Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wonderworld Comics #6 - pt. 2

We rejoin Yarko today in the lair of vampires!  It's never clear how many vampires are in this lair, but this page shows there are at least four.

That clever Yarko cast Resist Fire and Protection from Missiles on himself before entering the room.

The clearest evidence yet of the "contest of wills" game mechanic. At first I was leery of including this in the official rules, but even considered putting it in an optional appendix to the 2nd edition basic book. But, as of now, it's right in the combat section.

I'm not sure what spell is being cast here. Stone Shape? Earthquake?

It's also worth noting that the true appearance of vampires is that of a gruesome monster, and they can only make themselves appear to be handsome men or beautiful women.

This is Dr. Fung and Dan, the full-grown sidekick who doesn't get title billing.  Here, Dan is in unarmed combat with a Genghis Khan-type. Genghis Khans were a mobster type in 1st ed., though I'm really not seeing anything too special about these characters, upon closer reading. Dan is really kicking this guy's butt, or just literally kicking him (the first kick is actually a trip attack and is treated as grappling).

I've posted many times about fighters using combat machine for multiple attacks, even when it doesn't appear that they are.

I think I've already covered the tactic of using stairs to one's advantage in a past post. For a heavy weight like this barrel, I might allow it to roll over the first opponent and possibly knock down others; it's not multiple attacks so much as setting up a trap on the stairs. The first target would get to save vs. science to resist, with each subsequent target getting a +2 bonus, and whoever makes the save stops the barrel.

You can't recognize K-51 in that diving suit, but that's him getting his butt kicked by an octopus, and apparently not even of the giant variety. I'll have to remember to add a note to the giant octopus entry about what Hit Dice ordinary ones would have.

This is also a rare instance of a hammer being used as a weapon, without the wielder being named Thor.

This is Mob Buster Robinson, also getting his butt kicked -- though we've already established that head blows should do more damage in a surprise attack.

Robinson observes the man in the mirror because of an unlucky set of surprise rolls for the hoodlum.

This is lousy hideout design. Who puts trapdoors in prison cells? Especially trap doors that lead to underground streams that lead out of the hideout?

This is the first time we've ever seen a gun not work because it was wet.

Rocking the boat caused the thug to save vs. science or fall out.

(Scans courtesy of Digital Comic Museum)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Wonderworld Comics #6 - pt. 1

The Flame appears on the scene thanks to the Teleport through Focus power. He shows up here in the middle of an investigation, just courteously turning over evidence he's collected so far to the D.A.

Collecting evidence isn't a requirement in Hideouts & Hoodlums, nor is respecting due process. Rather, they make for additional challenges that a player choosing a Lawful Hero might enjoy.

The Flame makes what looks like a 15' leap downward, apparently without taking 1-6 points of falling damage. I believe I've covered this on the blog before, but leaping down should not be treated as an uncontrolled fall (when the Hero is taken by surprise).

This is Lou Fine at his artistic best. I like this page so much that one panel of it became the cover art to the first H&H module Sons of the Feathered Serpent. Just soak it all in.

Now, this time, The Flame doesn't just leap down, but has to take the extra step of swinging from the wire to land safely. It's unclear which floor he is leaping from, as it looks like the 2nd floor in panel 1, but could be the 7th floor or higher in panel 2. Maybe he doesn't have a leap power prepared for today, so he can't make the leap safely from that height. Or, maybe the power would only protect him, but someone being carried would still take jarring damage from the landing.

The Flame catches a break at the end; instead of having to catch the thug himself, the thug just gets handed over to him. That's moving the pace along!

300 MPH?  That is one fast car, in any age. It was called a super-charged car in 1st edition. I might be making transportation trophies more customize-able in 2nd edition. For example, this would be a Car +2, with each plus representing a bonus feature in the car (or, more specifically, one plus per extra 100 MPH the car goes).

Leaping up or down, easily handled. Leaping sideways into a moving car? That might require an attack roll, or burn a stunt.

The Flame is buffed by Imperviousness here.

The Flame doesn't need to be using a power to get that "heads slammed together" attack. In unarmed combat everyone gets two attacks per turn, so this would count as separate attacks on each head.

It doesn't take one of the raise powers to pick someone up and throw them out of a car; anyone can try to do that too.

Somehow, he ties up Mr. Crass remarkably quickly. It seems like it's less than a turn he spends on it. And how is his car matching speed without anyone's foot on the gas? Autopilot? Maybe this is a Car +3.

