Archive for the ‘Gold Key’ Category

Somebody’s First Comic Book: Super Goof #46

August 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Wondering what Somebody’s First Comic Book is all about? The explanation is on this page!

TITLE: Super Goof Meets Super Mind

Tony Strobl
Steve Steere
Cover Artist:
Paul Murray
Gold Key

PRIOR KNOWLEDGE: It’s clearly Goofy, Mickey Mouse’s slightly dim buddy, starring in this comic book. But… is he supposed to be a superhero? In long underwear with a towel tied around his neck? Actually, for Goofy, that kind of makes sense. Never mind.

IMPRESSIONS: We start with Goofy, flying around as Super Goof, catching a meteor , rounding up some crooks, and almost plummeting to his death when his powers run out. (Evidently he gets them for a limited time by eating “goobers” that he keeps in his hat.) When he gets home his super-genius nephew, Gilbert, chastises him for not using his mind in addition to his might to capture criminals. For a super-genius, Gilbert seems somewhat oblivious to his uncle’s true mental faculties. Goofy finds out that the criminals in town have all turned themselves in for fear of him, and decides to take a vacation. On the way, he stumbles into a stolen yacht that turned into a seafaring truck somehow, which escapes him entirely. When it becomes clear that the latest criminal in town is too sharp for Super Goof, it’s Super Gilbert to the rescue.

The comic book is actually pretty funny. The writer (who goes uncredited, and wasn’t listed on the same website where I found credits for the art team) doesn’t go to great lengths to explain why Goofy is a superhero, although since there were apparently 45 other comic books before this one, that probably wasn’t necessary for earlier readers. It wasn’t really necessary for me either – Goofy eats magic peanuts. It makes as much sense as anything else in a Disney universe.

There are two back-up stories too. In “Best in the West,” Super Goof winds up battling Goofy’s frequent foe Pete, who’s leading a band of bandits in an old west town. This is a weird one – the first story was contemporary (or at least contemporary for 1978, when it was published), but this story seems to take place in an old western setting. The depiction of the Indians here is decidedly not politically correct. There’s also a one-pager about Goofy saving a an ocean liner from an arctic ice jam, then looking for a way to warm up.

It’s a silly comic, but I liked it… and most importantly, I understood it. Even though I never knew Goofy had a nephew before.



Somebody’s First Comic Book: Magnus, Robot Fighter 4000 AD #22

August 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Wondering what Somebody’s First Comic Book is all about? The explanation is on this page!

TITLE: Magnus, Robot Fighter! & The Incredible Jewel

Russ Manning
Russ Manning
Chase Craig
Western Publishing/Gold Key

PRIOR KNOWLEDGE: I’ve never heard of this character before, but the title seems pretty straightforward. His name is Magnus, and he fights robots in the year 4000 A.D.

IMPRESSIONS: As both the title and the first page of the story inform me, this is a reprint of the first story of Magnus, Robot Fighter, and as such, it’s pretty darn accessible. We get an overview of North Am, the “incredible city” that has overtaken the entire North American continent in the year 4000, and where people are pretty much letting robots do every little thing for them. Seriously, these folks are two steps away from turning into the blobs from Wall-E. Anyway, this is when we meet Magnus, who was raised by a robot named 1-A. Years ago, apparently, 1-A discovered that some robots were going crazy and turning on their human masters, so he kidnapped a baby (or found one, the story isn’t clear) and trained him to be Magnus, the world’s top robot fightin’ machine.

So 1-A drops Magnus off in the middle of a busy continent-sized city and sends himself out to fight some robots. Which he does, after meeting a senator’s daughter who seems to share his anti-robot sentiments. I rather like Leeja – she’s a tough girl, determined to run into battle next to Magnus despite the fact that no robot trained her to have “steel-smashing fists.” (I’m not entirely sure how one “trains” himself to have steel-smashing fists, but what the hey?) The story is kind of cheesy, old-school sci-fi, but it’s perfectly understandable and enjoyable.

Not as understandable is the back-up story featuring Captain Johner and the Aliens. “The Incredible Jewel” is quite clearly part of a multi-part serial, but we don’t really get any set-up at all. We see Johner and M’Reema talking to a telepathic jewel that seems to want to help them with some sort of fight against someone with a “Time-Distorter,” whatever that means. It’s really a quite confusing story and pulls down the overall score of this issue. The Magnus tale alone would probably get this book an A, but Johner alone would be on the D-Team. I’ll be generous, since Johner is only a few pages and this is really Magnus’s book, after all.