Saturday, December 31, 2016

Amazing Man Comics #6 - pt. 1

This is Bill Everett's Amazing Man. Snapping ropes is an easy task for a superhero (I'd treat it as wrecking a door). Amazing Man also shows off a new power -- Infra-vision. But the really interesting thing here is that Amazing Man's nemesis, The Great Question, is like a devil on his shoulder, tempting Amazing Man to do bad things. That resisting is Amazing Man's greatest challenge lends the Amazing Man stories a moral depth lacking in most comic book stories.

In fact, it makes me wonder if the save vs. plot mechanic should be used to make moral decisions, sort of like it is in the game Pendragon.

Amazing Man can Teleport through Focus - the focus being the green mist he creates. So that requires another new power -- Obscuring Mist. And Amazing Man shows off another new power when he demonstrates Greater Invisibility (greater, because it doesn't end when he attacks).

Amazing Man, at least under the compulsion of The Great Question, seems to have no problem with killing.

Phantasmal Image? Really? Okay, now I'm beginning to think Amazing Man can't be statted without making him a Magic-User/Superhero. Too many of these new powers are already on the spell list for Hideouts & Hoodlums.

Amazing Man uses his teleport power so often in this story that it must have a duration instead of being a one-use power.

Here, Amazing Man is overcome by the gun wound and the grappling damage. The narrator says he "permits them" to tie him up, but I wonder if he was actually stunned temporarily after being reduced to zero hit points. He comes to after being tied up and activates the Imperviousness power so the bullwhip can't hurt him. He won't get hit points back during that short period he "rests" while ignoring the whip, but it does buy him time to strategize.

Everett sure loved the anti-heroes. Imagine, both the bad guy and the good guy using living shields during their shoot-out!  Yeah, I'd definitely make a Hero have to save vs. plot before doing something this despicable.

The Shark debuts as the first king of the oceans-type character -- since Namor the Sub-Mariner is, technically, only a prince. We also get a nice laundry list of powers The Shark has at his disposal. "The strength of ten whales" is equal to at least the Raise Bridge power, If he can swim ten times as fast as a whale, that's got to be Race the Plane (a 2nd edition power that fills in a speed gap in the powers list). He must have a Speak with Animals power that's limited to one type. And, for whatever reason, he can Project Image.

By now the crystal ball-like super-television is already a comic book cliche, but notice here how The Shark is just randomly using it and stumbles across a scene of villainy. It's as if it's a One-Way Television of Evil Detection.

I know we've been told The Shark can project his image, but it sure looks like he's using the Teleport through Focus power.

The Shark makes a quick search of the ship, getting a lucky result on his first search roll.

It isn't clear how strong the time bomb is, since it never goes off. I still need a consistent metric for assigning damage to concussive force.

Wrecking an anchor chain should be harder than ordinary chains someone would be tied up with; so maybe wreck as a machine.

It's unclear what country Furvainia is meant to be, but probably Germany.

There's a power called Push Ocean Liner, but I don't think that's needed here for a boat this size. Raise Bridge could accomplish this.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus.)

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