Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Detective Comics #32 - pt. 2

Skull-Face is also the first mad scientist to wear a bulletproof vest.

Speed Saunders is placed in a locked cell with a fairly ingenious way to escape -- the floor is clay instead of stone and a resourceful Hero can dig through it to water.

Speed comes back with just two supporting cast -- unnamed police officers -- for back-up. They swim into the lair, and Speed thinks to bring waterproof bags for their guns. The hideout entrance tunnel has water up to their knees. There are at least three levels to the place and on the second level is a dry office with a balcony overlooking the water.

It's Speed's best story yet -- marred only by the fact that Speed stumbles across everything by accident and doesn't actually learn anything through investigation.

In Cosmo, Phantom of Disguise, a state governor is murdered. But which one? It seemed like Cosmo's adventures took place in New York before, but this guy doesn't look like Herbert Lehman, A prominent newspaper in the story is the "Evening Record." New Jersey had a prominent newspaper called the Evening Record. Hmm...

Cosmo disguises himself as a judge targeted for death to lure out the killer. The killer plans to use the cliche of the gun-in-a-camera, with the extra twist that it fires ice bullets -- though the story isn't clear about how Cosmo recognizes the weapon as a fake camera.

Interestingly, Cosmo uses the phrase "tag after that wagon!" instead of the more familiar "follow that car!"

In Cosmo's fistfight, he takes advantage of the "semidarkness and confusion." Could this be evidence that I was right to give humans a penalty to be hit in dim light -- or maybe a morale modifier for fighting in the dark?

Bruce Nelson describes purse snatchers as "never dangerous. They're the sniveling rat type. Weak kneed and lame brained." Sounds like cowardly hoodlums!

To find a woman Bruce Nelson is looking for he simply looks in the phone book -- one of the first times a Hero takes such a simple action in the comics.

To find out about a murder, Bruce goes straight to the police captain, who promptly tells Bruce everything he knows. Bruce is either exploiting a supporting cast member we haven't seen before, or he's benefiting from a really good encounter reaction roll.

Slam Bradley starts his story with an interesting conundrum. He finds two men in an alley; one is accosting the other.  But which is the bad guy? Slam takes a guess and gets it wrong. How could he have gotten it right? I have toyed with the notion of allowing Heroes to identify mobsters with a skill check, but that could invalidate the Detect Evil power or spell. I guess he could have asked questions first and punched later.

Slam makes it up to the guy he punched by coming to work in his haunted hotel (he was a disguised plot hook character!). The hotel is sprinkled liberally with secret doors that "ghosts" use to pull pranks like stealing suitcases (when they have surprise, they can open the secret door, grab something nearby, and exit without being seen). Of course, it's not really the supernatural (even though Slam did have that one adventure when he could cast spells!). The creepy voice in the elevator is coming from a concealed speaker.

The "ghosts" appear to be a mad scientist and his lovely assistant (definitely not an Igor-like assistant!). Shorty is overcome by the assistant when she chloroforms him. Slam is gassed by the scientist, using a gas gun, that first blinds him, then knocks him unconscious. But then, in another twist, the mad scientist and his assistant turn out to be something else and -- ah, ah -- spoilers!

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