Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Origin of the Iron Ace

Probably my favorite Golden Age character who never made it out of the Golden Age is the Iron Ace. He just seems to have the perfect combination of interesting concepts and total insanity to hold my attention and amuse me. (The other main candidate would have to be Micro-Face, whose name alone is made of concentrated awesome/stupid, but Micro-Face's stories tended to be a bit more mundane.)

The story of the Iron Ace starts with this panel.

Golden Age exposition: The only thing faster than the speed of light.

Unfortunately for him, the Nazis do show up.

And so he's shot.

But in a plot twist that's so obvious that you'd have to have such a strong resistance to foreshadowing that I suspect it's more likely that you're actually dead and haven't noticed yet, the Iron Ace's armor leaps forth from the case it's in.
And he proceeds to mete out a helping of ghostly justice upon those Nazis.

Of course, here's the really crazy part: That's not a ghost in there, that's some British pilot who the old man rescued and who hid under the armor, and then climbed into it when the Nazis shot the old man.

And the only thing we know to call him is... Captain Britain. No joke. (Although also no relation.)

So how come this ancient suit of armor is bulletproof? Who knows?

Why was the ancient guy called "Iron Ace?" No clue.

How come the old man made (or rather, modified) a plane specifically for the Iron Ace? Aside from the obvious answer that this was an Air Fighters feature, we can't say.

How is Captain Britain able to run around in the armor as effortlessly as if he's in workout sweats? You've got me. (Dude is insanely strong-at one point, he had a ball and chain affixed to him to hold him while still wearing his armor and casually started beating the tar out of people with it.)

He's just an enigma, wrapped in a mystery, wrapped in an inexplicably indestructible suit of plate armor.

-Signing off.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Greatly Belated Book Review: Wizard World

You ever look at a book and think its title is too generic?

Roger Zelazny's Wizard World, originally published as two novels, Changeling (even more generic!) and Madwand (not actually generic at all) is a book like that.

Further, "Wizard World" isn't actually that appropriate for the work as a whole. Sure, there's magic and junk. And there are plenty of wizards. But that name just doesn't fit.

Changeling is all about two changelings, one from a world like ours and the other from the world that most of the book's action takes place in (the alleged "wizard" world). Madwand is about the one of them originally from the magical world, as he is a "madwand," a wizard who learned magic without training or tutelage, and is thus (since magic is something of an innate talent to him) more skilled and powerful on average than the typical magic user.

But each book is also about something else-wars between primeval forces. (Spoilers ahead; it's rather inevitable.)

In Changeling, the war is between the forces of technology and the forces of magic. In times gone by, there had been one such war in a time now all but forgotten, and it would seem that this war separated the technology and the magic from each other into two worlds (one of which is clearly Earth or a close counterpart of it). Various forces, including the switch of a magically powerful child from the magic world with a technologically inclined child from the technological realm, resulted in technology reasserting itself in the magic world with that child, eventually an adult, as the focal point. (This probably would explain the character's seemingly magical ability to invent devices far beyond the capabilities of the rest of the area, even before he found the ancient storehouse of technology near where he lived.)

In Madwand, the war is between an older, more magical world and the first magic world. What kind of older, more magical world is it?

Here's a hint: You might meet this guy walking down the street there.

As it happens (and this is a bit of world-building I really appreciate), if the greater magic of the older world were to spill over into the younger one, the magic there would get much, much stronger. On the other hand, it would be proportionately harder to control. In effect? Only madwands, who are rather rare, would be able to use magic in the new world that resulted.

I'd recommend, if you read this book, that you read the two parts in rapid succession. Changeling is rather depressing; Madwand has a satisfying ending. And with that said, I'd also recommend the book itself heartily if you like fantasy that isn't quite in the traditional mold.

-Signing off.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Golden Age Moment of the Day (26)

When you're hanging out with Kid Eternity, historically nerdy insanity is part and parcel of life. From Kid Eternity #2 comes this:

A confrontation between Leif Ericson and one of Columbus's crew.

-Signing off.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Can't seem to find a good YouTube video (especially with it working as spottily as it has been), and wasn't up to a long post over at the other blog either.

There is a post there, though, and it's not recycled.

Enjoy, and see you Monday.

-Signing off.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Game Review: Antbuster

Antbuster is a tower defense game. As I've stated in the past, I enjoy these a lot, but how does this one measure up?

