Comics on Film #3: Spy Smasher



Another 12 part serial here; Spy Smasher is a covert spy (in a garish costume) trying to break up German support for the Nazis in Germany; he doesn’t have any special powers but has an identical twin he’s able to switch in and out of costumes with to throw off his enemies.   His evil nemesis, The Mask, is always trying to kill him off while ruining America, first with forged currency and then by destroying our oil supply.  Riveting stuff huh?




  • Compared to Captain Marvel, this movie’s plot doesn’t meander for 12 whole chapters while they collect the 5 tokens to fuel the evil scorpion; it’s an ongoing story where each time this villain The Mask comes up with a new plan, Spy Smasher has to foil it.  It’s much more organic and the characters are more clearly defined.
  • It has a real twist near the end where the twin brother is actually killed in the line of duty that I did not see coming and the special effects here are pretty dope for their time; there’s a few scenes where raging fires are chasing people down that look like Hollywood blockbusters these days took their cue from.



  • I have to reiterate this again: it’s just too long.   You could have told a much more succinct story that would have flowed better than the long drawn out movie they present here; it was hard to keep going and I had to watch this in parts because I was losing interest.
  • While this film apparently stuck to it’s comic book roots a bit more than Captain Marvel, I think it needed more color and awe.   Dealing with a Nazi criminal wearing a stupid hankey over his face that’s trying to throw our society into upheaval by using fake money to pay for goods is a real downtrodden way to start this serial and while it does uptick, those were some hard moments to make it through.


I give it a total score of 58 out of 100; exactly as Captain Marvel; this isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination and there is something to appreciate about this old school look, and I don’t think this movie is hampered by the black and white like Captain Marvel was, but 12 parts to a story that can be pretty mundane is a tough chore.


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