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"Blackhawk: "The Sunken Island of Death"": One day, near the center of the Atlantic Ocean, and right in the middle of an important shipping lane, a steep, rocky mountain top suddenly juts up from the ocean surface. American, British, and German naval forces speed to the site, seeking to seize th



Appearing in Blackhawk: "The Sunken Island of Death"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • U.S. destroyer crews

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • 2 U.S. Destroyers
  • 1 British Dreadnought
  • 2 German Cruisers (Destroyed)
  • 5 Blackhawk 2-engine 1-tail fighter-bombers

Synopsis for Blackhawk: "The Sunken Island of Death"

One day, near the center of the Atlantic Ocean, and right in the middle of an important shipping lane, a steep, rocky mountain top suddenly juts up from the ocean surface. American, British, and German naval forces speed to the site, seeking to seize this strategic point. The Germans arrive first, in two fast heavy cruisers, and lay a ring of mines around the island, then send in a landing party, which discovers that they haven't gotten there first after all; the Blackhawks are already there! In a brief skirmish, the Germans are driven off the island and back to their vessels, two huge sea-raiders. One cruiser remains offshore, the other hurries west to attack an unguarded Allied convoy.

Blackhawk's team has been monitoring radio traffic and pieced together the cruiser's new mission. All five planes are sent out after the cruiser, leaving Blackhawk alone on the island. Captain Gorth returns with a second landing party; Blackhawk confronts them; and they spend some time hunting and chasing him across the weird rock formations and inexplicable tunnels of this island. Then the island begins to shake, and crack. They meet again at the landing party's longboat, on the island's shore, and Gorth gets the drop on Blackhawk. This is his chance to kill Blackhawk, so instead of shooting him right on the spot, Gorth sets him up in an escape-proof death-trap with some dynamite and the longboat. As a result, Blackhawk is floating out to sea, in their only boat, while the island continues to shake, crack, and tumble. The German cruiser races towards it, to retrieve the landing party, thus is crushed by tons of rock when the island explodes.

Meanwhile the other Blackhawks have attacked and destroyed the other German battlecruiser, and are on their way back to the new island. Chop Chop performs an astounding aerial stunt to get close enough to throw a meat cleaver, accurately enough to sever Blackhawk's bonds but not his hands, and sets him free, to airlift off from the dynamite boat, which also blows up mere seconds later. Chop Chop's clothing catches fire, and he's badly burned. Everyone returns to Blackhawk Island, where Chop Chop is hospitalized.

Appearing in Blue Tracer: "The Drums of Doom"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Boomerang Jones

Antagonists:

  • Herr Gaulieter
    • General Herman von Blutt (hook-handed, one-eyed, peg-legged)

Locations:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for Blue Tracer: "The Drums of Doom"

At Gestapo Headquarters, thrice-wounded battle hero General Herman von Blutt is assigned to catch the Blue Tracer. In service of the Fatherland, von Blutt has lost one eye, one hand, and one lower leg; so he has learned to be cautious. Days of intensive study and experimentation follow, and soon Blutt has a plan. The Blue Tracer is operating in Russia, and its favorite targets are fortifications and tanks. So in Russia, in line with a row of real Nazi bunkers, German engineers dig out an enormous pitfall, with a pivoting flat roof, topped off with fake fortifications and surrounded by fake tanks.

Russian observers spot the forts and a report reaches the Blue Tracer's secret hangar. Dunn and Jones immediately fly to the location, land, and rip thru the fortifications, right into the trap. Boomerang Jones is flung free and lands amid an avalanche of rubble; Bill Dunn is captured. The Blue Tracer is winched out of the pitfall and towed away. Night falls.

Boomerang has survived the crash, the fall, and the burial, and he digs himself loose and climbs out of the pit. He jumps a sentry and steals his uniform, then sneaks over to the field where the Blue Tracer is now on display. Jones sneaks past more sentries and boards the vehicle, then lays low for several hours. He has seen a gallows, freshly built and very close, so he knows where Bill will soon be, just not when.

At dawn, Bill is marched to the scaffold, while a row of snare drummers rattle out a death roll. They get him all noosed up and ready to drop, before the Blue Tracer roars to life and crashes itself into the scaffold, stopping with the open roof hatch right below the (now hanging) Bill Dunn. Boomerang emerges and cuts Bill free, they drop into their vehicle, then take off and fly away.

Appearing in Loops and Banks: "Maria and the Spies"

Featured Characters:

  • Capt. Loops McCann, U.S.M.A.C.
  • Lieut. Banks Barrows, U.S.M.A.C.

