Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Number 1427: Zoro and the Devil’s Dagger

In the wake of the initial comic book boom of the late thirties-early forties, comics, at 68 pages, all in color for a dime, were in constant need of talent and characters to fill those pages. If ideas and concepts from more successful comics were borrowed, well, that’s the comic book biz. There were so many characters spread across the industry they were popping up like weeds in my lawn. I wouldn’t want to try to count them.

Anyway, as promised on Monday, here are two more stories from 1941, this time from Fawcett’s Master Comics #12. I was not familiar with these characters at all, and apparently they didn’t set the comic book world on fire. But, so what? I like them well enough to show them here. “Devil’s Dagger” is drawn by journeyman comic artist Ken Battefield (NOT “Battlefield,” which is the way I often see his name misspelled). I know next to nothing about Battefield, because there isn’t much information available online. The other story is “Zoro the Mystery Man” (not “Zorro”), drawn by the great Mac Raboy. Raboy was an excellent illustrator, who did early work on Captain Marvel Jr. He also did fine work on Green Lama. Raboy went from comic books to the Flash Gordon Sunday comic strip in 1946, which he drew until his death at the young age of 53 in 1967.

Master Comics was a pretty good anthology comic. At some point I’ll be mining this issue for more stories.


Brian Barnes said...

The Devil's Dagger is about as non-descript as you can get, they were really throwing any idea at the wall.

The pet cheetah? You shouldn't hang a concept of what is basically a glorified side kick. At first I laughed at the panels where our villain fought off the cheetah and then the one where the cheetah held on -- by claws, I assume (!!!) to our hero's back -- but reading up a bit on cheetah's it actually might be possible. They can be small as adults (50lbs), have flat claws, and almost exclusively energy to run fast in a spurt. You probably could fight one off, if you were strong enough.

And they say comics don't teach you anything!

Pappy said...

Brian, I will file that information on cheetahs in case I happen to encounter one. The fact is, even an old and arthritic cheetah with no teeth could run me down. I'd rather not test out your theory of fighting one off if strong enough.

I did notice, looking at the story again, that Zoro didn't have a name for his pet. He must've spent a lot of time training the animal and yet called it Cheetah?

Daniel [] said...

He should have named it “Chimpanzé”.

Pappy said...

Daniel, good one. It took me a few seconds to remember the name of Tarzan's chimpanzee pal.