Unlike the Hardy Boys series, the British Boys' Annuals, or the books in the Green Library, the adventure boy series offered little cover beefcake, but they made up for it with lush verbal descriptions: the teenagersare extraordinarily handsome, immensely muscular, strong, sturdy, erect, lithe, well-formed, and “well-knit.”
In Jack Winters’ Gridiron Chums (1919), we read that “Big Bob stretched out his massive arms. . . as though to call the attention of his companion to his splendid physique.”
In The Radio Boys at the Mexican Border (1922), the hero has “long legs, flat hips, trim waist, deep chest and broad shoulders and a flat back. . .altogether, he was a striking figure.”
Girls are entirely absent, but almost every Adventure Boy forms an intimate, passionate bond with a same-sex chum, and almost every Adventure Boy novel ends with the two planning to stay together forever, a homoromantic version of the fade-out kiss.
For example, when they return from the Earth's Core laden with diamonds, they decide to invest their wealth in college educations. What will become of them after college, Mark wonders. “We’ll take a trip!” Jack exclaims. The two clasp hands, and the narrator hastily retreats.
In the last book of the series, they are middle aged professors, and still living together. They have taken an interest in two of their male students, who embark on the adventure, while the adults sit by the fire and reminisce.
In first Don Sturdy novel (1925), fifteen-year old Don is searching for his missing parents, when he encounters a boy, Teddy, being held captive by some brigands. He mounts a daring rescue. Since they are both missing one or more parents, it is only logical that they join forces. But even after Teddy’s father is found, they stay together. Even after Don’s parents are found, they stay together.
They move to Hillville, New York, where they attend high school together and live with or near Don’s “bachelor uncles.” Every so often they embark on a new adventure involving pirates in the Sargasso Sea, giants in Pantagonia, headhunters in Borneo, gorillas in Africa, or renegade Aztecs in Mexico, and afterwards they always return to lives of happy domesticity. They never discuss the possibility of one day parting. Their homoromance is permanent.
Then, instead of saying goodbye with a promise to visit, Sandy asks that Ken come live with him forever. Ken is so overcome with emotion that he can barely assent. Most novels end with the promise of a permanent relationship, but here it is two boys, not a boy and a girl, who will live happily ever after.