Welcome to 1939! We start the year off returning to Fiction House already and their premier title, Jumbo Comics. What can we learn from this issue that we can apply to Hideouts & Hoodlums?
These intermissions are a useful narrative tool, but a H&H Editor will have to think hard about whether to use them in a campaign. Will the players benefit from understanding the Editor's story better, without using their player knowledge to their advantage? It takes a mature group of players to be able to play that way.
Further, this issue marks the first time we've really had a good sense of where Hawks of the Seas takes place. It always seemed to be the West Indies, but now we can narrow it down to the Bahamas.
It's interesting that the trap can be deactivated and escaped just by touching sections of the wall. It seems particularly odd since people trapped in a flooding room would naturally be touching the walls, either trying to find a way out or try to climb out. I would allow two search rolls in this case, one for each spot (opening the door without turning off the water first could make for a very wet hideout!).
There is a lot of visual detail here for describing the dressing in a mad scientist's laboratory.
The robot here is said to be 30' tall, but it seems even the narrator is exaggerating, because it only appears to be twice as tall as Zula. Since the robot can shoot lightning, I would suggest it is a huge version of a copper robot, as detailed in Book II: Mobsters and Trophies).
For H&H purposes, I want to point out the battle of bluffs going on here. In certain editions of certain games, one would resolve this with rolling dice, higher bluff roll wins. I am glad H&H isn't like that. I am much more interested in seeing how a player responds to a bluff, and how well he or she can bluff back. I would probably still roll an encounter reaction roll, but try to factor that in to a reasonable response to the bluff in that situation.
(Scans courtesy of Digital Comic Museum)