Thursday, February 16, 2017


Nah, but it's cool.

"Invisible Boy" Danny Blake gets something resembling a title of his own, with a bold logo and the legend "Death stalks the night ... TERROR IN THE STREETS. Invisible BOY!" emblazoned across the masthead situated like a halo above a painting of a murky, juvenile figure kicking the shit out of fake bedsheet ghosts sporting guns.

In fact, he's actually the star of something called "Approved Comics." In an ocean of "action" and "adventure" and "spine-tingling chills," "approved" is very much the Parental Permission Slip of comic book antics. "We'll sell you the whole seat, but you'll only need the approval!"

Ether is fantastic. 
The timidity of the title aside,  Invisible Boy relates the adventures of Danny Blake, young son of sometimes-effective police commissioner (poet, painter and printmaker) William Blake and a good friend of Professor Willard Crown, a scientist who has literally unlocked the secrets of the alchemists and cold fusion, for that matter, all of which he keeps in a coffee cup. Also he turned Danny invisible accidentally while getting his ass kicked. ALL IN DUE TIME

Professor Crown is frequently visited by Danny, during which times the Prof amazes the youngster with chemical antics which he describes as the result of "My good luck to stumble upon some of the ancient formulas of the past." He can literally change lead into gold, which he exhibits by turning a common lead sinker into a two-hundred dollar hunk of precious metal. Later, he accidentally turns his coffee spoon into gold, which implies that he uses lead utensils for eating and drinking and maybe he's actually afflicted in the brainpan.

It's while hanging out with the Prof and learning all sorts of new chemical secrets of the distant past -- turning lead to gold, turning fire to gold, doubling gold and reversing it, giving names to frogs, creating everlasting gobstoppers, flight, magic missile, detect undead and so on, most of which I just made up -- that Danny accidentally gains his amazing powers.

"I'm helping!"
Scars Mason, a crook for whom Danny's father has been fruitlessly searching, shows up at the Prof's house and takes the duo hostage. At some point -- and that point can be identified as "the moment the Prof accidentally shows the murderer that he can make gold out of anything and the murderer got kind of excited about that" -- a scuffle emerges. Danny gets knocked against a shelf which contains a chemical formula so dangerous, so deadly, so incontrovertibly bad that Danny was warned never to touch it, much less smash into the tall, shallow shelf which supported it.

The formula is, of course, invisibility formula, and it doesn't seem all that bad. Danny and his clothes go peek-a-boo, and a different chemical reverses the effect. I'm not seeing the downside, but maybe the Prof is over-concerned in general.

Danny's adventures as an invisible crimefighter span a pretty wide arc of intensity. In his third adventure, for instance, he uses his invisibility power to humiliate a dude who's been cockblocking him at a tea party. Just before that, he turned a machine gun on the cops and tried to crush a buunch of commie agents under a newspaper printing press. Invisible Boy is hardcore. I/b/h/c

It's true, Invisible Boy spends three of four adventures beating criminal adults on the heads with dangerous implements. He hucks wrenches and other tools straight at the faces of a bunch of bad guys who're hanging out at an allegedly haunted mansion, using bedsheets to scare away intruders. He knocks a home invader in the mush with a vase. He sends printing press paper rolls on Commie agents, objects of such weight that they can easily kill a man, and only stops because he can't get the last one to shift. He's all tuckered out from the brutal murders.

He also enjoys kicking them in the butt.

With those three adventures in place, it's no surprise that he considers it fair play to use his invisibility powers to scare away the other potential suitors of his young girlfriend. My guess is that the dangerous side effect of Professor Crown's invisibility formula is that it creates tremendous mood swings and violent behavior in test subjects. Only you can't tell Danny about the potential side effects, because he;ll just go invisible and smack you in the head with a crowbar.

That's because you've been destroyed by chemicals. RIP Invisible Boy.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Of course the Professor warned Danny about the formula: there are a so many vicious and dishonest claims that exposure to invisibility formulas can drive you mad, mad, mad, I say, totally mad, completely, irreversibly mad.

All lies! The formula is fine! Wonderful! I've been on the stuff for a week now, and I'm still perfectly sane!

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