Double Barrel of Crime: Torpedo vol. 4 and In The Days of the Mob

Like the previous volumes, one story to the next has nothing to do with each other. This is a series very episodic in nature. Most of the stories involve Torpedo and his flunky, Rascal taking on some sort of job, and then adventure ensues. Wrapped up at the end, with usually a good dose of humor mixed in. Some of which can be pretty dark, but that is what you get with a pair of hired guns running around New York in the 1930s. The funniest part for me is the malapropisms flying out of Torpedo's mouth about once a story.

There is a mixture of stories as well. Flashback to when Torpedo was a youth. A silent strip. A look back at Rascal's past. That way you just aren't inundated with Torpedo taking jobs.

I know we have some Jordi Bernet fans here, and the work here is exquisite. I just love it. The attention to detail in every panel is wonderful. He uses panel layouts to perfectly pace Sanchez Abduli's stories. Torpedo has a menacing look, even when he is smiling.

I think volume 4 of Torpedo is where the creators have hit their stride. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested, and then if you like it go back and pick up the previous volumes. The previous ones were more violent, and made me quite uneasy with the number of rapes in them. Like I say give me an old fashioned murder!

Honestly, In The Days of the Mob was tough for me to get through. It just wasn't very good. The stories presented were kind of like reading a visual representation of some 6th grader's book report on a criminal. Just very basic and uninteresting.

The setup for the series was really weird, and completely superfluous. Hell is represented as a jail, and the devil is the warden. It didn't make sense, and if you took that away nothing would have been missed. As it was whatever rhythm I got into I was thrown out of when he would pop up again. It would be like the Cryptkeeper introducing a Bat Lash story. I didn't get it.

Another thing that really got on my nerves by the second issue was the use of exclamation points. If it wasn't a question, every! Single!! Sentence! Ended!! With!!! At! Least!! One! Exclamation!! Point!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even if two people were talking about killing a guy standing two feet away from them in the same room. Once I noticed it I couldn't stop noticing it, and it just wore me out.(!)

My favorite part of the entire book was the 2 page gag strips from Sergio Aragones' in the first issue.

I've never been fan of Kirby's art, and here it was okay I guess. I mean the scene in which some people were blown up...wait I'm sorry they were shot, but it looks like a bundle of dynamite went off by them and they were thrown by the blast. Seriously, outside of that it was okay.

I just think Kirby missed out on using the freedom of a magazine over the restrictions of the comics code. This may not have passed the code, but it was still really tame compared to other magazines other comic book publishers were putting out.

The last major factor is the price of this book. It is $40 for what is basically 2 issues of a magazine. The second issue was never published so the second issue is material John Morrow had cobbled together from that issue. Even for Kirby collectors I would wait to find this one for sale. Just not worth it.

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I never picked up the Kirby magazines, nor have I seen this collection.
What you're saying about the explanation marks reminds me of the old convention in comics of using them instead of periods. As I understand it they were afraid that the tiny period (aka full stop) would fail to print due to the fuzzy printing process. They couldn't use the work "flick" for similar reasons.

I have the first volume of Torpedo -- maybe the first two -- and really enjoyed them. Bernet's work is phenomenal. But yeah -- I'm not sure if the prevalence of rapes is a cultural thing, a time-period thing (as they began some 30 years ago), or some sort of statement on Abuli & Bernet's part, a way of keeping us distant from these killers when simple, constant murder wouldn't. (None of these are mutually exclusive, of course.) Don't know, but it's really unsettling.

...What about these really super-obscure romance magazines that Kirby started for DC , that were never published at all ?

TRUE DIVORCES and SOUL LOVE (Note: Dating from the time when " Soul " was an instant symbol of " African-American " , much as " Urban ' was later ` though " Urban " itself appears to have had that meaning fade away , youknowhati'msayin' .) , IIRC...Was whatever relatively " complete " stuff there was published in THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR ?

  Also: IIRC , I read something about ITDOTM , or SPIRIT WORLD , or both of them !!!!!!!!!!! (I grew up with that old " ex-points " convention too !!!!!!!!!!! What , you mean to say I , ever , " grew up " ?????????:-)) Text storeis in them , if in both possibly bothe my Mark Evanier and Steve Sherman?? , Kirby's seconds/assistants then , somehow were not included in the book edition .

  As someone who DID have both of the actual issued magazines ~ That so ???????????

Crime comics were a flourishing genre in the early 50s. The Comics Code was directed against them as well as horror comics. When working with Simon Kirby did quite a number of crime stories, and he and Simon oversaw still more. The host device appeared in crime comics of the period, but I don't know if was ever used by Simon and Kirby. I don't see it in the splashes I just looked at in posts at the Simon and Kirby blog.(1) Titan Books recently published a volume of their crime stories, The Simon and Kirby Library: Crime.

 

(1) The proprietor of the blog had permission to make use of copyrighted material and requested that images not be copied from his site.

I'm one of those Jordi Bernet fans, but I've been holding off buying these in fear that a better format will come along for the same material. These are just trades, right? If I don't see an HC soon, though, I'll go ahead and get these. Because I really am a big Jordi Bernet fan!

Enjoy a collection of Torpedo pinups created by the Comic Twart crowd! http://www.comictwart.com/search/label/Torpedo

Yes, Cap, they are just trades. Of course I prefer them that way, a little cheaper over HCs.

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