Monday, February 22, 2021

Number 2498: The Target team teams up

Says a crook, holding a gun on beautiful Sonya, “Y’know, sister, every time I hear a girl scream, I get itchy fingers!” to which The Target, Sonya’s date, Niles Reed, now fully costumed in his hero regalia, says, “— and every time I see a face like yours, I get ITCHY FISTS!” Then he smashes the crook unconscious with that itchy fist. Sonya thanks him, expresses her gratitude, then adds, “I only wish the gentleman who brought me here was half as gallant as you!” She does not know that her date, Niles, is also the itchy fist guy. He is now in costume, after all.

The story, from Target Comics, Volume 1 Number 11 (1940), is the second Target story, and introduces two friends of Niles, who become the Targeteers. One wonders where the cops are in this story. According to the plot, the crooks working for Hammerfist, have been taking over the city’s night clubs, one by one, using violence. The cops don’t think to plant some undercover police in the clubs to catch the take-over criminals in the act. It is left to The Target. [SPOILER]Still, when the time comes for justice, Target captures the boss criminal, and ties him to a pole to await the police.[END SPOILER] 

I haven’t even mentioned that Niles, not wanting to hold a funeral he thinks is dangerous, buries his own brother in a field so the corpse won’t be found by the police. For sure that will keep funeral costs down.

The story is drawn by Bob Wood, using the pseudonym, Dick Hamilton. Wood had close ties to Charles Biro (Crimebuster, Daredevil, et al). The story reads like something Biro would write, especially burying the brother in a field. Biro had a morbid imagination. Without having evidence, I would give Biro some credit, even if it could be just inspiration to his future partner, Bob Wood, who later killed a girlfriend while on an alcoholic bender.


Another early Target story...featuring Hitler! Just click on the thumbnail: 


Daniel [] said...

Some of the panels are basically Wood imitating Robinson as Robinson eased away from Kane's actual style.

Wood was on a bender when he killed his girlfriend, but on at least one other occasion, he was seen to beat a girlfriend in public. And this behavior conforms to my more general impression that Wood, Biro, and Gleason were men with terribly faulty moral compasses, reflected in their story-telling, and in Gleason's political affiliations.

Rick said...

Thanks to the pandemic the myth of not recognizing friends and acquaintances because they're wearing a mask has been thoroughly debunked. Everyone I see these days is masked and I have never failed to recognize them.