Bungleton Green and the Mystic Commandos

New York Review Comics. Nov. 2022. 184p. ISBN 9781681376653. pap. $24.95. SF
In 1942, Chicago Defender cartoonist Jackson turned a long-running comic strip about a bumbling fool named Bungleton Green into an epic science fiction adventure about a group of courageous teenagers who travel across time and space doing battle against Nazis, enslavers, segregationists, and others opposed to racial equality. In one sequence, the team must prevent a Nazi spy from deploying a special gas that enslaves the mind of anyone exposed to it. Another story finds the Commandos stranded two hundred years in the past, where they liberate a shipload of enslaved people before they can be sold at auction. Next, they visit the year 2044, where they defend an alternate-history U.S., in which racism no longer exists, against invasion by a society of undersea-dwelling, green-skinned people who believe themselves superior to all other races. This volume reprints the entire series for the first time since it was first published in the 1940s.
VERDICT Featuring page after page of non-stop action and pulpy melodrama imbued with Jackson’s perspective as a Black American in the 1940s, this is a work of immense historical value that’s also very fun to read.
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