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"Blackhawk: "Desert Death"": A hooded figure kidnaps a woman from an Arab compound. The kidnapper is Blackhawk and the woman is Edda, a beautiful blonde Nazi agent. She knows the secret plan the Nazis have devised to destroy the Suez Canal, the "life-line of the democracies". The other Nazi agen


Quote1 Listen Buddy, we don't like it when you mistreat our prisoners !! Quote2
Loops McCann, while walloping a prisoner-mistreating prisoner

Military Comics #4 is an issue of the series Military Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of November, 1941.

Appearing in Blackhawk: "Desert Death"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • two more Blackhawks, unidentifiable

Antagonists:

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • squadron of Blackhawk modified Grumman fighter-bombers
  • squadron of German light bombers (many destroyed)
  • squadron of German fighters (many destroyed)

Synopsis for Blackhawk: "Desert Death"

A hooded figure kidnaps a woman from an Arab compound. The kidnapper is Blackhawk and the woman is Edda, a beautiful blonde Nazi agent. She knows the secret plan the Nazis have devised to destroy the Suez Canal, the "life-line of the democracies". The other Nazi agents set out to find her. Meanwhile, back at the Blackhawks' hideout in an Egyptian oasis, Edda is a prisoner, but casually asks Zeg to bring her a hairdresser so she can maintain her reputation as the most beautiful spy in Africa. Zeg does as she asks. Of course, the hairdresser is another Nazi agent and takes Edda's orders to the Nazi command. They raid the hideout and capture the Blackhawks. When the dwarfish Nazi leader attempts to shoot Blackhawk, Edda shoots him first, saying the "Black Tigress" will want Blackhawk alive.

At the Nazi headquarters, there is much talk of the Black Tigress, apparently a ruthless and powerful leader of the whole operation. Blackhawk is taken to her. Instead of the hag he expects, she is a shapely blonde in a belly dancer's outfit with a veil covering her face. She professes her love for him, saying she knew they were meant to be together the first time they met. This seems like a pretty obvious clue, but Blackhawk is oblivious and claims they have never met. The Black Tigress is not a woman to be scorned. She orders him to be hung upside down by his heels and whipped. The other Blackhawks languish in their cell, helpless to escape, except for Chop Chop, who has been drafted to cook for the bad guys. Somehow he causes an explosion, with a coffee pot, that releases the rest of the team. They rescue Blackhawk and they all make their way to their planes. The Germans have already taken off in their planes, to bomb a freighter loaded with ammunition in the Suez Canal. The theory is that the explosion will destroy the canal. There is a big dogfight that Blackhawk realizes is a diversion from the real attack. He flies off to find the real bomber, the Black Tigress. They battle, and both planes crash. The Black Tigress dies in Blackhawk's arms, her mask slipping off to reveal she is actually Edda.

Appearing in The Blue Tracer: "Trap For the Blue Tracer"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • Balkan Guerrilla P.O.W.s

Locations:

  • Eastern Europe
    • Balkans
      • Vardar Hills
        • Blue Tracer temporary base, in a cave
      • Ohrid Concentration Camp

Vehicles:

  • Blue Tracer
  • German armored personnel carriers (Destroyed)

Synopsis for The Blue Tracer: "Trap For the Blue Tracer"

In the Balkans, the Blue Tracer help the partisans fight the Nazis. Beautiful but deadly Nazi agent Nada disguises herself as a refugee peasant girl, and leads Bill and Boomerang into an ambush. They land the Blue Tracer inside the Ohrid Concentration Camp, and a gathered mass of "prisoners" turn out to be well-armed Nazi soldiers, and the Tracer is surrounded.

With some sudden unpredictable maneuvers, Wild Bill knocks over some soldiers and crashes the indestructible Blue Tracer into the camp's administration building, plows thru it, and gets the Tracer airborne, but the Germans knock it out of the air with antiaircraft cannonfire. It lands all wrong, and Dunn has some difficulty in getting it upright. Meanwhile dozens of prisoners are escaping from the shattered building and many of them rush to the aid of the Blue Tracer. By weight of numbers and frenzied desperation, the escapees overwhelm the better-armed guards, and chase them away from the big machine. Jones arrests Nada, who is turned over to the British authorities.

