Monday, June 30, 2014

Cover Cavalcade

I've always pictured some Army clerk behind the lines reading G-8's battle reports and stamping "Recommended for Psychiatric Evaluation" on each one.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday's Favorite OTR

Sam Spade: "The Lawless Caper" 8/29/48

Sam is a pretty good private detective, so losing the body of a recent murder victim is particularly embarrassing.

Click HERE to listen or download.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

He's the bad guy--no, HE'S the bad guy--no, THAT GUY is the bad guy!

A lot of the individual stories from the hero pulps such as the Shadow, Doc Savage, the Spider, and so on depended on the identity of the master villain being a mystery until the last page or two of the tale. In the better stories, this was often done by making it a fair-play mystery, seeding subtle clues to the villain's identity throughout the story.

That way, if you've figured it out, you get to shout a satisfying "I knew it!" If you didn't figure you, you get to shout out a still somehow-satisfying "Oh, man, how did I miss that?"

Another method--and an equally valid one if the story is well-written and honestly exciting--is to give us no real clue at all to the villain's real identity, then club us over the head with it at the last moment.

This can seem like a cheat, but if the revelation makes sense when all is explained, then it is still dramatically viable and allows us to give an oddly satisfying shout of "Him? You're kidding?"

The March 1936 issue of Doc Savage had our hero and his companions going up against "The Metal Master." The villain here runs a ruthless criminal organization, but what makes him really dangerous is his secret weapon. He has a device that allows him to melt metal without generating heat or damaging anything else around the metal. It's a device that gives the villain enormous power--he could use it to disarm soldiers and destroy tanks and planes enmasse.

A man bringing this information to Doc is murdered, but Doc is soon on the trail. What follows is one of Lester Dent's typically entertaining and fast-moving adventures. Doc follows up clues; he allows himself to be captured to gain information, then escapes; he avoids assassination attempts and tricks the bad guys in various ways. His best trick is convincing the thugs to voluntarily carry a potential booby trap with them back to their secret base on a remote island.

Much of the early story takes place in New York City, but there's also things happening aboard the Innocent, a schooner sailing out of Havana. The captain of this craft also has plans for the metal-melting machine and is holding Doc's friend Renny and another guy hostage. So there is actually two groups of bad guys in play, each trying to kill Doc as well as wipe out each other. Eventually, everyone involved ends up on the remote island, where Doc and his men seem to be outnumbered and outgunned. But Doc often has the upper hand before most of us even realize that hand has already been dealt.

During this story, we simply don't know who the Metal Master is, even though we can be confident he (or she) is one of the characters we've met. But during the course of the story, at least five different characters are identified by someone as the Metal Master. There seems to be a pretty broad clue at one point who it is,  but even that could be a red herring. Many readers will probably guess the real identity of one other of the suspects before the novel ends, but that still leaves the question of who the Metal Master may be.

Well, when we find out, we discover that Doc has known for some time, but he had information that wasn't shared with us. So there's no way we could have known!

But that's okay. This isn't a fair-play mystery and its not meant to be. It's an adventure story with a number of clever and exiting action sequences and a number of cool plot twists. There's no way we could have known for sure who the Metal Master is, but we still have fun getting there.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

When You Just GOTTA Kill Your Own Father!

One of the the strengths of Marvel's Master of Kung Fu series during the 1970s was that it effectively drew not just from the martial arts film genre, but also from the science fiction and espionage genres as well. Of course, many martial arts films drew from these other genres as well, but writer Doug Moench really did put a unique spin on this combination. Of course, the decision to make Shang Chi the son of Sax Rohmer's classic villain Fu Manchu helped give the series its unique flavor.

Moench would occasionally throw Shang Chi and his allies into convoluted, multi-part story arcs. One of my favorites ran from Master of Kung Fu #80 through 89 (September 1979 - June 1980). This was ten months of intricate storytelling as Shang tries to save the world, come to some sort of acceptance with the life of violence he had been living and come to terms with the idea that he was going to have to kill his own father.

It all begins in London. Shang Chi and the elderly Sir Denis Nayland Smith (Fu Manchu's arch enemy from the original novels) are working with their usual ragtag group of allies: former MI6 agents Black Jack Tarr,
Clive Reston and Leiko Wu. This last is currently Shang's girlfriend, though she was once involved with Clive--something that will cause tension between the characters during the course of the story.

