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Top-Notch Comics #17

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Post Wed May 10, 2006 11:06 pm
Kelso User avatar
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Editor Harry Shorten certainly knew that one of the best ways to ensure that readers would continue to follow a certain magazine title was to have at least one story in the book end in a cliffhanger. After all, many magazine publishers made fortunes by serializing novels in this manner. And many a movie studio practically got a license to make money by comming up with daring movie serials with cliffhanger endings. So it was no surprise that when Top-Notch Comics #17 (cover dated July, 1941) hit the stands in May of 1941, three of the stories in this book ended in cliffhangers. Which three stories? If one gets past the great Al Camy cover we'll find out:

THE BLACK HOOD; The book gets off to a great start as the Black Hood investigates the murder of a wealthy miser and finds the motive for his murder - not to mention the wherabouts of his fortune - may rest litteraly in the dead man's head. Harry Shorten (story) and Al Camy (art) delivers the goods on this tale.

THE WIZARD; Harry Shorten and Al Camy keep the momentum they started with the Black Hood Story with this story. Here, the Wizard and Roy fight against a gang of crooks involved in a shootout with police and find that this was part of a crime wave organized by someone in the city government.

FRAN FRAZER; When they meet up with Nazi official who bear a resemblence to Hal Davis, Fran and Hal find themselves trying to expose a Nazi plot to invade a foreign country by impersinating the offical and a lady friend.

KEITH KORNELL; After being assigned to ferry plans for a new tank to Washington, Lt. Keith Kornell and Pvt. Hutch are forced to go after a gang of spies who had stolen the plans from them. An interesting little tale.

THE FIREFLY; In the first of three stories to end in cliffhangers, the Firefly is involved in a second battle with the Mummy. And this time he suceeds in kidnapping Joan Burton and brings her to Egypt in order to make her his queen. Watch for a cliffhanger involving a colapsing temple. Warren King delivers the goods on the art.

THE ST. LOUIS KID; After being banned from the ring due to a deal with a crooked promoter, Jim Jennings tries to clear himself of that charge.

WINGS JOHNSON; Joe Blair and Ed Smalle tells the tale of how Wings Johnson and Henry Higgins went to find a British agent in Germany who was holed up in a supposed haunted house. And this tale end with our heroes surrounded by Nazi soldiers. The second cliffhanger in this issue.

BOB PHANTOM; Here Bob Phantom investigates the murder of a pro boxer and finds the motive for his murder may rest in the dead man's hands. And in the third cliffhanger ending of this issue, we find What Whitney's assistant, Jinx Friday bound ansd left to die in a house filled with starving rats. Featuring art by Ramona Platenaude.

KARDAK; Harry Reinman and Paul Reinman bring the book to close with this story of how Kardak helps a young juvenile delinquent turn his life around and apprehend a gang of crooks as well.

The house ads for Pep #17 and Blue Ribbon #13 are quite interesting as well.

It seems that looking at the contents of Top-Notch #17, they more than suceeded in making sure that the readers picked up the next issue with those three cliffhangers alone. That is if the Black Hood and Wizard stories didn't leave anyone hungry for more. And thanks to a thing called back issues, we don't have to wait a month for the next issue.

KEEP 'EM FLYING!!!!!!
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