Tuesday, May 14, 2019

More Fun Comics #52

After a long time away we return to DC's very first series, just in time for the debut of its first superhero, the Spectre!

Jim Corrigan is a still-living police detective when we first meet him. Single-handedly, with just his fists, he defeats three thieves and a guard (which seems like it must have been some pretty lucky rolling). He's also a bully, mistreating his best friend and fiancee (though maybe not so much by 1940 standards), so it's hard to feel sorry for him when the master criminal "Gat" Benson and two hoodlums stick him in a barrel full of concrete and drop him in the river. 

Jim dies, but his soul ascends to Heaven on a shaft of light. A voice speaks to him from the clouds -- it's all much less detailed than the versions of the Afterlife we've already seen from Will Eisner's Yarko the Great stories.

Returning as a ghost, Jim finds that he is now immune (or at least highly resistant?) to drowning, can fly, turn invisible (though he only knows he turned invisible because he had no shadow...?), and pass through walls.


Game mechanics: It's clear that Jim is now a Magic-User, as the four spells he just cast were Water Breathing, Fly, Invisibility, and Passwall. All of which are way beyond what a 1st-level Magic-User would be able to cast, but if there was ever a good candidate for brevet ranks, it's the Spectre.

Another possibility is that we just assign more special abilities to the ghost race that was introduced in Supplement V: Big Bang.

What remains unclear is, does Jim retain his level in the fighter class from when his campaign started? Or has the Editor allowed his player to start over with essentially a new character with the same name and supporting cast?


In a gag filler called Henrietta, we see a new bicycle selling for $25.

We pick up with Wing Brady where we left off, with him helping the colonists (the bad guys, from our modern perspective) against the natives/nomads (the good guys). Normally, it's the Westerners who are shown having air support in these adventures, but this time the tables are cleverly turned. While Wing and the British are holed up in a desert fort, the nomad besiegers call in an air strike by a light bomber.

The bomber is also a plot device, shaping the scenario by creating gaps in the walls where small-scale combats can take place, as the natives try to pour through.  

(Spectre story read in The Golden Age Spectre Archives vol. 1; started to read the rest at readcomiconline, but then the site started trying some suspicious activity...)

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