ImageI would honestly like to write a positive review for ZIP COMICS #45, but considering how far downhill it went near the end of the book’s run, it’s exceedingly difficult to do so. The STEEL STERLING story was quite good considering it could not be reprinted due to fears of the story now being taken as a racial slur. Clem Weisbecker’s artwork on the story made reading it more than worthwhile. Storywise, the RED RUBE story was a decent superhero story. Artwise, Bill Vigoda’s efforts at imitating C. C. Beck’s CAPTAIN MARVEL pages reminded me too much of George Storm’s early HANGMAN stories. In other words, the strip cries out for one of MLJ’s better artists to be turned loose upon it (Paging Mr. Novick! Paging Mr. Cooper! Paging Mr. Camy!). I felt MLJ (or Archie/Radio if you prefer) did a much better job of capturing some of the spirit of the original CAPTAIN MARVEL stories in their later PUREHEART THE POWERFUL (a.k.a. CAPTAIN PUREHEART) and CAPTAIN HERO stories during the 1960s.

As far as the humor stuff goes; except for the GINGER strip (I admittedly have a soft spot MLJ/Archie’s girl strips), the less said about them the better.

Comparing ZIP #45 to earlier issues of ZIP sadly showed how far the book as a whole fell before its eventual cancellation in 1944. It seemed much of the book’s magic vanished after issue #38 (the last issue featuring the Web), and it was just limping along until the very end.

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I would honestly like to write a positive review for ZIP COMICS #45, but considering how far downhill it went near the end of the book's run, it's exceedingly difficult to do so. The STEEL STERLING story was quite good considering it could not be reprinted due to fears...