Monday, December 29, 2014

Dynamite Pulp Specials!

The Shadow Special focuses on his associates. After his apparent death, the gang who usually follow his orders without question discover they must search for answers which they find in this globe-spanning adventure. The artwork is above average for Dynamite with some really powerful pages. With such a large cast of characters though, I'd have liked a bit more reader-friendly exposition in some places, but otherwise this is a pretty sturdy Shadow adventure.

The Avenger Special introduces us to the whole team of Justice Incorporated, a necessary since this story makes some special point about the nature of racism in American culture during the heyday of the pulps and of course the team is integrated. It's a proper full-blooded pulp adventure with the then high-tech invention the television playing a key role. This issue has more actual textual storytelling than I'm accustomed to in a Dynamite comic, a welcome change. The artwork is acceptable but alas tepid in almost all respects.

The Doc Savage Special focuses its keen attention on Pat Savage, or more particularly on certain parts of Pat Savage. The story itself is pretty sharp, with Pat giving Doc a hand with a young girl who turns out to be quite the target for some foreign devils who want to make things rough for Pat and anyone else who is helping out. Among those helpers are couple of cousins who being black become the focus of a subplot about racism in the era. If the artist, who otherwise rises above the average barely had been able to keep the reader from staring at Pat's cleavage through much of the fighting the story would've been better served.

Overall these are some interesting comics, better than I expected with some striking and memorable covers by Robert Hack. But judge them not by that, least ye be somewhat disappointed.

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