Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, April 4, 2015


The question arises:  Are these America's best comics?  Well, judging from the kick-butt cover where Black Terror, American Eagle, Pyroman, and Doc Strange wreak destruction on Nazi Germany, it surely is.

Doc Strange, muscle-bound and powered by alosun, the secret distillate of liquid sun-atoms, starts us off by facing a giant Nazi gorilla.  The giant gorilla on the splash page introducing the first story is purely symbolic.  What does happen -- after a suitable number of narrow escapes -- is the defeat of an invading German force, thanks to Doc, his pals, and two "young American" kids, Billie and Ruth.  (In case you haen't figured it out by now, this Doc Strange is no relation to the Marvel Comics Doctor Strange.)

Next up is the Black Terror (who is white but wears a black body suit with a white skull and crossbones displayed on the chest), who is really Bob Benton, a meek (ha! if they only knew) young American druggist.  This time around, Bob, Jean (the clueless blonde), and Tim (Bob's Young sidekick who secretly has the same strange strength that Bob has, as well as a black body suit) are in occupied France, where an evil Nazi scientist has invented a death ray.  With a little bit of tweaking,  this ray can also turn ordinary men into giant mindless zombies.  Guess who tries to mess with Black Terror in this story?

In the running for the most unfortunate superhero name is Pyroman, actually mild mannered Dick Martin imbued with electrical energy (which can also create a magnetic beam).  This time, Pyroman is up against Nazi pyromanics who are burning and blowing up government facilities and are led by a homicidal dwarf.

"A prehistoric Egyptian formula yields dream-forfilling lamesis, an elixir that transforms meek professor Nelson Drew to the fearless crime-smashing Liberator!"  A sky-writing plane drops a weapon that pierces the skull of Professor Pickard before he can finish the anti-tank gun he was working on for the government.  Drew finishes work on the new gun and, fearing sabotage, arrives at the testing facility as the Liberator.  While the gun is being successfully tested, the Liberator is busy stopping a Nazi plot to bomb the proving grounds.  The evil sky-writing plane is toast.  And so is a Nazi submarine lurking off the coast.  The Liberator's costume, by the way, consists of high brown boots, tight red shorts, and an armless (and tight) blue shirt bedecked with white stars...a very popular look among superheroes, I'm sure.

The final story...hey!  What happened to American Eagle?...features Lucky Lawrence, Leatherneck.
A German spy stows aboard an aircraft carrier and manages to send its location to an enemy submarine.  The spy escapes in a plane and Lucky Lawrence and his pals jump into another plane in pursuit.  They spot the plane but are downed by an enemy battleship.  Captured by the Germans, what can they do?  Well, maybe, sink the battleship and seven Nazi submarines.

It's a wonder the war lasted as long as it did.

And, as we are told at the end of each story:  Buy War Bonds!  And Stamps!


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