In my previous post, I mentioned the epic meeting of my two heroes, Heat-Ray and the Demolisher. Well, here it is.
Apparently, by the time this issue "hit the stands", Noble Comics had fallen on hard times and was snapped up by M.W. Comics. M.W. looks to have been a low-budget, fly-by-night operation, resorting to shady tactics like tracing cover art from other publications. (Put that in your Swipe File and smoke it, Rich Johnston.) M.W. artists were also of questionable quality. Check out the Demolisher on the cover. His foot projects in front of the "Crusher's" leg. Either M.W.'s cover artist was drinking heavily or the Crusher was 40 feet tall. And Heat-Ray is depicted as if the power of flight does not extend to his extremities. They dangle from his torso like those wasps that used to buzz from one end of the house to the other during the summertime when I was a kid.
The writers were not immune to the decline in professionalism, either. One merely needs to read the story's title, "Cometh of the Crusher" to know we're in trouble.
Our story opens as the Crusher leans against a lamppost, really just minding his own business when the two heroes show up and decide to kick his ass for no apparent reason. Maybe they're curious how one earns the name "Crusher." Or maybe they just don't like his purple tights. Who knows? Lucky for the Crusher, he gives as good as he gets, giving Demolisher a one-two combination while exclaiming, "Take that...and that!" Having gained the upper hand, Crusher slips away into the night. We're then treated to a two-panel interlude, introducing us to a pre-AUSTIN POWERS Dr. Evil. We know Dr. Evil is a badass because he kicks some poor unnamed guy out of his office before laughing maniacally. Scared yet? You should be.
Back to the action, Demolisher and Heat-Ray, while pursuing the poor Crusher, have a net thrown over them by...somebody. No sooner does Heat-Ray rip the net apart than the duo find themselves caught in a cliffhanger...namely, the ol' slowly-compressing wall-vice. Up next...THE SMASHER!