Thursday, February 01, 2018

COMIC BOOK REVIEW! AIR-SUB DX BY CARL BURGOS (Gawandaland Comics, available here)

Eh, whaz zo special about an air sub anyway? I mean, when I was a kid I thrilled to the adventures of SUPERCAR which was all that 'n more, and heck in 1916 Ignatz the mouse from the KRAZY KAT comic strip had an airplane/submarine he once used in an attempt to escape from that fag cat only the Krazy Katbirds in the air and the Krazy Katfish in the sea wouldn't leave him alone! So like, why should I get all excited over this short-lived 1939 series that originally appeared in Centaur Comics's AMAZING MYSTERY FUNNIES anyway?

Maybe it's because these stories were written and drawn by Carl Burgos of HUMAN TORCH fame, or maybe it's because these stories have that great sense of pre-Code justice where the bad boys are really evil and not good/evil and always get their comeuppance in the grisliest ways possible. Actually AIR-SUB DX wasn't anything hotcha when compared with a whole lot of the competition what with the comparatively primitive art and the storylines which had almost as much continuity as a non-sequitur spouting three-year-old, but I still like it because it IS cheap and has little in it to take it from one episode to another! Otherwise these things just might turn into art and we don't want that now, do we?

Only a few of these stories escaped into the realm of depression-era kiddiedom before the series got axed, but the ones that did really do pack a good portion of action what with Captain Tim (sporting long hair even before Eden Ahbez!), sexy Rita and Rita's dad Professor Grey trying to keep the Prof's new flying sub invention out of the hands of evil powers who really could put it to nefarious use! And considering the futuristic world these three live in those evil forces are naturally everywhere to be seen---I mean, what else would you expect from a society where nothing is true and everything permitted, a future of Ozzie and Harriets?

Things can get quite confusing in the first episode (which, surprisingly enough, lacks any back-history or origin for that matter) where forces led by a "Curley" as you'd expect fail miserably in their attempts to steal the invention. Even crazier is the fact that the followup story entitled "Invasion" doesn't even appear nor does Curley for that matter, making me wonder just how truthful Gawandaland's claims of this book containing the complete series really are. Maybe the folk at Centaur lost the saga or better yet believed their readers were too stupid to notice, but the story that does turn up having to do with a scientist who has discovered the secret of "accelerated evolution" sure does continue on the bared-wire thread of cheapo intensity the best Golden Age adventure comics are famous for!

Of course they're cornballus and unsophisticated and all that, but as I've said that's why I like 'em! Sure the real deal FLASH GORDON is boffo enough but AIR-SUB DX comes off like something that coulda popped outta the mind of your by-now ancient Uncle Ernie back when he was only eight-years-old! And let me tell you nonbelievers that even the cheapest of mass-produced entertainment a good eighty-years-back could beat todays high-budget effects galore effort all hollow! At least the people who were creating those HEROES (remember that word?) didn't exactly go out and flaunt all that was bad and anti-human about themselves via their characters for all to see, as if the kids in Peoria would ever go for such clay-based avengers to admire in the first place. And the stories here make a whole lot more sense too even if for some strange reason Gawandaland reprinted the accelerated evolution saga twice. Maybe because it was so good but hey, if you wanted to read it again and didn't feel like turning back the page here's your chance!

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