Thursday, January 26, 2017


"Become a super-giant and punch the living fuck out of the Devil? Damn straight I will become a super-giant and punch the living fuck out of the Devil!

A large part of the charm of Crash Kid lies in the fact that I have never read a Golden Age superhero comic which read more like an homage to Golden Age superhero comics.

The cadence of the dialogue, the relationships between the characters, the super-unfortunate bright yellow coloring on the Asian characters, even the plot and premise felt so thoroughly, purely superheroically Golden Age that, had you told me that this story had been created and published in 1987 as a nostalgia piece, I'd buy it. Crash Kid may be the ur-Golden Age comic.

Crash has had it with Pook's nonsense
The clean, lively art is the product of having Bob Oksner on the drawing chores. I couldn't say who provided the practically iconic scripting, inasmuch as no one is credited, even in assorted online repositories of knowledge. The freakin' Library of Alexandria, the contemporary state of the World Wide Web is and all that, and nothing about the writer of two short comic stories and a pair of text pieces from a sixth-place publisher from seventy years ago. What good is it, anyway? Let's burn the internet down.

As for the curriculum vitae of the Crash Kid himself, he's a firebrand of a preteen punisher. Sporting no superpowers except limitless enthusiasm, the Crash Kid takes on crooks of all varieties with equal aplomb. And punching and kicking and sometimes arranging to drive a car into them.

In his private identity, Crash Kid is Rusty Adams, a copyboy at and source of great amusement for the reporters at The Daily Herald. The chummy ribbing dished out in heaps on Rusty's head don't dull the boy's spirits at all, possibly because he's got some sort of adrenal condition and possibly because, I mean, come on, he's a superhero on his off nights. These guys just go drink until three in the morning and then sit in front of their typewriter trying in vain to come up with the opening sentence for the Great American Novel they've always been planning to write. I have a persistent mental image of newspaper reporters from the Forties all being profoundly unfulfilled alcoholics.

Crash doesn't do all of the hard work alone. In fact, not only does he have a sidekick but he's one of those few kid superheroes with an adult partner, a la The Star-Spangled Kid. Crash's adult tagalong is Pook, an overweight cabbie whose rough-and-ready yellow taxi is ready to spirit the Kid out of tight situations with crooks OR the law, or to crash into people and things as Crash dictates. This is exactly like all other cab drivers ever except he's mowing down people and property for a reason.

The original Crash Kid only makes a pair of appearances in Cannonball Comics, alongside an additional pair of all-text pieces in the same comics. Whatever happened to the little psycho? Did he ever become the investigative reporter he seems to always want to become? Did he die by getting flung off the front bumper of Pook's cab? Did he starve on the streets because he was never shown to have parents? Maybe he did all of those things! I have a feeling that there was nothing the Crash Kid couldn't do if he put his mind to it, including passing away in filth and misery.

Literally that driver is so stunned that he drives off a cliff and dies in the very next panel.


Wooly Rupert said...

He IS wearing thigh-highs.

Wooly Rupert said...

He IS wearing thigh-highs.

Calamity Jon said...

The Public Domain Superheroes Wiki makes a real big deal about him wearing thigh-highs, strangely enough.

Wooly Rupert said...

He's still more formidable than Dr. Vampire.

neofishboy said...

So I take it the giant Satan is just a metaphor for his battle against evil or something? That's a damn shame.

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