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LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE – JUNE 1929: Again, through Annie, Harold Gray sets an example for his young readers how to buckle down and study. A group of boys gets ahold of the exam questions. Annie doesn’t snitch, but buckles down and studies all the more. The teacher must have realized the exam questions where missing, and changed the test with the expected results.

Annie goes to work with Monk one day, and Gray illustrates how one makes a living driving a cab. They drive by a hotel Annie recognizes as Warbucks’. The desk clerk remembers her, but no one has heard from Warbucks since he left. His personal secretary was upset that Annie disappeared, but after receiving a mysterious phone call, disappeared the very same day.

Mrs. Crawfish receives a letter from her husband which states that he was hit by a car, has a broken leg and cannot work. With no money coming in, Mrs. Crawfish abandons Ellen and the Dooleys take her in. That night, after Ellen is asleep, Annie overhears the Dooley’s discussing that they can’t make ends meet.

At school, Annie has a hard time making friends because she’s an orphan. Another girl, Ellen, has no friends because she’s a step-child.

I realize kids will look for reasons to pick on each other, but does anyone know if this prejudice was a real thing or just something Harold Gray came up with?

Thanks for that comprehensive Hellboy overview, Cap! We'll see if I wind up being a completist or not. Though I already have five of the BPRD omnibuses, and have read four of them (Plague of Frogs).  I'm promising myself not to buy any more of the Hell On Earth volumes until I read the first one, and Hellboy is taking precedence for now.)

As for the 1946-48 books, I could definitely see picking them up sometime, too. But for now, I'm just going to enjoy this concentrated burst of undiluted Hellboy.

"I realize kids will look for reasons to pick on each other, but does anyone know if this prejudice was a real thing or just something Harold Gray came up with?"

I think it's more "kids looking for reasons to pick on each other" than "orphan prejudice" or "step-child prejudice."

LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE – JULY 1929: Annie goes out looking for a job but gets rejected for a variety of reasons. One store rejects her because she only speaks English. The shop owner’s English isn’t so good, but he speaks four other languages as well. Immigrants like to shop where their own language is spoken. Annie suggests they should learn to speak English. The owner agrees that’s fine for the children, but the older people have a hard time.

She finally gets a job as a soda jerk, but a busybody throws a snit about child labor and taking away jobs from adults, and the owner is forced to let her go. Meanwhile, Monk’s cab is struck by a truck and badly damaged. The owners of the truck are paying to have the cab repaired, but it will take time. Reasoning that she’s better able to live on her own than Ellen, Annie runs away.

Annie soon comes to the town of Blunderville, population: 785. We have seen Annie interact with certain character types on a one-to-one basis many times; now we get to see her interact with a whole town. She stops at a house to beg a meal. The woman who answers the door, Mrs. Twinkle, is the town seamstress and takes her in. Mrs. Twinkle’s next door neighbor is Alex Burnley, the town golf pro.


The villainous Dynamo Boy connives his way into the Legion of Superheroes, then systematically begins setting them up for failure. By the end of the story he has maneuvered the entire Legion except himself to be expelled. Setting that aside for a moment, Mon-El’s mission was to stop three evil “force villains” from destroying a planet and he fails. There’s some folderol about him not using an “ultima-weapon” we haven’t seen before or since, but the point is he failed and the population of an entire planet was wiped out. He deserved to be kicked out of the Legion, “ultima-weapon” or no. I like to think a young Jim Shooter read this tale and drew on it when Claremont and Byrne had Dark Phoenix destroy the planet of the broccoli people.

This is the first Legion story to be continued in the next issue.

LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE – AUGUST 1929: Mr. Burnley gets Annie a job as a caddy. Annie observes the other caddies pitching pennies and spending all their money on ice cream. She refuses to pitch pennies, but eventually agrees to match quarters. She wins $10 from the other caddies by using a weighted coin. She keeps the money as a lesson to them, but throws the trick coin in the lake.

Old John Blunder is the town banker. He is a shrewd business man who practically owns the town. Annie caddy for him and does a good job but gets no tip. Young John Blunder, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of his father. For one thing, he sponsors the town annual orphans’ picnic.

Jack Pepper is a “Jay Gatsby” type. He left town years ago as a young man and returned a success. He has white hair but he’s not old. The townsfolk like to gossip about him, but he keeps to himself. There’s a rumor that he was a soldier of fortune. Annie decides to make his acquaintance and discovers he has a Chinese servant. It turns out that Mr. Pepper knows “Daddy” from his soldier of fortune days.

I posted this August 25, 2011:

Jeff of Earth-J said:

My wife is working her way through the seventh volume of Little Orphan Annie, which shipped last week. I must admit this is one series, as much as I enjoy it myself, I’ve allowed myself to fall behind reading. One of these weeks I really must set aside a few days to get caught up.

I really should have said, "One of these weeks years I really must set aside a few days months to get caught up."

LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE – SEPTEMBER 1929: Annie pontificates on Labor Day, but I can’t quite ascertain Gray’s point. Ed Barker holds multiple jobs at the railroad. School starts, but the city and the country kids don’t mingle. Annie compares these city kids to the ones she knew in the big city. “Tubby” Tucker is the bigshot among the town kids. Annie plays politics with the country kids. There are slightly more city kids than country kids. She nominates a city kid other than Tubby as class president, splitting the vote and enabling a country kid, “Itchy” Jones, to be elected. She then gets herself placed on multiple school committees.

Jeff of Earth-J said:


The villainous Dynamo Boy connives his way into the Legion of Superheroes

Siegel had used the idea of a belt with buttons with different powers in the "Dr Mystic"/"Dr Occult" serial in The Comics Magazine #1/More Fun Comics #14-#17 (1936).

Images from More Fun Comics #16, #17.

Richard Willis said:

At school, Annie has a hard time making friends because she’s an orphan. Another girl, Ellen, has no friends because she’s a step-child.

I realize kids will look for reasons to pick on each other, but does anyone know if this prejudice was a real thing or just something Harold Gray came up with?

My sister has often told me of one of her teachers picking on one of her classmates terribly because the girl's parents were divorced, praying for "this wretched child."
This teacher is the reason my conservative, Catholic sister is against teacher-led prayer in schools today.

In the conclusion to this two-parter, Dynamo Boy (at least he wasn’t called “Traitor Lad”) changes the Legion’s constitution and recruits the supposedly “reformed” adult members of the Legion of Supervillains from the future. They’re not reformed, of course, and he knows it, and the “Kooky Quartet” set about super-heroing by day, committing super-crimes by night. The LSV betrays Dynamo Boy, of course (they’re villains; it’s what they do) by sending him trillions of years into future where, to the best of my knowledge, he has remained ever since. Then three of the “disgraced” Legionnaires easily outwit the villains.

LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE – OCTOBER 1929: The town mothers forbid their children from talking to Annie. One morning, Mr. Pepper encounters a group of them on the street but is cool to them. They then observe that he is effusive over Annie. The next day Annie is suddenly popular again. They try to wheedle information out of her but she’s tight-lipped.

Now that school is back in session there’s no caddying, but Young John Blunder gives Annie a job as a go-fer at the bank. Annie gets a second job reading to Judge Tort, whose eyes have gone bad. Tubby Tucker’s dad is Old John’s lawyer. Annie overhears Old John turn the kindly Dr. Scalpel down for a loan. She mentions it to Judge Tort and the judge lends Dr. Scalpel the money he needs. Annie overhears Old John and Young John arguing about something. Apparently, Old John has asked Young John to do something unethical and he refused.

HULK! #26: Uh, oh. Issue #24 switched to B&W, but at least it was still printed on “Baxter” paper stock. #26 switches to newsprint, another bad sign. This issue has three Hulk stories, all drawn by Gene “The Dean” Colan. The first is written by J.M. DeMatteis and deals with Bruce Banner ending up at a spiritual retreat run by his college roommate. The townsfolk want to repurpose the land for use as a casino, which would bring in tourists and revenue.

The other two stories are written by that Lora Byrne from last issue. The first of which has Banner travelling to a survivalist camp with a woman he apparently met on the road to visit her sister. In the last story, Bruce Banner is caught in a flood ad turns to the Hulk. The story is narrated but otherwise wordless. Gene Colan’s pencils are so clear that it would be possible to follow the story without any narration at all. It is virtually a lesson in storytelling for aspiring artists. It would also be helpful for aspiring writers to put their own spin on. And speaking of newsprint…

CEREBUS: I haven’t read Cerebus since last week, but over the weekend I went to Half-Price books and flipped through some of the “phone books” they have for sale. (Unfortunately, the location I visited didn’t have anything close to a complete set.) The volumes I have are first printings, printed on newsprint. The pages are pretty yellowed with age. That was okay because the early issues had a sort of “pulpy” feel about them. Looking at those more recent printings on whiter paper stock, though… man, them things are white.

Jeff of Earth-J said:


This was the Super-Villains' first appearance in a Legion story. Their previous appearances had been in Superman #147 (with the first appearance of the adult Legionnaires), Action Comics #286 (in a dream sequence), and Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #63 (minus Saturn Queen and with two new members, Chameleon Chief and Sun-Emperor).

Man of Steel 1-6.

pros-Art was fantastic in every issue. Happy to see Maguire and Hughs. Fabok has become my favorite artist over the last few years.

New character Malody Moore(uh...are they starting a new MM thing?)

Red Trunks.

lots of nice guest spots...Kara, Hal, Bruce, THE Toyman.

Cons- destruction of Kandor was like ripping my heart out.

Yet another angle on the destruction of Krypton.

Mr. Oz just takes Jon and Lois away.......ThAt is straight out B.S.

Bad dialogue about 60% of the time.  

   I dunno....4 out of 10 stars.

Thanks for that review Thomas.

I often read glowing reports of Bendis' work but whenever I give his work another go I find his dialogue so irritating (everyone sounding the same - annoyingly glib) 

It pulls me out of the story everytime.

Thomas Lupo said:

Man of Steel 1-6

Bad dialogue about 60% of the time.  

   I dunno....4 out of 10 stars.

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