Saturday, August 22, 2015

Blazing Comics #1-#5: The Green Turtle (1944-1945

Source: Free download at Digital Comics Museum

Blazing Comics #1 by Chu Hing
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

10 pages
Published June 1944

The introduction of the Green Turtle. A Chinese Legend who appears on the scene to help Chinese civilians who are about to be killed by Japanese soldiers looking for gold being sent to Chunking. Very pro-China obviously, I enjoyed it and from an historical pov I don't find it racist for its time at all. GT is very mysterious, we never get to see his front and his skin is purplish so no idea as to his race or if he's even human at this point.

Blazing Comics #2 by Chu Hing
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

10 pages
Published July 1944

This is a China invaded by the Japanese and I'm quite amazed by the accuracy of the viciousness being shown of terror and killing the Japanese wrought upon the Chinese during this time. A Japanese major captures a man who was sending secret messages about Japanese hideouts and "brutally" kills his wife and baby. Green Turtle and Burma Boy go on the offensive and save the day before any more innocent lives are lost. Burma Boy is likable because of his eagerness but also because he is always spouting applicable Confusiousisms.

Blazing Comics #3 by Chu Hing
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

10 pages
Published September 1944

The classic twins scenario. The "Japs" are onto Green Turtle by this point and in this issue set a trap for him causing everyone to think he has turned traitor by using a decoy Japanese disguised as the GT. In the end, we end up having not two but three Green Turtles when Burma Boy goes to his rescue in the GT's spare Turtle Rocket.

Blazing Comics #4 by Chu Hing
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

10 pages
Published February 1945

The Americans are on the scene! but surprisingly are not the heroes. An American unit is meeting with a Chinese group at an Inn but the Japanese get wind of it and arrive first. They kill all the Chinese, dress up in their uniforms and as house boys to trick the Americans. The bodies are all put in the basement; one man is not dead and sends a cryptic message to Green Turtle. GT arrives, finds the bodies, saves the Americans, saves the day, and possibly "the course of history". This is the first to go a little overboard on race issues, expecting that the "japs" could just dress-up like Chinese and the Americans wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Otherwise, so far the books have been very sensitive to the Chinese, presenting them as smart, heroic, allies *very* different from the Japanese.

Also, in this issue we see Green Turtle from side-views and front views in the distance and it is now noticed that he is wearing a full-face mask. Everyone is assuming he is ethnically Chinese though no mention of his true identity or origin has ever been mentioned.

Blazing Comics #5 by Chu Hing
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

10 pages
Published March 1945

The first thing that must be mentioned is that the cover of this issue does not reflect the contents. A mistake or a war-time use of saving paper?? A town is being attacked by the Japanese and one man runs to tell Green Turtle but as GT and his brigade get there the town has already been taken. They see a man being tortured, rescue him, and find the town has been drugged to cause them to submit. GT reverses the effects with plain old water. This one is a little silly. Artwise, we don't have the big goofy shadow in this issue but lots of Green Turtle's full face mask and the villain, General Suki, is drawn as a very racist big-eared buck-toothed "Jap" but that's expected seeing as he's a member of the real-life enemy. Plotwise, Green Turtle's identity is questioned twice. And so ends the series. Perhaps because VE day came only 2 months after this issue was published, however we would have five more months before VJ day was celebrated.

No comments:

Post a Comment