Well, the problem is, you can't "maze" your enemies. Which, as you might guess, are ants. Attacking your picnic.

The game is obviously intended to be amusing; aside from the quaint visuals like the cake and the ants, the ants cackle like chipmunks from a Disney cartoon when they steal pieces and loudly splat when killed. (I must admit, the fact that I consider the Disney chipmunks to be pure evil can make this cathartic for me, but that's a personal thing.)

Another gameplay issue is that the prices of even the basic turrets rise more and more rapidly as the game continues, especially when you're successful at defense. Come up with some other way to balance gameplay, please.

However, there's something rather revolting about this game if you think about it: When the ants that steal cake pieces die, the pieces go flying back to the cake.

I ain't puttin' my lips on that.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Space (?) Crazy Comics: What's Your Act?

Sometimes, Outer Space forgot that it was about, well, Outer Space.

Today's example (from Outer Space #22) is a prime example of exactly what I'm talking about, though it's not especially egregious, because it's basically just a joke. A lame joke that burned two pages, but a joke.

We start with a talent agent trying to find a "good" act to book. Sadly, some dudes walk in who have what he considers the wrong stuff:


But they're "dummies" with a difference, they'll have him know-not only is the little one not a typical dummy (the agent insisted that he'd seen the little man/big puppet routine before)...

...but that the big one is a robot.

Unfortunately for the agent, they refuse to use his services, since he was rude to him. He asks the man who built the robot, and...

... (cue rimshot) Well, you can see the rest for yourself.

What did this have to do with outer space? Unless they were built by aliens, I have no clue.

(As always, you can download this piece of bad joke that was falsely advertised for yourself from Golden Age Comics.)

-Signing off.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Greatly Belated Book Review: A Meeting With Medusa

I've never been prone to picking "favorite authors." If I like something, I like it; if I don't, I don't. I decide how I like things on a case by case basis. It takes a lot of consistently good work from someone for me to proclaim that I like "their work."

I mention this merely because I've never really liked Arthur C. Clarke. Sure, he's a giant of science fiction and all that, but his work is generally too cerebral and a bit too arrogant for my own personal tastes. (There's a discussion penned by Clarke on how an alien might look here. It operates under some odd assumptions, the primary one being that intelligent aliens would naturally be more efficient than ourselves. It also insisted that the human hand was good enough that it was okay to anthropomorphize it when designing aliens. That's an odd set of assumptions to play against each other.) If you disagree, that's fine-you get to decide what your tastes are. But Clarke's works aren't quite to mine.

A Meeting with Medusa, however, is a Clarke story that plays to his strengths, and is definitely my favorite such.

Why? If nothing else, it's a first contact story that created the entire modern concept of what life on a gas giant would be like. If nothing else, that would be enough to secure it a place in my own personal literary canon.

What really makes it work is that it's a simple voyage of discovery. It's not about bizarre, high-falutin' concepts like ascension to godhood and contact with things we can't understand. In this story, a man goes into space, goes to Jupiter, and then meets some aliens. How smart they are or aren't isn't much gone into, but that's not important-it's just first contact, after all. (And it's hard to hold a conversation with a mile-long sky jelly that's possibly trying to eat you.)

There's an element of transhumanism in the story; that is to say, in a surprise reveal at the end (sorry for the spoilers), we learn that the pilot was a cyborg who was so extensively modified he moved around on wheels. It was his opinion that mankind couldn't own the stars, and that only fully sapient mechanical intelligences could manage to survive and prosper in deep space. (His argument is probably sound, all things considered.) It's a bit of a downer, really, but that's probably the other reason I'm not a huge fan of Clarke's. (Give me Asimov any day.)

A strong story all around, and one I'd recommend reading if you can find it.

On a side note: The cover on Wikipedia is for the same version I own. Ironically, the printing I have, at least, has a printing error that attributes authorship to Kim Stanley Robinson (whose book Green Mars was co-printed as a "double" book with it).

Monday, March 22, 2010

Golden Age Moment of the Day (25)

Fact: Gun Master knows people better than their close relatives do. Don't believe me?

Well, it fell to him to identify a dude's twin brother who had been in jail for so long, his skin was too light a complexion... The dude's own daughter, who lived with him, couldn't tell the difference.