Supporting Characters:

  • USMAC Major General

Antagonists:

  • Maria
  • Japanese spy
  • German spy

Other Characters:

  • Jimmie, enlisted sailor

Locations:

Vehicles:

Synopsis for Loops and Banks: "Maria and the Spies"

Loops and Banks are temporarily split up, with Capt. McCann sent to Russia as a technical adviser and Lieut. Barrows leading a flight of PBYs to Hong Kong. Four days later Banks and the flying boats arrive in Hong Kong, and a dance is held to celebrate the arrival of these much-needed aircraft. At the dance, Barrows meets an attractive young lady named Maria, and over the next four days gets romantically involved with her. Maria is a honeypot, with her Axis handlers working behind the scenes. After four days, the handlers lose patience, and grab Barrows, right in front of Maria. There's a scuffle and Banks is knocked out, but comes to enough to overhear them making a radio call, from which he learns that a submarine is preparing to sink a Russia-bound American cargo ship. Barrows knows that McCann is aboard the targeted ship; he rallies himself up, tackles the spies, then escapes from Maria's villa, racing away to warn the Allies about this.

Banks gets a PBY and flies out to the cargo ship's position, in the North Pacific Ocean, where he meets up with McCann and delivers the warning. The freighter has a cargo of depth charges and torpedoes, but no means of launching them, so some of these weapons are loaded aboard the Catalina. Not a minute too soon, either, as ahead of the freighter an enemy submarine surfaces and moves into firing position. The PBY takes off, and with some expert bombardiersmanship on Barrows's part, is able to disrupt the sub's first torpedo shot with a dropped depth charge. But the sub is submerging, so they need to get a torpedo into the water, but there's a problem with their improvised launching set-up. McCann falls out of the plane, but catches himself, while the torpedo hits the water, finds its mark, and kills it. Barrows has to flip the plane thru a loop maneuver to drop McCann back thru the bomb-bay hatch; insults are exchanged.

Back at Hong Kong they find Maria, dead from poison, with a written confession. Shortly later, elsewhere in Hong Kong, two suspected spies are gunned down in a barroom by an unknown assailant, shooting a military-issue Colt automatic. And the next day Loops and Banks are aboard a flight back to the USA.

Appearing in X Of The Underground: "Introducing X"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Bob Gray, of the New York Globe (First appearance)

Antagonists:

  • Occupation Troops
    • Kapitan Schweink
    • General Krautz
    • General Bruntz (Mentioned only) (Dies)
    • Herr Reidich, Gestapo (w/ cigarette holder, monocle, and jodphurs)

Locations:

Synopsis for X Of The Underground: "Introducing X"

In occupied France, Nazi troops routinely execute hundreds of civilians by firing squads. X, of the Underground, disguises herself as a Nazi Major, and disrupts one day's execution, greatly embarrassing the garrison's commandant in the process. General Krautz resolves to destroy this enemy, and researches all reports of his activities. This is fruitless, he's supposedly been everywhere from Norway to Africa, killing and destroying all manner of targets. Krautz decides it's not all the same guy.

A reporter from still-neutral America arrives, Bob Gray, New York Globe, to interview Gen. Krautz. X, disguised as a male reporter, tags along. They meet Herr Reidich of the Gestapo, who boasts to them about how cleverly the Gestapo is about to capture the elusive X. While he's prattling on, X drops a knock-out gas grenade onto the floor, steals some important plans, and departs. Bob Gray, completely surprised, has to punch the pistol-waving Reidich out, to get out of the gassed office, then he follows the other reporter, up the street and into an apartment building. There he is met by a glamorous woman, who knows his name. She pretends to not be X, but Gray sees right thru her. He smooches her and she pistol whips him unconscious, and departs, but leaves him a tantalizing note.

Appearing in Shot and Shell: "Two Nuts in Norway"

Featured Characters:

  • Col. Sam Shot
  • Slim Shell

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • British Commandos

Locations:

  • Norway
    • Spitzbergen (destination, not reached)
    • Secret Radio and Submarine Supply Base, behind Black Gold Mountain

Vehicles:

  • Shot & Shell's blue fighter plane (captured)

Synopsis for Shot and Shell: "Two Nuts in Norway"

Needing fuel, Shot and Shell land in Norway, where the occupying troops confiscate their fighter plane and try to arrest them. They punch their way out of that confrontation, hide in a swamp, find and steal a motorboat, and head for Spitzbergen. They encounter some English Commandos using howitzers to blow up some Norwegian coal mines. The Brits arrest the Yanks and lock them up with some captured German troops. Amongst themselves the Germans gloat, out loud, that the stupid Britishers will never find their secret submarine base behind Black Gold Mountain. Colonel Shot eloquently passes this info along to the Royal Army and in the process clears up the misunderstanding that led to his and Shell's imprisonment.

