Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Friday, November 19, 2021


The Press Guardian was a costumed* crime fighter who appeared in the first eleven issues of Pep Comics, January 1940 to January 1941 (they skipped the March and October 1940 dates).  He was first known as The Falcon, the Guardian of the Press -- a man whose identity was unknown.  In Pep Comics #2 it was revealed that he was actual Perry Chase. the playboy son of the publisher of  The Daily Express.  When the paper attacks the "cowardly, un-American followers of the dictator of Moronia**," the Moronian Bund threatens to destroy the paper unless the news organization praises the "cruel and inhuman policies" of the dictator.  Perry wants to placed on the story but everyone on the paper, including his father, consider him to be light-weight so Perry is stuck with the society pages.  But, aha!  Perry is made of sterner stuff.  Under an assumed name he joins the Moronian Bund and, as The Press Guardian, stops the bombing of the newspaper's offices and busts the Bund, sending its leaders "down a one-way track to prison where they belong."  In the last panel we are introduced to Baldwin, Perry's valet and the only person who knows his secret identity.

So now the character is basically known as The Press Guardian, the defender f the free press and the foe of those who wish to destroy it.

In the remaining adventures, PG goes up against the leader of the Moronian Bund (who was thought to have been killed), a gang that has been stealing millions of dollars from the state, Senator Palmgreas*** (the biggest and most dangerous crook in Washington), a phoney ambassabor with assassination on his mind, an attempt to blow up a munitions plant, a plot to destroy freight ship cargoes in North Harbor, The Claw and his gang of Beast-Men, a seemingly indestructable monster with a penchant for blondes, and a blackmailer targeting "illegal" immigrants.  A pretty hefty agenda for a sissified playboy.

The final adventure promised more to come but no more came.  **sigh**  He was replaced by the superhero Fireball.

The Press Guardian was fighting for space with more popular characters, including The Shield (who was featured on every cover), The Comet, Sergeant Boyle, Fu Chang, Bentley of Scotland Yard, The Midshipman, and Dusty, the Boy Detective (paired with The Shield on the cover of issue #11).  Even the introduction of Perry's eye candy secretary, the toothsome Cynthia Blake, in issue #3 could not save the eventual cancellation.  To be fair though, Cynthia was a plucky character whom I found much more interesting than The Press Guardian.

The Press Guardian was created by Jack Binder, the artist brother of science fiction writers Earl and Otto Binder (aka "Eando Binder").  The saga was taken over by Abner Sundall and Mort Meskin in the second issue.

The adventures of The Press Guardian seems to be a case of "Well, we've got a hero...what are we going to do with him?"  Nonetheless, it's worth checking out.

* That's if a costume can be considered to be a green hat and a red mask.

**Can there be a better name for such a country?

*** Another nifty name!

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