Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Speed Comics #2 - pt. 1

I'm finally up to November 1939! And we'll start this month with this second issue from Brookwood (later Harvey Comics).

Avast there! That scourge of the seven seas, Baron Von Kampf, is back and he's got one of those electronics-deadening rayguns that are already becoming a comic book cliche.

We've seen freighters and even Naval war vessels used as hideouts, but this is the first whaling ship serving as a hideout.

I don't think something should qualify as both a trophy item and a hideout, which is a good enough excuse for me to keep whaling ships off the Hideouts & Hoodlums 2nd ed. trophy lists. Seaplanes, though, are definitely in, being such a common comic book staple.

Here's Shock Gibson, just sitting at home, reading his newspaper, while fully dressed in his superhero uniform (unless he's pants-less; we really can't see). Later, on the plane, as soon as there's trouble he changes from plain clothes back into his uniform.

Now, besides pointing out how silly this is, I share it for two good points. One, Heroes should have some kind of private life to go home to between adventures, if for no other reason than so they're not just sitting around all the time in their uniform, waiting for trouble.  Second, as Editor, you could make a big deal about asking Shock's player -- "Okay, where do you plan on changing into your uniform? In the plane's bathroom?" *rolls for how many people notice* -- or you can just skip over details like that and get straight into the action. I guess, from this page, that Shock's player prefers action to story details.

This is an odd power -- Restore Power to Electrical Devices? Maybe it could fall under a broader power of Control Electricity. Control Electricity is a 5th level power in Supplement I, though -- that means Shock has an awful lot of brevet ranks, to raise him from 1st level to 7th.

If you were curious about what lascars are, read here.

Finally, Shock seems to be using a buffing power to repel bullets in that last panel. But the water is serving as soft cover too!

The bullet-repelling force field is likely just flavor text for the Imperviousness power.

The three sharks seem to be a wandering encounter.

Whoa, dead with one kick? It doesn't happen that way in H&H, normally. Although...if Shock kicked the shark unconscious, plus did electrocution damage to it, then the shark could be dead. Kind of a jerk move, though, Shock.

Now, I'm prepared to make climbing pretty easy in H&H, but Shock's climb up the prow of a whaling ship, while soaking wet? Has to be a wall-crawling power. I plan on there being one in 2nd ed.

To wreck a machine gun just enough to render it inoperable should be fairly easy, like wrecking a door. If you're doing something fancier, like bending the barrel, the Editor could ask you to wreck on the machines category. If you were doing something even fancier, like bending it into a pretzel shape, then that could be the generator category, or even higher.

Von Kampf here uses the electronics-deadening raygun on Shock, and we discover it has a useful side effect of paralyzing superheroes whose powers are electricity-based. Now, players might balk at this, because the source of their powers is all optional flavor text in H&H. Some players go to the trouble of explaining how they get each of their powers and other players put no effort into that at all. This weapon seems to be penalizing Shock's player for going to the extra work. The Editor could allay these concerns in advance by giving powers common sense benefits outside of game mechanics -- like saying that electricity-based Hero can turn on the lights in a room without flipping a switch, or make people's hair stand on end without expending a power.

The hurricane seems to be another wandering encounter.

A lugger is this. I would probably lump these into a category of sailboats for transport trophies.

There isn't a catching power, so I would say Shock is using a Raise power here to hold up the house. It's not a very big house, so I think I'd let any of the Raise powers do this.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus.)

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