Thursday, February 9, 2017

Amazing Man Comics #7 - pt. 1

I suppose this bears sharing just for being such an innovative splash page for its time, but the other reason for inclusion is the date on the newspaper. This issue was cover dated November 1939, but on sale in October. This is the first time a comic book story has conclusively taken place at the time of the cover date.

Note how Amazing Man has no vision-related powers, relying on ordinary binoculars to see from his plane. I suspect he's buffed himself with a power like Get Tough before engaging the mountain lions.

That's also very un-mountain lion-like behavior, by the way...

Amazing Man still has no costume, confounding my game rules that says all superheroes have to be in costume. Stop it, Aman!

Amazing Man's bruised cheek and bloody elbow suggest that he did not bother with defensive buffing before the fight.

If John is still in Arizona, then this state capital must be Phoenix. The most famous dam in Arizona would be Hoover Dam, but it was not the newest one in 1939; that would be the lesser known Bartlett Dam.

It's growing increasingly hard to explain away Amazing Man's "green mist" ability as just flavor text for another power. This is really more of an Assume Gaseous Form power, allowing John Aman to pass through barriers without wrecking them, and just generally spook people when they see him as a swirling cloud.

The two mobsters here are Latino males, but refreshingly non-stereotyped.

It's not clear if Amazing Man can cross distances quickly in gaseous form or if he can teleport in that form. He does seem to be able to control whether he is visible or invisible while gaseous.

I'm puzzled by this armored plane. As far as I know, armored planes as a fad that proved unpopular in WWI because the armor slowed the planes down too much. I wonder if Bill Everett meant "fighter plane" instead of armored plane here.

Here we see planes are outfitted with fire extinguishers and we see Amazing Man using a Leap power -- but more interestingly we can see a change of intention. It appears that John is about to try putting out the fire when he goes "Nuts to this -- I'm goin' for broke!" and decides to try something crazy and aggressive instead of rational and defensive. This kind of game play usually makes for more interesting game play, yet players may avoid such gutsy tactics for fear of failure. Here, the Editor does not seem to have penalized John's player at all for changing intentions. Perhaps he's even awarded him a bonus for trying something so bold -- or this success could just be lucky dice rolls. John did have to hit the plane in mid-leap (normal attack roll), followed by a wrecking things roll vs. the plane.

Hitting a plane with a fire extinguisher would not normally give one a bonus, though.

 Amazing Man demonstrates the powers Feather Landing and Resist Fire here.

It takes John 15 minutes to do a search, when searches are usually handled in 10 minute exploration turns in game.

Amazing Man murders two mobsters here in cold blood. He's clearly Chaotic in Alignment, so I also wouldn't be surprised if he stole that motorcycle from the previous page and planned to keep it for a trophy item, rather than just borrow it.

(Scans courtesy of Digital Comic Museum)

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