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PEP #29

Reviews for the various Mighty Crusaders Comics.

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Post Sat Aug 27, 2005 6:17 am
Kelso User avatar
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MightyCrusaders.net

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Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA
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Looking at Pep Comics #29, one will see a title in a slight state of transistion. For one, there were some major changes in one feature in this book and they were about to launch another feature in the next issue. But considering that Pep was hitting its stride around this time, this transistion comes off as a very minor bump in the road. In fact, this book comes off as one of the best issues of Pep ever to come off the presses. What made this issue such a book that blew everyone out of the water? Let's see (after we get past that great Alex Schomberg cover of course):

THE SHIELD; This memorable issue of Pep gets off to a spectacular start as The Shield finds out the hard way that the formula that gave him his original super powers had worn off. And to make matters worse, a powerless Shield and his partner Dusty had to go up against a Japanese menace known as the Fang. We also get a retelling of the Shield's origin as well. This story would actually be continued in the pages of Shield-Wizard #7 rather than in the next issue.

There were changes afoot in the look of the Shield and in the artwork as well. For one, the Shield had donned a new costume in this story. And for another, the artwork of Irv Novick had changed dramatically starting with this story. On his earliest Shield stories, he was drawing in a polished, straightforward illustrative style that owed little to anyone else (although he occasionally experimented with a Noel Sickles inspired inking approach). By 1941, his style began to show the influence of then MLJ staffer Mort Meskin as Novick began bringing a cinematic influenced kineticism to his work. But by the time this issue of Pep hit the stands in May of 1942, he had fallen under the influence of Jack Kirby and that influence brought a new dynamacism and kinecticism to his artwork that would last for the rest of his days at MLJ and would be felt in the other strips that Novick worked on at MLJ as well.

THE HANGMAN: This story answers the question "How do you top that last story?". You do it by bringing back a major Hangman baddie from the last issue (Captain Swastika) and have him plot to hijack a new battleship. Throw in the Hangman, a lot of twists and turns in the plot (courtesy of Bill Woolfolk), and toss in some dynamic artwork by Harry P. Lucey. Put it all together and you've got a spectacular little follow up tale to the lead feature.

DANNY IN WONDERLAND; For his birthday party, we get a retrospective of Danny's past adventures in Wonderland and a taste of what's yet to come.

SERGEANT BOYLE; Carl Hubbell delivers the goods in this tale that has Sgt. Boyle and Twerp captured by Japanese soldiers and comitting a massive breakout at a Japanese concentration camp.

ARCHIE; This is how Archie Andrews would answer "How I spent my Summer Vacation". He gets a job as a counselor at a holiday camp at Veronica Lake (YEEOWWWTCH!!) and suceeds in unitentionally causing a few major disasters. A pretty funny story from Bob Montana.

BENTLEY OF SCOTLAND YARD; Here Paul Reinman delivers the goods on a clever little mystery as Inspector Bentley tries to solve a series of murders of policemen commited by an elusive serial cop-killer (or bobby killer if you prefer).

THE SHIELD; In a little featurette, we get a little piece of wartime anti-Nazi propaganda to help sell war bonds and stamps.

Add two text fillers featuring the Shield and the Hangman and previews of the latest issues of Zip and Shield-Wizard and you've got one of the best issues of Pep ever to come off the presses back in 1942.
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