Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, October 25, 2014


The cover story of this issue of Crackajack Funnies was features The Owl, a costumed superhero who, like Batman, had no particular super powers.  The Owl first appeared in the July 1940 issue of Crackajack Funnies.  Hiding behind the Owl mask was police detective/special investigator Nick Terry, who brought justice to the city of Yorktown.  Nick has a girlfriend, reporter Veronica Lake Belle Wayne (no relation to Bruce) who began six months before aiding him as Owl Girl.  The Owl is the bane of Nick's boss, Chief Murphy who is upset because The Owl seems to be doing a better job fighting crime than Murphy's own police force.  On Murphy's force, by the way, is officer Dozey O'Toole, who provides comic relief.  (remember, back in the day many workplaces had signs, "No Irish Need Apply.")  The Owl's costume includes a cowl and a cape and some striking curly-pointed boots that I can only describe as "girly-boy."

The Owl and Owl Girl were revived in the Sixties, and then again in 2008 by Dynamite Entertainment.  The characters had fallen in the public domain.  The Owl now has a few superpowers, while Owl Girl is the granddaughter of the original Owl Girl.  The Marvel Comics villain The Owl is a completely different character, as is DC Comics' The Owlman.

In Part One of "Manse of the Mad Modespos," Ma Madestos has broken out of Lenmoor Asylum.  Soon after three of her four sons mysteriously escape, one by one.  The superintendent of the asylum has tried to keep secret that these vicious killers get loose -- and then Ma dons a disguise and shoots Chief Murphy.  Convinced that Ma's remaining son will soon be broken out of the asylum, The Owl stands watch and sees a trained gorilla climb the walls of the asylum, rip apart the bars of a cell window, and carry the fourth Modespos son away.  Following them, The Owl reaches their hideout.  What happens next is reserved for the September issue.

Also in this issue a serial story featuring Cyclone, a shirtless Australian he-man who straps a pistol by his side and wears some sort of fuzzy chaps.  Cyclone's brother is a midget named ('natch) Midge. Midge is a magician who wears black tie, a top hat, and spats.  This time, the duo and Cyclone's horse Calico accompany an expedition into the jungle.

We also get adventures of wild animal hunter Clive Beatty,  the western pioneer family The Crusoes,  Bob and Bill the scout twins, SF character Stratosphere Jim, master detective Ellery Queen, boy's hero Don Winslow, and comic reporter Gabby Scoops.

Quite a variety for your dime.  If only you didn't have to wait a month to see what happens with some of you favorite characters.

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