Appearing in Yankee Eagle: "Yankee Eagle and the Blonde Torch Singer!!!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • George, Chief of Naval Secret Service

Antagonists:

  • The Commander (Apparent Death)
    • gambling ship Captain (wears a monocle) (Apparent Death)
    • Joe "the Knife" (probably dies)
    • "One Shot" (probably dies)
    • more gangsters (most or all are killed)

Other Characters:

  • Maisie Tenant

Locations:

  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • gambling ship anchored 12 miles from shore, off Hampton Roads, Virginia

Vehicles:

  • Gambling Ship (Destroyed)
  • Dinghy
  • at least two U.S. destroyers
  • Whaleboat
  • Troop-carrying Submarines (Mentioned only)

Synopsis for Yankee Eagle: "Yankee Eagle and the Blonde Torch Singer!!!"

Late one night walking home from a party, Jerry Noble abruptly encounters Maisie Tenant, as she's being thrown out of a moving taxi. They pick themselves off the pavement. The girl throwers circle the block and return, and this time one of them shoots her. Very luckily for her, the compact in her purse deflects the shot. This girl claims to be a singer, getting fired from a gig out on a gambling ship, bossed by "the Commander". Jerry ducks into an all-night diner and uses the pay phone to call his boss at the Naval Secret Service. They have been looking for the Commander for a while. Jerry promises Maisie a new audition with the Commander, if she leads him to him. So he ends up rowing a dinghy for twelve nautical miles, out to the gambling ship. Also she sings. Maisie is very bad at singing, plus loud, and her caterwauling alerts the ship's look-outs. The casino ship is crowded with gangsters, and some of those are Nazis, as is the Commander. As soon as she and Jerry have boarded, one of them lunges at Maisie with a knife, but very luckily for her, her big belt buckle blocks the stab, then Jerry head-butts the stabber, hard enough to knock him out. Then he pastes a printed "Yankee Eagle" stamp onto the guard's forehead.

Two more gangsters find the couple, one of them shoots at Maisie, but very luckily for her she stumbles at just the right moment to drop out of the path of the shot. But this time it's Jerry who gets knocked out, and trussed up, before the Commander comes along to do some gloating. This was all an elaborate trap, set to catch the Yankee Eagle himself. He then reveals the big plan: German spies have constructed a tunnel, to Norfolk, Virginia, from this spot, and will soon use troop-carrying submarines to invade the Naval Base there. Jerry kicks the Commander unconscious, then needs Maisie's help to escape. She's pretty sore about not getting an audition, but she helps out, and soon Jerry Noble is in the radio room, alerting Naval Intelligence to the situation. Soon some U.S. destroyers are approaching. The casino ship packs some concealed naval guns, and shots are exchanged. Jerry and Maisie jump over the side, and escape the doomed gambling ship. They bob around in the ocean for over half an hour before Maisie's terrible singing gets the attention of a rescue boat.

Appearing in The Sniper: "The Story of Pierre Raval"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • General Kranz (with monocle)
    • Occupation Troops (some die)
  • Pierre Raval, Vichy Minister of War (Dies)

Other Characters:

  • Resistance Fighters (many die)

Locations:

Synopsis for The Sniper: "The Story of Pierre Raval"

After the French Army surrendered, thousands of French soldiers deserted from it, and sought to organize themselves into a rebel fighting force. Some of them approached the Minister of War, Pierre Raval, with this idea, and he ratted them out to his Nazi bosses, who wiped them out in an ambush at Bordeaux.

After that, the Sniper began hunting this traitor. One night Raval was meeting with General Kranz, in a big house in Bordeaux. The Sniper set up a killing shot at Raval, shooting one of his distinctive bullets, and narrowly missed him on purpose. After that he invaded the house, picking off sentries and leaving mocking messages, separating Raval from his guardians. Raval fled the house and hid in the sewer system, where he encountered more German soldiers. The Sniper just played cat and mouse with them, killing them off one by one, leaving Raval for last, then shooting him.

Appearing in Death Patrol: "Mademoiselle From Armentieres"

Featured Characters:

  • The Death Patrol
    • Del Van Dyne (Apparent Death)
    • Chief Chuckalug
    • Hank
    • King Hotintot
    • Boris
    • The Patchwork Kid (aka Frere Jacques)
    • Mademoiselle From Armentieres (First appearance)

Antagonists:

  • Hitler
    • Hermann Göring
    • Rudolf Hess
      • Nazi Officers & Officials (some die)

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • Death Patrol's unique customized warplanes

Synopsis for Death Patrol: "Mademoiselle From Armentieres"

Del Van Dyne disguises himself as Adolf Hitler, in order to play a strategic prank on Hitler. Meanwhile in France, an assassin is sent to Berlin, to assassinate Hitler. That night the Death Patrol stealthily land their planes in a field near Berlin, and the Mademoiselle from Armentieres parachutes into the same area.