Sir Denis gets information that Fu Manchu--thought to be dead--is still alive. An old contact of Sir Denis is bringing more details, but when Shang, Tarr and Clive try to meet him, they run into more bad guys than you can shake a nunchucks at. Not only do they have to deal with Leopard Cult assassins working for Fu, they also run into a rogue faction of MI6 agents. It turns out a power struggle within that agency has led to at least one faction marking Sir Denis and his agents for death.

Well, after a lot of shots being fired, tussles with cultists in London's Underground and a wrecked car or
two, the good guys learn that Fu Manchu is alive and has a hideout in the Amazonian jungle. Also, Sir Denis gets kidnapped.

So Shang and Tarr are off to South America, while Clive and Leiko trail Sir Denis to Casablanca, searching for clues while dodging assassins. In one of several excellent action set-pieces seeded throughout the story, Shang and Tarr are trapped at the edge of a swamp surrounded by Leopard cultists. They make an escape route by by catching a huge crocodile and throwing it at the bad guys. I love that part.

The complex plot slowly unfolds. Fu Manchu is using electronic implants to gain mind control of key politicians and scientists around the globe, planning on using them to bring about world-wide anarchy. The signal for launching his puppets on the world will be destroying New York City with a nuke.

Fortunately, someone inside Fu's organization is helping the good guys, though not necessarily for the most moral of reasons.

The climax comes when Sir Denis frantically tries to remember how to disarm a nuke; Shang and Leiko fighting a huge killer who has been deadened to pain by electronic implants; an encounter with some former humans genetically altered into monsters and a final meeting between an enraged Shang and his arrogant dad.

I love the story--it really is intricate, but ties everything together in the end fairly neatly. I think the genetic monsters are tossed into the story a little too abruptly and for too short a time, but that's a nitpick.

Another nitpick that a reader might make is that there's an awful lot of exposition. At times, we get several pages of dialogue with little or no action--something that can often bog down a visual storytelling medium. But I think it works here. Mick Zeck's strong pencils and changing "camera" angles from panel to panel make even these potentially static scenes seem dynamic, while the dialogue is well-written and kept interesting as it slowly gives us the information we need to eventually figure everything out.

And when the story gets to an action scene, those scenes are fantastic--especially the two issues in which Shang and Tarr fight there way through Fu's South American base, sometimes together and sometimes separated.

Shang's character arc is also a good one. He is a man who believes in peace, but is always being forced to fight and often to kill. And his gradually realization that he can never stop his father unless he kills him is handled well and with a lot of honest emotion.

Sadly, Marvel no longer has the rights to Fu Manchu (though I'm not sure how that works--he's old enough to be a public domain character, but doesn't seem to be). This is too bad, since it means we may never get either an Essential or Masterworks reprint of the original comic book series. But it's worthwhile checking the back issue bins in your comic book store or haunting Ebay for these particular issues. It is an entertaining and powerful story arc.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Cover Cavalcade

One of Jim Steranko's superb Shadow covers from the 1970s paperback reprint series.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday's Favorite OTR

Suspense: "Noose of Coincidence" 4/7/49

Ronald Coleman plays the owner of an out-of-the-way bookstore in London. When a supposed "mental telepathist" predicts he will soon marry a pretty red-head, he is skeptical. But he does indeed met and marry such a woman--who soon turns out to be an awful shrew.

The telepathist returns and is now predicted that the mild-mannered bookstore owner will die by hanging on a certain date...

Click HERE to listen or download.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Who's Got the Diamond?

Frederick Nebel isn't as well known as Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler, but by golly he oughta be!

Like Hammett and Chandler, Nebel often wrote for Black Mask, contributing excellent hard-boiled tales to the magazine that largely gave birth to the genre. A very prolific writer, Nebel also wrote detective, adventure and Western stories for other pulp magazines as well.

For Black Mask, Nebel created two important series. The first were the stories featuring Police Captain Steve MacBride, who was working to clean up a corrupt city--often getting help from perpetually drunk reporter Jack Kennedy. This are great stories and I might very well eventually use five inter-connected MacBride/Kennedy tales as part of my Read/Watch 'em in Order series.

