Monday, July 12, 2021

The Suicide Club, Part 1: Not a Care in the World!

 Strap yourself in, Junior G-Men, masculine and feminine, for

in Pep #24's

Formal Attire Required.

In this story we learn that the Shield and Dusty live in a world where roulette wheels have more the one ball.

A world made entirely of mixed metaphors.

Our story begins with generically-named millionaire John Wayne casually losing a bunch of Oreos at the casino.

Casinos do not take "IOUs", by the way.  That why they use Oreos.

But, as being classically Thrilling, So Debonair, and Reckless, John laughs it off.

Sure impressed Cheryl, Betty, and Betty. Nothing says "marriageable" like a willingness to lose large sums of money without blinking.

But, in truth, John's creamy smooth exterior hides a rough and crumbling inner self, like an inside-out Oreo.


 But this is the Golden Age, where no good suicide should go to waste.

If this were a DC comic, that hand would be wearing an opera glove and belong to the Phantom Stranger, and John would be about to get a very stern lecture.

I must admit this part confuses me. I guess John Wayne actually brought a gun WITH him to the casino, which includes a Suicide Lounge among its amenities. Rich people, ammirite? We have to give the writer a break, it's hard to set up a situation where a stranger gets to interrupt a suicide.

Anyway, it's not the Phantom Stranger who stays his hand but some skeevy dude who says suicide is his business, like he's some sort of self-sacrificing Cool McCool.

And he intends to make a killing at it.

Mr. Skeevy begins his infomercial like a Golden Age Tom Vu.

"Personal trifles." The only thing better than rich people is Golden Age rich people.

Turns out this skeevy fellow with a dubious interest in John Wayne and even more dubious economic theories is named Reagan. Perhaps the Shield's world is more like ours than I thought.

As the old saying goes, 'no man is more gullible than the man who has nothing to lose"

Actually, John, you have a lot to lose. Your life; your wife; $25,000; that nice tux; and, if you just hang in there long enough, the opportunity to be reintroduced as a Batman's cousin at some point by E. Nelson Bridwell or Geoff Johns.  But some people are gamblers by nature, so tomorrow John will join other similarly-situated men in a class inaction suite called ...


John C said...

I'm torn between Wayne's assumption that a man with the same taste in tuxedos must have a valid reason to burst into his men's room stall, and the fact that this is almost certainly going to try to be someone's memory of the Stevenson stories without the interesting parts. We're probably not getting a two-fisted undead Colonel Geraldine replacing Dusty on this mission. Reagan won't turn out to be the son of the Young (in the 1870s) Man with the Cream Tarts. No Dr. Jekyll prototype is going to stuff a hapless Silas Q. Scuddamore into a Saratoga trunk to rescue him.

And we're probably never going to get the contortionist backstory for Mike, either. Or the furry monster crawling around to different positions on Reagan's head, for that matter.

I like to imagine that, during the !mpact reboot, John Wayne was musing about his parents' death and wondering how he could make a contribution, when suddenly, through the picture window, a horse ("Personal Trifle," from the stables) flew through, inspiring him to become Horseman. And even Mark Waid didn't think that was worth putting into his Shield book...

Scipio said...

"undead Colonel Geraldine"
Be careful what you wish for.