Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, June 5, 2021


 When you are in ccupied China and you want to do dirt to the Japanese invaders, who you gonna call?  That's right, Green Turtle.

Green Turtle debuted in Blazing Comics #1 (June 1944) and was the brainshild of Chinese-American artist Chu Hing*, who wanted to create the first Asian costumed superhero.  His publishers felt that an Asian hero would not do well commercially, so Hing always drew the character in masked costume , never revealing his face (Hing's inking, though, made sure that Turtle's skin tone was white).  Also never revealed was the character's origin, a reason for his rather impratical costume (which has to be seen to be believed), or even why a green turtle?  At best, Green Turtle was a second-tier -- perhaps even seventh-tier -- comic book hero.  Neither he nor Blazing Comics lasted long.

Green Turtle has an Asian sidekick, Burma Boy.  He also has a Chinese manservant named Wun-Too.  Green Turtle evidently had no superpowers, although he carried a mystic jade dagger.  He was a superb fighter and athlete.  His true name appears t have been Hank Chu.

Captain Hiro, the evil Japanese commander, discovers the location of a secret meeting between American General Hap Harford and Chinese guerilla leaders, where secret plans will be shared.  Arriving early at the Mission Inn, where the meeting is to tke place, Hiro and his men slaughter the Chinese there, then don their clothing to await the American general and the guerilla leaders.  But one of the Chinese has a few minutes of life left; he crawls to a radio and sends a warning that is picked up by Wun-Too, whose main job appears to be to sit by a radoi, just in case..

Knowing something is going on, but not exactly what, Green Turtle and Burma Boy head out the Mission Inn in Chungking.  When they arrive, the guerilla leaders do not recognize the faux-Chinese as actual Japanese (something that seems very strange to me since most chinese I have known can recognize Japanese, and vice versa.)  By the time General Harford arrives, Hiro is ready to spring his trap, but that's also when Green Turtle and Burma Boy show up to foil their evil plot.  Green Turtle does in the first Japanese he meets with a meat cleaver as the melee begins.  The Japanese are son all beaten except for Hiro, who has grabbed Burba /boy and threatens to slice his throat unless Green Turlte allows him to escape.  So off goes Hiro with the secret plans, taking General Harford's limosine (which happens to be a convetable), but Green Turtle jumps from a nearby roof into the escaping car.  He battls Hiro as the car goes over a cliff.  Green Turtle jumps to safety with the plans but Hiro is presumably killed in the crash.  And all is well.

Also in this issue are adventures of Tommy Paige (Marine combat correspondent), Black Bucanneer (a pirate who is captured by Incas while in search of his brother Ronnie), Red Hawk (American Indian air ace who flies bare-chested and with a single fether in his hair), Jun-Gal (the white jungle queen of village Tagoma who learns from her stereotypical black Mammy of her true origins), and Mr. Lee ( a magician detective).  Plus there's a humrous story about the hapless trio of Super, Drooper, and Drip (who get jobs in a restaurant) and a two-page text story, "So I'm 4F."



* Chu was the artist's family name, although most sources refer to him as Hing, as I have done here.

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