"Blackhawk: "The Vial Of Death"": Blackhawk, Hendrickson, Olaf, and Chop Chop break into a Gestapo office in the Bavarian Alps, beat up some soldiers, and steal a secret formula. But their airborne escape is disrupted by German fighters, and Blackhawk's plane is shot down! He pancakes, escapes t
- An enemy of Mankind ... and a symbol of Nazi brutality has perished! WHO IS NEXT? ... Whose evil acts will soon cause his undoing at the hands of the ..... SNIPER!
- 1 Synopsis for Blackhawk: "The Vial Of Death"
- 2 Appearing in Blackhawk: "The Vial Of Death"
- 3 Synopsis for Blue Tracer: "To Kill a Commander"
- 4 Appearing in Blue Tracer: "To Kill a Commander"
- 5 Synopsis for Loops & Banks: "The Invasion of Iceland"
- 6 Appearing in Loops & Banks: "The Invasion of Iceland"
- 7 Synopsis for Miss America: "The Crime School"
- 8 Appearing in Miss America: "The Crime School"
- 9 Synopsis for Shot & Shell: "Clothes Make the Men"
- 10 Appearing in Shot & Shell: "Clothes Make the Men"
- 11 Synopsis for Yankee Eagle: "The Trap For Jerry Noble"
- 12 Appearing in Yankee Eagle: "The Trap For Jerry Noble"
- 13 Synopsis for Death Patrol: "The Painted Lady Patrol"
- 14 Appearing in Death Patrol: "The Painted Lady Patrol"
- 15 Synopsis for The Sniper: "The Fiend of the Wilhelmstrasse"
- 16 Appearing in The Sniper: "The Fiend of the Wilhelmstrasse"
- 17 Synopsis for Secret War News: "Who Is Monsieur X?"
- 18 Appearing in Secret War News: "Who Is Monsieur X?"
- 19 Notes
- 20 See Also
- 21 Recommended Reading
- 22 Links and References
Synopsis for Blackhawk: "The Vial Of Death"
Blackhawk, Hendrickson, Olaf, and Chop Chop break into a Gestapo office in the Bavarian Alps, beat up some soldiers, and steal a secret formula. But their airborne escape is disrupted by German fighters, and Blackhawk's plane is shot down! He pancakes, escapes the burning plane, steals a nearby German staff car, and escapes again, driving toward Mount Heffel. Eventually the road becomes too steep; Blackhawk abandons the car and hikes onward, but is knocked down and buried by a snow-slide. Elsa Hammel and Pierre see it happen, and are on skis; they rush to his rescue, and despite Pierre's objections, carry him back to Professor Hammel's chateau.
Meanwhile Olaf and Hendrickson and Chop Chop Chop have returned to Blackhawk Island, where they rally up a rescue posse, and go flying back to Bavaria.
When he wakes up, Blackhawk recognizes Elsa, and is looking for Professor Hammel, the famous scientist. Hammel steps into the room. Professor Hammel has developed an extremely deadly strain of bacteria, which the Nazis plan to use to wipe out London. Blackhawk tells tham that he's got the formula for the germs, but it seems that the fame-hungry Professor is okay with the attack plan, and he's got a handgun pointed at Blackhawk; he wants his formula back. Pierre grabs Hammel from behind and disarms him, while Elsa explains that the professor has been in Gestapo custody, where he endured a lot of beatings; he's no longer really himself. Right then, the Gestapo show up, and they know Blackhawk is in the house! Old Hammel rats out Blackhawk, but the officer in charge beats him to death anyway. Elsa flings an oil lamp in the officer's face, leaving him blinded, stunned, and on fire. The house catches fire.
Meanwhile in the attic, Blackhawk is beating up some Nazis, then escapes out a window. Elsa jumps out of a high window and Blackhawk catches her. They put on skis and zigzag away, with many Nazis in hot pursuit. They encounter some ski-patrolling German soldiers and evade them, but farther up on the mountain is a bigger problem: the shooting has started an avalanche! Blackhawk and Elsa avoid it by ski-jumping across a crevasse, but many German soldiers are swept away.
