Saturday, April 2, 2016

Popular Comics #37

This is the first issue from February 1939 to be looked at, and it's from Dell. By now, Dell's best features had moved to Crackajack Funnies and Super Comics, but this issue still has material worth discussing.

I just like that there's a trapdoor hatch on the roof; it seems like a good detail for a mobster hideout. It's also a smart tactic for villains to hold hostages like this -- forces the players to think instead of just rushing into combat.

Don Dixon must be a pretty high level Fighter by now, as he encounters large crocodiles here and takes one out with just a dagger.

Large crocodiles (if they are "large", maybe they have 4-5 Hit Dice) have both a bite and a tail attack; the tail attack can be used to tip over a small boat.

Now Don is making short work of natives, but the one thing Don can't do is sneak up on them. I'm thinking of giving natives only a 1 in 6 chance of being surprised.

Daisybelle is a pretty slight joke strip, but I am intrigued by the notion of giving out a literally indestructible fountain pen as a trophy item-gag gift, but then seeing how creatively the players can come up with uses for it.

The lesson for Editors here is to give the players a chance to spot a clue about a planned ambush before springing it on them, particularly if it's going to be a particularly brutal encounter if the Heroes are surprised.

(Scans courtesy of Digital Comic Museum)

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