This Boy’s Life

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Crimebuster would never fly in the too-cool-for-school world of modern super-heroes.

He battled crime and corruption with little more than his wits and the average strength of an average, if decidedly athletic, teenager. His costume: a hockey uniform and second-hand cape. His sidekick: a chimpanzee.

Yet Crimebuster enjoyed a 14-year run as a Golden Age headliner, mainly because creator Charles Biro (Airboy, Crime Does Not Pay) guessed correctly that his readership would enjoy the two-fisted exploits of “an average boy with the stuff to get along in life.”

It also helped that Biro often threw his protagonist into gruesome adventures that would have given the likes of Dick Grayson pause. The young adventurer dedicated his life to warring against crime after his parents were brutally murdered by a Nazi agent known as Iron Jaw, one of the more bloodthirsty and memorable villains of the Golden Age.

Iron Jaw from Boy Comics #4

The following story – which originally appeared in Boy Comics #7 (Lev Gleason, 1942) – is no less graphic. In fact, many of the murders committed by mystery villain wouldn’t seem out of place decades later in a Friday The 13th slasher flick.  Yet, as Biro himself wrote on the splash page, “This tale may shock you, but it was my intention to make it rough and true to life. I think Crimebuster’s readers like it rough!”

Take that, Wertham.

“The Will Of Roger Spaulding” was written and drawn by Biro.

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3 thoughts on “This Boy’s Life

  1. The Joker didn’t kill the parents of the Batman (who did eventually get the killers), and the Joker has spent a greater share of time and longer spells in Arkham Asylum that did Iron Jaw in prison. None-the-less, I’d have to say that the Batman has screwed-up, and should have put the Joker down years ago.

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