Appearing in Loops and Banks: "Saving the Columbia"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • US task force commander
  • PBM aircrew, (radioman and bombardier die)

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • USS North Carolina, battleship
    • squadron of pontoon biplane scout planes
  • U-6, Axis submarine (Destroyed)
  • USS Ranger, aircraft carrier
  • SS Columbia, civilian steamship
  • US Martin PBM Mariner patrol bomber (damaged)
  • US hospital ship

Synopsis for Loops and Banks: "Saving the Columbia"

"Banks" Barrows and "Loops" McCann fly a Martin PBM Mariner to bomb a U-Boat that is attacking a merchant vessel carrying a US ambassador to an important meeting. With the aircraft and the submarine both on the surface, the enemy attempts to torpedo the huge flying boat, but Banks is able to barely get it airborne in time to evade the shot. At too-close quarters, the sub's deck gun kills about half of the bomber's crew, and Barrows is wounded. Working together, Loops and Banks are able to drop a bomb onto the submarine and destroy it.

Appearing in Shot and Shell: "Two Freaks and the Greeks"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • Greek Guerrillas

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • stolen German bomber (Destroyed)
  • stolen Greek motorboat
  • German torpedo boat (Destroyed)

Synopsis for Shot and Shell: "Two Freaks and the Greeks"

Shot and Shell have their aircraft shot down, and parachute into occupied Greece. With some difficulty, they escape in a stolen motor launch, and in the process accidentally destroy a German torpedo boat.

Appearing in Miss America: "The Bandleader Spy"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Tim Healy, FBI

Antagonists:

  • Ramon, bandleader
  • Romboli, El Toro owner

Locations:

  • New York City
    • Daily Star Office
    • FBI HQ
    • El Toro night club
  • Camp Bragg

Synopsis for Miss America: "The Bandleader Spy"

Joan Dale quits the newspaper and joins the FBI. She investigates a gang of saboteurs posing as a Latin dance band, that uses music to send coded messages. Their plan is to call in a squadron of robot-controlled warplanes, to bomb some U.S. tanks and strafe a crowd of civilians. Miss America turns the tables on them by transforming their planes into gigantic live chickens, then turning a live torpedo into a large living fish, and continuing the magical trickery until she's made complete fools of the sabotage gang. By the time the police arrive to haul them away, all are dressed in barrels, with suspenders, and nothing else.

Despite this success, Joan's first day in the FBI ends in a pointless argument with her smug nitwit boss.

Appearing in Yankee Eagle: "The Fiddler and the Ape"

Featured Characters:

Animals:

  • Sam, eagle
  • Junior, great ape

Antagonists:

  • Westbruch, agent of an Enemy Power
    • Rapp, fiddle playing boss spy
      • Sloan, hench (Dies)
      • McCormack, hench (Dies)

Other Characters:

  • Midshipman Brad
  • Midshipman Norman

Locations:

Items:

  • U.S. Navy's new radiomagnetic depth charge device

Vehicles

  • stolen P.T. Boat
  • unlocked police car
  • Jerry Noble's red sedan

Synopsis for Yankee Eagle: "The Fiddler and the Ape"

Enemy agents make use of an ape to capture two Navy midshipmen, and also Jerry Noble, when he tries to stop them. The agents plan to take the middies' places for some sabotage. Jerry and the middies escape, and Jerry sends Sam the Eagle to drop grenades on the bad guys' getaway boat.

Appearing in Death Patrol: "The Five-Point Invasion of Britain"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Colonel Rider

Antagonists:

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • six home-built fighter planes

Synopsis for Death Patrol: "The Five-Point Invasion of Britain"

Two weeks go by with no enemy action; the grounded Death Patrol fliers are bored and annoyed and suspicious about this. One night, behind each others' backs, all six of them sneak out individually, each flies an unauthorized patrol, and each foils a different element of an enormous enemy invasion of England. Butch crashes his plane into an enemy troop transport, and does not make it back.

Colonel Rider energetically scolds the Death Patrol members for their unauthorized actions and for losing Butch.

Appearing in H.M.S. Barracuda: "The Plot to Sink the Barracuda"

Featured Characters:

  • First Lieutenant Skiff Wilkins, Royal Navy (Single appearance)

Supporting Characters:

  • HMS Barracuda Crew (Single appearance)
    • Petty Officer Howie, torpedo crew
      • Seaman Billy Wade
      • Seaman Dick Wade
      • Seaman Weatherspoon
      • Seaman Fraser

Antagonists:

Locations:

Items:

  • Mine Net

Vehicles:

  • HMS Barracuda, submarine
  • KMS Kronzprinz Albrecht, pocket battleship (damaged)
  • German flotilla of destroyers (one destroyed)
  • German group of mine layers

Synopsis for H.M.S. Barracuda: "The Plot to Sink the Barracuda"

Heinrich Himmler's Gestapo collaborates with Admiral von Ritter's Reich Navy to destroy the HMS Barracuda with a newly developed "mine net." Barracuda escapes the net and torpedoes the KMS Kronzprinz Albrecht, a pocket battleship.

