Thursday, February 04, 2016

COMIC BOOK REVIEW! MOON GIRL (and the Prince) #'s 1 and 5 (Canton Street Press)

Now that all of the "New Trend" and "New Direction" EC titles have been reprinted to all heck maybe it is time that some of their "Pre Trend" comics got the royal retro-treatment as well. Of course most of those early EC's ain't exactly anything special or much different from the sorta crankout material that all of the other nth string comic publishers were putting out at the time, but since they have that nifty "EC" logo on 'em and since the company went on to do much better things I'm sure a whole lotta fans out there would be eager to read just about anything with that imprimatur of quality even if it is DANDY, TINY TOT or THE HAPPY HOULIHANS, right? (Though frankly I wouldn't mind reading the entire run of Ed Wheelan's FAT AND SLAT!)

In all honesty not all Pre Trend EC's were standard late-period Golden Age of Comic duds. WAR AGAINST CRIME and CRIME PATROL were about as good as the New Trend crime titles at least to the point where Russ Cochran had those reproduced along with the rest of the classic EC's back in the nineties, and I'll betcha that those reprints helped destroy the notion that all of the early titles that company put out were out and out turdsville. And now this particular title has been repro'd for all of us to give a ggood judgement to almost seventy years later!

Not that MOON GIRL really had anything strong going for it, but it sure makes for a better sit down and kick up yer feet comic book read than some of the snoozeroonies that were making their way to the racks back in those post-World War II days.

Drawn by former DC whiz Sheldon Moldoff (and sometimes inked by EC superstar Johnny Craig), MOON GIRL wasn't just any WONDER WOMAN swipe but a pretty tasty turn on the basic concept. Fortunately none of the overt psychohooziz of the original (nor the latent women's libber fodder) shows we get some straight-ahead superhero(ine) comics that don't get all gosh-gee on ya. And for a company whose only foray into the superhero(ine) biz was this lady EC certainly went for the then-shrinking market about as much as they could.

True there is that underlying unrequited romance angle that's been milked for ages elsewhere (this time between Moon Girl and her sidekick the Prince, a second banana Steve Trevor knockoff only with super strength) but if you could get over all that soap opera moosh while reading the early DAREDEVIL issues maybe you can put this li'l bit of disgust in the back of your mind.

Contrary to popular belief the art is good enough that I could have seen Moldoff (along with other early EC-ers like Rudy Palais and Leonard Starr) being a major asset at EC had the guy stuck around long enough for the New Trend era, and unless you're one of those uberstickler types I really can't see you not having these two in your own personal comic book collection.

As far as I can tell only two MOON GIRL issues have been reprinted, the debut issue from '47 and the fifth from the following year. The chronological jump is only because the latter features the very first EC horror story (unless you count an earlier appearance of a vampire in a Moon Girl saga a few issues prior) entitled "Zombie Terror". This 'un was, interestingly enough, drawn by Craig who would later on do the Vault Keeper stories during the horror craze era, and it's pretty good at that bein' all about some badski smugglers who force these South Amerigan natives to retrieve some booty in dangerous waters and they all drown but (as you know) that ain't the end of it! "Zombie Terror"'s about as crazed as at least the early EC horror stories, and somehow I think that Bill Gaines missed a big opportunity by not reprinting this one during the height of comic book gore with a blurb saying something along the lines of "FROM OUT OF THE PAST, OUR FIRST HORROR STORY EVER IN THE GRAND EC TRADITION!" Well, it would have been cheaper'n paying Sid Check to fill up a few pages with new material.

These come repro'd in their original Golden Age size with all of the ads (both in-house and out-house) intact, and all I gotta say is that with these comics and a Saturday afternoon visit to the barber it's like you're a ten-year-old kid inna middle of Suburban Slob Ameriga again! Don't miss this grand opportunity to recreate a part of life that made life a whole lot better'n the downer gloom atmosphere its been wallowing in these past thirtysome years!

1 comment:

Bill S. said...

Thanks for alerting me to these reprints. Alas, Canton St. Press was already sold out of #5 (must be all those orders originating from BTC readers), but I was able to order issue #1. Looks like essential reading!