The Flame doesn't seem too concerned about blowing up mobsters, so long as he has the boss villain to take into custody. Does that make him Neutral in Alignment?

Should cars be extra susceptible to flame guns? Or could this be an example of Wreck at Range? I suspect the latter.

And now we move on to the Yarko the Great adventure in this issue. Here, Yarko is on a treacherous journey through Devil's Pass in the Himalayas. His encounters along the way are with natural disasters instead of mobsters (though he finds evidence of vampires at his base camp).

A blizzard this fierce might do 1-8 points of damage each exploration turn that the traveler fails a save vs. plot. While the rockslide might do 3-18 points of damage or more if a save vs. science was missed.

The hoshai plant is a strange sort of trophy item. It's really bizarre -- a giant lilly-like plant that grows in molten lava and has blood inside it. But, other than doesn't actually do anything. In this sense, it's more of a trophy to have, like a giant penny, than something to actually use. I plan on having some examples of these sorts of trophies on the 2nd edition trophy list.

After beating the Devil, you would think Yarko wouldn't be scared of three vampires with bows and arrows. Perhaps he's more concerned for the safety of his traveling companion, or just wants to get captured so he can be taken to their leader.

Speaking of which, vampires with bows and arrows is a fairly novel idea.

(Scans courtesy of Digital Comic Museum.)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Crackajack Funnies #16 - pt. 2

Wash's travel companion here is his old, pre-Easy friend Gozy Gallup. Gozy's lumbago is flavor text, not an injury complication.

Those are some pretty tough hobos at the end. Murder hobos?  I may have to stat hobos yet.

Pirates were in Book II: Mobsters & Trophies.  I've already written up monkeys for 2nd edition. Hermits might be a thing I need to stat someday.

Disguise is really easy for Heroes. Throw a bear rug on your back and you may convince people you're really a bear.

Don Winslow is not lucky on this page. First he gets taken down with a wrench to the head. The wrench was thrown into a melee, so if the attack had missed, there would have been a chance of it hitting someone else.

Red not only gets overborn by the bad guys, if you look closely, it looks like only one mobster overbears him. The other two are doing what, pinning down an unconscious Don Winslow? It looks like the Editor decided to roll randomly to determine which Hero each mobster attacked.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus.)

Friday, November 25, 2016

Crackajack Funnies #16 - pt. 1

(The following post makes more sense if you think of this as having been posted on Thanksgiving, when I started writing it.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

What is Dan Dunn thankful for? That Hideouts & Hoodlums doesn't have "bleeding out" rules. Despite the fact that he's apparently been unconscious from a gunshot wound for hours, he wakes up just fine. And it really is the amount of time passing that made the difference, not the water that Irwin brought him -- unless Irwin happened to slip a dissolving healing pill into the water!

The mobsters are thankful for the new 2nd edition rule on cover fire, making the police afraid to move into the path of the bullets for they would be automatically hit. But Wolf is fine. Is that because cover fire doesn't work against smaller than man-sized targets, or is the grass really so tall that the mobsters don't have line of sight?

Here, the fact that Wolf hops over a wall and still isn't nailed by the cover fire seems to prove that it doesn't work against smaller than man-sized opponents. Or they switched off of the cover fire tactic for some reason (running out of bullets?).

Dan is awfully optimistic for a man who should be only back up to 1 hit point right now.

We've seen more elaborate trap triggers, like electric eyes, pressure plates, and even motion sensors (before that was even a thing you could buy), but here we get the simple trigger of a black thread setting off an alarm.

This page also suggests that carrying a lit flashlight could make it easier to target someone -- or at least would cancel out the dim light bonus in 1st edition.

Red Ryder is grateful for those hot coals, and being able to kick them in the air as high as a person's face. Now, I do plan on having a rule in 2nd edition for blinding attacks, but should hot material also do damage? I would be inclined to say no, since it gives a double advantage to the blinding attack. Of course, this might make sense for hot coals, but what if the hero was invulnerable and could kick up molten lava? An Editor will still have to play situations like that by ear.

Ed Tracer has less reason to be thankful; first he's tricked by The Piranha, who pretends to have stuck Ed with a poison dart (bluffing is much easier than actually carrying poisoned weapons!), then a mobster gets surprise on him and puts him in a double-arm lock. I have grappling rules for 2nd edition that will cover multiple holds, like this one.

