Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Adolf Hitler made for such a frequent foe of assorted four-color characters that he was practically a comic book character first and a genocidal tyrant second (Note: I do not actually believe that, but it sounds nice). Herr Shickelgruber’s heyday, though, was pretty firmly in the 1940’s – it certainly had pretty much run its course by 1966, which is when he popped up in an unlikely story in the pages of Hot Stuff vol.1 No.70, “The Apple Sauce Caper.”

Hot Stuff, Harvey’s netherworldly ne’er-do-well, was generally portrayed as one of the line’s few genuinely malicious characters. As faras goes the kid-friendly publisher’s title-starring characters, only he and Spooky the Tuff Little Ghost – both supernatural incarnations of what I assume were dead (and damned) babies – had the agency to actively harass and even harm the fellow denizens of their worlds.

New from KFC.
So it’s playing against general type that Hot Stuff is more the victim of this odd story. Sleeping in the branches of an apple tree in his private orchard, Hot Stuff’s nap is interrupted by the machinations of a trio of would-be world conquerors intent on cornering the world economy through one commodity: Applesauce! Of course! “The vay ve get control of the money” explains the sauce-happy bandit in a thick stage German accent, “Is to get control of all the apple sauce mit our apple sauce machine!”

By the way, did I mention that the leader of the trio is Hitler? He’s Hitler, and his two teutonic sidekicks are flat-out sieg heiling the old boy. So. Here’s Hitler in an old Hot Stuff comic from the mid-1960s, figure it out on your own.

The Apple Sauce Machine produces a ray which instantly turns apples into applesauce, and Apple-Hitler is so enthusiastic about the possibilities of the product that he’s got a freaking truckful of ‘em. Turning them directly on the trees, he melts the apples right off the boughs, dousing Hot Stuff and delighting fans of apple sauce that’s been poured on the ground prior to being canned.

This is my new catchphrase.
With his flame-firing pitchfork at the ready, Hot Stuff makes short work of the trio, casting them into the deepest pit of Hell where devils cut circles in their flesh with nailclippers and pull their guts through the holes, stretching them over their extruded spines in order to make infernal living harps. Haha, no, he scares them and they drive off in their van. Dang, is that all we ever needed to do? World War II was a real strategic misstep, apparently

Not to be excluded from the fun, later in the same issue Richie Rich foils Yahya Khan’s plot to break into the Rich family vault, Little Dot overthrows Idi Amin’s reign, and Little Lotta sits on Enver Pasha until he agrees to behave.

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