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Boy Comics 15 - Iron Jaw vs the Rat, April 1944, Page 3

Hi, fellows! Welcome to another post! This week we'll be continuing a look at Crimebuster's early WWII origins as a comic book with real and bloody violence that was entertaining and gratifying!

Like I said last time, these are poor quality scans (sorry) but I have taken some time to re-do the dialog balloons so that the story isn't a gigantic pain to read. The story is good enough that it's worth it.

I'm also experimenting with ways to add stuff into the panel backgrounds (see panel 8) to enhance the story. I figure, it's public domain, and I can add stuff if I feel like it! I'm not presenting this as my own work, of course. This comic was and always will have been written by Charles Biro, in Boy Comics issue number 15.

This week we see that Iron Jaw has clambered on board a passenger train without anyone noticing. He meets a "W.A.V.E" who are female Naval Reserve Personnel.

Waves are the Navy's version of the Women's Army Auxilliary Corps (known colloquially in that time period as WAACS). W.A.V.E. stands for "Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service". I just learned that in addition to WAACS and WAVES, there were also SPARS, women who volunteered to serve with the Coast Guard.

And Charles Biro is not shy about having the story's villain bash them around to draw the ire of the reader, and establish the character of Iron Jaw.

On this page, the WAVE is wearing the dark blue winter uniform, reminding us that the weather outside the train is cold, which is partly why Iron Jaw wants to get on board the train so bad. (In the summer the WAVES wore an all-white uniform with the brimmed hat. )

Okay well that's enough history of minutiae for this week, boys and girls! I hope everyone had a good week and I'll see you all again next Friday! So long, cowboys!

Comic transcript

You're reading an edited (or maybe "re-mastered") version of Charles Biro's comic book Boy Comics # 15, published in 1944. In it, we see Crimebuster fight this guy named Iron Jaw, who's trying to escape from US Law Enforcement and continue his campaign of domestic sabotage on behalf of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei. If you're interested, you can start from the beginning by clicking the link to the first page.

The Engineer and his junior investigate the fire Iron Jaw left on the tracks. Junior remarks "Nothing but a little bonfire! Somebody's idea of a joke!"

The Engineer scratches under his cap. "Some joke!" he says, "Just on account of it, we'll be behind schedule. Let's go!"

As the Wogochaukee Limited train gets back up to speed, Iron Jaw clambers aboard the caboose (heh) and says "Ha ha! Another brilliant achievement for the great Iron Jaw!"

He sneaks further inside the passenger compartment and remarks to himself, "I must get to the washroom without being spotted. I'm too weak from that duck- ing, and this torn arm, to chance a fight!" A conductor sticks his leg through the door, causing Iron Jaw to say "Damn! A conductor!" and scrabble into cabin 16.

Iron Jaw closes the door, watches through the bars where a window should be. "Good!" he says, "He walked right past! He didn't see me duck in here!" His bloody right arm hangs at his side, and a member of the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service startles at him. I think he's like six or seven feet tall, Iron Jaw's pretty big.

Iron Jaw turns and notices. "Well, I'll be... ?? A W.A.V.E.!"

The WAVE says "What's the meaning of = " and then she sees the giant metal rasp hanging off of his skull. She screams "IRON JAW" and then makes a high pitched warble.

Iron Jaw cuts off the warble with a head-shaking slap, he says "Shut up! I'm allergic to screaming women!" The woman responds "Why, you!" but she falls over and knocks her skull onto the very outermost edge of the corner of an end table, I guess this must be a sleeper car. She says "Oooh!" because it hurts.

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