1st ed. H&H had the giant piranha. 2nd ed. is going to stat normal schools of piranha. But this appears to be a tank of only four piranha? That's a pretty easy deathtrap. They're going to be able to do maybe 1 point of damage to him per turn?

This is Buck Jones, and I don't share this page because of the simple "I'll roll a boulder down the hill" trap -- because we've seen that already. No, it's for the peculiar incident of the horse stumbling. Over what? When do cowboy's horses ever trip?  There's no need for a game mechanic for this -- this is clearly a freebie from the Editor.

I'm equally skeptical of this. Should Heroes be able to outrun attacks? How slowly are those boulders rolling? In this case, I'm inclined to say Buck made a save vs. missiles to avoid the boulder trap, which was explained by the flavor text of him climbing a nearby tree to escape them.

Wash Tubbs is abused by his ex-girlfriend's bratty kids in this sequence that harkens back to the strip's pre-Captain Easy days. On the previous page was the ol' bucket of water balanced on the door trap -- avoided by a save vs. missiles and -- since it was only water -- doing no damage.

Itching powder also does no damage but could be a good distraction, maybe making someone save vs. science each turn or lose initiative until the powder is washed off.

Spitballs do no damage, but they sure are annoying (no game mechanic for annoying though).

Trip attacks will be covered under the grappling rules.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Superman #2

Superman catches a man jumping off a bridge in mid-leap and "receives the brunt of the shock when they strike water." Which seems odd because falling in water is usually safe in comic books. If Heroes can take a hit for someone else, can they also take falling damage for someone else?

Superman fails to recognize ex-heavyweight champion of the world, Larry Trent, right away. Is recognizing others a skill that needs to be checked?

Superman uprooting a tree is a use of the Raise Car power. It's not clear if Superman is using make-up or a power to disguise himself. The narrator says he punches out 11 boxers at once (even though we only see 6 in the panel), which has to be the Flurry of Blows power. When another man he punches out mistakes Superman's fist for a sledge hammer, Superman might have been using the Get Tough power to buff his damage. He later uses Super-Senses to hear every word being said from a rooftop away.

I'm not sure what to make of Superman's ability to resist a hot foot. Resist Fire? Super-Tough Skin? Or can he ignore it because a lit match would do even less than a point of damage? He's definitely using Super-Tough Skin his second time in the ring.

He tells Larry that he plans to impersonate him for several months. That's really different, as most adventures only take days, if not just hours, to finish.

When Barnes accidentally punches himself out in the ring, there's no game mechanic justifying that happening; the Editor just throws that in because it's funny.

Demonstrating that Superman isn't yet a Lawful paragon of virtue, he takes a drugged drink from corrupt manager Tom Croy and forces Tom to drink it himself. Luckily, it wasn't lethal poison.

Superman is surprisingly wrecking-lite in the first story in this issue. He does "jam his hand over the" muzzle of a gun to make it explode, which would probably be treated as wrecking things.

In the second adventure, "Superman Champions Universal Peace", Superman shows no suspicion when Professor Runyan demonstrates how his new formula for poison gas can penetrate a gas mask and kill a monkey, but it can't penetrate the glass jar Runyan conducts the experiment in.

When mobsters show up at Runyan's office and threaten him, Superman does everything right -- giving the mobsters some figurative rope, following them from a distance to find out where they operate from, and goes off to perform his civilian duties as Clark Kent with no since of urgency, since the mobsters gave Runyan 24 hours. That the mobsters "cheated" and killed Runyan early could have felt unfair to Superman's player, and discouraged him from not hitting first and asking questions later in the future.

The mobsters are actually spies from "Boravia" -- probably meant to be Bolivia.  Curiously, Bolivia had never had a civil war, like what happens in this story, though it does seem to predict the 1949 Bolivian Civil War.

When the spy leader, Bartow wrecks the controls for his plane and it crashes, his two henchmen emerge practically unscathed, suggesting again that crashes are almost never lethal in comic books.

For one of the only times in comic book history, a bomb lands next to Superman and knocks him unconscious (he forgot those defensive buff powers!).

Is Superman using Invisibly Fast when he fools the firing squad in "Boravia"? He's definitely using Imperviousness when he does let them shoot him. When he starts fighting back, he wrecks a tank gun (treat as a truck). He collects aircraft bombs, temporarily, as trophy items, but then uses them right away.

