Sunday, August 05, 2012
Number 1204: Big woids make a fella sound smart
“Education of Iron Fist Gookin,” from Star Spangled Comics #18 (1943) is a fine example of how Simon and Kirby could break up their action-filled stories with funny business. It’s well done in all the ways Joe and Jack could craft a story, has laughs and action, and a great pay-off at the end. Gookin, the villain, is looking for a way to make his gang look up to him, to look smart by expanding his vocabulary, which he does thanks to the Newsboy Legion's most erudite member, Big Words.
This is just not something you would see in most comic books of the era, a panel where the bad guy says, “Hi, Gang!! As Shakespeare put it...slappin' cops around is like exacerbatin' de quantitative hyperbole...” It's nonsense — “word salad” — but maybe it got a few 1943 readers to crack the dictionary.
I love these early forties stories S and K did for DC. I read them as reprints in the Fourth World series of comics DC published in the early seventies.