Just when they seem to be in the clear, Blackhawk and Elsa are attacked by at least eight fighter planes, and Elsa is mortally wounded. Scant seconds later, the Blackhawk Squadron arrives, and engages the fighters. Olaf isolates one plane and forces it to land, for Blackhawk's getaway convenience. Blackhawk takes off in the "borrowed" Messerschmitt, and dogfights with two other German fighters, luring them both into a cliffside crash. The other Blackhawks account for the remaining German planes.
Appearing in Blackhawk: "The Vial Of Death"
- German General
- Gestapo Headquarters Staff: Fritz, others
- two Gestapo officers, with monocles
- squad of infantry
- Professor Hammel (Dies)
- Elsa Hammel (Dies)
- Pierre (Hammel's assistant)
- Blackhawk Island
- London (Mentioned only)
- Hammel's Germ Warfare Formula
- Blackhawk 2-engine fighter-bombers
- Messerschmitt fighters, at least four (1st dogfight), at least eight (2nd dogfight)
Synopsis for Blue Tracer: "To Kill a Commander"
Nazi paratroopers are dropped over Iceland. The Blue Tracer intercepts the transport plane and shoots it down, but the soldiers are already landing. They take a position above an important road into Reykjavik, and wait, planning to assassinate the Commander of the island nation's defenses. Bill calls in a warning to HQ, but the Commander's car has no radio, so Bill now searches for his car, and for the paratroops. They all come together at the same time, out in the hills, as when a hidden machine gun nest opens fire on the Commander's staff car. the Blue Tracer swoops in and disrupts the ambush. Dunn lands the bulletproof machine, and while Boomerang mans the swivel machine gun, the Commander and his staff scramble out of their bullet-riddled car and onto the Blue Tracer, for a quick exit. By this time, Boomerang has killed all of the troops except their leader, whom he pursues on foot. The German throws a grenade at Jones and misses, then Jones throws a boomerang at him and knocks him out.
Appearing in Blue Tracer: "To Kill a Commander"
- two Icelandic soldiers (Dies)
- Sir Newton, Defense Commander
- British and American troops
- Blue Tracer
- Lockheed P-38 unarmed courier (Destroyed)
- Junkers Ju-52 armed transport (Destroyed)
Synopsis for Loops & Banks: "The Invasion of Iceland"
Capt. Loops McCann and Lieut. Banks Barrows, troublemakers, are transferred from Hawaii to Iceland. The flight takes several days. Their new C.O. puts them on 24-hour parachute training duty, so for two weeks they carry loads of paratroopers out to the practice field. One day there's an accident, a snagged parachute on another drop-plane, and the two fliers perform a spectacular aerial rescue. But the plane they borrowed to do the rescue was very low on gas, and Loops is hard pressed to land safely, out in the hills. They carry the rescued paratrooper to level ground, but it's no use, he's dying, and before he dies, he tells them that he's really a spy, and that his country is preparing to invade Iceland, tomorrow morning, with a very large force.
McCann and Barrows race back to base with the warning, and soon the whole of Iceland is at general quarters, ready to fight to the last Marine. Hundreds of enemy warplanes arrive; dozens of U.S. interceptors take off to engage them. Incoming paratroopers meet small handfuls of infantry, backed by light and medium tanks. An enemy fighter plane attacks Loops' fighter, but Banks shoots it down. Overall however, the Marines are outnumbered five to one, and are being knocked out of the air, and being pushed back on the ground. That's when a U.S.Naval carrier task force shows up, and throws several squadrons of fresh planes into the fight, while troop landing ships pull up to the shore and send in several companies of fresh Marines. By the end of the day the invading forces are defeated, and Loops and Banks go right back to arguing with each other about anything and everything.
