Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Adventure Comics #44 - pt. 1

The Sandman makes a reference to growing up in Hilltown. There is a Hilltown Township in Pennsylvania, corroborating my growing suspicion that the Sandman is based out of Philadelphia.

The Sandman calls his butler "Feathers."

After being shot by The Face, The Sandman has to spend a week convalescing/healing.

The Sandman can pick a lock.

The Sandman's gas gun has a range of at least 10'.

In an interesting twist, the Sandman's best lead in finding the face is that his costumes are too authentic. He's able to find his costume supplier and track down The Face from there. It's an interesting angle that is largely forgotten in later stories with disguise villains.

For the only time ever, The Sandman deliberately murders a foe.

Fang Gow returns to harass Barry O'Neill -- mainly because Barry was floundering for direction without his nemesis, I'd guess. Gow has invented a potion of wax transformation that seems to be permanent, or at least has a very long duration.  The potion is administered by syringe, and in 2nd edition H&H will clearly specify that potions do not just have to be drank.

Gow has some new real estate, operating out of a French castle, but he's so confident that the main entrance only has one guard! Maybe the rest were just on their coffee break, because a "horde" of yellow peril hoodlums are available for Gow to summon later.

The Federal Men story starts with Steve Carson getting a lead on a case, then not getting any further with it for months before a second plot hook comes his way.  The smuggler's hiding place is a nod to the Sherlock Holmes story, "The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone."

The Socko Strong story gets a much easier start, with Socko showing up for a photography assignment only to, luckily, spot the person he'd come to photograph tied up through the basement window. Why the thugs abducting the young man would leave him within sight of a window facing the front of the house is beyond me, but without it Socko would never have known something was up and there would be no adventure. So, either Socko has to roll to spot the victim through the window, or he's a plot hook character and is automatically encountered.

The Captain Desmo story is stolen from "The Most Dangerous Game," perhaps the most-stolen story ever. Count Ogreoff has ape-men following him.  Desmo is pretty ruthless with offing Ogreoff's ape-men, pushing one off a cliff and rolling a boulder over the others. I think I've covered pushing in previous blog posts -- but, to review, pushing off a cliff requires a failed save vs. science after a successful attack. Rolling a boulder takes a save vs. plot to get a boulder rolling, with a cumulative -1 penalty for each person you expect the boulder to hit (and then each of them gets a save vs. missiles). Desmo is attacked by a constrictor snake before the second wave of ape-men. The second wave switches tactics and overbear him with numbers, assigning a cumulative penalty to his saving throw vs. science for each successful hit on him.

(Sandman read in Golden Age Sandman Archives, the rest read in summary at DC Wiki).

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