Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Adventure Comics #46 - pt. 1

This month's Sandman feature teases out more information from Wesley Dodds' past; now we know he was on a rowing team at university -- without any clue as to which university, or when (though it was likely '32 or earlier, since we know he was piloting in '33).

The Sandman keeps his costume in a trunk in a closet. He owns at least two cars -- which makes sense for a billionaire, and we know the license plate on one is B7501. He carries a pocket light in this adventure, in addition to his gas gun. The gas gun is shown to have a range of at least 15'. He also still carries a pouch of sand to scatter as his calling card.

On the scene of his old college roommate's death, Sandman makes a basic skill check to spot blood on the floor, a basic skill check to hide in shadows (in some situations this would be an expert skill check, but it's in a living room with lots of furniture), and when he (apparently) fails a pick locks check, he simply removes the locked door from its hinges.

The murder suspect fails to recognize the Sandman on sight and calls him "mystery man" instead (she knows his Hero class!). The Sandman hints that he might resort to torture on her to find out what he wants to know, but he shows no sign of following through on it. She honks his car horn, summoning a policeman, and it is true that making extra noise can trigger sooner wandering encounter checks. In the end, her intuition tells her she can trust him and he buys her story -- sense motive skill checks?

At the Coin's lair, the Sandman is able to shoulder open a (apparently) locked door. The Coin sounds like a cool name, but he turns out to be a rather ordinary counterfeiter, his only gimmick being cross-dressing as an old woman for a disguise.

Barry O'Neil is still trying to rescue Jean Le Grand from lions. A lion claws at Barry, but only shreds off his shirt. There is a rich history of pulp heroes being men in torn shirts -- should there be a rule about losing your shirt to soak up damage? If so, I would only implement it for flavor and allow it to soak up no more than 1 point.

The lions (there were three) do not all attack Barry right away; something important to remember about Neutral mobstertypes is that they do not have to want to attack, or even continue attacking from turn to turn. Encounter reaction checks are just as important as morale saves for determining this.

In typical racism of the times, Fang Gow's Chinese followers seem unable to identify a plane on sight, with one of them calling it a "great bird."

In unusually tough odds for an early comic book adventure, Barry finds their escape next blocked by at least 16 bloodthirsty/yellow peril hoodlums, and naturally he is captured.

Fang Gow's castle is said to be 50 kilometers south of "Dyon" France, which probably stands for Dijon, France. That puts them somewhere in the SaĆ“ne-et-Loire department in the region of Bourgogne. Inspector Le Grande plans a rescue mission made up entirely of non-Hero characters, which is spotted by a lookout on its way to the castle. Fang Gow has the bridges leading to his castle dynamited and rings the castle wall with machine guns, but his sentries fail to spot Le Grande and his men scaling the castle walls under cover of darkness. A terrific battle ensues, which must have been incredibly boring for Barry's player, as he has to sit it out and be rescued only once it's all over. Fang Gow, of course, uses an escape tunnel and gets away.

(Sandman story read in Golden Age Sandman Archives; the rest read at fullcomic.pro)


  1. Ah, the Sandman! One of my favorite Golden Age designs! Again, I haven't read very many of his actual GA comics, but I came to be a fan of the character over the course of his more modern re-interpretations and appearances.

  2. Find them and read them; the Sandman will not disappoint you!

  3. Will do! We have such good resources out there to find and read these things now, I'd better take advantage of them while they last!