Now, how high is Superman jumping when he leaps up to attack a blimp? He appears to be above the clouds, but WWII-era blimps didn't typically go that high; the Hindenburg's cruising altitude was only 650' up.  Leap I could reach that height, and what appear to be clouds might just be smoke from the munitions factory Superman destroyed. Lastly, I would say that blimps wreck as if generators.

Superman again shows he has a cruel, non-Lawful streak. When Lubane tries to use the deadly poison gas in a desperate attempt to kill both himself and Superman, Superman saves himself with the Different Physical Structure power, then just watches as Lubane dies by his own hand.

At the Bolivian (excuse me, "Boravian") capital, Superman wrecks the load-bearing pillars in the conference hall to force the sides to come together -- or else! I would treat load-bearing pillars as cars, for wrecking purposes.

In the third adventure, "Superman and the Skyscrapers", Superman is able to hide in shadows despite the bright colors of his costume/uniform (a skill check and/or a surprise roll -- considering how long Superman remains unseen, I would probably have required both).

Even though Superman is supposedly a well-known public figure by now, the skyscraper saboteur fails to identify Superman's distinctive appearance and mistakes him for a detective. Maybe recognizing others really is a difficult skill!

Superman's encounter with the skyscraper saboteur is harder to explain in H&H terms than one might think. Curiously, the saboteur gets off three shots with a revolver before Superman can close with him, despite already being at close range. Even with an automatic, the saboteur can't get off more than two shots per turn, meaning that Superman merely saunters up to the saboteur for one full turn, then loses or forfeits initiative in the next turn to take more shots (all he's protected from by his Imperviousness power) before getting his turn. But Superman doesn't get to attack because the saboteur moves after attacking and before Superman gets to go. Now, in 1st ed. H&H, that is actually how it works, with movement split into two phases before and after attacks. In 2nd ed., though, I planned to simplify things and keep movement all in one action at the beginning of the combat turn. Maybe I'm erring, though...?

Superman uses Extend Missile Weapon I to toss a living person -- which we've seen before, but not thrown straight up into the air. It's a clever way to break the power so that it does more damage, as Butch Grogan's bodyguard flies up at least 30' and would take 3-18 points of damage upon falling. Ultimately, Superman uses the 4th level power, Bounce Back Blows just to take out Butch's one bodyguard -- a pretty excessive act. Just having the power means Superman is at least an incredible man (6th level superhero).

Superman is interrogating Butch Grogan out in the street when a beat cop comes up to question them both. Both Superman and Butch feel the need to escape, and it's telling that Superman is the one who gets shot at.

When Superman finally tracks down Butch's boss, he encounters a trapped hallway where photo-electric cells trigger bombs along the hallway as soon as Superman passes by them. Since "only a swift sideward leap saves Superman from annihilation", he must have buffed only with Imperviousness and not Invulnerability.

(Issue read in Superman Archives v. 1.)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Star Ranger Funnies v. 2 #5

This is from Red Man of the Rockies. I'd wager this is the only time this character ever appeared anywhere, but he's a curious figure in comic book history. Like Big Chief Wahoo, this strip seems to be treating an Indian like a superhero just by virtue of him being an Indian -- but done in a serious adventure mood, more like Superman.

Actually, whether this particular Red Man is a fighter, mysteryman, or superhero, is the first subject of this post. Check out this first example, of Red Man being able to throw a tomahawk through a glass window and still hit its intended target. I would rule right away that a fighter couldn't do that, as a thrown tomahawk would lose too much energy in breaking the glass. Maybe Red Man could do that by burning a stunt, if he was a mysteryman. As a superhero, the Editor could ask him to wreck the glass as if it was a door in the same turn as the attack roll for the hatchet, needing both rolls to succeed for this to work.

We've looked at lots of panels like this first one before and asked the same question: is this a fighter's "combat machine" ability, or a superhero using the power Multi-Attack? If the former, then Red Man is at least a lieutenant (4th level fighter). If the latter, he's at least a great man (2nd level superhero -- or a good man, 1st level, in 2nd edition, as I'm going to let them get powers right away now).

I'm pretty sure I've already talked about taking a shot for someone else too. I'm still torn on how that mechanic should work -- if you're providing cover for the other target, or just automatically transferring the hit.

