Tag Archives: Hop Harrigan

World’s Finest 4 – Superman and the streetcars, the Crimson Avenger vs Methuselah, Young Doc Davis ends, Hop Harrigan guests, Sandman takes on the Society of Six, and Lando hunts for a radium mine

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Superman, Batman and Robin chase a murderous bunny rabbit through the snow on the cover of World’s Finest 4 (Winter 1941).  Maybe that’s not what the artist intended, but you can’t prove me wrong.

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Public transportation is at the core of this Superman story, by Siegel and Nowak.  Streetcar accidents are becoming common, and the owner of the line is rude and argumentative when Clark Kent writes a story on it for the Daily Planet.

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A young red-haired man appears in this story, working for the Planet.  He is not named, but this is one of those cameos that are easy to ascribe to Jimmy Olsen.

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This story is also notable for the brief appearance of the Daily Planet globe.  I find it curious how it significantly failed to grab the interest of artists on the Superman series all the way until the late 50s.

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The streetcar owner, as aggressive as he is, is not actually the villain of the story.  Instead, it’s the man who owns a bus fleet.  He wanted the streetcars to lose the city contract, and get it himself. Kidnapping Lois Lane and throwing her off a cliff is just a standard act for villains in Superman stories.

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Even though Wing is now being played for racist comedy, this story, by Lehti and Paris, has one of the best plots of any Crimson Avenger tales.  He faces a man named Methuselah, who has the ability to rejuvenate old men.

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There is a lot going on in the tale, with Methuselah exploiting the aged dreams of wealthy old men, and getting them to commit crimes for him.  But the real plot, which Lee Travis uncovers, is to steal a man’s identity and wealth.  Methuselah is actually a young man, the nephew of an aging millionaire.  He plotted to kill off and replace his uncle, using the Methuselah potion as an explanation for his “newfound” youth.

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Young Doc Davis has his final adventure, by Henry Boltinoff, in this issue, which opens with a magic trick gone wrong, as a woman gets shot onstage.

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The magician insists there was no bullet in the gun, but the police do not believe him.  Davis looks into this a bit further, and finds proof that the actual shooter was the girl’s greedy fiancee.

So what happened to Young Doc Davis?  Well, after four such impressive criminal cases, I expect he was recruited by the some secret government organization, for his blend of medical and deductive thinking.

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Hop Harrigan gets a one-off tale in this issue, which brings along much of his supporting cast from All-American Comics.  Ikky Tinker and Miss Snap are there, but the important one for the story is his sort-of girlfriend, Geraldine.

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Hop’s feats have earned him a gaggle of adoring females, to Geraldine’s dismay.

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While many stories at this time have Geraldine flirting with other men to make Hop jealous, in this one she fights for her man, even though Hop shows no interest in the other girls.

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The Sandman gets a decent tale in this story, largely because of the creepy art and odd variation of his costume.  Cliff Young does the art as Wesley Dodds and Dian Belmost drive through a fog that makes their skin burn.

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Wesley gets into a rubber sealed Sandman suit, and comes across a gang called the Society of the Six.  Also garbed in costumes to protect them from the deadly fog they release, Sandman finds himself fiighting against all six of them, but still manages to prevail.

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Chad Grothkopf takes over the art on Lando, Man of Magic, and gives a very different look to the series.  Lando is in Mexico in this story, likely heading back north after his adventure in Panama.  He faces a monstrous creature, referred to as a gargoyle, although it looks nothing like one.

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Once again, there is the exploitation of natives, which Lando cares nothing about, and the perils of the mine owner and his daughter, which he does.

 

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All-American 99 – Streak saves the day, and Hop Harrigan ends

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Streak, the Wonder Dog gets the starring role both on the cover of All-American 99 (July 1948), and in the Broome and Toth Green Lantern story inside.

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Streak even narrates this adventure, as Alan Scott takes the dog for a vacation in the mountains.  Molly Mayne has a small role at the beginning of the tale, one of the very few times she appears in a story without becoming the Harlequin.  She informs Alan about a dying prisoner who refuses to reveal the location of his $2 million hidden loot.

