Monday, April 18, 2016

Detective Comics #24

In Spy, preserving the U.S. neutrality is crucial to the mission.   Bart and Sally get caught and wind up treading water in the middle of the ocean. How long they can tread water is not clear by the Hideouts & Hoodlums rules. Luckily it didn't come up, because a U.S. submarine just happens by and picks them up. But how? Is the submarine just a wandering encounter, a planned encounter, or did the Editor fudge and make it happen to save them?

Crime Never Pays is filler material. It talks about how dental work is nearly as reliable at identifying bodies as fingerprints by 1939.  There's a good tip about how hoodlums often keep the same nicknames even when they're using aliases. There's also a claim that the FBI convicts 98% of everyone they bring to trial.

In The Mysterious Doctor Fu Manchu, I learn that Fu Manchu-types have a paralyzing gaze!

Bruce Nelson gets in a shootout with a thug.

The only installment I plan to talk about from this issue is Slam Bradley, which still takes place in 2 billion AD. Jerry Siegel makes some remarkable predictions here. One is uplifted animals that can walk and talk like humans, a common science fiction staple today, and two is communicators sewn into shirts that you just press to activate, such as seen decades later in Star Trek: the Next Generation. Jerry also wisely predicts that our modern languages would be unintelligible that far into the future, but luckily people wear thought translators (I guess so they don't have to wear out their lips with talking?).

Another curious feature in the future, which could be a good trick to feature in a mad scientist's hideout, is a room that has to be entered from above. If you fall through the room, you fall slowly, as if through a "jelly-like substance". It isn't clear if there's really a column of jelly there, or if the anti-gravity effect just feels like moving through jelly, but it's an interesting detail regardless.

Slam fights a monster that seems to be ogre-sized, with metal claws. His opponent also seems to have the Super-Tough Skin power activated!

In the far distant future, death is reversible and Shorty is brought back to life as a routine matter. Heroes with access to a time machine could essentially be immortal, going into the far future whenever they need to be resurrected.

One of Siegel's misfires on future tech is motorized propeller shoes that let people walk on air. But - ow! -- what if one of your legs brushed against the other? Sounds like 1-6 points of damage to me, followed by falling damage.

(Issue read here)

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