The Power God (1925)

Article #527 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 8-24-2002
Posting date: 1-17-2003

An inventor devises a machine that draws energy from the air, which becomes the target of a criminal intent on making his fortune off of it.

This 15-chapter serial is made by some of the same people who were responsible for OFFICER 444. It has certain similarities to that serial; once again, much of the action revolves around fisticuffs rather than gunplay, the same sense of humor that pervaded that serial is present in a lesser degree here (my favorite moments; the revelation of one of the cliffhangers involving the shadow of a man with a rifle, and the hero’s encounter with an opportunistic justice of the peace and his alert deputy), and the presence of Ruth Royce as the “subtle” aide to the villain (though this time I actually see her taking an active part in the plot). It differs in that the story is much more straightforward and coherent than OFFICER 444; in fact, it reminded me much more of THE MASTER MYSTERY in its general feel. It’s not perfect; certain episodes spin their wheels with very little really happening, some of the plot elements are repetitive, and the ending is a little too corny for my tastes. On the positive side, however, it never drives its plot contrivances into the ground, and manages to find a fair variety of situations within the action, has a number of clever plot twists, and it is refreshingly free of cheating cliffhangers. Overall, quite enjoyable.


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