MacBride, by the way, eventually made it to the big screen in a series of B-Movies, with the drunken Kennedy transformed into perky girl reporter Torchy Blaine.

Nebel's other important Black Mask creation was the "Tough Dick" Donahue, a private eye working for a big agency--a character introduced in 1930 to replace the Continental Op after Hammett left the magazine.

Hammett was the Master, but Nebel's Donahue stories still managed to fill the void. Sharply written in the sparse but fully descriptive prose that marks the best hard-boiled yarns, the Donahue stories combined intricate but well-constructed plots with truly surprising twists and some of the best chase scenes and fight scenes I've ever read:

Jess roared and blazed away, and Ames staggered backwards, as his own gun thundered. Donahue fell on the gun in the woman's hand, tore it from her feeble grasp. He whirled on Jess, charged him and jammed the muzzle against his side, press the trigger. The explosion was muffled by by Jess's clothes. 

Jess heaved away, groaning. He started running. Donahue streaked after him. Swinging into University Place, Jess twisted and sent two shots at Donahue. One nailed Donahue in the left leg, and he skidded against the building. He clawed his way to the corner and saw Jess running north on
University Place. He toiled after him, hopping on one foot, dragging the other.

As you can gather from that excerpt, Donahue is not one to give up. The second, third and fourth stories from the series were published in the December 1930 through February 1931 issues of Black Mask. The three are interconnected, with the events of one story leading into the next--though all three could be read individually and still leave you satisfied that you've read a complete tale.

The stories involve the search for a stolen and very valuable diamond. A traveling artist was unwittingly used to smuggle the diamond into the U.S., but then he was murdered. The villains involved have a hard time trusting each other and Donahue stirs things up further as he investigates. Stirring up things even more is a beautiful femme fatale named Irene Saffarrans. (A name that seems to fit the character type perfectly. Poor girl probably never had any choice but to become a femme fatale.)

Donahue catches a killer at the end of "The Red-Hots," the first story in the series, but the diamond is
apparently lost. But in "Gun Thunder," Donahue discovers that the diamond might still be around and people are once again getting shot in pursuit of the thing. This time, Irene gets in a little too deep and Donahue sends her up as he finally recovers the jewel.

Or does he recover it? The diamond he finds is a fake. In "Get a Load of This," he acts on a theory as to who might have the real thing. But his suspect is murdered and the chase for the diamond is on once again. To complicate matters further, yet another femme fatale puts in an appearance. 

Throughout the story, Donahue remains determined to run down the bad guys, following up clues and hunches in a logical manner that allow the stories to function properly in procedural terms. But the great prose and dialogue tie together with Donahue's mixture of brains and guts elevates everything to classic hard-boiled storytelling that really sit next to the Continental Op stories without being out-of-place. 

Nebel's success in the pulps eventually led him to move on to the better-paying slick magazines. This by itself is fine--he had earned his success. But in later years, he often declined to allow his Black Mask work to be reprinted. He wrote: "I think it served its purpose well when it was first published but I honestly cannot see what purpose it would serve now." 

In his introduction to a recently published collection of the Donahue stories, pulp historian Will Murray states that Nebel is as important to the genre as Hammett and Chandler AND that it was Nebel's decision not to reprint his hard-boiled stories that dropped him into obscurity. I would agree with this. Gee whiz, the man was GOOD

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Can You Be a Good Guy if You Fight for the Bad Guys?

I've mentioned in the past that I think some of the finest work that EC Comics produced was not from its better-remembered horror comics, but from the war stories that appeared in Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat.

Perhaps the most thoughtful tale that appeared in this book was from Frontline Combat #3 (Nov-Dec 1951). Titled "Desert Fox!" it was written by Harvey Kurtzman and drawn by the great Wally Wood. The way the story is visually structured is by itself fascinating.

Each page shows us number of a true incidents from the military career of Erwin Rommel, arguably Germany's finest military tactician during the Second World War. If it were possible to set aside the cause Rommel was fighting for, the "Desert Fox" would be one awesome dude. This story includes incidents such as personally scouting enemy positions during an artillery barrage and visiting wounded in a hospital (oh--that's a British hospital) to make sure his men were being well-treated.