The Death Patrol arrive at the Wilhelmstrasse, dressed up as Adolf Hitler and six new Nazi generals. "Hitler" gives his elite underlings a shocking set of written orders. They are to destroy a fleet of newly manufactured dive bombers, release all concentration camp prisoners, and proclaim full equality for all non-Aryans. Several high-ranking Nazis are liquidated for resisting these orders, but they are soon carried out. Göring reports to "Hitler" on the progress of the reforms, and just as "Hitler" is about to order him to surrender to the Allies, the girl from Armentieres climbs to a window behind him, aims carefully, and shoots him in the back.

Del's wig falls off as he hits the floor, and all present realize the deception is over. The Death Patrol, joined by Mademoiselle, fight their way out of the room, and flee the building. While they are running, somebody nearby announces that the real Hitler has been found, tied up, and more pursuers turn out after them. The Death Patrol escape back to the field where they left their planes, and fly back to England, with Mademoiselle from Armentieres flying Van Dyne's plane. Back in England, she officially joins the team, now wearing the grey and black stripes of the Death Patrol.

Appearing in Secret War News: "Nazi Terror Trapped by Trawler"

Featured Characters:

  • LCDR A.H. Callaway, of Sydney, Australia
    • Officers & Crew of HMS Lady Shirley

Antagonists:

  • 44 Officers & Crew of U-boat, captured alive

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • HMS Lady Shirley, armed trawler
  • U-boat

Synopsis for Secret War News: "Nazi Terror Trapped by Trawler"

A British naval trawler exchanges gunfire with a German submarine; both ships are heavily damaged. The sub gets the worst of it, and sinks, but not before the trawler crew can capture the U-boat crew. The trawler barely limps back into port at Gibraltar.

Appearing in Atlantic Patrol: "Pilot's Sacrifice"

Featured Characters:

  • Atlantic Patrol

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • Convoy Crews
    • biplane pilot (Dies)

Locations:

Vehicles:

  • USN Destroyer
  • Focke-Wulf Kurier (Destroyed)
  • catapult-launched scouting plane (Destroyed)

Synopsis for Atlantic Patrol: "Pilot's Sacrifice"

The Atlantic Patrol spots a long-range German bomber en route to attack a convoy and radios a warning. A catapult-launched, lightly armed, amphibious bi-plane is deployed by the convoy, but is heavily out-gunned by the 4-engine bomber, and is soon on fire and almost out of control. The pilot suicide-dives his plane into the bomber and saves the convoy at the cost of his own life.

Notes

  • Published by Comic Magazines, Inc.
  • Blackhawk:
    • This issue features sheet music The Song of the Blackhawks by Richard French, (not the same as the one they sing in-story), which includes the first appearance of their battle cry, "Hawk-aa!" (here spelled "Haw-kah").
    • The Sunken Island Of Death is reprinted in The Blackhawk Archives, Volume One.
    • Besides Blackhawk, Hendrickson, and Olaf, there had to be at least three more Blackhawk pilots on the new island, because five planes went after the westbound cruiser, and Chop Chop rode along with Olaf.
    • The Germans laid a ring of mines around that island. The chronicles are unclear as to whether those survived the island-annihilating eruption.
    • 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:
    • First issue for Mademoiselle From Armentieres, who then appears in Military Comics #9, #10, and #11, then leaves the team.
    • In this series, Germany is called "Naziland".
  • Loops and Banks destroy an Axis submarine, of undetermined nationality. German and Japanese espionage agents were working in close cooperation, at least in Hong Kong, in this story.
  • First issue for X, of the Underground by Vernon Henkel. This series runs until Military Comics #13.
    • Like her enemy Reidich, of the Gestapo, X uses a lengthy cigarette holder.
  • In the first and last panels of his story, The Sniper breaks the Fourth Wall to introduce and conclude the tale.
  • Last issue of Military Comics for Yankee Eagle, which later appears in Smash Comics, from #38 to #47.
    • None of Jerry's animal assistants are in this story, and he meets no new ones. No use is made at all of his single super power.
    • Jerry pastes a sticker on the forehead of a knocked-out gangster, and calls it the "Sign of the Yankee Eagle".
    • Jerry gets head-konked unconscious with a pistol butt. This would seem to be his first full-on concussion. He was hit in the head in Military Comics #6, but on that occasion he only faked unconsciousness.
  • Also appearing in this issue of Military Comics were:
    • Inferior Man: "The Stolen Tractor Cannon" by Al Jaffee

Trivia

  • Bob Powell signed his Loops and Banks story as "Bud Ernest".



See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

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