Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Some things I noticed about Action Comics Weekly #604

Called before a Senate committee to explain witness reports that he was involved with shooting down an air force jet and destroying a Coast City pent house, John Stewart occasionally screams certain parts of certain sentences.

Wild Dog straight up sets a foe on fire. I've never read any Punisher stories from this time period, so I don't know how unusual it was for gun-toting vigilante protagonists to light their enemies on fire in the pages of Big Two super-comics. Would The Punisher of 1988 have thrown a Molotov cocktail at a dude, or is that more of a Marvel Knights/Max Punisher sort of move?

The guy set on fire, by the way, is part of the militant wing of The League of Morality, who in this installment blow up a comic book store with dynamite because they say it sells smut and, just prior to the scene above, they hijack a truck delivering what they deem filthy magazine. The titles visible on the boxes in the back of the truck include Photo World, Cosmopolitan, Playboy, Swimwear Monthly, Spin, Rock World, Mystery Digest and Artist. So writer Max Collins and/or Terry Beatty weren't going out of their way to depict the League thugs as anything other than cartoonishly, insanely puritanical.

I think this is the creepiest image of Blackhawk I've ever seen. Up until this panel I was sort of looking at him as an incorrigible, rakish rogue. But man, after seeing that expression and those gestures, it's hard to think of him as someone you'd want living on your street, let alone flying you into the world of high adventure.

The context, if it helps, is that our hero has just asked his companion if she'd like to join the mile-high club, which is "very exclusive....and only for the adventurous," and she responded, "I'm as adventurous as the next person...What do I have to do?" He puts the plane on autopilot, asks her to keep an eye out to let him know if the plane is about to crash, and then lunges at her with his leering sex judo pose.

Oh, Blackhawk!


Diabolu Frank said...

The Punisher was lighting people up back then. He cooked the antagonist from the first story arc of his ongoing series in 1987 (the old zippo to the pool of gasoline trick.) I doubt it was the first time (maybe in Circle of Blood or that '70s B&W magazine?

Randal said...

Mystery Digest? Well, no wonder.