Appearing in Loops & Banks: "The Invasion of Iceland"
- old C.O., Hawaii
- new C.O., Iceland
- German Military: Luftwaffe, Paratroopers
- Reformed Paratrooper Spy (Dies)
- USMC warplanes, many
- German warplanes, many more
- USMC light and medium tanks
- USN carriers and battleships and troop landing ships
Synopsis for Miss America: "The Crime School"
Joan Dale discovers a gang of juvenile pickpockets, and Miss America busts them, by turning one person's pocket into a mousetrap, then gluing the soles of the thieves' feet to the ground. The boys are tremendously impressed, and they tell her all about their mentor, Hank, and his Anti-Crime Club. Right in front of the boys, Miss America becomes Joan Dale, and accompanies them to their clubhouse. She meets Hank and he invites her along on their field trip, to tour the Ace Steel Mill. Also he telephones his partner and calls for a hit on Joan. At the enormous steel mill, the boys quietly loosen some levers and drop some nuts and bolts into some machinery, until a real problem is developed: a vat of boiling steel coming loose from its guide rails! Also at that moment a hit squad of Nazi gunmen takes position on a catwalk, to block escape.
In a blinding flash, Joan becomes Miss America, sends the incandescent mass of steel flying at the Nazis, encircles them with it, and forms it into a small barred cell around them; they give up. Hank sends a wrecking ball swinging towards her; she turns it into a colorful rubber ball and bounces it back to head-konk Hank; he's out. A platoon of uniformed Storm Troopers runs in and opens fire on Miss America; she pulls some boiling steel into a magical sphere then sends it flying at the Brown Shirts. When the smoke clears, all that remain are goose-stepping toy soldiers who march into a puddle then evaporate as steam.
The juvenile offenders witness all this, and vow to abandon crime.
Appearing in Miss America: "The Crime School"
- Tim Healy, Joan's boss
- his students
- Fritz, Hank's partner
- small squad of plainclothes gunmen
- large squad of uniformed Storm Troopers (Apparent Death)
Synopsis for Shot & Shell: "Clothes Make the Men"
Shot and Shell land their fighter plane in Scotland. Well, actually, they land in India, by mistake, where they are soon set upon by ruffians, head-konked unconscious, and divested of their outer clothes. The ruffians are actually Gestapo agents, changing from one disguise to the next. After recovering their senses, Sam and Slim steal some sheets from a clothesline and toga themselves up, then hike into town, while noticing that the roadsigns are downright unreadable. They enter a town but the locals get together as a mob and chase them out of it. They are puzzled that nobody seems to be wearing kilts. Then they spot their own clothes, being walked around in by the thieves! Shot and Shell give chase. This leads them to a hotel where Gestapo agents are stashing some important secrets, and gold. There's a big fistfight, with Gestapo losing, before the native police storm into the suite. Shot and Shell, back in their own clothes, punch their way out of the hotel, and flee. They make it back to their airplane and take off.
Appearing in Shot & Shell: "Clothes Make the Men"
- Indian Civilians
- Indian Police
- Shot and Shell's blue and yellow fighter plane.
Synopsis for Yankee Eagle: "The Trap For Jerry Noble"
The U.S. Pacific Fleet is holding war maneuvers off the coast of California, when explosions rock two large warships. Hiding in a nearby fog bank, aboard a small sailboat, is Tami, a rogue Japanese naval agent, working for "the Master", in seeking to draw the U.S. and Japan into a war with one another. A flying eagle approaches the sailboat, and speeding closely behind it is a U.S. destroyer! Tami recognizes the eagle as belonging to Jerry Noble. The destroyer opens fire, and the sailboat sends one brief radio message before being blown apart.
The next day at Jerry Noble's ranch, two Japanese agents with big nets drive onto the property in an antique car, and hunt for Jerry's pet eagle, Sam. They get very lucky and capture the big white eagle, but Sam's mate attacks them, driving one of them off the edge of a cliff. The survivor has another net and snags the second eagle. He cages them and brings them back to the secret spy base, in an Oriental restaurant in the city. His boss is very pleased; soon Jerry Noble will fall into their trap.
Some time later, Jerry Noble's pet puma finds the dead agent, and runs to find Jerry, several miles away. The big cat gets his attention and draws him back to the shattered body. Noble recognizes him, as he's been following members of his gang around for some time now. From this, he figures out that Sam has been captured, and he hurries to the ranch house and then into the city, because he already knows where the spies hang out. When he gets to the restaurant, they're ready for him, and he gets head-konked, but only pretends to black out. This gets him carried down to the "shrine of the rat," a little room down by the water, where he spots a radio transmitter. They lock him in there with an open cage full of rats; Jerry gets the rats onto his side, but it takes several hours. His new rat friends gnaw an escape route thru the deck. By 1 a.m., he's in a police squad car, headed for Naval Intelligence HQ, where he tells Cdr. Alcock what he's found and what's going on.