-Signing off.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Writing Blog Post Plus Pregnant Martial Artist

This week over at my Writing Blog, I've posted a revised version of one of the pieces I did over here that I liked pretty well. I think I've tightened it up a bit, and my conclusion is that the version over there is better.

As for the video embed of the week... Well, it becomes a bit less incredible once you consider that nunchaku are probably the only martial arts weapon that doesn't require much in the way of whole-body flexibility.

But it's still darned impressive to see a pregnant woman swinging the darned things around.

It sticks in my mind, anyway.

-Signing off.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Moment of Anime Physics

Anime is rather infamous for a number of rather cliched and frankly often disturbing things. One of the more infamous is the "panty shot," which of course is pretty much just a look at a girl's rear under a short skirt for no good reason.

Even fairly early in anime history (the late '70s), it appears that artists were prepared for this.


(The moment I'm pointing to happens at about 0:18 to 0:21.)

Sure, it's not actually especially revealing, but that's because the princess there has some kind of anime anatomy. It's also notable that her skirt is somehow blowing around in a vacuum. (Of course, the series was designed by Leiji Matsumoto, who is infamous for this kind of thing-he's well aware that it's impossible, but doesn't give an explosive decompression about it.)

It's little wonder that when they badly dubbed the series as Spaceketeers, they used the second, much more demure intro animation (which, other than the substitution of space pants for a short short skirt, was really similar in that part).

Gotta love Japan.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Space Crazy Comics: First on Mercury

I know I've said this kind of thing about other comics I've posted bits of here before, but this one (from Outer Space #18, with art by Steve Ditko) particularly gets me for some reason.

It opens in space. Ditko space.

Outer Space had rather a lot of rather intriguing spacecraft designs, but this one is the one that sticks out in my mind most clearly. So simple; so elegant; so toylike.

Anyway, windy story short, they're going to investigate the surface of Mercury in an exploratory tour of the entire Solar System. Rather ambitious when you're in a ship that's shaped like a baseball with a railroad spike through it, but who am I to argue?

The scientist doubts there will be signs of life...

...and initially suspects activity on the surface to be some kind of earthmercuryquake.

However, somehow the ship's instruments can tell it's not, and so... on Mercury: Confirmed!

They're really determined to land, but of course they don't want to step on the "slabs," or crush them under their crashing spaceship, so they look around for some other place to land.

They see a likely candidate, but it's not what it looked like at first glance.


The expedition's scientist offers an explanation...

Yeah, makes... a kind of sense...

But there's another detail:

... HOW.

There's literally only two panels left in the story for them to try to explain how these strange creatures have tunnels that let them live in this harsh ecosystem.

But they don't even bother. The heat shielding gives out right then.

And so the world may never know how many licks digging slabs it takes to get to the center of Mercury.

-Signing off.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Greatly Belated Book Review: Children of the Lens

I've been meaning to re-read and then review this book for a while, but for some reason I couldn't find it. Then, the other day my sister was looking for something on her bookshelves, and randomly hands it to me. I told her several times I thought she had it, but she didn't believe me... (She had it because, as I've mentioned in the past, she's a huge, huge fan of the Lensman anime movie. Unfortunately, this is the only Lensman book I've actually got easy access to [I don't think the public domain version of Triplanetary counts], and it's the last book in the series, a bombardment of series terminology and obtuse narration that also didn't much suit her tastes generally. Ah, well, you can't be a fan of everything.)

Children of the Lens represents the culmination of years of work by Smith, and the culmination of the original long-running Lensman Arms Race. It is also the culmination of a rather creepy breeding project. And when I say "rather," I mean "extremely." But more on that in a moment.

The ultimate weapons of the original Lensman Arms Race are pretty well ultimate. Number One is a weapon that makes the Death Star look like a pea shooter-a hyperspatial tube opening into enemy territory, out of which a planet from another universe is fired at multiples of c like a huge bullet at the target.

This weapon was fired twice; once at a planet, and then, just for good measure, at the same planet's sun. There wasn't much left.

