After reading the disappointing ZIP #45, I was pleasantly surprised to read PEP COMICS #43 and enjoy reading it (!). here’s what I thought of the book story by story:
THE SHIELD; What can I say? An excellent little mystery that was given an even bigger boost by the ever spectacular artwork of Irv Novick.
THE HANGMAN; The story at times reminded me a lot of the old AVENGERS episode “Man-Eater of Surrey Green” (another story that dealt with a killer plant). But then again, that show didn’t have artwork by Bob Fujitani (THE Hangman artist) nor the trademark grisly ending for your typical Hangman baddie.
CAPTAIN COMMANDO AND THE BOY SOLDIERS; I’m very glad that the strip’s writers tried to restore the father-son relationship between the good Captain and his son Billy. It was also very good to see each of the characters reflect on what brought all of them into the Axis busting business in the first place. And all of it tied together by another outstanding job on the artwork by Irv Novick.
ARCHIE; What can I say? The strip was really hitting its stride during this period.
CATFISH JOE and CHIEF BUGGABOO; Probably the only real low points in this issue. The humor strips that MLJ/Archie would later put in this book (KATY KEENE, L’IL JINX, etc) would far surpass these early attempts.
All in all one of MLJ’s better books for that period.