Sunday, March 28, 2021

Let's Have Some More Fun

Let's have some more fun; specifically, More Fun #85.  

A lot of things happen in this comic: Dr. Fate takes a page off to go to medical school and become a doctor, Aquaman throws a polar bear at some seal poachers, the Spectre and Percival Popp teach us a lesson about something wholesome but overcomplex and murky, and Johnny Quick-- well, really, who cares what Jonny Quick did. 

But our focus is of course, the STAR of the issue: Green Arrow!

And by "Green Arrow" I actually mean Speedy. You know; the competent one.

Honestly points for the editor, who admits that Ollie and Roy will be getting high in this story.  And Mort Weisinger needs all the honesty points he can get.

I always find Golden Age stories more entertaining when I read the placards out loud. Try it! It's More Fun:

But I can't get through the title without breaking character.

The Man Who Reclaimed His Face
is, I'll own, a rather intriguing title. If you are not accustomed to reading ancient comic book placards, I shall translate (for I have a degree in such things): "an evil person disguised as a good person will use plastic surgery to ruin three guys' faces so as to blackmail them into doing crimes for him."  It's all very Golden Age; in those days crooks were always enacting expensive byzantine blackmailing schemes to force solid citizens to knock over hotdog stands (the economics of the Golden Age remain unclear to modern scholars).  The Golden Age also LOVED plastic surgery.  Remember when Killer Moth had plastic surgery to look like Bruce Wayne? Remember Dr. Ekhart, who fixed Harvey Dent's face?  Remember Sonny Blandish?!  Heck, this very issue has a Spectre story called The Man Who Changed Faces, whose plot also hinges on plastic surgery.

As many Golden Age stories as I read, and I'm still amazed by what I call their "PowerPoint" style. They start by giving you an overview of what will happen; then throughout the story, the captions tell you what is happening; and at the end, the hero recaps the story and tells you what happened.  On the one hand, it seems like overkill; on the other hand, I can read many a modern comic and have no damned idea at the end what happened.  I guess nowadays they figure that the solicits and internet post-commentary will take care of it.

Mostly what I get out of this splash page, though, is that this will be yet another story where Ollie saves Roy by shooting his shaft through his legs while Roy is bound hand and foot (just as he did in the Gayland story).  Arrow's gotta Arrow, after all.

Fortunately, they practice this a lot. In the Arrowcave.

The real mystery is: who are Cliff and Steve, who carved their names on the tower from which Roy is being defenestrated?

And what about... Naomi?!

Okay, fine, it's no mystery; it's penciller Cliff Young and inker Steve Brodie.  Unlike Green Arrow writers, Green Arrow artists aren't embarrassed to sign their work.

Although sometimes they should be.

Tomorrow, we start the story proper, but first, a secret message for you:

Hint: it's going to be oomphy!


John C said...

I've probably mentioned it before, but my favorite part of basically-ignored-once-it-was-introduced Green Arrow lore is that Roy got his gig because Ollie discovered the kid who was a faster (hence "Speedy") and better shot than him, so he cheated in a contest to gaslight him into thinking he needed training. In a more just world, Green Arrow would've made like the Star-Spangled Kid, Johnny Thunder, and Green Lantern, and step aside to be replaced by his more competent associate. Think about how much it must have galled poor Alan Scott to be outshined by his dog, only to see Ollie remain a second-string headliner into the founding of the JLA.

Roy should've elbowed his way into the Johnny Quick strip. He could've taken that over easily, and probably been the JLA's speedster instead of Barry...

Scipio said...

I want to visit the Earth where Wing, Speedy, Stripsey, etc., asserted themselves as the actual talent and formed the Seven Sidekicks of Superiority.

CobraMisfit said...

Few elements in comics will ever live up to the excellence of the Cat Arrow.

John C said...

Heh. I'm glad I hunted down a scan of the decoder, because there's an embarrassing typo in the "puzzle." Hint: The solution is printed...with the puzzle. And just knowing that, it's probably easy to spot the typo.

cybrid said...

The ranks of the Seven Soldiers of Victory and their hangers-on did not include seven sidekicks. They included four: Wing, Speedy, Stripesy, Billy Gunn. Even if you tack on Winged Victory the flying horse, it only comes to five. Where are the other two supposed to come from? ;-)

cybrid said...


Scipio said...

Wow; that IS an embarrassing typo.

cybrid said...

Clicking the "oomphy" link under the coded message resulted in me learning that you apparently haven't discussed a Starman story in over 10 years. Good thing I know how much you hate requests. :-)

Bryan L said...

I would read The Seven Sidekicks of Superiority. Winged Victory should indeed be a member (Seven Soldiers stories back then often asserted Victory's high intelligence). Round out the membership with Johnny Thunder's Thunderbolt, and I would also recommend Ma Hunkel's Red Tornado as team leader. Done.