This collection brings selected adventures of white comic-book hero and U.S. naval officer Don Winslow to a new generation.
From the 1930s to the 1950s Winslow appeared variously in comics, radio, and film before sinking into oblivion. Winslow’s creator, Frank V. Martinek, hoped to inspire young men to enlist in the Navy. In his 1943 comic-book debut—included here—Winslow fights nefarious plots hatched by Axis powers. He finds new antagonists in peacetime: human—the Scorpion, the Snake, Singapore Sal—and nature itself. Winslow kills a polar bear with his bare hands; makes the first successful Everest ascent to rescue faithful pal and sidekick Red; and tames cannibalistic Amazons—young white women in cocktail dresses—with mirrors (they’re captivated by their reflections). Occasionally amusing, the repetitive plots and poorly reproduced art in this expensive collection rarely rise above mediocrity. The decision to market this for teens raises questions: Some stories feature racist epithets and caricatures, presented without historical or cultural context (including year of original publication) or any explanation as to the selection and curation process. The Nepalese guide who leads Winslow partway up Everest is a peculiar amalgam of degrading foreigner memes. Editor Yoe (Frankenstein: The Mad Science of Dick Briefer, 2015, etc.) acknowledges, then shrugs off, biased depictions and sexist stereotypes in language that reads as culturally tone-deaf.
Best for cultural historians and collectors with a passion for vintage comics. (Comic book compilation. 12-18)