The Phantom Sub

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These best stories of the comic books are preceded by their issue number.

The Phantom Sub

During the 1940's, tales of naval adventure were hugely popular in comic books. The heroes of The Phantom Sub were two men, Slim Dugan and Jack Darnon, who sailed the submarine around. Both were older men, fortyish, and neither was especially good looking, although they looked intelligent and experienced. This is atypical of Golden Age heroes. Both men are somewhat low key, old salt types. They look as if they have seen and done it all. Both seem very skillful with all matters nautical.

Gorillas On Board (1941). Writer: Bill O'Connor. Art: Ben Flinton. (Title supplied by me.) A ship has to transport gorillas from Africa, but they escape on board ship. Good natured little adventure tale. During the 1950's and 1960's, gorillas became big attractions in the comics. Here they are in the Golden Age, at a fairly early date. These gorillas are much less intelligent that the later comic book gorillas, however.

The story shows good logic, within a pleasant adventure tale, in constructing a plot about attempts to recapture and contain the gorillas. It is nice to read a Golden Age story without a true villain. Many Golden Age villains are so evil and so violent. Here, while the gorillas are violent and dangerous, they are not malevolent.