The Crane

The Crane
The comic book history of the Crane, an enemy of Boy King and the Giant, from Clue Comics.

The Boy King and the Giant love America. Like, literally.

As we know, during World War II, the tiny nation of Swisslakia, with their Boy King, was almost completely wiped out by the invading Nazis. The Boy King awakened the 30-story-tall statue that was built by Nostradamus but looked like Clark Gable. The giant's job? To defend the Swisslakians, but it was too late. So, the nation fled across the Atlantic, the Swisslakians in boats and the Boy King riding atop the giant's shoulder. They were refugees fleeing the Nazis, hoping to find a new home, and also fight crime, in the United States.

The Atlantic. Famously never more than 300 feet deep.

I would say that all this sounds like a fever dream, but my fever dreams make more sense than this.

Unlike a lot of real life refugees fleeing the Nazis in the 1930s and 40s, the United States did not send the Swisslakians back. The 300-foot tall stone giant probably helped to make their case for them even if he did, and I'm not exaggerating or joking, fall in love with and start making out with the Statue of Liberty. I don't know if you can tell from subtle imagery, but the Swisslakians really love America.

Ohh la la.

For some reason they were going to let the giant stay in New York City, resolving to let him sleep in Central Park. You know, that park that's surrounded by the densest, most populated city in the U.S. Unfortunately, that meant the public could walk right up to him...and throw explosives in his ears.

Can you hear me, now?

Enter: the Crane. The crane is the answer to the age-old question of what if Inspector Gadget only had the go-go-gadget arms and also was a Nazi spy. And yeah, the Crane had two scissor-style telescopic arms and despite this seeming to be deeply hilarious, what with those things being twenty feet in front of you and completely out of your control just flailing around everywhere, he actually managed to murder quite well with them. He would steal Tommy guns from cops and use them. He would pull subordinates to him to demand explanation, let them walk away, and then use his stretchy arms to stab them in the back from across the room because if you have go go gadget arms you're going to use go go gadget arms.

Not shown: he then had to awkwardly walk over, getting his arms tangled in the process.

The Boy King, though, was undeterred. In their first fight, he had the Crane dead to rights, but while they were waiting for the FBI to show up, the Crane escaped. The next day, while at a demonstration at Madison Square Gardens, the Boy King, to ease American fears about a stone giant in their midst, showed them the secret - a coffin-sized screw in his neck. Whoever put the screw in could control the giant. Of course, the Crane was in disguise as a scientist, took control of the giant. He destroyed most of New York City before trying to walk it back across the Atlantic, but the Boy King regained control of the giant and took him back to Central Park where, somehow, they didn't answer for the massive death and destruction.

This would literally be the worst attack on American soil ever and these aren't even the only panels.

We're only three issues into this and each one appears to be trying to one-up the last. Like you can't uninvent the atomic bomb, you can't undiscover magical giants. Seeing the power a giant could hold, Hitler decided to go even farther...with a giant robotic Nazi T-Rex.

You can burn hot and bright, but you won't burn for long. Three issues in, having already destroyed New York City with a stone giant designed by Nostradamus and having that same giant fight a Nazi T-Rex in the Atlantic...the Boy King series by Clue comics...they ran out of gas. I mean, where do you really go from there?

The real test is, of course, a giant robot Nazi T-Rex.

Crane, the baddie, was captured and thrown into prison when, after the T-Rex fight, he lured the Boy King to a cabin in the woods and did that classic, moving-the-hero-on-a-piece-of-wood-toward-a-circular-saw bit, and he was saved at the last minute by the villagers.

When the world was wide enough for Boy King and the Giant

Mainly because there's literally no way to go bigger, maybe because the editors told the writers to pump the brakes because none of this made any sense, the adventures of Boy King and the Giant got more street-level. Boy King learned he had a brother in Hell's Kitchen, prince Mugsy, and they used their giant to bust up mobsters and magical tattoo artists.

The quality of "Boy King" took a sharp downward turn after the Nazi T-Rex.

Showing the changing tastes of the times, Boy King was unceremoniously cancelled, deposed the following issue by Gunmaster, a man who shot guns. No joke. He was trained in the Himalayas by monks. Monks who taught him to shoot guns. Because that what we all think of when we think of Himalayan Buddhist monks: all the guns they have and teach people to shoot.

Yeah, it's called being shot at. No one likes it, Gunmaster.

But, as for Boy King and the giant? I did say earlier that they were too big, but thinking about it? Boy King and the giant weren't too big. The world was too small. We weren't ready for a hero Boy King and his giant that was built by Nostradamus.

To the Boy King I say: Good night, sweet prince. And flights of defeated giant Nazi T-Rex robots sing thee to thy rest.

Holy Comic Book Sources, Batman!
  • Clue Comics #2-10

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