All-American 38 – Green Lantern vs the Napoleon of Crime, and Hop Harrigan joins the army

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Finger and Hasen give Green Lantern an interesting villain, a direct descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte who chooses an odd way of living up to his famous ancestor in All-American 38 (May 1942).

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The man spends his life learning all he can about Napoleon, and then has the idea to turn his methods to crime.  The story really does slag Napoleon, painting him as a tyrannical dictator, but this would have been written right around the time of the bombing of Pearl Harbour, and Napoleon would likely have been equated by readers with a more recent European conqueror.

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Napoleon uses criminals and political pawns to take over small towns and expand his territory, while keeping himself safe in a castle, complete with cannons.  But when he moves on to the town of Waterloo, he falls afoul of Green Lantern.  Not a bad villain at all, but sadly he dies at the end of the tale.

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Hop Harrigan’s series returns from the far north, as Hop decides to join the army in the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbour. He gets accepted to become an aviation cadet, but Tank gets rejected.

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The romantic element remains in the strip, though, as Geraldine introduces Hop (and us) to Cecil Giltedge, her new beau.  Cecil is also an aviation cadet, as is “Sure Thing” Booker.

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The stories become packed with information about the jargon used in the military.  Hop shows up the other cadets, being allowed to fly solo before they are, due to his history and fame.  But it works against him in the end, as Booker is the one who is free to go on a date that night with Geraldine.  Clearly she just needs a man, any man, on her arm.

 

 

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