Monday, November 14, 2016

The Master Key

The Master Key was a character that first appeared in Scoop Comics in 1941 and was published by Harry "A" Chesler--the A stood for, according to Chesler, "anything". Chesler gave many Golden Age comic book artists their first job and worked, either directly or indirectly, with many comic book publishers including Fawcett, MLJ (Archie), and Marvel. The Master Key only made a few appearances, a grand total of 20, between 1941 and 1944 and hasn't been seen since. Scoop Comics lasted three issues before being renamed Yankee Comics which was renamed Snap Comics, which was renamed Jest Comics, which was renamed Kayo Comics, which was renamed Carnival Comics, which was renamed Red Seal Comics.

I love the opening page for The Master Key, although they did kind of lose me by named one of the characters Chris Cross.

His eyes? Wasn't he working with radio waves? From what I can quickly Google, radio waves can be dangerous if you're hit with enough of them but exposure to them normally, they pose no threat. I would assume that Ray's eyes were bombarded with radio waves causing him some danger.

Heh. "As the rays come together..." Get it?

It's basically x-ray vision. For some reason, they don't call it that but "penetrating rays" instead

Why a superhero? Were his parents murdered and that didn't make the origin? His only power is being able to see through things--no super strength, no speed, no agility. I guess if having no powers worked for Batman, it'll work for Master Key.

Also, where'd he come up with that name and what does it have to do with his abilities?

Was the country infested with Nazi agents? Was that really a thing?

Wait. The Lincoln Memorial was built with a secret compartment in the leg? Sounds like a plot point in the next National Treasure movie.

So was this secret labyrinth built with the memorial or did the Nazis build it to hide in plain sight? I don't know which possibility is sillier.

How is Ray's hat staying on?

Yeah, you knocked him out in the second panel so he didn't catch your name.

So he's not a Nazi but a sympathizer-slash-traitor? Well, he's drawn like a pus-bucket so either way, he's evil.


Why don't they just kill him so he can't, you know, wake up? Did the Nazis furnish you with outfits but not guns?

The Presidential Line of Succession that we all know and love today came around in 1947 but something was put in place in 1792 that said if the president is incapacitated, dead, any of that good stuff, the vice president is then in charge.

That the country won't have a president is utterly false because with Roosevelt gone, Vice President Henry Wallace would become president and somehow I don't think Americans would take too kindly to a Nazi dictator waltzing up to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and saying "I run this country now!"
Oh, wait...

In all fairness, he was duly elected.

O...kay...and again, how is a power that makes him see through things going to help him escape?

You can't just make up powers. That's cheating.

His only power is the "penetrating ray" so how are all these guys flying off the panels when he punches them?

Jesus Christ, I can't believe I just said 'jiffy' in front of the president.

The Master Key is just making up powers again.

I love how cool Roosevelt is about having superpowered weirdo vigilantes running around the country.