Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Number 2553: You need not be a devil to have horns

If a writer runs out of ideas for villains there is always the devil to go to. Can't get much more evil than the devil. But lots of people called “devil” don’t always live up to the title. Like the devil in this Spy Smasher story. He has what are supposed to be horns coming out of his head, but look more like a couple of paper cut-outs pasted to his forehead. It is enough for the “devil” to carry on the look, without a supernatural origin. Some people in real life have horns, and they can appear anywhere on the body. Look up cutaneous horn on the internet. I’ll bet not one of the unfortunate folks who are shown in photos with those growths turned out to be evil.

Spy Smasher was lucky enough to have lasted through World War II as a Fawcett comic book character. Spy Smasher also appeared in a movie serial. So he was popular enough in his time when smashing spies, but after the war when postwar shenanigans of spies were especially dangerous, Spy Smasher was retitled “Crime Smasher,” and had a short run.

Grand Comics Database has no idea who wrote or drew this episode. I believe the Jack Binder comic shop had something, if not all, to do with it.

From Spy Smasher #3 (1942):



Charles said...

Wow. Spy Smasher gets knocked out three times by the same doofus with horns. Not a good showing and he only survived a knifing through luck. Also, he seemed to give away his connection to Eve. Really poor showing.

Daniel [] said...

This story was not the only one in which Spy Smasher fought a would-be Devil. Two issues later, in Spy Smasher Comics #5 (for June of 1942), Spy Smasher took-on villains posing as Death incarnate and as Satan in “Death over Washington”. They had a mock-up of Hell in a cavern that, if I recall correctly, was beneath the District of Columbia, defying my understanding of the local geology.

Darci said... lists "It operates mostly as a deep-level subway in more densely populated parts of the D.C. metropolitan area (including most of the District itself), while most of the suburban tracks are at surface level or elevated." so apparently there is a possibility for that cavern.