Number Two was arguably not the same kind of weapon at all. It was not a device, or an implement. It was the massed total mental powers of every Lensman then alive, plus that of the Arisian race, guided and managed by a superhuman telepathic fusion. Keep in mind, the Civilization which the Lensmen were a part of had literally millions of member planets, as it spanned multiple galaxies; a typical good-sized member planet produced a hundred Lensmen a year. Assuming that the majority of Lensmen who graduated in the past twenty years were still active (not a dubious assumption, as the major protagonist of most of the Lensman books, Kimball Kinnison, was at least in his forties in this one), a low estimate puts that at something like 20 billion Lensmen. A fairly typical Lensman can telepathically communicate over interstellar distances and even kill someone by frying their minds at that distance; the Eddorian civilization, despite its age and power, didn't really stand a chance.

This isn't even going into the "loose planets" and "negaspheres" (antimatter planets) that were chucked around rather casually by the good guys, or the supposedly terrifying sunbeam that never gets used in the story. These were all old hat.

You might be wondering about my "rather creepy breeding program" crack earlier. Well, as it happens, the Arisians, using their sufficiently advanced alien license, decided to guide several genetic lineages, not just among humans but among four different potentially useful races in Civilization (humans being one of the four). They decided that humans showed the most promise, so they canceled the breeding programs for the Velantians, the Rigellians, and the Palainians (sorry, no super awesome children for you!), and only humanity gets to advance to the next level. And so, Kimball Kinnison's five children are the first members of a new race of superhumans. ... Think about that.

Yes, it means exactly what it sounds like. Chris "Kit" Kinnison is going to get really close with his sisters.

The first time I read this, I was younger and more naive, and I didn't pick up on the subtexts. Now that I'm better at ferreting these out... Well, let's just say that Wikipedia's remark that there were only a few ambiguous passages referring to this idea was just bull. It was about as ambiguous as a kicked puppy and about as subtle as a bomb blast. Kit and "the kids," as he called his sisters, hit on each other continuously.

For that matter, they also hit on their mother, usually while she was naked.

No, I'm completely serious. That actually happened multiple times.

What really gets me is this idea that, once the breeding program was showing fruit (ARGH), they canceled three of them. The three other races were shown to be immensely complementary to humans. Velantians were relentless, implacable, and tough as heck giant flying snake monsters, and Rigellians and Palainians both displayed analytical capabilities far beyond humans at the same "level." They all got along extremely well. I say, if you're going to have a creepy breeding program where you uplift several lesser species through eugenics, if they all get along then you should finish them all. That's an awful lot of wasted work, guys. (Also, what about the Nevians? They were pretty awesome, too-why didn't they get awesome super-Nevian breeding programs?)

All in all, a bizarre conclusion to one of the first great space operas. (Wikipedia's article was glowing praise obviously written by a huge fan.) Oh, yes, and technically, it was a frame story that was sent by a future Chris Kinnison to some unknown party time capsule style to warn them of the Lensman Arms Race methodologies or something, as it was suspected that there would be new counterparts to the Eddorians in the future.

-Signing off.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Golden Age Moment of the Day (24)

When some dude has a device of purportedly great scientific value (and also great weaponization potential), what should he do with it?

Probably not what this dingaling from Clue Comics' Gun Master feature did.

Fact: Jack Kirby and Joe Simon reputedly worked on Gun Master at one time. It's possible that this panel was their work, though PDSH's incorrect issue numbering makes it iffy to identify whether it was or not.

-Signing off.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Link and 10,000... Watermelons.

Usually, I try to keep my Writing Blog posts neutral in tone, but this time, it just didn't work.

This week's random video is from some random RPG I've never played. Why would I put it up?

Because 10,000 watermelons falling from a great height is funny.

No, I don't know. It just is.

-Signing off.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hmm... Distraction!

Look! A cool website!

(Runs away.)

I expected to have a certain amount of time to work on a certain kind of blog post today, but didn't. (Certain people's schedules changed.) Enjoy the website if you're interested. And if you are, you might also be interested in the program Celestia, which was really cool as of a few years ago, at least. (Being an open source project, it might have changed.) Celestia is free, by the way.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cartoon Profiles: Godzilla the Series

You remember that Godzilla movie from the late '90s? The one that (somewhat unjustly) nobody likes?

No? Well, I can't say that I blame you for repressing your memories of it. (I liked it myself, but then, I like Suburban Commando and Space Thunder Kids, so my tastes are suspect.)

Well, you may or may not know this, but there was a sequel to it: A Saturday morning cartoon.

It is generally agreed that the cartoon was far superior.

