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Stiffs on patrol – Adam-12 #2

March 13, 2011

A little under a year ago I took a brief look at an Adam-12 comic. I haven’t sat down to watch the show in a long, long while. I still hold the Jack Webb police franchises in high regard, in spite of their many faults. While I prefer Dragnet, and watching Webb walk was arms that don’t move as he moves deliberately toward his marks, Adam-12 was a bit more dramatic endeavor. It was still a square affair, but compared to the adventures of Detective Friday it was Hill Street Blues.

The endings if the two stories in this issue (“Assassin’s Target” and “The Lady and the Landlord,” both illustrated by Jack Sparling) really drive in this Stiffly Stiffington vibe. In the first, Officers Reed and Malloy find themselves bodyguarding a threatened foreign dignitary, and one that isn’t all that fond of their protective embrace:

I guess they were distracted by the candelabra.

Several close calls later, they finally lure and entrap a sniper with the simplest of ruses:

These guys never give it a rest, do they?

In the second tale, the partners get the rather thankless task of kicking an old man out of his apartment:

That chore done, they come up against a snippy blonde reporter and her camera:

If I were them, I’d be tempted to take that camera, throw it to the ground Sonny Corleone style and toss a few twenties on it as payment. But Reed and Malloy are so upright they can withstand the slings and arrows of a snarky public. You have to admire them for that.

That isn’t the last time they encounter this comley member of the press corps– they later catch her speeding:

Now, with their curiosity roused, they follow her to secluded house and inside find her going all Chuck Norris on some dudes:

Turns out she’s been investigating a real estate scheme, one that involves the landlord from the old man eviction and some other unsavory sorts. All the crooks are clamped in irons and the day is saved, but not before a little banter to end the issue:

Once again — they just don’t quit!

I’m not nuts about the art or the somewhat predictable stories in this comic, but my heart is somehow warmed by its relationship to the Webbiverse, a fictional place where the L.A.P.D. was always a beacon of virtue and justice. Methinks the Rodney King mess wouldn’t have happened if Friday, Gannon, Reed and Malloy were on the job.

I’m going to end this post with one of my favorite little bits of obscure pop history. As a kid I loved the Dan Aykroyd/Tom Hanks sequel/parody/homage to the original Dragnet series. It came out back in Hanks’ goofy Joe vs. the Volcano years (his equivalent of Picasso’s Blue Period, I guess), and over the closing credits there was a half-ass rap “sung” by the two stars. Hearing Hanks bellowing “City of Crime” in full-on ham mode was memorable enough, but never (NEVER!) in my wildest dreams did I imagine that there was an accompanying music video:

I realize this clip isn’t all that germane, but this post’s subject matter is as close as I’ll ever come to having a legitimate reason for sharing it. Hanks cage dancing in tight shorts and “Walk[ing] like an Egyptian” needs to be seen by as many eyes as possible. Long live Pep Streebeck!

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