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While Green Lantern is involved in the story, it’s Streak that is given the focus, and much of the action, as he fights off wild animals and killers, rescues people when a dam bursts, and tries repeatedly, and without success, to inform the Lantern of what is going on.

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In the end it is even Streak who finds the stolen money.  Green Lantern is all but reduced to a supporting character in his own series.

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Hop Harrigan’s long running series comes to a close in this issue, with a fairly unremarkable tale by Howard Purcell.  There is a female pirate, Jolly, who takes over the airplane Hop and Tank are flying across the Atlantic.

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Her base is on an old pirate ship, floating in the Sargasso Sea, amid other abandoned vessels.  Hop and Tank find the pirates, and free the kidnapped passengers.

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Jolly escapes, and though Hop expects her to return, the story ends with the announcement of the new series that will be replacing this one.

Hop Harrigan had been a popular enough character during the war to appear in two books, a movie serial and a radio show, but after this story he made only one more appearance, a cameo in an issue of Young All-Stars.  Although the series began before the war, and he went back to his aerial adventures afterward, it was only during the war years, when he was flyer in battle, that the series really took flight.

All-American 83 – Black Pirate returns, and Hop Harrigan’s family secrets

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The Black Pirate returns in All-American 83 (March 1947), but the cover goes to Mutt and Jeff, a popular newspaper strip which ran in this book.  Green Lantern is in the corner bullet, but clearly is having trouble holding the book.

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Paul Reinman takes over the art as the Black Pirate comes back, with his son/sidekick Justin.  His wife Donna makes a rare appearance in the strip.  The story has an alien show up in the second panel, which is almost enough to make one wonder why they chose to revive this historical adventure series, but the story proves to be much better than it might have.

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The alien brings the Black Pirate and Justin to his world to fight against the mountain men who are disrupting the food supply of the pampered city dwellers.  While the mountain men never get shown as anything other than barbaric, the overall message is that one needs to be prepared to fight to maintain one’s society.

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Hop Harrigan’s background, never explored yet in his long run, is the focus of this month’s story.  Miss Snap turns out to have concealed letters for many years from Hop’s dead father.  He had told Hop that his mother had died, but in fact, she had left him.

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Hop’s father is seen for the first time, in a flashback, giving Miss Snap the letters.  She finally turns them over to Hop, who goes seeking his mother, who went back to her own family in Colombia.

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Hop and Tank head south in search of her, and while the mother proves to have died many years earlier, Hop does meet his aunt, and discovers that he has a sister, who Tank promptly falls in love with.

All-American 69 – Green Lantern vs the Backwards Man, and post-War Hop Harrigan

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Bester and Reinman get creative with the Green Lantern villain in All-American 69 (Nov/Dec. 45).  The Backwards Man has recently left prison, serving time for a crime he did not commit.  He decides that since he has already spent time in prison, he should not commit the crimes to warrant it.

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The backwards mask is a little much, and you have to wonder how the guy does not walk into things, but he impresses a gang enough that they join him in his backwards crimes.  Lots of little backwards details makes it a fun read.

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The backwards spoken instructions to the gang are not necessarily the best means of communication, though the hoods have little trouble understanding them.  Perhaps they are big Zatara fans.  Green Lantern and Doiby are played pretty straight, with the craziness confined to the bad guy.  Makes for a solid story.

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While the Red, White and Blue series continues to tell stories of the heroes during the war, Hop Harrigan has already moved on to a new career.  Prop and Tank are now building planes for peacetime, and Hop is flying a mail delivery service.  Robomb has been hijacking mail flights, and plans to get Hop Harrigan’s next delivery.

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Robomb lures Miss Snap and Hippity to another airstrip, and then holds them hostage, sending Hop news of their kidnapping.  When Hop and Tank fly out to save them, Robomb and his men steal Hop’s plane  Hop pulls off an impressively quick rescue job, and they reach the the airfield Robomb is heading for before the villains arrive, capturing them as soon as they land.

All-American 67 – Green Lantern and King Shark,and Hippity talks

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There have been quite a few villains named King Shark in the DC Universe.  The one in All-American 67 (July/Aug 45) is not the most dramatic character, but the story, by Bester and Reinman, is a good one.

