Wonderworld Comics #7
Fox Features Syndicate (November, 1939)
So you know how in previous issues we’ve had questioned credits by Comic Book Plus? Well oddly the site info on this issue has no credits. So unless it shows up in the comic itself (and I’m curious going in if they have the Shorty Shortcake comic this time around) I have no credits to give at all. At least this will be a bit easier coming back in.
The Flame: “Invasion Of The Kikoos” by Basil Berold
The zombie-like guys on the cover are, I’m sure you guessed, the Kikoos, a strange tribe who due to their home environment have lived for hundreds of years can take great punishment, but they’re mentally impaired and look like death warmed over. A criminal starts a reign of terror in the city and they even manage to capture The Flame. He’s rescued by a girl who is an agent of that country that was protecting the Kikoos but somehow our mobster managed to find and take a few of them. The only thing that can kill them is fire…what a coincidence. Now able to use his flame gun, you can guess what happened. The agent takes the survivors home and the mobster is dead. Convenient solution to the problem but otherwise a good story.
Yarko The Great: “Attack On The Infidels”
In the desert, Yarko and a detective named Burke are looking for a general that has gone missing. The men who captured him also manage to snag Yarko, as they plot to start a revolution by showing their countrymen that the white men are cowards. Except Yarko manages to free the general and lead Burke and the Foreign Legion to the would-be rebels. It’s interesting to see Yarko needing help on this one. For all his powers (as in whatever the plot needs him to have because magic) he isn’t omniscient. A decent story.
Shorty Shortcake: “In Guatemala”
The previous issue’s scans were missing Shorty Shortcake, so we catch up with him now in charge of DeWelth’s mines. I remind you he’s maybe ten years old, possibly twelve since he has a girlfriend. Anyway a villain challenges Shorty to a sword duel, and with Mr. Mittens waylaid by writer’s cramp (yes, really) and Shorty to short to hold the sword he was given, he uses trickery to capture the villain, Gorgonzola (also really) but the sleepy sheriff locks himself up by mistake and Gorgonzola frees his gang. However, Shorty manages to send them back to their cells using a hedgehog (I’m not making this up) and plans to clean up the town, which annoys the mayor as well so he and Gorgonzola plot to kill him. So basically…that all happened. I know this isn’t one of the serious stories but still…this was kind of weird. Not in the same way as the not-zombies and the magician we’ve already seen, but still weird.
Patty O’Day “Sabotage On The Northern Clipper”
Patty and Ham get bored of the angles they get on an airplane, the Northern Clipper of the title, and sneak into the tail for more filming. They try to stop a saboteur who wants to take the plane down for…reasons, but he manages to snap the control cable in the fight. The captain manages to make a water landing, and Ham saves a trapped passenger before a boat comes across and rescues everyone. I’m not sure about the effect used to depict Ham and the passenger underwater but otherwise a decent but short story.
Dr. Fung: “The Revenge Of Loti Gen-Kee” by Arthur Deen
Well, what do you know? For those who don’t remember since it’s been a few weeks between reviews thanks to holidays and not being able to do a review of this long book last week, Fung and Dan stopped a murderous hun, who was hung after his trial, but his eldest daughter swore revenge for his capture…and not the death of her little sister. In this issue she sends thugs to capture our heroes, whom she plans to administer a torturously lethal poison so they suffer as they die, but thanks to change and Fung’s quick thinking they manage to defeat the thugs, Loti Gen-Kee seemingly falling out a window to her death, but Mr. Caption Box isn’t so sure. I guess Shorty isn’t the only one with an ongoing story. Curious if this ends here or if we’ll be seeing more from Loti?
Tex Mason: “A Hot Led Rumba On ‘Crazy Woman Creek’ ” by Cecelia Munson
Rustlers manage to steal and slaughter half of Rawlings’ cattle, but his getaway is stopped by his own men being too drunk to think straight and burns the bridge they needed to cross as a joke. Then Tex and Ted show up and capture them. I’m not even sure our heroes were needed for this story. The rustlers defeated themselves.
K-51 Spies At War: “The Plot To Take The Philippines” by Willis Brensie
K-51 and Z-19 know something is going to happen in Honolulu but aren’t sure what. They do have a suspect and K-51 disguises himself as a British beachcomber to get into the ranks of the gang. The plan, and I don’t know if the German is working with a Chinese or Japanese man given the time period (this is before Pearl Harbor), to blow up Hawaii…and given what happened a few years later in the real world that’s kind of scary prophetic. Again, the story is too short to really capitalize on the plot so we don’t know how our heroes know who is behind the plot when they don’t know what the plot it. “I’m sure it’s this guy we have no information on but somehow know he’s involved with a plot we know nothing about.” Good idea but an incomplete execution.
Mob-Buster Robinson: “Diamonds Of Death” by Harold Vance
Our action DA is at it again. After diamonds are stolen and the courier murdered, Robinson goes in disguise as a diamond cutter to get a lead on the thieves. However his disguise isn’t good enough and he’s recognized, meaning it’s time to punch some faces. I wonder if he’s allowed to prosecute these cases he gets involved in? Maybe they should have made him a detective or a G-man (not to be confused with the superhero by Chris Giarrusso) because this is still strange activities for a district attorney to get involved in.
Spark Stevens: “In Cuba” by Nordling
Here we go again. And again. And again. And again. Spark and Chuck see a pretty girl and before you know it they’re mixed up in a plan to take over and…sell Cuba. This may be pre-Castro but I’m pretty sure you can’t do that. We do see our heroes (or what we have to work with) win the day with Morse code, electrifying a barbed wire fence through a wire connected to a light socket, and other I doubt it works that way plans, but at least they’re thinking with something above their waistline…for a few minutes anyway. Seriously, I know it’s a few decades too late, but come up with a new angle.
This is a hit-or-miss issue. Some stories suffer from time, others are just dumb (I’m still ignoring Don Quixote in the 20th century), and the few that work are not standout adventures. If I wasn’t doing reviews I’d probably be ignoring most of it, and with the price (adjusting for inflation we get $2.13 today from 10¢ back then) I don’t know if less than half the stories are worth it.