The problem of crime has plagued mankind ever since criminals were created by the simple expedient of making laws for them to break. After all, society prepares the crime, the criminal merely commits it! Deep, huh? Even comic books have taken up arms against the evils of lawbreakers and their criminal lawlessness, and as befits the comic book world, this anti-crime crusade is held to strict standards of realism and versimilitude.
This is obvious in our story today, which is about a policeman ghost who comes back from the grave to stand around and watch a criminal commit crimes. Take that, Brooklyn's Public Enemy #1, with your hipster beard and your skinny jeans and your ironic Polaroid!
Our story begins with Officer Not Ghost Yet determinedly enforcing the city's "no-idle" laws. Pollution is a real problem and don't you forget it, weasley, shaking-like-a-leaf thug!
By the way, just a reminder: OBEY THE LAW
You don't get second chances with bullets! Except you do, I guess, as shaking-like-a-leaf thug can't hit a target two feet away and wearing a gigantic blue uniform as he beats on the curb to summon other officers, as was the custom in the days before radio. Our hero then follows strict police procedure, which states every officer will (a) execute the shaky criminal in the street, and then (b) put on his bloody hat and overcoat to wait in ambush for his criminal compatriots. (section 23-A rule 6)
Once in the car, Officer Massacre here gives the criminals exactly two micro-seconds to surrender, and then he starts blasting away. Better to be safe than sorry!
Here's why your mom doesn't want you reading comic books; a panel of one guy getting shot right between the eyes as he shoots another guy right in the ticker, who then shoots the remaining suspect in the back. Wholesome fun for the whole family!
If you don't want to wind up like this, OBEY THE LAW
Aw, Officer Blast 'Em didn't make it and he's up in Cop Heaven, where the donuts are always fresh. But he doesn't want to stay in Heaven, he wants to get back down on Earth, where he might be able to "help" some more. Also up in Heaven nobody cares that he looks like Bobby Darin, and by golly that's a look that needs to be appreciated.
Did I mention you should OBEY THE LAW?
Back down on Earth, Ghost Cop has picked, seemingly at random, Brooklyn gangster Vannie Higgins, to follow around and attempt to haunt back into law-abidingness. Which, in terms of this story, means floating around insubstantially, murmuring commentary on how he'd better look out or he's gonna get it. So ghostly!
Here we see some excellent police work as one cop's warning shot ricochets and kills another cop. Great work guys. Medals all around.
Sprung on a technicality, Higgins can hardly enjoy his freedom, what with that ghost constantly hovering around, saying "Just you wait, smart guy!"
Oh you may have dodged bullets this time, Higgins, but your luck will run out eventually! Sure am glad I passed up on eternal bliss in Heaven to spend my time down here hectoring some guy who can't see or hear me! Obey The Law!
Higgins and associate attempt to shake down an ex-cop, who responds, like all police do in this story, by whipping out his gun and blasting away. I am beginning to become concerned about the quality of training police recieve in this comic. And in real life, but that's another story.
Watch your step, Vannie! Can you hear me? Perched on your billiards table? Haunting your every move? Predicting doom all the time? I hope you can hear me, because if not, then this has been a colossal waste of my undead time!
I'm starting to wonder exactly how Vannie came to be such a successful gangster, as everyone he tries to make criminal deals with responds by trying to kill him.
And here's Officer Casper to remind Higgins that even though he survived this assassination attempt, and the last assassination attempt, and the one before that, sooner or later somebody will kill him! Or he'll have a car crash, or get cancer, or be crushed by a falling piano, or die of old age! You're doomed, Vannie! Doomed! Sooner or later!
The most heinous crime of all; polluting the Gowanus Canal. Time for some totally brutal police questioning, which in this comic means the district attorney says 'Answer my questions!' in a mean voice. A few more hours of this and Higgins might start.. to yawn!
You've got a date with the undertaker, Vannie! That's the last champagne you're ever going to drink, Vannie! This is the last recital you'll ever see your daughter in, Vannie! Daughter? Yes, apparently Vannie has a wife and a child, though this is the first time this comic book has mentioned either. This comic story had more important things to show us, like a hectoring ghost predicting doom at every turn.
You're going straight to hell, Vannie! It's a dance of death your little girl is doing up there Vannie! That chair you're sitting in is a chair of doom! A spotlight of incoming damnation shining down on a ballroom of horror located in a neighborhood of total destruction forever!
I get the feeling a certain ghost needs to get back on his ghost depression meds, asap.
FINALLY the cops have enough to arrest Higgins - for real this time. Maybe they'll get to Higgins before the friendly men in the car can do some carpentry for him. That's what "saw him in half" means, right? Working on a cabinet or maybe some yard work, I think. Also you should obey something, the law I think
Aw, the cops were too slow, and Higgins was blasted down in the street while Disapproving Ghost looks down and gloats at his bullet-riddled body. Evidence that CRIME DOES NOT PAY and that a life of crime will lead ONLY to being shot full of holes, after a few years of having a ghost follow you around informing you of your upcoming doom, after which the bullets will be almost a blessing, anything to shut that ghost up.
I get the feeling I was supposed to obey something. What was that thing again? I forgot.
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