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This King Shark is a captured felon, who was due to be executed. But he shows up, to the surprise, and fear, of his gang and girlfriend.  He explains that the execution was delayed, and he escaped when he got the chance.  The news spreads through the underworld, and Doiby hears of it, running to tell Green Lantern.

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They are expecting to have trouble because of King Shark, but in fact he winds up helping them take down his old gang.  There are a couple of small hints in the story before the final revelation that King Shark really was executed, and the person appearing in the tale is his ghost.

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Although the war was not over, Hop Harrigan and Tank get sent home in this story.  And really, isn’t it about time?  They enlisted when the war broke out, and have travelled all over the place in the past few years.  Hippity’s Para-tots were likely disbanded, they only appeared once after being introduced, and Hippity has been shown living with Miss Snap in stories since then.

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Geraldine is also back on the homefront, and no longer seems to be a welder.  She has also picked up another new boyfriend, Wafford.  A garbled account of the Hop and Tank’s plane going down on the way home makes her very upset, but the boys were never in any danger, and there is a joyous reunion as they come back.  Hippity even speaks, calling out Hop’s name.

All-American 54 – Green Lantern and the Egyptian exhibit, Dr. Mid-Nite operates from inside a body, and Hippity forms the Para-tots

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Green Lantern and Doiby Dickles head to the west coast in All-American 54 (Dec. 43), and wind up fighting thieves in an Egyptian art exhibition.

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Bill Finger is joined by Paul Reinman and Sam Burlockoff on this story.  Alan Scott is now referred to as the trouble-shooter for Apex Broadcasting, as is sent to check out things with their west coast affiliate.  Doiby must have a new job as well, as he comes with him on the train ride across the country.

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There they get involved in stopping a plan to rob a museum showcasing artifacts from ancient Egypt.  They are being moved to keep them safe in case of an air raid, and the thieves have stumbled across the plans for this, taking advantage of them. Or trying to, at least, before Green Lantern stops them cold.

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Reizenstein and Ashmeier send Dr. Mid-Nite inside a human body in this story.  Dr. McNider is approached to examine a machine that will shrink people.  He determines that it works, but then needs to put it to use when a man gets shot, and the bullet is too near his heart to operate.

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Dr. Mid-Nite shirnks down and goes inside the body, battling germs, and then using the shrinking ray on the bullet itself, making it too small to cause any problems.  This all happens in the first half of the story.  The second half has him track down and capture the shooter.

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Hippity gets the starring role in this month’s Hop Harrigan story, as both he and Hop get captured by the Nazis, and sent to a camp full of prisoners from around the world. The adults are closely guarded, but the children are not.  Hippity, who still does not speak, meets with a number of these children.

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They form a brigade, referred to as the Para-tots, and attack their German jailers, escaping, and freeing the adult prisoners as well.  Hop cannot understand how Hippity managed to organize this without speech, but it turns out Hippity can communicate through Morse code, which enough of the other children understand.

Bascially, it’s the Hop Harrigan version of the Boy Commandos.

All-American 51 – Green Lantern and the zodiac murders, and Hippity goes flying

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Finger, Hasen and Kozlak give Green Lantern a really entertaining murder mystery in All-American 51 (July 1943), as he tries to prevent a series of murders based on the zodiac.

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Astro, a phony psychic, gets exposed and vows revenge.  The people involved then begin getting murdered in ways appropriate to the zodiacal sign they were born under.  Doiby is part of this adventure, but in this case he does what a sidekick ought to do, and leaves the bulk of the story to the hero.

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The methods of murder are often clever, and the story takes some very good twists.  Green Lantern finds Astro, dead from suicide, with a confession in his hand.  But Astro was not the killer, simply another victim in this elaborate charade.

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Hippity returns in this Hop Harrigan story. He still does not speak.  Geraldine tries to take care of him, but the boy is more interested in attacking the soldiers.

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Hippity steals a plane, and Hop goes flying off after him.  The boy finds a secret Nazi fuel supply, which leads to a dogfight with a Nazi pilot.  I love the touch that has the German speaking in Gothic lettering.  And though Hippity does succeed in shooting down the flyer, he still gets punished for taking one of the planes.