When the cops come back to raid the restaurant, Jerry is with them, and under the dock he finds a speedboat, which wasn't there before. He investigates but has to hide when the spies return, and ends up riding out to sea with them, then being discovered. He fights his way free and knocks one spy into the ocean; this spy, Aki, can't swim, so Jerry jumps in and rescue-swims him back to shore. So now this guy changes sides and provides some detailed information about the spy gang, including the location of a secret cable station, and "the Master's" offshore hide-out. Jerry and Aki head out to this little island to visit "the Master", and Jerry brings along a flock of cave owls, which savagely attack the spies, who quickly surrender.
Appearing in Yankee Eagle: "The Trap For Jerry Noble"
- Sam the Eagle
- Sam's Mate
- a dozen Rats
- flock of Cave Owls
- Tami (Dies)
- sailboat crew (Dies)
- Restaurant Manager (secretly The Master)
- Aki, agent (reforms)
- Matsiaka, agent (Dies)
- more agents
- Naval Intelligence
- Commander Alcock
- Island w/ Spy Base
- Jerry Noble's Ranch
- Naval Intelligence Headquarters
- city w/ Oriental restaurant
- two U.S. Battleships (Damaged)
- sailboat (Destroyed)
- U.S. Destroyer
Synopsis for Death Patrol: "The Painted Lady Patrol"
Hitler organizes a crack team of six female pilots and directs them to destroy the Death Patrol. These killers drop by parachute at night into the English countryside, and show up at the Death Patrol's aerodrome in their pretty civilian dresses. The Patrollers are wary and ill at ease around them, so the girls change tactics. That night they toss a grenade into the team's barracks; Gramps spots it and flings himself onto it, and his teammates see it happen and are certain he's dead. The fleeing killers steal a plane and fly back to Germany, closely pursued by the enraged Death Patrol. On landing they are surrounded and overrun by a horde of Gestapo agents. The arrest doesn't go smoothly, and all six of the Painted Lady Patrol fliers get tossed into a river, but after a while the Death Patrol are dragged away in chains, to a Gestapo torture facility. Individually they beat up roomful after roomful of their captors, escape the building, and stealthily make their way to the airfield.
The planes are too well guarded, so they backtrack, and find the barracks of their Nazi counterparts, with their river-drenched clothing hanging out on a clothesline to dry. The Death Patrol steal these clothes and leave behind their own distinctive uniforms, then vanish again. The girl aviators have little choice other than wearing these as they run to report the escape, and it works out fatally for them, as the Gestapo guns them down before they get close enough to see who is who. Meanwhile the Death Patrol vamp their way past the unwary sentries, steal their own airplanes, and escape back to England.
Appearing in Death Patrol: "The Painted Lady Patrol"
- Colonel Rider
- Death Patrol's unique customized warplanes
Synopsis for The Sniper: "The Fiend of the Wilhelmstrasse"
Recently, Hans Kronitz developed a formula for turning sane men into homicidal psychopaths, and the Gestapo tested it on some villagers in an occupied country. Now, the Sniper announces his intention to kill Herr Kronitz, and the Gestapo assigns a heavy rotation of soldiers to guard him. Disguised as an elderly janitor, the Sniper gets into the German Chemical Trust, then changes clothes and confronts Kronitz at riflepoint. Some soldiers burst into the room, and Kronitz flees while they get gunned down by the Sniper. The chase gets out onto a rooftop, where Kronitz douses the Sniper with poison gas, then escapes back into the building thru a skylight. An opportunistic soldier runs up to capture the Sniper, a mistake which gets him strangled. Then the Sniper puts on the soldier's uniform, gets downstairs, sends the other soldiers on a wild goose chase, then gets back to hunting Kronitz.
After playing cat and mouse with him for some time, the Sniper finally chases Kronitz into his own torture facility, where he frees several prisoners, and some fires break out, then he corners the chemist behind a wooden pillar. For the moment Kronitz seems to be safe, but the Sniper ricochets a steel-jacketed round off the wall behind him, and he's done for. For good measure, the falls thru a wooden railing and into a fire. The sniper makes a brief, grim soliloquy, then departs.
