Wednesday, June 1, 2016

More Fun Comics #73: Man-Made Fish-Man


All-Star Comics (1940) #3 Cover (with modifications added)

So I'm skipping over the introduction to the JSA (Justice Society of America) in All-Star Comics (1940) #3 because it is really just a bunch of individual "solo" stories by each member of the team instead of a feature in which the team functions as a team for the first time by combating some.... some... thing.

All-Star Comics (1940) #3 Page 31 Panel 5: The Red Tornado is reluctant to join the JSA for lunch.
Mrs. Hinkle (the Red Tornado)
((She's the one on the right.))
(Besides, my prepared rant on the complete absence of women on the original team was undercut when I discovered that the Red Tornado, who has a cameo on page 31, is in fact a woman (Mrs. Hunkle). Though, since she has been described as a "parody hero," I'm not sure if she counts as an official member of the team here.)

Most Amusing Panel Prize:

"Nothing can kill me"!!! "But I don't want to hang here like a dish of food, so---"

More Fun Comics (1935) #73 Page 7 Panel 2: Doctor Fate, snared in a giant spider's web, decides not to stick around for lunch.
Doctor Fate decides not to stay for dinner.

More Fun Comics (1935) #73 marks the first appearances of Green Arrow (and his pal Speedy) and Aquaman. There are also stories from the mag's ongoing regulars, Doctor Fate and The Spectre, but as this issue does not constitute their first appearances, I will not touch upon them here. (Plus there's a couple other tales in this issue that did not fancy my interest at all so they will be neglected entirely (no offence intended)).

More Fun Comics (1935) #73 LEFT: Page 11 Panel 1: Green Arrow & Speedy stop some thieves with their fancy shooting; RIGHT: Page 43 Panel 2: The Spectre rises out of some misplaced lava in the middle of the city.
Green Arrow & Speedy                                                               The Spectre                       

Surprising Details:

The Robin Hood Green Arrow & Speedy tale is not very illuminating or particularly engaging, but some interesting details that I didn't know before include the fact that Green Arrow and Speedy share an apartment (some bi-potential there?) and they have an Arrow Car (like the Batmobile).

(Aside: I also just finished reading the first volume of Injustice: Gods Among Us Year One in which Harley Quinn suggests to Green Arrow that he needs to rename his Arrow Cave (which doesn't make as much sense as the Bat Cave does because, you know, bats live in caves) with The Quiver instead. I totally agree, that IS so much better than the "Arrow Cave")

More Fun Comics (1935) #73 Page 54 Panel 3: Aquaman is trained to operate underwater by his dad through lost scientific secrets from Atlantis.
Anyway, the real surprising details for me are found in the Aquaman story. My limited knowledge of the character comes from Saturday morning cartoons of the Super Friends and more contemporary versions from the 1980's/2010's.

I had no idea Aquaman started out as a regular kid who just so happened to be raised underwater in the ruins of the ancient city of Atlantis that his famous explorer dad had discovered (after has mom had died).

Rather than being born an Atlantean (part-Atlantean) with the capacity to breathe underwater and to communicate with the inhabitants of the sea, Aquaman developed these skills "by training and a hundred scientific secrets" that his father had discovered in the Atlantean archives.

Final Notions:

The "Golden Age" comics I've read so far seem to focus on amazing feats. Crazy scientists running amok, supernatural phenomena, alien invasions, all thwarted by the stalwart hero. Perhaps these comics were truly geared toward a more juvenile audience so the creators tried to keep the moral logic simple and straightforward.

More Fun Comics (1935) #73 Page 55 Panel 4: Aquaman punches the metal submarine which suffers significant damage from "the terrific impact!"
But there does seem to be something masculine about these tales, too. The emphasis on action and accomplishment. Dominating evil with fists and smarts and clever quips.

The almost complete lack of emphasis on complex motivations for any character besides the hero (and even the hero himself) is a struggle for me. I have always been more interested in the "why" than the "how" (though I do like the "how" to make logical, scientific sense when it can)

The goal/the outcome that is the driving force of these early tales seems to be how to obtain mastery over the other or the self. It is not to better understand the other or the self. The goal isn't to question or to grow, the goal is simply to win.

Now is it fair for me to characterize these simple morality tales (which are most often resolved through violence) as masculine story-telling...?



All-Star Comics (1940) #3 Cover
Series: All-Star Comics (1940)

Issue #: 003

Copyright: DC Comics

Cover Date: Winter 1941

Cover Price: 10¢

Page Count:  68 pages

Print Release: 22-October-1941

Digital Release: 17-November-2015


Writer:
DC Comics Logo
Penciler:
Inker:
Colorist:
None Listed
Cover Art:
Source Links:
Story Title:
“The First Meeting of the Justice Society of America”

Writer:
Penciler:
Inker:
Colorist:
None Listed
Story Title:
“Guarding an Heiress”



More Fun Comics (1935) #73 Cover
Series: More Fun Comics (1935)

Issue #: 073

Copyright: DC Comics

Cover Date: November 1941

Cover Price: 10¢

Page Count:  59 pages

Print Release: 24-September-1941

Digital Release: 19-May-2012


Writer:
DC Comics Logo
Penciler:
Inker:
Colorist:
None Listed
Cover Art:
Source Links:
Story Title:
Aquaman: “The Submarine Strikes”

Writer:
Penciler:
Inker:
Colorist:
None Listed
Story Title:
Doctor Fate: “Mr. Who”

Writer:
Penciler:
Inker:
Colorist:
None Listed
Story Title:
Green Arrow: “Case of the Namesake Murders”

Writer:
Penciler:
Inker:
Colorist:
None Listed
Story Title:
The Spectre: “The Vanishing Menaces”




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