Monday, October 31, 2016

Adventure Comics #42

The adventures of The Sandman continue, and he's got to have one of the best fleshed-out, yet little-known, backstories in all of early comic book history. Here, we learn that Wesley Dodds was in the U.S. Navy Air Corps as of 1933. We also get backstory SCMs for Wes -- Dr. Clyde Dunlap and "Happy" O'Shea. Supporting Cast Members can be assigned like that by the Editor as a story demands, though players should be discouraged from just "saying" they have old friends they can call on for help.

In this case, Clyde and Happy even know about Wes being The Sandman. It does not seem to be implied that the Sandman identity extends back to '33, so they likely learned about it from him sometime since then.

Wes, Clyde, and Happy all have access to fighter planes. Wes is a billionaire in his backstory, but has likely not had time to accumulate the $20,000+ he would need to purchase a fighter plane in game play. This has to be another hand-out from the Editor for this scenario.

The scenario has the three good guy fighter planes up against four bad guy biplanes. The good guys start out with the advantage of surprise and use the aviation stunt Out of the Sun against them. They immediately fail their primary objective, though, to protect an eighth plane in the air full of innocent passengers. Luckily, the passenger plane has more hit points because it only goes down from complications, while the biplanes are weaker and crash violently instead.

Hideouts & Hoodlums will, eventually, be able to play out a scenario just like that.

Wes has a gas bomb -- different from his gas gun -- that he uses for the only time in this story.

In Barry O'Neil's adventure, he uses not one but three aviator stunts -- Wing Walking, Deadstick, and Improvised Landing.

Then Barry picks up a crate and hits two thugs with it at once -- not possible by the H&H rules, unless these are actually weaker hoodlums instead of 2 HD thugs.

Barry passes up the chance to search Krull's ship for loot by blowing it up with mines first. The scenario kind of demanded it, since other ships were in jeopardy, but Barry's player might be ticked off about that.

Socko Strong meets an ape-man (that's getting a stat entry in 2nd ed.) and sails to its lost world island. The lost world seems, for some reason, limited to a valley on the island that you have to climb a cliff and cross a fallen tree over a gorge to get to. The valley is somehow big enough to support both a tyrannosaurus rex and a stegosaurus with food. Both of these dinosaurs will likely be left out of the basic book, for being just too big and dangerous.

Captain Desmo and Gabby are up against cultists (also getting an entry in 2nd ed.). probably with thugs and assassins (another 2nd ed. add) mixed in. The bad guys have a simple deathtrap for Gabby, tossing him into a pit full of cobras.

Anchors Aweigh puts Don and Red in an unusual situation; they find themselves in an unbeatable scenario, if the scenario is wrongly interpreted as a "save the ship" scenario. The torpedo is too close to the ship for them to do anything about, so this is a survival scenario -- at least initially.

Don and Red meet Admiral Cato, our first bonafide Napoleon character (we've seen some mad scientists so far with Napoleon complexes, but they all fit the mad scientist mold better). From the summary I have to read, I don't know what all of Cato's weapons are, but some of them appear to be poison gas bombs.

Don and Red can't figure a way out of this underwater lair they are trapped in, so they come up with a rather clever plan. After sabotaging the oxygen supply for the hideout, Cato's henchmen fail their morale saves and offer to come up with a way out of the hideout for them.

Sometimes the bigger picture of world war is just going to be backdrop for your H&H stories. The Skip Schuyler story takes place in a Chinese city just as it's being bombed by the Japanese -- but the story doesn't really have anything to do with that. The scenario starts when Skip rescues a boy who serves as the plot hook to uncover the kidnapping of an American reporter. The reporter has a guard guarding her (guards were statted in the first H&H module and will be in 2nd ed. too).

Rusty, of Rusty and His Pals, is menaced by yellow peril hoodlums serving a Fu Manchu villain. Fu Manchu is guarded by guards, but Steve -- Rusty's adult pal -- shows up, makes his save vs. plot, and is able to ignore the guards and go straight after the Fu Manchu villain, Chen Fu. Steve still loses, though, and is placed in a complex deathtrap. He's tied on a plank over a pit full of metal spikes, with a pendulum blade swinging down at him from above (I presume Steve is under the plank and the pendulum  blade is to cut the rope and drop him in the pit, though the trap seems like it would work just as well if Steve was on top of the plank and the blade is coming down to cut him).

Cotton Carver has to rescue his friends when they are kidnapped by cultists and taken to be sacrificed. Cotton tracks them through a forest and starts shooting the cultists, but his friends still get dumped into a pit with water in the bottom. He dives in and they all get sucked by an undertow into a subterranean cavern that opens to the sky (? -- hollow world settings confuse me). The "god" of the cultists is a brontosaurus. Like the earlier dinosaurs mentioned, this is way too big and dangerous for the basic book. And yet...Cotton somehow kills it by catching it in a grass fire. Infused with massive amounts of experience points, Cotton and his friends enter a kingdom defended by medieval-esque knights. Do knights need to be their own mobster type?

(Sandman story read in Golden Age Sandman Archives, summaries of the rest read at DC Wikia.)

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