More Fun 60 – The Spectre vs Xnon, Congo Bill finds the lost explorer, and Dr. Fate fights tiny men and giants
The Spectre gets a really good enemy in More Fun 60 (Oct 40), written by Jerry Siegel with Bernard Bailey art.
The story begins with a train carrying a cargo of gold vanishing, and the Spectre being seen at the site, even though Jim Corrigan knows his alter-ego was not involved. Framing the Spectre is a gutsy move, you have to admit.
He pursues the case, and finds two criminals connected to the robbery, whose car disappears. The Spectre follows it to another dimension, and meets Xnon, a scientific genius who rules with an iron fist. I love the little note at the bottom of the page giving the pronunciation of the villain’s name.
Xnon’s super-science is actually more than the Spectre can handle, which is fairly astounding consider the level of the Spectre’s power. The story also has the absolute best panel of art so far in the run, and he struggles to absorb Xnon’s attack on Earth.
Turning to the Voice for help, the Spectre is given the Ring of Life (and of Death, but usually just referred to by the first part). This ring would only appear in a couple of tales, and then simply dropped from the series, although an explanation for its disappearance would be told many years later in All-Star Squadron.
Using the Ring, the Spectre manages to defeat Xnon and imprisons him within a comet, another cosmic event that challenges Bailey’s art.
It’s a real shame that Xnon never has appeared since. It’s a rare villain that can best the Spectre, even briefly.
The search for Gloria Desmond’s father concludes in this story, as she, Congo Bill and Professor Kent fall prey to a tribe of money-men, presumably meant to be a sort of “missing link.”
They come across her father, also a captive, but with no memory of himself or his daughter.
Bill escapes and saves the day, and the father bangs his head and regains his memory. Despite the passionate embrace that ends this story, Gloria Desmond (and her father for that matter) do not return in any later tales. Congo Bill must be a “love ’em and leave ’em” type.
The Dr.Fate story in this issue, by Gardner Fox and Howard Sherman, opens with Inza discovering a ship of very tiny men, who are able to cause massive amounts of destruction despite their size.
We also get to see Fate’s tower in more detail, as Inza attempts to enter, but can find no door in the structure. Dr. Fate uses an unusual device to see through the walls of the tower. In later stories he will be able to do this on his own. He can also pass through the wall, using his own abilities.
Dr. Fate defeats the tiny men, stopping their destructive rampage, and uses his powers to trace their origin, deep in the Catskills.
It turns out they were created by a race of giants, living deep in a cave. Fate wipes these guys out as well, shooting magical fire. Finally a foe he defeats using magic, rather than just punching them.