Thursday, October 20, 2016

Captain Marvel Visits Kansas City, Missouri


Last month, I did some panel-by-panel snarking on the comic book story "The Vampire Fog" to overwhelming applause. I don't know what happened but over the first couple of days of posting, it acquired hundreds of views. I don't know why but I'm just going to assume that people liked it and shared the link. So I decided to do another one this month.

This month will be "Captain Marvel Visits Kansas City, Missouri" from Captain Marvel Adventures #54 from 1946. If you've never visited Kansas City, now you don't have to thanks to Captain Marvel and Fawcett Comics.

I'm glad that they specified that we are in Kansas City, Missouri and not Kansas City, Kansas. Because that'd be gross.

Sam Molen, a legit real person, was the sports director for KMBC for many years. He passed away in 2009.

So Kansas City is having a forum on juvenile delinquency by having Billy Batson--an orphan who works in a radio station and is the most popular superhero in the country. Yeah, I'm sure other juveniles will see themselves in Billy.

I bet Kansas City wishes it just has a juvenile delinquency problem these days.

He threw a brick at a policeman. That's, like, borderline police assault.

The Jackson County Courthouse shown here, only serves the western portion of the county. The eastern side is served by the courthouse in Independence which is the actual county seat of Jackson County, Missouri. This courthouse was built in an Art Deco style in 1934. Future President Harry Truman worked in both courthouses and actually chose the design for the Kansas City courthouse.
The Kansas City City Hall was built in 1937 and, like the courthouse, built by someone who owned a concrete business. That doesn't seem shady at all, does it? It has an observation deck on the top floor and is the fourth tallest city hall in the country.
Municipal Auditorium was built in 1936 by...well, well, city manager and concrete magnate Tom Pendergast. What a surprise. Maybe Billy/Captain Marvel should look into the obvious political corruption going on in the city at this time.
Heh, Biff and Chuck.

Does Billy always Shazam! in front of other people? Seems kind of dangerous since he's, you know, is a little boy.

A good talking to. I'm sure the kids will listen to a superhero known as the Big Red Cheese.

Playground? Those boys don't want to go to a park. They want some excitement, like stealing pop off the back of a truck and riding the rails. Next stop, Grand Rapids!!

Swope Park? Doctor Sivana can't stop Captain Marvel but Swope Park probably can. FYI, the swimming pool is still open if you wish to swim while visiting KC.

H. Roe Bartle was a Boy Scout executive and was very prominent in building up youth programs. Later in his career, Bartle would serve as mayor of Kansas City from 1956 until 1963. His biggest claim during his term was luring a Texas professional football team to KC. The team was renamed in his honor which is why they are called the Kansas City Chiefs.

"I'll give whoever throws a brick the furthest ten dollars."

"Oboy! We're in!"

"Bet you can't hit those windows."

"We'll show you!"

This is why Biff and Chuck, who look like miniature adults, are still kids. Because they're stupid.

There he goes again. Changing into Captain Marvel right in front of everybody.

Wait. Why are they telling Sam Molen about kids smashing store windows? Molen is a sports director, you should probably tell a news director.

"Gee, thanks Mister, that was fun, an' we get paid for it! Thanks Truman!!"

A gold cuff-link!?! I wonder who's behind this?

How did that ad get in the paper so fast? I don't care if it is the 1940s.

GR-5100 is the telephone exchange name for GRand 5100 which was a real exchange in KC. Currently, it looks like the phone number to Beverly Hills Wellness at 11th & McGee. (816)471-5100.

The "famous" Pickwick Hotel was built in 1930 by the same architects that did the courthouse and city hall and was probably okayed by that Pendergast guy. Currently, it still stands at 9th & McGee and is being renovated into low-income apartments.

There's somebody at the door.

There's somebody at the door.

There's somebody at the door.

"It's a kid! Named Herman Shmutz. That doesn't sound right..."

And nobody heard that thunderclap coming from the hallway? Nobody?

Can fingerprints be left on a collar? The collar has fabric on it, right? I don't understand how this works and I'm guessing it's some sort of thing that could only happen in comic books...or the '40s.

The General Post Office is still there on West Pershing Road across from Union Station and next to the Liberty Memorial.

"Slow down, Captain Marvel, everything that you do is inadmissible in court!"

*breaks down door*

"Well, this case is getting thrown out of court."

"What th...! It's Capt. Marvel! What's he doing in Kansas City? We're barely a major metropolis!"

It took one panel to wrap up this story. One. Panel.

Well, I'm glad the poor man's Archie and Jughead have changed their ways. Too bad it took the threat of jail to make them see the light of day. I would hope that your average juvenile would think twice before just throwing a brick at a window just because some guy asked you to.

Let's just all take a second to look at that pun in panel 4 and consider the mistakes we've made in life.

"They would have time for real criminals!" These two boys get into trouble and Captain Marvel is worried about the taxpayer?

Why are they called "playgrounds"? Was that what they were called back then because I just consider them "community centers". I wonder if any of them are open anymore or if they were all consolidated because they were expensive to maintain.

I also wonder if Judge Cowan was supposed to be Judge Ray Cowan, a real Kansas City judge back in the day. I would assume so but I can't find any proof.

Based on this comic story, the juvenile delinquency problem in Kansas City has been solved. It was just those two kids.

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