Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Saga Of--And Apology For--The Much-Delayed Mysterious Trunk Story!!

The last panel of the lead story from Daredevil Comics #4 (1941):

Well, that was interesting. It was pretty rare in those days to get a specific story advertised in a "next issue" blurb back then. Sure, you'd get a generic "follow Captain America's further adventures against the Nazis next month." But a specific story? Much of the industry was still too slapdash and poorly organized for such advanced planning.

Well, along comes issue #5 (1941):

I have absolutely no well of telling, but I'll bet this was the very first apology to readers in a comic book! And you have to love all the mystery and portent implied as to why the promised story wasn't presented.

One month later, in #6 (1941):


Well, let's jump ahead a month, to Daredevil #7 (1942):

Hurrah!! "At last!!"

But is the story actually inside? And why the delays?

I'll tell you what--that is probably the best explanation for delaying a comic book story that I've ever seen. Sure, it's almost certainly 100% BS, but man, it sure beats "the dog ate my homework" or "it was the Dreaded Deadline Doom!"

[Also note...the caption is using the cover dates for the issues in question, not the street dates, so the story is even more transparently flimflam. Daredevil #4 was cover dated October, but hit the streets September 5, 1941...and therefore must have been produced in August, if not earlier! So the blurb that says the killer was executed in December streeted in early November, and would have had to have been written in October, two months before the first alleged stay of eexcution!! Flimflammery!!]

Of course, we are left with why the story was actually delayed in the first place. Did Charles Biro come up with a nifty title for the next issue blurb, but then find trouble coming up with the actual story? Was the story farmed out to other uncredited hands, who failed to get it done in time? Were the stories in #5 & #6 so awesome and so pressing that Biro decided he just had to print those first? [SPOILER ALERT: no, they weren't.]

A mystery that will likely never be solved...

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