Thursday, October 13, 2016

Wonderworld Comics #5 - pt. 1

So we rejoin The Flame -- getting into a brawl with hoodlums! Lou Fine's dynamic art is on full display here, showing The Flame like a real swashbuckler, leaping, kicking, and throwing. Interestingly, though The Flame is definitely a superhero, much of what he does here anyone of the fighter class could have done, with the possible exception of breaking through the door (though even that could be an open doors skill check now in 2nd edition).

Now, it's possible that The Flame is just toying with the hoodlums...or it's at least as likely that he's conserving his powers, and that I'm on the right track about Hideouts & Hoodlums needing to stay a limited resource management game.

Here we see the superhero power Quick Change -- used during the surprise turn of a fresh combat.

We also see the infamous "blow to the back of the head taking out a superhero" cliche. Oops, The Flame forgot to buff with defensive powers!

The Flame wakes up after what seems like exploration turns (10's of minutes) have passed.

Now The Flame is safe from harm, having activated ...Invulnerability? We know The Flame got to start the game with an awful lot of brevet ranks, as there's no way he should be using 4th level powers already in his third appearance -- right?

Here, The Flame uses a prop for wrecking things, even though it gives him no game mechanic bonus to do so. He uses wrecking things for two different effects as well -- the first to bring the place down around him, and the second to more carefully cut his way through the girders so he can get out without causing more damage. I'm not sure why that's important, except that the Flame hasn't showed off his flame-gun anywhere else on this adventure...

From Yarko the Great, we get some hideout dressing ideas, plus a trophy item -- the voodoo doll. Voodoo dolls were statted in Supplement III.

"Precipitous" seems to mean something different to the narrator here than it does to me, for the perspective in the second panel makes it look like maybe a 20 drop to me. Of course, the floor could be illusory, concealing a deeper pit...

Yarko casts a spell that not only turns him ethereal/gaseous form, but allows him to carry the mass of a full-grown woman with him while he does so. 5th level spell?

And then Yarko teleports. Or is that bright light concealing a Dimension Door?

Yarko casts Reduce Person on himself -- though, honestly, I don't know why he wouldn't just duck. Reduce Person is going to be a 1st level spell in 2nd edition.

Beast-Men appear to be just ordinary men to me, with fangs. I do have an entry for ape-men in 2nd edition's mobster section; maybe what I'll do is enlarge the category to include other beasts mixed with men.

I'm not sure what spell Yarko is casting here -- Relentless Stalker? Or, maybe he hasn't cast a spell at all and Vladim only thinks Yarko is right behind him.

Vladim is called a madman here, and elsewhere in the story. Madmen are statted as a mobster type in Supplement V...but Vladim seems a better match for a mad scientist than a madman, game mechanics-wise.

This is Shorty Shortcake.  If you ever doubted the vocabulary level of Golden Age comic books, here's the word "poniard" for a throwing dagger.

I would be very hesitant to accept how easily Shorty seems to manage breaking these poniards, but they could be lucky dice rolls. I'm torn on if breaking weapons needs its own mechanic, a non-wrecking things save table (like it had in 1st ed.), or maybe just treat this as a skill check.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus)

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