But at the end of each page, after one of these extraordinary incidents, we get a one-panel reminder of exactly what Rommel is so bravely fighting for. We're told of high school students executed for putting up anti-Nazi posters. We're told of women and children being ruthless killed enmasse. We're told of the population of a village being herded into a building and burned alive and of bodies piled up in death camps like garbage. By the time we get to page 6 of this seven-page story, we are shown nothing but panel after panel of Jews, intellectuals, priests and many others who were tortured and killed by the Nazis.

The last page recounts Rommel's death. Confronted by the Gestapo because he was suspected of being involved in a plot to kill Hitler, he is given the option of committing suicide--an option he takes.

The story can be taken in two ways, each of which is true. First, it shows us an evil regime that eventually turns on its own heroes--killing anyone it perceives as a threat no matter how valuable that person has been in the past.

But "Desert Fox" also can question whether loyalty to one's country has any value if that country has descended into evil. Rommel was not a Nazi--though not discussed in this story, he once refused an order to execute prisoners and had the pull at that time to get away with it. He treated enemy prisoners humanely. He did not participate in war crimes or murder the innocent.

But the government he fought for DID murder the innocent--murdered them by the millions. It's possible that Rommel did not personally know just how bad the ghettos and death camps were, but it's impossible for him not to know that a lot of evil was being perpetrated by the man he took an oath to fight for. Even if Rommel didn't fully grasp the numbers, he certainly knew the Nazis were killing the innocent.

So should we admire Rommel for being a brave soldier and in many ways a good man? Or do we condemn him for fighting for an evil regime? To what degree do we separate soldiers who fight to defend an evil cause--however honorably they fight--from those who are able to commit mass murder only because those soldiers are fighting for them? It's an interesting question and one that this story raises without definitively answering.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Cover Cavalcade

Tonto was so awesome in his own right that its much more accurate to call him the Lone Ranger's partner rather than his sidekick.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Off to Turkey on a Mission trip

I'll be out of the country for a couple of weeks, helping out with a vacation Bible school in Antalya, Turkey. I'll have Baby Duty, watching after kids aged 2-month to 18-months old. I'll also be bringing Looney Tunes and a few other classic cartoons for some movie nights we might be having for the kids.

Stuff will still post regularly on this blog while I'm gone, but I'm not sure how much opportunity I'll get to approve comments. Please be patient if you leave a comment but there's a delay before it actually posts.

A typical vacation Bible school in Turkey.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday's Favorite OTR

The Saint: "Cake That Killed" 1/8/50

Simon Templar stops by a bakery to buy a loaf of bread. The beautiful lady working there gives him a cake, which inexplicably leads to being threatened by mobsters followed by stumbling over a couple of corpses. Simon takes it all in with aplomb, though. This sort of thing happens to him all the time.

Click HERE to listen or download

Thursday, June 12, 2014

It's kind of nice being the good guy for a change.

Last week, I wrote about a 1951 Western called The Last Outpost--something I stumbled across by chance as being available to stream. The night I watched it, I actually treated myself to a Western double-feature, watching another film that I had found by accident. So you all get a double-feature of sorts as I post about B-Westerns two weeks in a row.

This one is 1936's Texas Rangers, part of a four-movie set I spotted at Target. It features Fred MacMurray and Jack Oakie as outlaws who are separated from the third member of their gang when they are dodging a posse. Arriving in Texas, the two join the Texas Rangers, motivated by a complete lack of money or food.

They don't really take their job as lawmen seriously. In fact, when they find their old partner again (Sam--played by Lloyd Nolan), they make plans to warn him of Ranger activity, tell him about impending gold/money shipments, and secretly help him in other ways.

But a funny thing happens as time goes by. The two men can't help but admire the bravery of their fellow Rangers. One of them meets a pretty girl, who admires him as the man she only thinks he is. The other discovers he enjoys having a young orphan he rescued from Indians look up to him.

It takes awhile and MacMurray's character is especially reluctant to change, but the two men eventually realize they like being good guys.

But then, they are assigned to bring in their old friend Sam. Where do their loyalties lie--with the Rangers or with their old friend?

This is another great Western. For those of us who grew up knowing Fred MacMurray primarily as the father on My Three Sons, it's always fun to watch him play a tough guy role and do it well. Because, by golly, Chip and Ernie wouldn't have gotten away with any of their shenanigans if MacMurray had still been packing a six-gun! Uncle Charlie wouldn't have been so smart-mouthed all the time, either.

