Wonderworld Comics #8
Fox Features Syndicate (December, 1939)
Hello, homepage. I have nothing to write here to really pad out the pre-jump part of the article. Anthologies are hard to review for and that was apparently all the Golden Age had. Considering doing a different comic next week just to give myself a breather. There’s a lot of stories to go through but it’s the review part that takes time. I think not questioning the book’s actual credits will help. You can check the Comic Book Plus page for the adjusted credits if you really want. I will still use their story titles though.
The Flame: “The Atomic Generator” by Basil Berold
A scientist creates atomic power but his greedy assistant tries selling it to bad people and killing the scientist. He ends up getting killed for his trouble and the main villain’s first thought is to create big walkers with guns on them to go on a rampage, until the Flame gets involved. This is one of those stories that needs more than nine pages. The scientist’s daughter almost seems to teleport on to the airplane she’s being kidnapped from, the solution is rather fast as the scientist comes out of a coma and flips the off switch on atomic power…okay. That and the black caretaker having dialog that doesn’t hold up (at least she’s drawn more humanlike than you expect from the period) really doesn’t help a story that isn’t given the room to reach its potential.
Yarko The Great: “The Golden Amulet”
So…some old bitty sees a random young woman, gets jealous of her youth and beauty, then travels to Egypt to get an amulet that will make Death take the girl to the underworld. And you thought the Silver Age was where crazy was born? Yarko then takes the old woman to the underworld, battles a few demons (which I imagine is what they really wanted to tell the story of), and convinces the now de-aged lady to take the other girl’s place since going back to the living world means she’ll get old again. I mean…make your own conclusion on this one, I’m just reporting the events on this one. The action’s fine but the plot…you got me.
Shorty Shortcake: “The Terror” by Jerry Williams
Tired of the mayor’s robbing the town blind, Shorty forces them to have an election. I’ve never been to South America but I’m pretty sure a random kid from North America can’t make that happen, even with a big sailor bodyguard, who ends up becoming the new mayor in the election after beating up the Mayor and Don Gorgonzola’s thugs. I’m trying to decide if this makes more or less sense than anything else we’ve seen in this issue.
Patty O’Day: “Action In Switzerland” by Vic Todd
Patty wants to get up close to the war zone but she’s stuck in Switzerland. So by charming a soldier she gets up there and gets branded a spy…somehow. Eh, still makes more sense than anything else thus far. Lucky Lord Mike is there undercover to rescue her. It’s an okay story but nothing really spectacular.
Doctor Fung: “The Real Scorpio” by Arthur Dean
A friend of Fung and Dan is killed, and his information that can expose a blackmailing cult stolen. Our boys work with a hypnotist medium, his assistant and a magician to expose the real villain called Scorpio. I won’t spoil the ending but it’s a short little mystery.
Tex Maxon: “The Dust Of The Dead Men On Hangtown” by Cecilia Munson
I keep writing his name as “Mason”. Anyway, he’s out to prove that a couple of hombres really did find random clothes along the desert before they’re hung for killing the guy…who is still alive and making off with stolen gold. This is when I realize so few of these stories really interest me and I just couldn’t get into it.
K-51 Spies At War: “The Return Of Lin Sun” by Willis B. Rensie
So…something happened. Did I forget who Lin Sun was in this story? Did she show up in a previous story? She’s not very memorable for me. At any rate she’s trying to cause a revolt in the Philippines just as K-51 and Z-23 are there for some reason and she plots her revenge. Too bad one of her thugs has an inflated ego and a murder boner (plus willing to force himself on Z-23 until her fiance stops him). It’s an okay story, which seems to be par for the course here.
Mob-Buster Robinson: “The Train Robbers” by Harold Vance
Our action district attorney decides to break up a train robbery gang by one of the mobsters he put away. Still having trouble believing he’s getting away with fighting crime directly like this but fun little action piece.
Spark Stevens: “Adventures In The Azores”
Well at least this time it isn’t the girl getting them in trouble. Someone overhears Spark and Chuck are radio operators and kidnap them to force them to join his gunrunning gang because they can’t find willing radio men. That’s kind of dumb so it’s no surprise that our sailors (aren’t they in the Navy?) trick them and get help…and they each get a girl for once.
Folks, I think this is where I’m going to end this series. I still want to dig through Fox Features’ offerings but I originally came here for the Blue Beetle. In this series I’m only really enjoying maybe three stories and it’s becoming a chore to go through. Next week I’m going back to Mystery Men, the comic Dan Garrett debuted in. If I’m going to read an anthology I might as well enjoy what I’m reviewing. The rest of the issues are over at Comic Book Plus and feel free to enjoy them. I may check out The Flame’s solo comic but I’m done with Wonderworld Comics.