Friday, September 2, 2016

Wonderworld Comics #4 - pt. 1

I'm very familiar with this story, having borrowed a lot of art from this story for the first edition of Hideouts & Hoodlums. Lou Fine was really going all out on this one.

We don't know a lot about The Flame yet at this point, but we see here that he's got a pretty cool looking plane and, like all Golden Age Heroes, he's an ace pilot. Here he is, using the Aviator stunt Increase Speed, despite being a Superhero.

Is the Flame using a flame gun trophy item to melt the bars, or is the flame gun flavor text for his wrecking things ability? It could go either way. Or the flame gun could start out as flavor text, inspiring the Editor to make sure he finds/gets a real flame gun further in the campaign.

The moving walls trap is an old cliche -- and a hard one for low-level Heroes to beat (eventually, superheroes can just plow right through those walls). Plus, the Editor can set the damage from being crushed between walls to whatever he wants, depending on how hard they're being pushed together.

Mind control formula is different than how magic potions usually work. A potion is usually drank by the controller, but this potion is taken in (by syringe in this case) by the victim. There's really no reason why potions couldn't work either way, and don't even have to all be consistent.

I came up with the power Teleport through Focus to explain The Flame's ability to teleport to anywhere there's fire (without making it fire-specific).

This is also an excellent example of the save vs. plot needed to attack the master villain before dealing with the flunkies. The Flame has Doxol by the arm already (in the cover art from Book II!), but still let's Doxol escape so he can fight his way through flunkies first.

It's hard to believe an arch large enough for the wingspan of a plane leads to a "hidden hangar". Maybe there's a door inside the arch that normally looks like an ordinary wall. Or maybe there's normally an illusion there concealing the arch (Doxol looks like he'd be a magic-user/mad scientist, as well as undead!).

I'm ...not prepared to explain this one. I really don't want superheroes being able to teleport something the mass of a plane around with them, at least not at any levels that Heroes are still playable at.

This is from the next story, featuring Yarko the Great. It's funny, from a gaming perspective. It seems like the Editor is just throwing plot hook after plot hook at Yarko's player, trying to get him to react to one. First there's the judge who practically asks Yarko to help him with his smuggling wife, then a detective shows up looking for the wife to arrest her, and then crooks show up and attack -- at which point Yarko finally acts. Way to play a Neutral Alignment, Yarko!

After reading too much of Zatara and his overuse of magic, it's nice to see that Yarko is willing to use a car to pursue bad guys instead of just teleporting into their backseat, or polymorphing wings onto himself and flying after them. When he does cast a spell, it's Enlarge, which works really well in comic books. Here, he must be at least 20' tall.

Or did he cast Enlarge? Now it seems like it was only an illusion. Or maybe magic-users can end their spell duration whenever they want and everything just snaps back to normal.

Yarko also casts Project Image here.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus)

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