Sunday, August 14, 2016

Mystery Men Comics #1 - pt. 1

Fox launches its second title with this issue (not counting the switch from Wonder Comics to Wonderworld Comics).

I poked a lot of fun at The Green Mask in the pages of The Trophy Case (and I'm not enjoying it any more this time around), but it does remind me that the Mysteryman's higher skill chance needs to become their surprise chance as well.

This is an excellent example of how Mysteryman stunts will work in Hideouts & Hoodlums 2nd edition (in fact, it's such a good example, I should probably save that 2nd panel to go in the basic book). A skill check for leaping would allow an ordinary person to jump a little higher than normal -- maybe a 4' jump if you roll a 2, or a 5' jump if you roll a 1. But if you want to be able to vault into the air and swing from traffic lights (typically 16' above the street), then that's a stunt. It's a stunt and not a power because the Leap I power is so much better than that, even though the stunt is well beyond what a human can normally do in real life.

Here's another example of the same thing -- is twisting a water pipe a Superhero wrecking things? Wrecking things is usually more obvious, like twisting the pipe into a pretzel (or, for that matter, just busting through the wall to escape the flooding trap!). Mysteryman stunts usually seem plausible. Can a man bend a pipe in his hands? Maybe!

This trapped desk is pretty cool -- press a button on top, and a secret panel flips out and a gun hidden inside shoots at someone (or is someone hiding under the desk, and using it for cover...?).

This is an interesting variation on Buck Roger's origin. A space rocket is launched to Mars in 1939 (from the World's Fair, no less). Unlike the Mars of so much science fiction, this Mars has no advanced civilizations. The Dexters are marooned on Mars for 61 years until the damaged space rocket is finally repaired, allowing Rex Dexter -- one of the last survivors -- to return to Earth in 2000.

There are Martians, and while they are intelligent, they just weren't advanced enough to help fix a rocket ship, apparently. Oh, and the trees on Mars look like the Truffula Trees from The Lorax.

Instead of everyone having cellphones and hybrid cars in 2000, everyone has giant spaceships that dwarf the tiny 1939 rocket.

While the U.S. is all space-age and futuristic, Europe has been ravaged by disease and gone all medieval.

These are the second moon men in comics, after the one-panel cameo in New Comics #4. The moon men have highly advanced science, able to pull a "planet" out of its orbit and aim it at Earth. It's unlikely a planet, of course, as comic books seemed to use all astronomical terms very loosely. Perhaps a meteor?

It's unclear what a "super-carburetor" is; could Wing Turner have invented the first fuel injection engine?

The raygun that stops all mechanical functions seems a cliche, yet is curiously still missing from H&H.

Wing uses the Improvised Landing Aviator stunt.

Not sure what the "death beam" does.  This guy says it puts you to sleep forever, but that could just be figurative for killing you.

(Scans courtesy of Digital Comic Museum)

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