Book Review – Steve Canyon, Volume 8, 1961 to 1962
Rating – Two Stars
I opened this eighth volume of my boyhood icon counting on reading thrilling tales of mysterious dames in exotic locales entrapping Colonel Steve Canyon in nefarious schemes, and having their way with him; of Steve exposing malevolent secret agents, deposing corrupt tyrants, and rescuing ravishing princesses from the Soviet’s eeevil KGB. Gadzooks! It was not to be.
In volume eight, I stumbled into eight bland tales of minimal interest, of no import, and more appropriate reading (and viewing) for teenage females. I classify four of his stories as soap operas set in the USA. In one of these, the lead is his brat cousin Poteet Canyon—Steve is absent completely from this yarn. The remaining four stories are insipid “adventure” tales whose bland narratives challenge no one. One story has a hint of the exotic. Set in the Himalaya region of China, Steve’s ol’ nemesis, Madam Lynx, captures him. He escapes, in an unbelievable scenario. Lynx fades into an unknown end—to reappear in another story, I reckon.
Nonetheless, Caniff’s drawings, on the whole, reflect his consummate artistic skills in the “Terry and the Pirate” strips of yesteryear. I much enjoyed viewing some of his frames and marveled at his realistic composition and attention to fine detail.