Appearing in The Sniper: "The Fiend of the Wilhelmstrasse"
- German Chemical Trust
Synopsis for Secret War News: "Who Is Monsieur X?"
In Calais Harbor the Gestapo had a floating prison, converted from a rusted-out freighter, where over 100 British prisoners were held. One night Monsieur X raided this facility, killing several guards and soldiers, stealing the ship itself, and freeing a large number of prisoners. The ship was delivered safely to the British military, but Monsieur X accompanied it no further; he dove over the side and swam from mid-English-Channel back to Calais.
Appearing in Secret War News: "Who Is Monsieur X?"
- Monsieur X
- 100 British Prisoners
- Nazi Prison Ship (Stolen)
- Nazi Patrol Boat (Destroyed)
- 2 Nazi Sub Chasers (one destroyed)
- Nazi Destroyer (Destroyed)
- RAF Scouting Plane
- RN Light Cruiser
- Published by Comic Magazines, Inc.
- The Vial Of Death is reprinted in The Blackhawk Archives, Volume One.
- Blackhawk gets shot down for the first time, that we know of, in this story. He got shot down a lot of times in his long and dangerous career, He didn't always crash, when shot down, although this time he did. He survived at least seventeen aircraft crashes. Being a Blackhawk is dangerous.
- The proper Grumman XF5F Skyrockets will be back in Military Comics #15. This issue continues the use of the single-rudder modified version.
- Death Patrol:
- In this story, Gramps apparently dies, when he throws himself onto a live grenade and it goes off. Gramps will return in Military Comics #12
- New member Boris can break steel chains with his bare hands.
- Loops and Banks are junior officers in the United States Marine Air Corps.
- Last issue for Tom Hickey on Miss America, replaced next issue by Maurice Kashuba.
- Miss America breaks the Fourth Wall in the final panel, tipping the reader to a big wink.
- Secret War News: "This is an actual story based upon inside facts gathered from British Information Bureaus."
- Shot and Shell both get head-konked unconscious.
- The Sniper: Unlike almost all other monocle-wearing Nazi villains, Herr Kronitz has difficulty keeping his eyepiece in place; it falls out twice, and gets broken the second time.
- Yankee Eagle:
- Also appearing in this issue of Military Comics were:
- Diary of a Draftee: "Potato's Revenge" by Tex Blaisdell
- "The Avenger" (text story)
- World War II Recommended Reading
- Adventures in the Rifle Brigade (Volume 1)
- Adventures in the Rifle Brigade (Volume 2)
- All-American Men of War (Volume 1)
- All-Out War (Volume 1)
- Blackhawk (Volume 1)
- Blitzkrieg (Volume 1)
- Capt. Storm (Volume 1)
- Four-Star Battle Tales (Volume 1)
- G.I. Combat (Volume 1)
- Men of War (Volume 1)
- Military Comics (Volume 1)
- Our Army at War (Volume 1)
- Our Fighting Forces (Volume 1)
- Sgt. Rock (Volume 1)
- Sgt. Rock (Volume 2)
- Star-Spangled War Stories (Volume 1)
- Unknown Soldier (Volume 1)
- Weird War Tales (Volume 1)
Links and References
- Military Comics #6, Military Comics #13, Military Comics #19, Military Comics #28, Military Comics #30, Military Comics #33, Blackhawk #9, Military Comics #39, Military Comics #42, Modern Comics #44, Blackhawk #10, Blackhawk #12, Blackhawk #13, Modern Comics #69, Blackhawk #18, Blackhawk #21, Blackhawk #36, Blackhawk #64, Blackhawk #80, Blackhawk #81, Blackhawk #85, Blackhawk #88 May 1955.
- Military Comics #4, Military Comics #6, Military Comics #13, Military Comics #14, Military Comics #19, Military Comics #33, Blackhawk #9, Military Comics #39, Modern Comics #61, Modern Comics #83, Modern Comics #91, Blackhawk #64, Blackhawk #70, Blackhawk #80, Blackhawk #81, Blackhawk #83, & Blackhawk #88