Comic Relief: Satan’s back, bitches!

Welcome to Comic Relief #7. To see the earlier installments of Comic Relief, go to the Comic Relief Index.

I said in Part 3a of my Lady Satan series that Lady Satan appeared only in reprints in 1943 and 1944. However, as it turns out, I was wrong! There was at least one other original appearance of Lady Satan, in her old non-powered, Nazi-fighting persona, in 1943. This appearance was in Hello Pal Comics #1, in January 1943. (Are we serious with that fucking title?)

The cover is…interesting…

My creepy green eyes and child molester smile are sure to sell a lot of comics!

My creepy green eyes and child molester smile are sure to sell a lot of comics!

As I keep reading Gold Age comic books, I’m continually reminded of just how different comics were back in the day. As far as I can tell, Mickey Rooney has nothing to do with this comic. They just put his big goofy mug on the cover because…He’s motherfucking Mickey Rooney, that’s why.

Anyways, yes, this comic has another Lady Satan story in it! And here it is, in its entirety.

I better shoot that guy as he falls off the building. Just in case.

I better shoot that guy as he falls to his death. Just in case.

Yup. It’s a text story. Take a moment and read it. You can click on it to embiggen it. I’ll play Angry Birds while I wait.

Done? So, yes. A text story. And not really a very good one, either. Lady Satan is never in any real danger, it seems. She does everything right and everyone loves her. She just comes across as the Boring Invincible Hero. *Yawn.* Jacques is the only thing that even approaches being interesting. If not for him, this would just be a story of “Lady Satan is awesome and now the French are slightly less pussified.”  Although I do like that we can now add Motivational Speaker, Expert Knife Thrower and Alan Moore Themed Sky Writer to Lady Satan’s already impressive repertoire of amazing abilities.

And clearly this story was written by someone who knew little of the previous two stories. In the originals, Lady Satan worked in the shadows and was not a public figure. In this one, everyone knows who she is. She’s some kind of Frog Superman who inspires people with speeches about how great the French are. Like Joan of Arc with a chlorine gun and a domino mask. But it should be noted that continuity was never much of an issue in any Golden Age comic.

(And why the fuck does Jacques commit suicide? Seriously, dude, just run.)

It’s pretty clear that the artist was given minimal information on how to make the illustration to accompany this story. I’d wager he was some poor schmuck working for pennies at Harvey Comics, and an editor just walked in and said, “Lady Satan. Wears a red cape. Shoots guys. Dude falls off building. Have it on my desk by tomorrow morning.” “Oh, OK, I’ll just draw Nurse Jackie shooting a guy in the penis as he falls from a red brick school building.” Art! I mean, Jesus, he obviously wasn’t even shown the story he was supposed to be illustrating. The story describes Lady Satan as hooded and masked (as in the earlier comics), and she doesn’t shoot Jacques in his frogballs when he falls from the building. (Plus, I have to ask: Why does the burst of smoke appear 2 feet away from the gun’s barrel?)

This is one of those times where I realize how many frogballs it must have sucked to work in comics in those days. The artists and writers back then were basically treated like slaves. The poor writer and artist who worked on this might never have even met each other, and were probably just assigned to do this story without being told anything about the character that they were writing/drawing. And they probably got paid in peanut shells and gum wrappers.

It does, however, illustrate one aspect of Golden Age comics that was better than today’s comics. Hello Pal Comics #1 was 68 pages long and contained numerous stories with a variety of characters, all for just 10 cents. These days, you pay 3 or 4 bucks for 22 measly pages and just one story. Admittedly, it’s worth it when it’s a good story, like Matt Fraction on Hawkeye or Bryan Azzarello on Wonder Woman, but still. Sometimes I wish comics were more substantial, and a single issue could provide a more diverse and engrossing reading experience.

Anyways, that’s it for today, but I shall be back soon!

Advertisements

2 responses to “Comic Relief: Satan’s back, bitches!

  1. Pingback: Comic Relief Index | Riffing Religion

  2. “Strange, I’d never heard the word ’embiggen’ before I moved to Springfield.”
    “Really? It’s a very cromulent word.”

    …The Lady Satan plot thickens, as a prose piece creeps into the mix. Strange things, indeed…

    Two good points that you made: one, the commentary on the slavish treatment of Golden Age writers and artists. They were literally treated like hired help in those days, easily disposed of and replaced without missing a beat in sweatshop-like conditions. A very poor chapter in the history of comics.
    The second good point was about how the creators rarely met one another–but this isn’t a Golden Age phenomenon! It continues even today! Indeed, some of the finest teams in comics have never met face-to-face. A perfect example: Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso never met once during the entirety of 100 Bullets. However, that’s more a testament to the globalization of the market, rather than the endentured servitude of old.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s