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ZIP #27

Reviews for the various Mighty Crusaders Comics.

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Post Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:51 pm
Kelso User avatar
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Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA
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It seemed that with the demise of Blue Ribbon Comics and the transformation of Top-Notch Comics into Top-Notch Laugh Comics that MLJ was losing steam as a publisher of superhero-oriented comics. But somehow they were able to show that they still had more than enough life in them to take one already great title - Zip Comics - and make it even better by adding another hero who was to become another memorable character. And Zip Comics #27 (cover dated July, 1942) did that with the introduction of a hero called the Web. If one could get past that great Irv Novick (?) cover that allowed Steel Sterling and Black Jack to introduce the character, here's what you would find:

THE WEB; The book gets off to a great start as the Web in his first case goes against a Japanese agent known as the Black Dragon who was operating in the city's Chinatown district. This story also introduces the lady in his life, Rose Wayne as well. The Web would go on to trap more criminals in his web in the pages of Zip Comics until issue #38. Her John Cassone provides the artwork.

BLACK JACK; The story is an object lesson on how to follow up a great lead story. Here you would introduce a great new villian in Black Seven and have him try to steal a treaty for a Nazi bund that hired him. This was Black Jack's first of two encounters with Black Seven. Here Al Camy delivers the goods on the art in this interesting little adventure.

STEEL STERLING; Irving Novick - drawing in his new Kirby influenced style - completes a major hat trick in this fast paced story that introduces a new villian for Steel Sterling, Baron Gestapo. Looking at the first 3 stories, the MLJ bullpen had performed a hat trick worthy of the NHL.

WILBUR; Here Wilbur goes along with his father and his friend on a hunting trip and shows them how NOT to go hunting in this funny tale.

STORIES OF THE BLACK WITCH; J Phillips illustrates this tale about a pirate who takes over an island and its lighthouse. This tale shows that MLJ had got the early EC horror formula down pat.

WAR EAGLES; For their final appearance, the War Eagles and Swen fly on a clipper to America but end up encountering a Nazi bomber on their way there.

ZAMBINI; The book closes in grand style with a story reminicent of the play (and later film) Golden Boy as Zambini encounters a violinist turned prizefighterinvovled with a pair of crooked fight promoters. Once again J. H. Phillips provided the artwork.

Looking at the contents of this issue, It seems that the people at MLJ had succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in improving Zip Comics. This was one of the best issues of the title thus far and was the first of a memorable nine issue run for the title that would produce some of the best issues of ANY title published by MLJ Magazines. And this was only the beginning of that run.
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