OLD COMICS WEDNESDAY: Adolf, Seth & The Dangers Of Talk Radio (1943)
As much as I love Frank Robbins, I can’t take reading these stupid comic books anymore. Here are some entertaining odds & ends I clipped and saved before throwing the rest out.
Instead of a pastiche of ’40s supercomics junk, Invaders #10 reprinted an real piece of ’40s supercomics junk with “The Wrath of the Reaper,” from Captain America Comics #22 [January 1943]. Al Avison & Al Gabriele’s art is no great shakes but I appreciate that they tried to ape the Simon & Kirby look, especially the slashing, almost abstract look they often gave faces. I also enjoyed the deeply cynical view of how easily manipulated the American public is by the popular media — of course, Stan Lee wrote/dialoged/whatevered this story at the same time he was in the U.S. Army’s Signal Corps, and Father Coughlin still haunted the imaginations of media-minded and/or progressive writers for years after he was driven off the air.
It’s a shame that, even with the graphic-novel boom and such, there’s still no money to be made in blackmailing major cartoonists with the endearing/embarrassing letters of comment they sent to their favorite comic books as children. Although, if I did the math right, Seth was 14 when he wrote to Roy Thomas. [From Invaders #14, March 1977]
Things I still love about comic books, despite comic books:
#1. Frank Robbins and Frank Springer.
#2. Hitler as final boss/hands-on villain who doesn’t believe in delegating any tasks to his employees.
#3 A Special Belt-Apparatus universal translator that lets a “Ja” and “der führer” go by, which apparently makes for “perfect English.”
4. Cap’s Skippy/Little Orphan Annie eyes.
FWAP. [Panels from Invaders #17]
Pretty conventional subject matter, but this is the weirdest looking cover of the series to my eye: the Cap is clearly a John Romita figure and the other Invaders look like heavily redrawn Romita/Kane, but the Hitler looks like a Jack Kirby drawing and the soldiers & overall layout look like Gil Kane’s work. What the hell? Also, what is the Human Torch doing, aside from using his powers to catch the attention of children?