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Socko Strong finally gets a shot at the heavyweight championship in the first story of 1940, and despite efforts by defending champion Spike Logan to get him out of town during the match, Socko makes it back in time and triumphs.  Though his series runs until December of 1940, he never again enters the ring to defend his title.

We also learn, in that story in Adventure 46, that the newspaper Jerry Indutch works for is the Daily Bulletin, but we never see its offices again.

Hollywood beckons the new champion, and for the next two issues he acts in a boxing movie with Monte Swift, a jealous actor who does not like that the script puts Socko in the more heroic role.  He tries to make Socko look bad, but each failure to do so ups his plans, and eventually Swift is plain out trying to kill him.  Socko outwits him at every step, and enjoys the battle of wits so much that he in content to leave the actor wallowing in a mud pile at the end, not bothering to lay charges for the murder attempts.

Adventure 50 has a story clearly derived from the Clifford Odets play Golden Boy, which was a massive success on Broadway at this time.  A young boy is both a boxer and a violinist, and his father worries boxing will ruin his hands and destroy his music career, calling on Socko to talk the boy out of fighting.  As the boy himself prefers the violin, it’s not that hard.

From issues 52 – 54, Socko deals with a mad scientist, Professor Rosencrantz, who has developed an invisibility serum, and calls himself The Great.  The invisibility does not work with cameras, or with mirrors, which is very odd.  I cannot think of another invisibility story that has used that notion.  The Great plans to blow up a power plant, but Socko and Jerry get jobs as painters, and when The Great tries to plant his bomb, Socko sprays him with paint.  Touching the door painted by Jerry makes the two paints react in such a way as to electrocute The Great.  I guess if invisibility doesn’t work against mirrors, blending paints can cause electrocution.

Adventure 56 sees Sock get hired as a bodyguard for customs inspector Joseph Meek, scared of being attacked by smugglers.  As things pan out, Sock gets captured by the bad guys, and Meek not only saves him, but beats up the smugglers as well.

Socko’s final tale, in Adventure 57, has him chatting with Jerry, relating a tale about how having bad friends can turn a good kid wrong, and the importance of education.

Thinking about what must have happened to Sock after this, I conclude that he next went to defend his title, and lost the match.  That lost him his series.  This is foreshadowed in the story in 56, as Socko is less of a successful fighter than the wimpy customs official.  The final story, and its talk about college, I extrapolate into Socko heading to university after losing his title.

 

Socko Strong:  Adventure Comics 46 – 57 (Jan – Dec 1940)

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