All-American 25 – Green Lantern and the saboteur, Red Tornado teams with the Cyclone Kids, Hop Harrigan becomes the Guardian Angel, Dr. Mid-Nite debuts, and Adventures in the Unknown ends

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Another new hero debuts in All-American 25 (April 1941), but Green Lantern retains his cover dominance.

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Alan Scott investigates sabotage at a steel mill, and the resultant kidnapping of Irene Miller, in this story by Finger and Nodell.

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Although this is not an isolationist tale, the villain does not turn out to be a foreign agent.  But his motive is simply greed rather than trying to force a war.

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The Red Tornado’s billing is now larger than that of Scribbly, as Sheldon Mayer continues to put the spotlight on Ma Hunkle.  Gangsters kidnap Scribbly, figuring that, as he drew the picture of the Tornado, he must know something about the hero.  Dinky and Sisty see this, and get into their Cyclone Kids costumes.  Ma spots them changing, and joins them as Red Tornado.

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Together they free Scribbly and whup the bad guys.  But while Ma now knows who the Kids are, they remain ignorant of her identity.

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Ikky and Prop Wash get recruited by the Secret Service to help expose a spy ring in this story.  Why Hop Harrigan was not included is not clear, but it turns out to be a good thing that he wasn’t.

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The two men find themselves hopelessly outclassed and outgunned, and get shot down.  They are rescued by a mysterious masked flyer, the Guardian Angel.  We see that the Angel is really Hop, but he feels it necessary for some reason to conceal this from his friends.

Really, this is just a case of pushing the Hop Harrigan series towards being about a costumed hero.

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Charles Reizenstein and Stan Aschmeier introduce Dr. Mid-Nite in this issue.  Charles McNider is a noted physician, who is called upon to save the life of a witness in a mob trial.   The killer, Maroni, tosses a bomb into the room, which blinds the doctor.

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No longer able to see, McNider decides to begin a new career as a writer. He tells Myra Mason, his former nurse, now his secretary, that he is writing to benefit the public at large, by warning them about the crime rife in society. But we see that he writes for pulp magazines, so McNider is really just being a bit pompous about this.

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In a scene ripped directly from the Batman origin, McNider ponders taking more direct action against criminals when an owl comes smashing through his window.  But this owl brings more than just inspiration for a name, McNider discovers that he is not blind in darkness.  Grateful, he adopts the owl, naming it Hooty.

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McNider creates a costume for himself, and the hood contains dark glass over the eyes, giving him the darkness he needs in order to see. He also creates blackout bombs, to further give him an advantage.  With Hooty on his shoulder, Dr. Mid-Nite goes into action, capturing Maroni, and even performing surgery in a blackout.

But Dr.Mid-Nite would continue to feel like a second-tier Batman for much of his original run.

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Rescue on Mars, the final storyline of Adventures in the Unknown, comes to a conclusion in this issue.  Professor Lutyens continues to pretend to work on behalf of the Martians, while really trying to find a way to overthrow them and escape.

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Jack, Alan and Ted, as well as the professor, would all have been beheaded for their brains when the plan gets revealed, if not for another helpful Martian-bot.

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They make it back to Earth, this time wearing space suits.  Which once again makes me wonder why they didn’t need them for the voyage out.  Returning to Earth, they are confronted by the foreign agents who had been chasing them earlier, but the professor uses his paralyzing ray on them.

None of these characters ever appear again, but I am certain they were all pulled into some secret scientific government work a few months down the road, when the US entered the war.

 

 

 

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