The supporting cast is strong as well. Lloyd Nolan combines charm and ruthlessness as Sam and Gabby Hayes has a brief but fun role as the sort-of corrupt judge of a Texas town. King Vidor is the film's director and gives us several magnificent action sequences, particularly a scene in which a few Rangers are trapped on a cliff-side by Indians waiting below them, only to have more Indians begin to roll boulders down on them from above.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Scariest Comic Story EVER

It's debatable, of course, but it's very possible that the single scariest comic book story ever published was in Dell's Ghost Stories #1 (Sept-Nov. 1962). Written by John Stanley and drawn by Ed Robbins, "The Monster of Dread End" is one creepy yarn.

It's about a nice neighborhood that becomes not-so-nice. Something is snatching children out of their bedrooms at night, then leaving their corpses in the street in a condition described as "balled-up things."

Eventually, the street is abandoned and becomes known as Dread End. But a kid named Jimmy White--whose sister was one of the victims, is determined to find out what was killing children.

He finds out.

It's such a simply creature design--just a long, sinuous arm stretching out of the man-hole, extending farther and farther as it searches out its victims. We never see the rest of it. In fact, it's never made clear that there actually is a "rest of it."

Jimmy is soon running for his life. But there doesn't seem to be any escape.

At no time does the story show us any gross-out imagery--the dead children are described rather than shown. The terror inherent in the story does not depend on blood and guts, but rather on the gboulish idea that the endless and snake-like arm is going to get you no matter how far you run or where you hide.

You can read "The Monster of Dread End" online HERE.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Cloak and Dagger--my latest ebook

I've just published Cloak and Dagger: A Review and Episode Guide of the Old-Time Radio Show.

Cloak and Dagger only ran for 22 episodes in the summer and fall of 1950--it sadly never gained the audience it deserved. But it was a great show. Based on a book with the same title, it's an anthology series about OSS agents during World War II. It's a show about average people who had lived average lives before the war, but were now expected to be courageous, innovative, intelligent and often cold-blooded as they carried out missions of sabotage and espionage.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday's Favorite OTR

Philip Marlowe: "The Fox's Tail" 5/23/50

A key witness in an upcoming civil trial has committed suicide. A lawyer hires Marlowe to impersonate the dead man in a ploy to convince the defendant to settle out of court. But the suicide might not be a suicide and there's more going on than Marlowe at first suspects.

Click HERE to listen or download.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Blue vs. Gray vs. Apache

I write about old-school stuff because that's where my popular culture tastes lie, but I do appreciate the minor irony that 21st Century technology does give us access to tons of older movies, books, stories and so on. A lot of pulp fiction is being reprinted as e-books, while DVDs and video streaming is making many classic movies and TV shows very easy to watch. And, heck, our computers can often make some pretty nifty suggestions on what to watch next.

Of course, as a long time science fiction fan, I'm pretty much convinced that the Internet will one day achieve sentience and wipe humanity off the face of the Earth. But until that day comes, it is providing me with a chance to watch movies I haven't seen and (despite a reasonably strong knowledge of B-movies) occasionally one I hadn't heard of.

My Amazon Prime account recently recommended The Last Outpost (1951), a Western staring Ronald Reagan and Bruce Bennett. I wasn't familiar with this one at all, but I gave it a chance. And, by golly, my Amazon Prime account was right--I thoroughly enjoyed the film. So I'm making note of this online in the faint hope that the Internet will remember my gratitude and spare me when it slaughters mankind.

The film is set during the Civil War out in the Southwest, where an undermanned Union outpost is vainly trying to protect supplies being shipped east from a Confederate cavalry unit commanded by Vance Britton (Reagan). Vance's brother Jeb (Bennett) is with the Union and is sent to the post with reinforcements, initially unaware that he'll be going up against his own brother. He also meets Julia (Rhonda Fleming) at the outpost--this is Vance's former fiance--Vance abandoned her when he opted to fight for the South.

Things get complicated when the U.S. government (despite Jeb's protest) decides to negotiate with the Apaches and get their help in tracking down the Rebs. When Vance learns of the plan, he tries to negotiate with the Apaches himself and convince them to stay neutral. He ends up with a promise of neutrality, but only if he can free several Apache warriors (including Geronimo) from a jail cell at the Union outpost.

