Monday, March 6, 2017

Fantastic Comics #1 - pt. 4

Yank Wilson is an odd duck; there's no indication that this is some future scenario, so this is a present in some alternate timeline where the U.S.'s greatest enemy is a tiny kingdom at the North Pole and both sides have ridiculously large military forces backed with super-science.  For a clue as to how super-sciency this feature is, the airspeed record in 1939 was 469 MPH, almost half what these strat-bombers can do.

More evidence of not only super-science, but impossible super-science, as "2,000 degrees below zero" can't happen.  A freezing gas would be useful for hideout traps, though.

We're given no explanation for how 5,000 tanks managed to cross the Arctic Sea, but judging from the rest of this feature, I wouldn't be surprised if they grew wings and flew.

A long distance atom separator sounds an awful lot like an atomic bomb. It would take something like that to destroy 5,000 tanks at once too.  For such a goofy feature, it's scarily prescient here.

Interestingly, the writer had to come up with electro-vibrographs because, as discussed before, the term RADAR was not in common parlance yet in 1939.  Note how super-sciency Radar seems to be at the time.

The freezing gas, in sufficient quantities, can be used to affect entire cities.

This is, I believe, the first instance of a heat ray being used to counter a cold effect.

Other than the feature being named after him, I really can't see how Yank Wilson was granted a hero's reward and not, you know, the scientists who came up with the heat ray and the other super-science.

This is Captain Kidd, Explorer.  When you meet a mad scientist, don't attack right away, and get a good encounter reaction roll, they want to show you all their trophy items and explain how they work to you.

When I put a mechanical hand on the trophy list for 1st edition, I didn't actually have a good example of one in mind. Here's one, though it is better for attacking and giving a human a claw attack than for wrecking.

He doesn't look like one, but Von Haupt was a supervillain, buffed with Nigh-Invulnerable Skin. Kept him safe from bullets, but not from falling damage or heat damage.

As if this issue hadn't already hit its weird quota, this is from Flick Falcon in the Fourth Dimension.  Flick is a scientist who's 4th dimension machine flings him onto Mars. The slave giant appears to be at least 30' tall, which would stat him as a titan (from Supplement I: National).

Not sure what to make of this other guy. He must be some kind of mutant Green Martian, missing his fourth arm, and apparently having tiny hooves for feet. Only, the next page shows dozens of them...

Having escaped the mutant Green Martians through their own time machine, Flick discovers -- as so many others have on Mars -- that *humans* are the aliens on Mars and gain the same leaping, speed, and (presumedly) bulletproof skin that aliens have on Earth.

The fourth dimensional ray takes Flick back and forth, much like a "future" Adam Strange.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus)

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