Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Amazing Man Comics #9 - pt. 1

I don't know if 2019 is going to be an amazing year or not, but it's going to start amazing -- with Amazing Man!

It's been a while since we last checked in on Amazing Man (almost a whole year ago!), so you might need to pop back for a refresher course on how AM stole a German bomber and what fiendish plans he had for it. Geez, AM, even in wartime you're supposed to keep civilian casualties to a minimum!
As John Aman steers closer towards Chaotic Evil, two German pilots steer an intercept course. But only two? If John is as close to Berlin as he thinks, surely a whole squadron of ships would have scrambled to intercept him by now. Biplanes might seem antiquated, but Germany's air force did not see advancements in fighter plane design until 1941.

Now, John likely has no more than 30 hit points max, so there was little chance of him walking away from that crash. The fall itself, though, can't have done worse than knock him unconscious. The greater threat is the fire damage from the burning wreckage, as any additional harm once unconscious means death. Really, John would have been better off bailing out of the plane and landing separately (game mechanics-wise).

This may be the first and last time we read of John being Asian instead of Caucasian. He's certainly drawn as if Caucasian.
Surprise! John was only stunned and recovers, but with just 1-6 hp he is quickly brought back down again. Interestingly, it is not weight of numbers that takes him down, but the last one to hit him (the first two do not fare well in combat with John).
It's unclear if the Great Question can really will someone to recuperate faster over a distance of hundreds of miles, or if he's just making that up to get John out of bed. His TV does appear to have allowed him to watch John's fight, but this "crystal ball" mentality associated with television was so hard for people to break away from that we still saw it in the 1960s with Star Trek.

When I added weaknesses to Heroes in 2nd edition, I made them race-based because that worked, up until this point, in comic book history. We've previously seen Shock Gibson temporarily lose his powers in what seems like a freak accident (stepping on an electric eel, no less), but Amazing Man is the first human superhero (aside from Popeye) to sport a weakness that will consistently affect him.

It should come as no shock that hetrocoryn is not a real thing. Hence, Bill Everett could have AM encounter it virtually anywhere.

Also note that, instead of being cut off immediately to his powers, John only gradually weakens over a number of melee turns. What that means, game mechanics-wise, is less clear. Perhaps he loses access to one random prepared power per turn, and then wrecking things last once the others are gone.
AM is brought down this time with grappling.

Enough time has passed for his weakness to go away, but we don't know how much time.

Nazis are not normally shown to be conscientious about who they shoot, which is refreshingly nice.
Amazingly, this issue was on newstands around the same time as Germany and the Soviet Union entered into the German–Soviet Commercial Agreement, but Everett couldn't have known about that specifically, months earlier, when he was creating this story.
And we'll wrap up today with just one page from the second feature in this issue, The King of the South Seas. The story isn't clear how Doris lost consciousness just from being in a river with fast current. Perhaps she bumped her head on a rock, though you know how women were always portrayed as chronic fainters back then.

It's unlikely that saving people from drowning is what King feels like he was missing his whole life.

Only thousands, King? Not even tens of thousands? Doris could convince him to go straight right now if she just explained inflation to him.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus.)

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