Friday, February 19, 2016

Adventure Comics #32

These are dark days for this blog, for that amazing resource Comic Book Archives has finally had its plug pulled by a vengeful DC Comics. Which means we're back to secondary sources for much of DC history not currently collected in Archive editions.

What I can tell you about this issue is that, apparently, Barry O'Neill picks up where he left off last time in Fang Gow's flooded room trap. Barry quickly finds a way to deactivate the trap and, it does make sense to have a way of deactivating the trap in the same room as the trap -- for the meta-gaming reason of helping Heroes stay alive, as well as the practical reason of allowing villains to deactivate their own traps if they happen to get caught in them.

A hideout burns down in Steve Carson's Federal Men adventure.  Players will always have to weight carefully the option of burning the hideout down. Will innocents be harmed? Will valuable trophies by damaged or destroyed? Do the mobsters have an escape route to get out, or will they charge out and attack the Heroes en masse?  Would the Heroes have an easier time going in and picking off the bad guys room-by-room?  In this case, the fire is accidental and caused by a dropped cigarette. Smoking rates really peaked post-War, but smoking was still very popular in the pre-War years. Smoking mobsters could be as big a danger to master criminals as Heroes.

Dale Daring, in her adventure, deals with the touchy subject of colonization, South American rubber plantations, and slave-like labor. Bear in mind that this is 1938, so Dale's progressive position is that the natives should be treated well and not beaten -- not paid a fair wage, allowed to unionize, or other modern considerations. Players should not be penalized for approaching these issues from a modern perspective, but neither should they be penalized for putting themselves in the mindset of the times.

The Captain Desmo adventure pits him against bandits and, like many earlier comic books, treats "bandits" as an ethnic/cultural role. Also like in some comic books, these bandits are well-armed with both rifles and machine guns.

Pre-Aragorn, Steve in Rusty and His Pals uses pillows stuffed in a bed to fool an assassin. This seems to be such an old trick that it must work on most people, unless they make a save vs. plot (like seeing through a disguise).

(Summaries read at the DC Comics Wiki)

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