Appearing in Secret War News: "Bismark Sunk"

Characters:

  • Royal Navy

Antagonists:

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • HMS Ark Royal, aircraft carrier
  • HMS Cossack, destroyer
  • HMS Dorsetshire, heavy cruiser
  • HMS Hood, battle cruiser (Destroyed)
  • HMS King George, battleship
  • HMS Maori, destroyer
  • HMS Norfolk, heavy cruiser
  • HMS Prince of Wales, battleship
  • HMS Ramillies, battleship
  • HMS Revenge, battleship
  • HMS Rodney, battleship
  • HMS Sheffield, battleship
  • HMS Suffolk, heavy cruiser
  • HMS Victorious, aircraft carrier
    • Albacore, torpedo bombers
  • HMS Zulu, destroyer
  • KMS Bismarck, pocket battleship (Destroyed)
  • KMS Prinz Eugen, battle cruiser
  • ORP Piorun (G65), Polish destroyer

Synopsis for Secret War News: "Bismark Sunk"

(nonfiction account of the sinking of HMS Hood by the KMS Bismarck, and the sinking of the Bismarck by the HMS Ark Royal, in May, 1941.)

Notes

  • Blackhawk:
    • Desert Death is reprinted in The Blackhawk Archives, Volume One.
    • Blackhawk endures prolonged severe torture, first time.[1]
    • Black Tigress deliberately crashes her plane into Blackhawk's, they both crash, and both survive. This is Blackhawk's first recorded plane crash.[2]
    • This story also included the first map of Blackhawk Island. Caption on the map describes it as "advantageously located somewhere in the North Sea," but the inset map shows it located in the North Atlantic Ocean. Caption on the splash page also calls it "their secret island in the Atlantic."
    • The Blackhawk planes in this story have the wrong kind of tail assembly to be Grumman XF5F Skyrockets.
  • Blue Tracer:
    • This story also included the "secret blueprints" of the Blue Tracer. This is the first mention of the vessel's "Duralium Armor"; we are not told what "Duralium" is or how Dunn obtained it.
  • First issue for Dave Berg on Death Patrol.
    • Unlike several other dead Death Patrol members, Butch O'Keefe will not be coming back.
  • First and last issue for H.M.S. Barracuda by Ed Wexler.
    • Lt. Wilkins is described as the HMS Barracuda's "owner."
    • Starting on page 4, the Barracuda's C.O.'s name changes from Skiff Wilkins to Bob Drake.
    • "Heligoland" seems to be a disguised version of Norway. It's German-friendly territory anyway.
    • The pocket battleship Kronzprinz Albrecht was hit by up to three torpedoes. When last seen, the Albrecht was still afloat.
  • Loops and Banks:
    • Banks gets wounded with antiaircraft cannonfire. At story's end he's aboard a hospital ship, looking for his clothes.
    • Another submarine is destroyed. Enemy is not explicitly identified as German, but it is a submarine crew of white guys.
  • This issue's Miss America story was revisited by Roy Thomas in Secret Origins (Volume 2) #26, which presented a retconned New Earth version of Miss America's encounter with Ramon and his gang.
    • First issue for the skimpy costume, still with no mask.
  • Secret War News
    • "This is an actual story based upon inside facts gathered from British Information Bureaus"
    • This issue's "Hero Stamp" commemorates Iggy Hilmartin, the "Wild Irishman."
  • Shot and Shell were on their way from Portugal to Scotland, at the end of last issue's episode, and this episode opens with them being shot down in Greece. This happens to them a lot.
  • Yankee Eagle
    • Jerry Noble keeps Sam, an eagle, in a small cage in his hotel room.
    • Jerry steals a half dozen grenades from a squad car, and hands them off to Sam. Do Annapolis cops carry around poorly-guarded supplies of grenades? Apparently so.
  • Also featured in this issue of Military Comics were:

Trivia

  • Bob Powell is credited as "Bud Ernest" on Loops and Banks.



See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

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