The adventures of Don Kerry and Red Murphy continue as Anchors Aweigh finishes its run in 1940. We do finally learn that Red has the rank of lieutenant, which I’m guessing is lower than Don’s lieutenant commander. Their final seven stories take them from Baja California to Jamaica, the Panama Canal and the Philippines, as they deal with foreign agents and everyday crooks.
The art is largely passable, though the jungle snake pit the heroes have to walk through in issue 49 looks simply ridiculous.
My favourite story in this brief period comes in Adventure Comics 48, as Don impersonates a drug dealer to find out who is running the gang. Much of the story consists of him acting the tough guy to avoid giving himself away, rebuffing other members of the gang, and even the wife of the man he is impersonating, until Don uncovers the postmaster as the drug czar.
The second last tale is set in the “south seas,” and while pursuing pirates Don and Red get trapped during a hurricaine. The location of the final story, pitting them against rum runners turned gun runners, is not given. So I am going to place them both in Hawaii at the end of their run. It is curious to stop a series about sailors just before the US enters the war, so it seems to me that Don and Red died in the attack on Pearl Harbour.
Anchors Aweigh: Adventure Comics 46 – 52 (Jan – July 40)
Anchors Aweigh features Lieutenant Commander Don Kerry of the US navy, and his buddy Red Murphy, who is never given a rank. They have one long serial that takes them to Brazil, where they hunt down and capture El Diablo, a revolutionary, but then spend the rest of the era dealing with problems in the south Pacific, mostly in one-shot tales.
The art is by Guardineer for the first 12 instalments, and it’s the kind of Guardineer art I don’t like, very stiff and static. But I must conceded, after he leaves the series the art gets downright awful.
The first serial is not bad, it spends a lot of time making it look like Marshall, an American embassy staffer, is really El Diablo, but instead his assistant Fernando is the one leaving the false trail, and El Diablo actually ifs from the German embassy.
The later stories are passable at best. Chinese bandits, a man who wants to blow up the Panama Canal, pirates, native uprisings, illegal gambling boats are all dealt with quickly and easily. The most interesting, or at least the weirdest, of the stories involves master japanese spy Sin Yun, who attempts to get Don and Red to reveal the secrets of a radio controlled torpedo by having hybrid animals attack them. The gorilla man is ok, but the octo-dile is hilarious.
Anchors Aweigh continues in the Early Golden Age, for some reason
Anchors Aweigh: New Adventure Comics 28 – 31 (July – Oct 38)
Adventure Comics 32 – 45 (Nov 38 – Dec 39)