So what to make of this? Did Red Man heal him with a magic spell? Is the remedy some kind of trophy item (we never actually see how he did it)? Or did Red Man just let him get lots of rest, heal normally, and then try to take credit for it?

And what to make of that hearing hoofbeats the white man can't hear? One of them made his surprise roll and the other didn't? Red Man is using the Super-Senses power?

And how about this leaping? My first thought was, oh, this must be Leap I -- he's a superhero! But the gap also looks like it's maybe no more than 20', and that's doable for an athlete with a running start. I would require a fighter or mysteryman to make a skill check (used to be a save vs. science here) or misjudge the gap and miss, while a mysteryman could burn a stunt to automatically make the jump.

And that shooting through the rope and a man in the back with the same bullet? That's definitely an example of burning a stunt for the mysteryman class. So where does that leave us? Maybe he's a good man/charade man (1st level superhero/2nd level mysteryman -- and, yes, I do plan on using level titles more often in 2nd edition).

This is Lee Trent. I was impressed by the tactic of lassoing the chimney and then scaling up the wall by rope -- a tactic that you don't have to be a cowboy to use.  The hole in the roof offers an unconventional means of entry into the hideout; Editors should always be prepared for unconventional entry. And, lastly, hiding out in the rafters should (and probably did) give Lee a good bonus to his surprise roll.

The Ermine is back. I believe I made a case, the last time, that The Ermine was an explorer (the optional class from The Trophy Case v. 1 no. 2), but here it's quite clear that The Ermine is supposed to be a superhero (though a low-level one, since doors are still giving him trouble).

The Ermine easily chases off two full-grown bears. While it might seem he did it too easily, bears and other animals don't necessarily have a reason to attack a human, unless some magic, hi-tech, or simply hunger was coercing them. So under normal circumstances, I might always give animals an encounter check and/or a morale save to see what they do.

This feature is Kid Centaur and, unlike Speed Centaur, everyone is a centaur in this strip -- which would make for a pretty weird H&H campaign.

No, I'm more interested in the trap here, where something metal on the ground that the Heroes would be tempted to pick up is secretly electrified.

(Scans courtesy of Digital Comic Museum)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Smash Comics #3 - pt. 2

I first discovered John Law the Scientective while researching for Supplement IV: Captains, Magicians, and Incredible Men.  He was not the first scientist hero in comics (Dean Denton might have been first), but he's a favorite of mine.

I'm not sure if the induction alarm was a real thing back in 1939. Of course, motion sensors are commonplace today, as are remote-controlled lights. One of the nice things about running a campaign set in the past is that you don't have to come up with super-science-y gizmos all the time, as modern day stuff would have been advanced science back then too.

John's nemesis, The Avenger, uses a pretty dastardly tactic here, forcing an innocent victim to bring a ball of poison gas to John. This way, no matter what John did, the ball would likely wind up getting broken. Lucky that John has a gas mask so handy, especially considering that I don't plan to make it a starting equipment item.

Antidotes, like gas masks, are trophy items. The scientist class from Supplement III: Better Quality -- which John probably would qualify for -- can make stuff like this, but the scientist won't be in the 2nd edition basic book.

Bombs are a natural trophy item, but the damage they can do is highly variable and even the triggers for a bomb can be just about anything -- like this one, that is triggered by air pressure. I'll probably have just one entry for bombs in the trophy section with a short list of suggestions.

Really, John? X-Rays? You couldn't just shine ultraviolet light on their hands? It does seem like the general public, in 1939, was pretty ignorant about the effects of radiation, but a scientist should have known.

The manager is shot by a sniper, also known as an assassin (and statted as such) in 2nd edition.

This is Wings Wendall of Military Intelligence. My players are rarely so subtle as to use distractions, but if they did, I would have the guard save vs. plot or fall for it. As Editor, you could decide to always let a clever idea for a distraction work automatically, the first time, and then use the save vs. plot mechanic always after that if they repeat it.

It's hard to believe that any bad guys were so dense to need a chart explaining that simple plan, but it made for an awful handy clue for Wings to find.

Lastly, having dim light make it difficult for people to recognize Heroes is a factor the game mechanics don't directly deal with. I guess, if the player was directly asking if the dim light could hide his identity, then you would treat it as a disguise attempt.

Editors don't need to go this easy on their players. How dumb is this bad guy, to already suspect Wings of being a spy, but putting him on a crucial work detail on the sub without a guard anyway?