It's a well-made movie that tells the story well; has some great location photography; and ends with a fantastic battle scene that's as close to epic as any B-movie can get.

There's a number of small details I appreciate that add to the strong story. For instance, rifles are single-shot muskets rather than repeating rifles. I would imagine an expert in period firearms would pick up on any number of inaccuracies, but the simple fact of not simply giving the cast and extras Winchester repeating rifles--the rifle most often seen in Westerns regardless of the exact year the films are set--is nice.

Also, the Britton brothers are said to be from Baltimore--a border state with a lot of Southern sympathizers, making it very reasonable that brothers might choose different sides when the war started. This and the rifles are signs that the film-makers were making enough of an effort to be historically accurate to give The Last Outpost a degree of verisimilitude.

Charles Evans plays an interesting character. He's an Apache chief, but he's a white man and a former Army officer. He was kicked out of the Army after marrying an Apache woman and now fights for them because he honestly believes they hold the moral high ground in their conflict with the United States. It's one of several factors in the movie that rise the Apaches above simply being the default bad guys.

The cast is very good--Reagan is in fact quite good as a Cavalry officer who has a bit of the con artist in his soul. The supporting cast includes Noah Beery, Jr--always likable in any character role he ever played--as one of the Reb sergeants.  Reagan's second-in-command is Hugh Beaumont--so it seems Beaver's father fought for the South before settling down in the suburbs and getting married to June. Lloyd Corrigan brings some effective comic relief to the story as a politician who is something of a blowhard.

The Last Outpost was one of many B-movies made by Pine-Thomas Productions, the prolific B-movie unit
of Paramount Pictures. It was the most profitable film they ever turned out. And it really deserved that success. It does what B-movies were so good at doing. It told a good story; gave us characters we like; was nice to look at; and let us sit in on an exciting battle or two. It's a good way to spend an hour-and-a-half.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Don't be a Third Wheel, Flash!

During the Silver Age, it was fairly common for superhero books to have two or more shorter stories rather than one long tale. Flash 119 (March 1961), for instance, has an 11-page story involving the Mirror Master and a 14-page story guest-starring Ralph Dibney, the Elongated Man

Ralph's early appearances were all in Flash, where he was originally created as a supporting character for the Scarlet Speedster. It wouldn't be long before Ralph's popularity would get him the starring role in a Detective Comics back-up feature and an eventual membership in the Justice League.

But in 1961, Ralph was just getting started. This issue marks his third appearance and introduces us to his newlywed wife Sue. The two are on their honeymoon. For reasons that will forever be inexplicable, Ralph goes scuba diving alone. Ralph, you're on your HONEYMOON! Hang out with your wife, you idiot.

Well, he gets kidnapped by an undersea race called the Bredans, who are snatching up humans to serve as slaves. When Flash investigates Ralph's disappearance, he is also captured. Ralph has amnesia, but Flash helps him get his memory back and the heroes launch a two-man slave rebellion. The Bredans are defeated, agreeing to release all slaves.

It's a fun little story, written by John Broome and with Carmine Infantino providing great art. Images such as the Bredans fishing for humans being kept in a bowel or Ralph sitting on Flash's shoulders when the attack the Bredan war machines are all pure fun and easily justify the existence of this story.

But then, at the end of the tale, Ralph and Sue ask Flash to
stick around and vacation with them. While.. they... are... on... their... HONEYMOON!

And Flash accepts the situation apparently without thinking that this is at all awkward, thus happily becoming the third wheel on a date.

I guess being a top-tier superhero doesn't require social skills.

I'm making fun of this, but of course the story simply reflects the innocence of Silver Age storytelling and the fact that most comic book readers were kids. Broome and Infantino weren't interested in an exploration of the relations of a newly-married couple, but simply wanted to set up the story as economically as possible, so they could get to the really cool parts. And let's face it, a two-superhero rebellion against undersea slavers is a whole lot cooler than young love.

On another note, I think this is the one and only appearance of the Bredans. But the bottom of the world's oceans covers a lot of square miles. Underwater adventures in the DC Universe usually involves Atlantis, but there's no reason there can't be a few other smaller undersea cities down there.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Cover Cavalcade

If you meet a walking skeleton, apparently the appropriate thing to do is challenge it to a game of tic-tac-toe.
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