Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, July 20, 2019


This issue leads off with Basil Wolverton's The Spacehawk in "The Perilous Planetoid Trap."  The Spacehawk first appeared in Target Comics #5 (June 1940) and ran through #34 (December 1942) and was lone of Wolverton's most popular characters.  The Spacehawk (he had no other name that I know of) was a superhero who patrolled the solar system in the far future.  He is fully clad in a green suit, complete with masked hood with boots, mittens, belt, and ray gun holster all in bright yellow.  In his two previous stories we never see The Spacehawk's face.  This time, because he wants to impress a pretty girl, he takes of his mask -- and, by golly!, he sure is one handsome hunk of manliness.

The story opens with to evil aliens (Jark and Zorg) have come up with a plan to loot ships traveling through the solar system.  They import a bunch of bloodthirsty snurls to a plantetoid and then move the planetoid into the solar system and lay in wait for their prey.  Along comes a passenger liner on its way to Pluto.  Using a bumper beam, Jark and Zorg cause the liner to  rash on their planetoid, where the snurls attack and kill the passengers and crew, all except one -- a beautiful unnamed earth girl.  Zorg fancies desires is smitten by her beauty and decides to claim her as his own.  (It should be noted that, although Zorg and Jark are bilaterally symmetrical, they are butt ugly, with each having two tentacles, two wobbly legs with sort of chicken feet, a bulbous and warty body that ends in a rim of shaggy hair that has the appearance of a hula skirt, a long, thick, snakelike neck, a wide domelike head with wattles, a wide mouth with apparently only an upper set of teeth, no nose, large shifty eyes, and a single ear on top of its head.  And  they're a kind of dijon-mustard color.  In other words, great Wolverton space monsters.)  Zorg has some sort of device that will make this lovely girl into something more pleasing to his aliens eyes.

Sensing something wrong (possibly because there is a plantetoid where none should be), The Spacehawk goes to investigate.  When two snurls attack him he just crushes them with his hands, then he takes Jark and hurls him a great distance, smashing the life out of him.  Still sensing something is amiss, he heads toward Zorg's lab, where the Earth chick is strapped to a table.  Zorg blasts a hole in  The Spacehawk's chest but the joke is on Zorg; he merely blasted one of The Spacehawk's lookalike robot.  Then, "with one swift, powerful motion" The Spacehawk "breaks Zorg's spinal column."  And it turns out the girl is one he rescued a few weeks before from Gorvak the Martian.  So The Spacehawk figures he deserves a kiss and for the first time unmasks to get that little bit of sugar.  The girl then fades out of the series, still unnamed.  All told with Wolverton's unique gusto and artwork.

Carl Burgos' White Streak (who wears red and blue, duh!) is up next.  "Like a flash of light, the White Streak, breaker of war mongers and profiteers, races across continents and oceans to smash the Black Rust Racket."  What's nifty about the White Streak is that he can shoot lightning-like rays from his eyes.  There are times when I wish I had that power.

Lucky Byrd, Flying Cadet will soon graduate from Randolph Field -- our West Point of the Air -- in Harry Campbell's "Fingerprints Don't Lie."  For some reason, fellow cadet Luis Luzon has suddenly become Lucky's enemy, but when a knife is thrown at Lucky its fingerprints are not those of Luis.  Then, during an air practice, Luis is shot in the leg by Lucky's airplane.  Was it an accident or did Lucky do it on purpose?  Either way, Lucky's career at the academy seems finished.  Can Lucky's daring plan solve matters?

The Spacehawk returns in Part 1 of a text story , "Ghost Star,"credited to "Stockbridge Winslow."  The illo for this tale was not drawn by Wolverton.

The Chameleon is Peter Stockbridge, a wealthy man and a master of disguise.  When the Kohinoor Diamond is stolen he must find the thief's gang before it is cut into smaller diamonds.  The story was scripted by Don Allen and drawn by the great Bill Everett.

"Fantastic Feature Films" by Tarpe Davis purports to be an adaptation of a film titled "House of Horror."  Since neither the film nor any of the supposed actors are listed in IMBb, it's safe to assume the film never existed.  Martin Daniels and his fiance Mary have been invited to spend a week at his uncle's old farmhouse but when they get there they find the old man dead.   Secret passages, a vanishing corpse, a gang of smugglers, and a phony Hindu ensue.

Next, we go to the Old West with Bullseye Bill.  The outlaw Slick
Carson, who had earlier threatened Bill's gal Dee, has broken out of jail and Bill joins the posse to hunt him down.  A little knowledge of geometry allows Bill to flush Carson from his lair but they are stopped by screams coming from a nearby cave.  It's Dee, who somehow has gotten trapped in the cave by a giant lizard-like monster.  Bullseye Bill draws his gun and shows us how he got his nickname.  No explanation for the monster is given.  There's also a Steppin Fetchit-type character in the posse for "comic" relief.  Ptah!  B. Holmes scripted and L. Kennerly drew this tale.

In Larry Antonette's "T-Men", agent T-Man Turner tackles a gang trying to sabotage a government construction project.

Lastly, Jack Warren's "Calling 2-R," the so-called "Range Riders of Today's Frontier" are actually kids from a futuristic place called Boy-State -- sort of training ground for good guys (I think)..  The rangers and their based is being attacked by a mysterious enemy.  All sorts of super gadgets are being used by both sides.  The baddie is General Z and he wants revenge (why?  don't know.).  It's all somewhat of a confusing mess.  Despite all sorts of futuristic flying and mobile vehicles, the rangers charge the bad guys en masse on horseback.  The whole story, titled "The Attack of General Z" (but we're never told that), ends suddenly without resolution.  Evidently this is Part 1 (but we're never told that -- not even a to be continued).

A few gems, some great artwork, and at least one clunker.  It adds up to a fairly decent issue that, in the main, is worth your time.


No comments:

Post a Comment