Friday, January 13, 2017

Smash Comics #4 - pt. 1

And we're back to Will Eisner's Espionage, still featuring Black Ace instead of Black X.  This installment is the debut of Madame Doom, one of the best femme fatales invented for comic books and the precursor to, well, every femme fatale in The Spirit later.

From this page, we learn that a map of the California Coast's military defenses would be worth about $10,000.

200 MPH was certainly doable for a plane circa 1939. Pursuit planes, transport planes, and bombers all moved at about that speed.

In Chicago, in 1939, they would have likely landed at Midway Airport. But the city looks too far away in the background for this to be Midway. They might have landed at a smaller airport out in the near suburbs to evade notice; this could conceivably be the Pal-Waukee Municipal Airport (in Wheeling).

In Supplement IV, I spent a little while discussing Bantu and if he was a magic-user or psionic. Here, he seems to be casting the spell Phantasmal Image. There is no equivalent psionic power in Supplement III, where the psionics rules are.

When I cataloged various aviator stunts for Hideouts & Hoodlums (for The Trophy Case no. 6), I neglected the Immelmann Turn. Putting it in simplest game mechanic terms, the Immelmann stunt would be used immediately after attacking, and it gets you into position to go first in the following turn (you cannot lose the initiative for that turn).

The Immelmann is a popular maneuver from my limited experience playing Dawn Patrol; I may have to investigate that game more deeply.

This is likely Salt Lake City Municipal Airport.

Black Ace makes his save vs. plot to see through Madame Doom's disguise.

I am not a fan of Clip Chance at Cliffside, and you'll probably never see it here again. But it's worth pointing out that Ray Snort has got to be one of the worst names in all of comicdom. If you meet a character in a comic book story with a name like that, it should send up all kinds of red flags that you're dealing with a bad guy. Names like that, they scar a young man...

Two things here: one, The Green Lizard is not a fearsome name for a master criminal; and two, hiding a radio in a globe is a great detail for hideout dressing.

Invisible Justice calls this a giant crocodile, but it really doesn't look as big as some other crocodiles we've seen in the comics -- this is a large one at best.

It seems IJ only has to shoot it twice to either kill it or chase it off. Indeed, there are a lot of examples in comics of really big, fearsome monsters going down in one or two hits. I'll continue to ignore that for H&H, to keep big battles longer and more exciting.

Invisible Justice looks for tracks, which is now an option for all classes in H&H 2nd ed.

Despite being an underground hideout in a swamp, it seems the hideout is nice and dry. For convenience, and RPG tradition, underground hideouts will seldom have to worry about the local water table.

Concealing the door inside a tree is a nice hideout feature, as is the alarm on the door.

(Scans courtesy of Digital Comic Museum.)

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