Saturday, September 12, 2015
SPEED COMICS #30 (JANUARY 1944)
Richard Robinson is currently celebrating Sherlock Holmes Month at his Tip the Wink blog so, in Richard's honor, I thought I'd post this comic book with its exciting (?) Padlock Homes and Doctor Whatsis adventure. Stramded on a Pacific Island after an airplane crash, Homes learns that his enemy "The Professor" (who works for the really bad "Green Ghost") is on his way with the "Fiendish Four" to annihilate the natives of the tiny island of Lava. Racial sterotypes abound.
Meanwhile, in the lead story of this issue, Captain Freedom and the Young Defenders battle Adam Skrooge, a man so mean that he kicks a cat in the first panel in which he appears. Skrooge is using neighborhood kids to collect scrap metal to be ferried over via a secret dirigible to be used in Nazi war plants., but when Captain Freedom and his scrappy young allies face the Nazis, "steely fists thunder a devastating tattoo."
Shock Gibson, the master of electrical energy, faces Baron Kido, a Japanese scientist who has learned how to control the weather and is destroying war plants with terrifying lightning. Sadly for Shock, all this fighting the Axis interferes with romancing.
The not-so-bright Biff Bannon (U. S. Marines) mistakenly captures a chimpanzee, thinking it's a Japanese sniper. Soon after, Japanese spies decide to infiltrate the Marine camp disguised as monkeys. Can Biff be fooled twice? Apparently not.
Movie star Linda Turner is secretly the Black Cat. Nobody recognizes her in the same way nobody draws a connection between Clark Kent and Superman. While she is visiting troops in the Mid-East, she stumbles on a Nazi plot to foment a religious war in order to control the Suez Canal. Will these Nazis ever learn?
Flossie is a little girl with a red bow in her hair. She wants an egg sandwich but there are no eggs available. What to do? Well Flossie can always get a box full of chicks to raise egg sandwiches. Which she does, hiding them in a new tank that is due to be inspected by a Congressional committee. Hilarity ensues. (Or, what passes for hilarity in 1944.)
Finally, drawn from the ranks of the fearless ladies of the United Nations, are the Girl Commandos a gallant squad that has earned the veneration of democracy's millions. While in the Saraha, desert raiders kidnapped one the Girl Commandos -- one of the two blonde ones, natch. When rescuing their fellow Commando, the girls uncover a Nazi plot to turn the desert tribes against England.
Sandwiched in these stories is a two-page text "story behind the cover," in which the Young Defenders are thrown into a pit of alligator-like sea serpents. No, they were thrown in there by readers tired of their hi-jinks; they were thrown in there by...wait for it...Nazis! Of course the Nazis are once again foiled.
One question remains: Why the hell didn't we win the war much sooner?