking for. Interesting, Diablo will not speak directly to Red, to keep Red from having the chance of recognizing his voice.

Diablo's bad guys have a sneaky idea -- they tell Red at knife point that he has to read something aloud because they have members who might recognize his voice, but it's a trick to record his voice so they can use it to lure Don into a trap.

(This issue can be read at Comic Book Archives)

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