Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Our Army at War #203 (On Sale: December 10, 1968) is an 80 Page giant issue and sports a nice Sgt. Rock cover by Joe Kubert.

We begin with Sgt. Rock in "Easy's Had It" by the standard team of Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert. This very early Easy Co. story is from Our Army At War #103. Easy Company believes that Sgt. Rock is the core of the unit. If he dies, they don’t think Easy can go on. Rock tries to convince them that no soldier including him is irreplaceable. Rock's theory comes true when he is seriously wounded. Easy believes him dead. They fight on to avenge their leader's death. After the battle, Easy realizes Rock is still alive.

Next is the Haunted Tank in "Trap of the Dragon's Teeth" by Robert Kanigher and Russ Heath. This story is from G.I. Combat #98. Jeb and his team act as a scout for the larger Pershing tanks. Jeb finds anti-tank mines in a river and enemy tanks on the other side, but he can't warn the other tanks without alerting the enemy. When the other Allied tanks start across the river, Jeb is forced to open fire on the enemy tanks and shout a warning about the mines. The larger tanks are saved, but the Haunted Tank is heavily damaged by the battle.

While being towed, Jeb wishes that tanks had an early warning system. The ghost of General Stuart tells Jeb about Sam Simmons, a civil war soldier who sneezed whenever the enemy was near. Jeb suddenly develops physical ailments that act as an early warning system. A headache warns of an attack from above, while his foot pain indicates one from below. When Jeb's teeth begin to hurt, he is warned of Dragon's Teeth anti-tank traps. The warnings help the Haunted Tank survive several battles.

Mademoiselle Marie stars in "T.N.T. Spotlight" from Star Spangled War Stories #87 and is by Robert Kanigher and Mort Drucker. Mademoiselle Marie is contacted by the Allies to create a diversion, so that soldiers can get behind enemy lines on a recon mission. Marie's actions bring her to the attention of German Commandant Von Ekt. Von Ekt targets French citizens to lead Marie into a trap. Though she is momentarily captured, Marie successfully escapes and destroys her target, creating the diversion the Allied troops need.

Johnny Cloud is in "Battle Eagle" from All-American Men of War #85 and is by Robert Kanigher and Irv Novick. After returning from a mission, Johnny meets the family of one of his squadron, Sandy. Sandy's son Billy was expecting Johnny to be wearing traditional Indian garb and is disappointed by Johnny's normal appearance. When Billy is injured in a bombing raid, Johnny tries to please the boy by dressing up, but he can't find suitable apparel. Later, Johnny crashes his damaged fighter near the manor house of Lord Leslie. Leslie loans Johnny some traditional Indian battle gear. Johnny wears the outfit to the hospital to cheer the spirits of the injured boy.

Lastly Gunner and Sarge star in "Col. Hakawa's Birthday Party" from Our Fighting Forces #68 and is also by Robert Kanigher and Irv Novick. Gunner, Sarge, and a unit of marines defend an island position against repeated Japanese attacks. The Japanese commander Col. Hakawa is a practical joker and constantly plays booby-trap jokes on the marines. He sends an invitation to the marines for his birthday party hoping to lead them into a trap. Gunner and Sarge play their own joke by dropping dummy paratroopers on the enemy. Then they overrun the enemy position. Col. Hakawa escapes, but leaves another booby trap that the marines are barely able to avoid.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

1 comment:

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