Sunday, May 1, 2016

Comics on Parade #4

When I started this project, 16 months ago, I didn't think I would have any access to the early comic books by United Features. But it turns out a rare few of them are online.  So today, I'm going to jump back in time to July 1938, and this early issue of Comics on Parade.
One of the remarkable things I've found is that The Captain and the Kids was at one time an adventure strip!  The plot is the already-old cliche of a tattooed treasure map, the villain is the cliche of a masked man in a top hat -- but check out that cool skull-shaped radio he uses! I don't know if I would treat that as hideout dressing or a trophy item.

This is Broncho (that's right, not Bronco) Bill, but the real issue here is the daughter of Don Carlos, the fortune teller. Fortune tellers are so often fakes or villains in comics that it's rare to see a good one like this. Letting Heroes find a good fortune teller (both good in alignment and good in talent) is a bit of a cheat and you'd have to be very careful how many clues you're willing to give out. Players are bound to exploit this resource as often as possible.

This is Little Mary Mix-Up, and she's got a map! It seems an adventure is underfoot; I wonder if Little Mary is a Little Orphan Annie clone.

That last panel is pretty dang dark. Golden Age comic book campaigns don't need to be all light and fun.

Hags should probably be a mobster-type. Hags at least have the ability to change their appearance.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus)

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