That said, this is pretty cool, dressing up like the bad guy in order to fool all his underlings.

This is Hugh Hazzard and His Iron Man and...this trophy item is a goofy one. Apparently, the super-seper-iconoscope can pick up a radio signal and convert it into a television signal, as if the scene heard was being filmed. The sheer impossibility of that working makes my head hurt. But that's the Golden Age!

Here's a familiar issue -- are the bullets bouncing off because Bozo's Armor Class is so low, or because the robot has a power like Imperviousness? The robot clearly has the wrecking things ability here. I would treat wrecking planes as if they were (perhaps ironically) robots.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Smash Comics #3 - pt. 1

This is Eisner's Black Ace again, but the real issue here is the poor bloke who gets his head dashed in when a torpedo rolls into him and knocks his head back against the wall. As drawn, it doesn't seem like the torpedo could have hit him for enough impact for doing damage, let alone lethal damage. Hideouts & Hoodlums already has built-in precedents for Heroes operating under different rules from non-Heroes (like the save vs. missiles). In keeping with this, the Editor has a lot of leeway for fudging rules against non-Heroes.

Here, Black Ace is called on by the scenario to face a difficult moral dilemma -- try to save everyone and probably fail, or leave some to die and ensure that he can save some of them? As Heroes grow more powerful through the course of the game and have more resources available to them, it becomes more difficult to lead them into a situation like that. Still, if you can set them up for it, a dilemma like this is the sort of challenge that never gets easier, no matter what level the Heroes are.

This page brings up a particular issue with morale. Black Ace feels he's identified one lynchpin person in the crowd who risks breaking the morale of all the other sailors and decides to take him out to stop that from happening. Is Black Ace just imagining this, or does morale really need to work differently than all-or-nothing on each side? An Editor could account for this by rolling individual morale saves for everyone involved.

And lastly, from this story, we're reminded that an important goal for many scenarios set pre-war can be to prevent the war from happening. U.S. involvement was not a given as of 1939 -- in fact, the majority of citizens were against getting involved.

This is Chic Carter. Here we get another example of flavor text wounds on a non-Hero, as there's no reason Valerie's bullet wound should need her to be rushed to the hospital, unless the Editor set up such a condition to add a time limit to the scenario.

I'm not sure how I would handle the overloading of the plane. On one hand, I kind of want that to be in the pilot's hands and make him roll a skill check. On the other hand, maybe everyone involved should just roll a save vs. plot to stay alive. A combination of the two would have the pilot rolling the skill check and the passengers on the wings making saves vs. plot (or maybe science, to avoid wind shear).

One might say that Wall-E borrowed a page from Abdul the Arab here, who borrows into the sand to avoid harm. Now, the tent itself essentially made Abdul invisible, giving his opponents a -4 modifier to hit. But this isn't just another penalty modify to stack on, this is removing Abdul from the direct line of fire. Editors will have to make their own calls for when the situation calls for eliminating the chance to hit altogether. For instance, without the tent obscuring Abdul's actions, all that sand would have amounted to little more than soft cover.

One could make a case that it wasn't Abdul who won the day here, but the British captain who sent in Abdul's back-up. It's also implied that the British have the stronger steel formula now, giving them the military advantage the Arabs had tried to get. Abdul certainly turns on his own people a lot.

Also worth noting is that formulas could be considered treasure -- something with monetary value, but little value as a trophy -- to a Hero.

We've already established that climbing is really easy in comic books, and apes are natural climbers -- two factors that make it really questionable that the ape happens to slip and fall in this page of Captain Cook of Scotland Yard.

Again, I question the use of madman as a mobster type, as Professor Dwyer really seems to just be a mad doctor here. Mad doctors get an entry separate from mad scientists in 2nd edition and will have a skill in brain transplants.

There's also passing reference to two trophy items here -- an electro magnet that can guide planes off-course, and an incandescent (as opposed to fluorescent?) death ray that seems to focus on killing vegetation.

Invisible Hood is dealing with mobsters with a submarine. The submarine is an advanced model with greater speed and able to attain greater depths -- a Submarine +2, if you will.

Realistically, the mobsters don't want to spend all their time on a cramped submarine, which is why their true hideout is the schooner. The schooner appears to be an ordinary trophy-transport item.

(Scans courtesy of Comic Book Plus)