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Just Suppose


This two-page strip postulated on changes in history.  There are captions, and pictures behind or around them.  At the start, there would be two “Just Suppose”s, one per page, but as the series progressed there would only be one each issue, with larger and more detailed pictures.

The series does not have, to me, a very auspicious beginning.  The very first is “Just Suppose the sacred geese were not startled by the approach of the Gauls”, and thus has Rome destroyed and having no long-lasting impact on European culture.  To me that is hardly the likely long-term effect of that situation.  Similarly, “Just Suppose Goodyear did not invent rubber” ignores the very real possibility that someone else would have, and rubber would still be a part of our lives (though with no Goodyear blimp).  One of them is blatantly wrong, suggesting that if the Aztecs had not had a notion of a white god they would not have been conquered – as if the widespread devastation caused by smallpox was not a factor.

After four issues in New Comics the series moved over to More Fun, and improves a lot.  For one thing, it re-thinks the fall of Rome, suggesting it could have occurred if Hannibal had pressed forward, and indeed that could have happened.

A few of them deal with (to me) obscure American history, so I am incapable of judging their merits.  The most notable of these is in issue 16, which deals with a duel fought by Andrew Jackson, in which he apparently altered his buttons to confuse his opponent about where his heart is.  This sounds incredibly bizarre – are we supposed to think the opponent thought Andrew Jackson’s heart was on the wrong side of his body?  But as the story is completely unfamiliar to me perhaps there is something I am not understanding.

Napoleon is the subject of more “Just Suppose”s than anyone else by far, and almost all of these have him triumphant, or more powerful.  You get the feeling the author was a big fan of his.

The series would have a “sister” towards the end of the Golden Age, “Just Imagine”, which ran in the pages of Real Fact Comics, postulating on future events, and being reprinted fairly consistently in various DC sci-fi series through the Silver Age.

 

 

Just Suppose: New Comics 1 – 4 (Dec 35 – May 36)

More Fun 10 – 25 (June 36 – Oct 37)

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