While the series itself rarely had the kind of awesome animation showcased in the introduction, it was solidly animated and very competently written. (The main writers were Bob Skir and Marty Isenberg, both of whom also worked on well-known Transformers cartoons.) And the main appeal of the older Godzilla films, fights between monsters, robots, aliens, and various militaries, is present in spades.

One major appeal for many, myself included, is that it presents a Godzilla who is not obviously a man in a suit fighting other monsters who obviously aren't men in suits. Sure, dudes in rubbery suits are fun for a while, but sooner or later they get repetitive. Among the creatures that appeared in the series were a bizarre bipedal creature whose legs were on its sides and way too far apart, a nanotech blob, a whale-like "worm" that was larger than Godzilla (and covered in ankylosaur spikes, with a clubbed tail), an anatomically correct bat, swarms of giant rats and bees, a giant shrew that somehow had gained the ability to turn into a tornado (though ironically it was still afraid of Godzilla), and a giant underground fungus. Let's forget the "megapede," which was a centipede-like monster that for no explicable reason molted into a cicada that could disrupt radio waves with its bugsong.

All in all, a good series that was apparently the victim of network caprice.

-Signing off.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How (Not) to Defend a City

Last week I mentioned some old comics, Atomic War and World War III, that featured depictions of nuclear war in an effort to get people to buy defense bonds.

They featured tons of treachery and lots of horrible dying explosion, followed by last-ditch heroism. Naturally.

Some parts of these old comics are rather nifty. Here, for instance, is a weird-looking yet somewhat realistic imaginary Soviet plane.

(I know it's imaginary because jet bombers don't generally have machine gun turrets. Also, that's a big darned plane, though not the biggest I've seen.)

And then we have moments like this one.

Wait for it...

Wait for it...


Well, I suppose the city was saved from being reduced to rubble, but it's probably not going to be fun to live there...

-Signing off.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Golden Age Moment of the Day (23)

One of Clue Comics' lesser known features, mainly because it only was in very late issues of Clue Comics, was Iron Lady. (She also showed up in an Airboy comic; apparently that was actually her first appearance.) She had a peculiarly awesome modus operandi: She wore mechanical gloves built by a Swiss watchmaker with tiny hands for crushing the hands of guys with big hands who were always hurting his hands in handshakes.

She was also mean enough to do Frank Castle proud.

-Signing off.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Mecha and Lego Lightsabers

This week at my writing blog, I'm examining (combat) mecha in fiction. Particularly, I'm examining the roles that writers put them into.

And for the video, here's a slightly grim little video that's made with Legos and stop motion, which centers on a pretty cool lightsaber fight.

Kind of nasty, especially at the end there, but still pretty entertaining.

-Signing off.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Game Review: Cyber Swat

Cyber Swat is a game that vacillates between frustrating, fun, and frustrating (two parts of frustration for every part of fun).

(Once again, provides me a place to play the game for the review; if you don't remember me talking about the site before, it had a funny disclaimer.)

The plot, such as it is, is that you are the pilot of a police robot. This robot is... rather unusual.

Uh... Ahem.

The control is simply the mouse; the robot chases around the cursor as long as it's inside the game screen. You jump by clicking.

Incidentally, I'm pretty sure that the programmer's first language was not really English, or that if it was, they didn't learn it too well. (This isn't unusual for flash games, actually.) My evidence?

Yes, "rooky."

The odd bit about the game, but an oddly logical bit when you think about it, is that your robot is essentially Mario as he appears in most of his traditional games: You defeat enemies by jumping on them.

On the one hand, as I say, it's surprisingly logical; you're piloting a robot that must weight at least five tons. (The annoyance factor of playing as a Mario type character is further mitigated by the robot's heavy armor and the fact that only a few enemies can damage the robot by touching it.)

On the other hand, it creates some painfully annoying gameplay: You can't jump very high, making big enemies hard to defeat unless you move just so.

Further, there's all sorts of other gameplay issues that come up. One of them comes from the fact that the robot is awfully tall herself-there are several places where, if you don't leap with microscopic precision, she bounces off the ceiling and falls back to where you leapt from, or worse, a few hundred feet. Also, you can't steer in midair, which makes long falls far more awkward. (Sure, you could claim realism, but shouldn't a jumping robot have steering rockets or something?)

The first mission involves rescuing some hostages from some white van-driving terrorists; all you have to do is smash some floors out from underneath the hostage-takers to take care of things.

Until the boss fight, that is.

