Diving Into the Comic Vault: Pep Comics #8 is Daring and Dashing

Hello, and welcome back to Diving Into the Comic Vault! Today we'll be looking at Pep Comics #8. This cover prominently features the Shield escaping an Egyptian sarcophagus as he goes to save a woman from men dressed in ancient Egyptian garb. Pep Comics #8 came out in 1940 when America was still entranced by Egyptomania. I've touched on this before in my Lauren Looks Back series, but this was always popular even during WWII. Orientalism overall was popular during this time period, and we still see it in a lot of our pop culture today.

The Diving Into The Comic Vault logo. Photo: Baltimore Lauren.
The Diving Into The Comic Vault logo. Photo: Baltimore Lauren.

 

This issue's The Shield comic opens at the Grauman's Chinese Theater for a movie opening. Actor John Loveridge's latest movie is opening, and alas, said Loveridge is murdered in cold blood during the viewing. This intrigues the FBI, which sends the Shield to investigate.

Our scientific hero, The Comet, is on the hunt for a mass murderer in this issue of Pep Comics  #8. While the Mayor of his city wants to give in to this murderer's demands, Comet intends to bring him to justice. Comet enlists the help of his journalistic love Thelma, but she isn't so sure the media can calm the masses. Thelma runs the article but is then kidnapped. It's interesting to see how times might change, but they ultimately stay the same.

The Press Guardian is also dealing with reporters who are being harmed (and murdered), which tells us this has been an ongoing social issue for decades. It's also interesting that the first three stories in this month's Pep Comics deal with creative types being targeted for a myriad of reasons.

The cover of Pep Comics #8. Credit: MLJ Comics.
The cover of Pep Comics #8. Credit: MLJ Comics.

The rest of the comic features the continuing adventures of Fu Chang, Sergeant Boyle, Lee Sampson Midshipman, The Rocket, and the Queen of Diamonds, When Satan Played Saint, Kayo Ward, and Bentley of Scotland Yard. I've grown to appreciate Bentley's supernatural adventures more. MLJ/Archie likes to flirt with the supernatural (and as we all know, one of the most popular Archie characters is a teenage witch), but there's something raw and enjoyably eerie about Bentley.

This was a much better issue than #7. We'll continue with our dives into the pre-Archie MLJ days in our next episode!

About Baltimore Lauren

I like pinball machines, Archie Comics, and bad movies. Sometimes I write about old books for the heck of it. Follow me on Twitter: @BaltimoreLauren