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PEP #12

Reviews for the various Mighty Crusaders Comics.

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Post Sat Aug 27, 2005 6:12 am
Kelso User avatar
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Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA
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By the time Pep Comics #12 (cover dated February, 1941) hit the stands back in December of 1940, it was a title in transition. For in the previous issue, the Shield's junior partner Dusty was introduced and two strips that appeared in the first issue - The Press Guardian and Fu Chang - made their last apperances. It was part of a tweaking process that each of MLJ's four anthology titles were going through around this time. All in an effort to find the right combination of features that would put the books over the top. In Pep's case, that process would lead to a few more changes in the book including a few more strips to be introduced (particularly the ones that would appear in issues #s 17 & 22). So here's a look at Pep #12 which was a transition issue for that title:

THE SHIELD; For their second case as a team, the Shield and Dusty smash a plot by Dr.Wang to use kidnapped subway passengers as a hypnotised army of saboteurs. Harry Shorten and Irv Novick deliver the goods on this story.

DANNY IN WONDERLAND; For his first appearance, a boy named Danny and his dog Snapper get dragged off into the realm of Wonderland by a cyclone ala Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and begins his adventures there. His first adventure involving recuing a group of children from a giant. This strip was definately intended fro the younger members of the reading audience and Danny's adventures in Wonderland would last until issue #39.

THE COMET; In a continuation of the previous issues tale, the Comet rescues Thelma from the gang of sabotuers and confronts their leaders, who turn out to be working the Nypponese (read as Japanese) government. Although Joe Blair and Lin Streeter did a god job on this story, I couldn't help but notice a major continuity error in this tale as the Comet needed an injection of the gas that gave him his powers as they wore off when in Pep #1, it was revealed he destroyed the formula.

THE FIREBALL; For his first appearance, we not only get his origin, we also get his battle with an arsonist called the Bug. This short lived but memorable superhero would go on to appear in Pep until issue #20.

SERGEANT BOYLE; In a continuation of the Corporal Collins story from Blue Ribbon #9, we find both Boyle and Collins renewing their rivalry. But fortunately they put aside their differences long enough to destroy a hidden Nazi sub refueling base in the ocean. Charles Biro delivers the goods on this story.

THE MIDSHIPMAN; For a change of pace, we get an interesting Capra-esque story of how Lee Sampson helped a family and the poor people around Annapolis for Christmas.

THE ROCKET AND THE QUEEN OF DIAMONDS; For the final episode of the strip, the Rocket and the Queen of Diamonds help smash a menacing Groman armada.

KAYO WARD; Here MLJ's answer to Joe Palooka hits the comeback trail after his time in Hollywood as he fights a gainst a bruiser by the name of Mauler Mulligan.

BENTLEY OF SCOTLAND YARD; The book end with another intriguing little mystery as Inspector Bentley solves a pair of homicides involving a ghoul from the moors. Featuring artwork by Sam Cooper who helped co-create one more supernatural oriented character earlie that month, Mr. Justice.

So looking at Pep Comics #12, one sees a title in transition and how it was weathering it. And if you thought this book was good, the best is yet to come!
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