Thursday, September 21, 2017


I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out not only why these characters are called Shaman and Flame (no motivation, origin or explanation is given), or who even created these characters (Louis Ravielli is the artist, but no author is listed on any of the sources I frequent), but whatever the case, I kind of like them.

There's a real Will Eisner feeling to the story, not to mention the splash panel in the first place (although it lacks the architectural layout of an Eisner page, but it's cleverly introducing the idea of a school for crimefighting crook experts). The entire concept revolves around a crook named Slick Summers choosing to open a correspondence school for would-be crimefighters, private eyes, amateur detectives and so on. The hook of the story is that the "final exam" for these students involves actually pulling off a heist -- which Summers' men have assured the students is merely faked, with the approval of the bank and museum managers whose establishments are targeted.

I love the premise to this story, and have loved it
each of the, like, five times I've seen other Golden
Age comics employ it ...
This is a very good, classic golden age comics kind of plot, to the degree that it should be enshrined on a golden record and shot into space. Here's the problem, though ... the heroes.

Shaman and Flame -- The Dynamic Duet! -- are Don Wickett and Kandy Wilson, broadcasters for radio station WWGL and presenters of the Knickerbocker Chronicle Dispatch, "the first radio to do facsimile broadcasting of a newspaper." If your reaction to this revelation is "so fucking what," congratulations, we're twinsies.

Shaman and Flame have some groovy looking costumes and a suave Jet Car for getting around, but are otherwise evidently unpowered. Although Shaman boasts these large, loose boots which must have gotten all kinds of glass shards in them when he and Flame crash through a bank window, and yet he never complained, so ... I guess that's a power?

In the end, it's not so much Shaman and Flame who rout Slick Summers and his school of crooks, but rather their patsy Homer Hummer and a few of the other hornswoggled students. Still, at least they get "another exciting headline" out of the deal -- "Shaman and Flame Capture Criminals...."

I swear, the ellipses were actually in the headline which they showed us. The Knickerbocker Chronicle Dispatch uses ellipses in its headline. I wonder if they invented hashtags, too.

Riding in slick jetcars with boys.

1 comment:

neofishboy said...

Personally, if I showed up for the first day of Learn Criminals' Secrets class and saw that the instructor has just drawn a big gun on the blackboard I'd stop payment on the check.

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