This pineapple on pizza debate is getting out of hand. Meanwhile anchovies are in the corner laughing.

The Blue Beetle #10

Fox Publications, Inc (December, 1941)

I do like that all the Blue Beetle stuff seems to now frontload the comic, with the anthology stuff behind. I still look forward to when Blue Beetle just has his own comic, because that’s just how things are where I’m from (the Bronze Age of comics). Such is the evolution of the comic book as a medium. These did start out as being reprints of newspaper strips after all.

Read along with this issue at Comic Book Plus

The Blue Beetle (by Charles Nichols)

The Case Of The Burning Death

I’m still working on a format for these anthology comics. All these years and I haven’t gotten a stable one yet. Anyway, a drug manufacturer kills his partner to hide the secret of a deadly drug that turns blood into fire. He then proceeds to do a terrible job of hiding that fact from pretty much everybody. He already draws suspicion knocking out Mike, one of his men shoots at Dan without provocation and sending the Blue Beetle into action, and the villain himself doesn’t even try to trick Joan Mason, “demon reporter” according to the narration. Then again the dude’s got pointy ears and fanglike teeth. That’s a design that screams “this is totally the villain you guys, villain over here” and being called Leo Sugar isn’t going to help you. I’m not sure when Beetle gave her the antidote or why it took so long for someone to realize chainmail is made of metal and metal has a bad relationship with electricity. Fun little story.

The Corpse Who Walked

Hey, this comic actually has a name. Usually I’m convinced the Grand Comic Database and Comic Book Plus are just making up titles but this one’s right in the opening teaser image. And I hope you read it with me because summarizing that mess would be one heck of a challenge. Some guy fakes his death so he can steal bonds from himself but his drunken relative happens to show up at Dr. Franz’s shop while Franz is attacked because he might have seen something and somehow Blue Beetle and Mike get involved and Mike is tricked by the lawyer while being involved in wacky hijinks with the drunk…I repeat, this story is a total mess.

Curtain Call Of Death

Another comic that actually gives us a title. I also suspect that these are reprints from Mystery Men but neither of my info sources on these comics state so. This one makes a bit more sense. A Scotland Yard agent comes to the city to learn how Americans fight crime just as a series of murders disguised as suicides start happening. It involves an actor and a forger thought dead. It’s actually a pretty good mystery.

The Monster Of The Swamp

Yep, another one with the actual name in the story. I’d like to see this become the rule as well as longer stories. Here’s something a bit closer to my era of superheroes, with a swamp monster and a villain who calls himself the Swamp Master…and up close looks like one of Lou Sugar’s relatives. I don’t know why he thinks Joan would know the Blue Beetle’s identity and tortures her for the information but it’s a good story.

Before we cross over from the Blue Beetle to other stories, there’s an ad for a change in the Wonderworld Comics story where the  Flame apparently does know people and have an identity. He also dies and passes on his powers to a girl he knows (possibly another fiance) and she becomes Flame Girl. That’s kind of unusual for the Golden Age, a time when the girl replacement was done for story rather than social pandering. I find that interesting. I should go and read those for fun so I can ignore the stories I don’t care about. Now on to the non-Beetle related stories

The Gorilla: The Gorilla And The Gangsters

Our man-in-a-gorilla’s-body decides to take over a gang to kidnap Elsa, but the gang is picky who they take orders from, fire is his one weakness (hope he doesn’t mean the Flame or Flame Girl–actually I do because he’s evil), and Elsa’s unmemorable boyfriend comes to her rescue. I wonder if this is going to be the norm. Gorilla tries to capture Elsa which leads to his latest plan being foiled and more people for him to hate. This may not be as interesting as I first thought.

Davy The Wish Master: The Wonderful Wish

It seems each of these Fox anthologies, even one with a focus hero, has to have at least one story I don’t care about. Davy’s is that story now. Continuing from the previous issue, the evil neighbors, the Krogans, find out about Davy’s magic wishes and now they really want to take control of the boy. They manage to capture him but Davy’s dog Bumper rescues him and the wish being or whatever he is takes them to safety. No matter because Ma has…magic firewood that summons a demon she can make a contract with. The hell? (Literally.) Are we going to get another Yarko and Zanzibar situation here? I thought it was a fun story about a kid with wish magic and sudden Satan. Again…the hell?

Blackbird: Arsonists At Sea

Our final story has Nazi agents causing fires to barges in the New York harbor. Blackbird and Raftery rescue a girl agent trying to uncover the scheme and works with them (as in she flies in the plane with them after telling them about the harbor attack) and saves the day but like Blue Beetle and Mike Mannigan runs off from the Coast Guard to protect his identity. I guess the girl agent will keep their secret? Or will she be part of the team? I guess we’ll see next time. Short adventure but decent.

Overall I could do without Davy, the Gorilla is meh, and the Blue Beetle stories were mostly decent.


About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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