The Backseat Terror

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Although The Black Terror was one of the more successful characters created during the first wave of comic-book super-heroes, the bloom was definitely off the rose by the time the following story appeared in the late 1940s.

Such Golden Age as icons Superman, Captain Marvel and Plastic Man continued to sell, but post-WWII readers mostly cast aside the daring exploits of the long-underwear set in favor of the more “adult” thrills depicted in true crime, horror and even romance comics.

The bigwigs at Better/Standard/Nedor (or whatever the company was calling itself at the time) definitely noticed the trend, as the publisher’s titles gradually shifted from super-heroes to space-opera, teen humor and jungle girl strips. Exciting Comics – long the home of The Black Terror and his sidekick, Tim – even began featuring Judy of the Jungle pin-ups on the cover instead of their flagship hero.

“Goodbye to Guns” further demonstrated this trend as The Black Terror is barely featured at all. In fact, the Terror Twins spend at least half of the story eavesdropping on the gangland soap opera unfolding around them before emerging late in the game to ensure a happy ending.

The story, an effective yarn despite the seemingly awkward mash-up of genres, originally appeared in Exciting Comics #62 (Better/Standard/Nedor, July 1948). The writer and the artist are uncredited.

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