Fortunately, the titanic boss, which is too large to take a good screenshot of, does not have to be defeated by jumping-instead you get a magic upgrade which transforms the robot into a fighter plane or something.

Now, on the one hand, it's nice to not have to rely on jumping on the darned thing. (It's way too big to do that. It's also too fast, too aggressive, and just generally too cussed.) On the other hand, changing gameplay right before this boss fight, which by the way is insanely hard even though you have machine guns now, might not be a good idea design wise.

There's a second level, which I have reached and beaten, but despite the size of the menu screen, there's no third level or any beyond. (Seriously, the menu screen is gigantic.) The second level is mostly similar to the first, except with a different scenario and different transformation for the boss battle. (And an even harder boss.)

Which brings me to my final complaint-dang, but it's a short game.

If you don't mind a short game with frustrating gameplay, this game is a reasonably pretty and engaging one. If you don't like those things, well, you'll probably find it fun enough. I did.

-Signing off.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Space Crazy Comics: The Incredible Giants

This story hails from Outer Space #23 (as always available on Golden Age Comics).

Let's get into it.

We join an intrepid spaceship crew on a routine patrol...

Of course, we can expect the patrol will become much less routine shortly.

One of the things I really love about this old story is the spaceship design it features. They're charming old fake submarines, aren't they?

It is not long at all before crazy stuff goes down. They detect a "large, active body." They have no idea how literal that statement truly is, as they don't get a good look at what's coming until much later...

Look, it's Galactus's obnoxious younger cousins!

Well, no, not really.

The giant that grabbed the ship stuffs it in his pocket, and the two wander off. The ship's crew considers blasting their way out, but decide to call for help first. This is a very unusual show of foresight on the captain's part for stories like this.

Seeing just what the other ship is trapped in, they send a message to them that it ought to be easy to get out. And so it is:

The patrol ships, deciding that these giant aliens might possibly disrupt shipping (ORLY?!), open fire, and manage to chase them off.

They return to their home planet, where we learn...

...that they're little kids. Which actually explains their behavior pretty well-if you were a thousand foot tall space giant child, wouldn't you snatch at passing spacecraft and maybe stick them in your pocket? (Also, their mother is surprisingly attractive.)

Outer Space and its close relatives regarded the kind of story that this one is, the one with a bizarre reveal related to scale, to be its own genre, and had rather a lot of them. This might well be the best such story, mostly because it's just plain funny.

-Signing off.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Different Kind of PSA

It's been said that public service announcements aimed at children are required by law to be annoying and lame. I think I know why that is: Some PSAs from the past were just too awesome for kids.


Yes, this is a PSA. The publishers want you to know...

...if you don't buy defense bonds, everyone you know and love will die in a horrible atomic war.

What's truly interesting about this is that this is not the only PSA title of this nature; the same publishers also put out another title. The second, Atomic War, was more subtle in tone... a generous definition of "subtle."

No editor's note on this one.

And yes, I really am sure that these are part of an effort to get people to buy bonds; most of the advertisements inside featured this bit:

Aggressive marketing, no?

Incidentally, both titles are pretty similar, though just different enough to tell them apart. I'll probably do a brief writeup of some of their contents sometime; I know I had fun reading them.

(All images come from CBR files of comics in the public domain, obtained at Golden Age Comics. Be warned, downloading them for free might cause World War III.)

-Signing off.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Golden Age Moment of the Day (22)

Clue Comics was a rather odd comic series. While its cousin, Air Fighters, had a clearly distinguished internal theme (mostly military aviation), Clue Comics' internal theme, crime stories, were flouted rather egregiously by the lead feature for most of its run, Boy King and his Giant.

It was also crippled by, let's be honest, the fact that more than one of its staff members seemed to be "doing dope," as a background character in one of the features once speculated in response to an oddly behaving individual. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the awful "Nightmare and Sleepy" feature, which was actually at its best in one of the very last issues of Clue Comics, volume 2 issue 1.

That's not to say it was good.

They also kind of forgot the "and Sleepy" part, which doesn't really make a difference.

It's interesting to note that here, Nightmare got an alternate origin-rather than being a wandering dude who randomly fought weird crime in bizarre locales (seriously, it was a hecka weird comic), he emerged from the smoke of a private eye's homemade cigars and beat up crooks who were threatening the man.

-Signing off.