Friday, May 13, 2016

Jumbo Comics #7

With this issue we reach cover date April 1939 in comic book history.  To say that Peter Pupp begins it with a bang might be a forgivable pun since we are dealing with resistance to firearms here.

The giant robot seems to be immune to bullets, a special defense that doesn't exist yet in Hideouts & Hoodlums, but could. Quite a few mobster-types are immune to all non-magical and/or non-silver weapons. Of course, it is equally possible that the robot just has so many hit points that Peter Pupp can't observe any obvious damage yet.

As hesitant as I am to allow vehicles to crash into opponents for large amounts of damage, it does seem to happen with a fair amount of regularity in comic books. Perhaps a counter-balance would be to insist the driver/pilot/passengers will always run the risk of taking damage too.

One of the earliest Carpets of Flying in comics. Note the Bat-Man-like silhouette in the second to last panel, in a comic done by Bob Kane, pre-Bat-Man...

This is from Sheena Queen of the Jungle, and I would never encourage an Editor to do this -- let the heroes stumble across an unguarded seaplane loaded with machine guns and TNT -- unless they desperately needed more firepower to finish a scenario.

Evidence that Golden Age comic book characters start out weak and get stronger over time -- Sheena is here knocked out by a mobster so weak he isn't even a named villain, in just three combat turns.

This is from Spenser Steel.  They say the Internet has made the younger generations today less concerned with privacy, but apparently there was a time when you could walk up to a train conductor, ask him where a passenger purchased his ticket, and not be told it's none of your business...

Even Wilton of the West learns that cave-ins can be a random occurrence in caves, and events like cave-ins can be treated as wandering encounters.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus)

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