Wednesday, June 17, 2009

40 Years Ago Today From DC Comics -- Star Spangled War Stories #146

Star Spangled War Stories #146 (On Sale: June 17, 1969) has an Enemy Ace cover by Joe Kubert and a declaration that this is a "Special Issue!" That is of course DC talk for reprints!.

There is a very short Joe Kubert drawn framing sequence around the two reprints regarding a new pilot who, as von Hammer puts it, is "mistaken...if you believe only you live in fear of the killer skies!" The first is (Balloon for a Hawk) from Our Fighting Forces #60 by Bob Haney and Russ Heath and concerns the first American to fly with the French. The unnamed Lieutenant plays a bar-room game his first night in France with the French pilots where they throw darts at balloons representing the Germans. The Lieutenant hits the balloon representing the German ace known as the Hawk. But real combat proves more difficult and on his first mission he is shot down by the Hawk, barely making it back to the field before crashing.

When he recovers he is grounded by the French Colonel. But one day, as a Spad is landing The Hawk shoots it down and the Lieutenant leaps for a nearby plane and gives chase. However, the Hawk is a better pilot and slowly lures the Lieutenant's plane over his own filed where he shoots it down and he is taken prisoner. He makes a run for it and hops into a hot-air balloon used to guard the field against strafing. He casts off and is soon facing down the Hawk again, balloon against Fokker. The balloon eventually catches fire and he once again plummets to the ground, only the torn balloon gets caught in a tree breaking his fall and as the Hawk moves in for the kill, the Lieutenant fires the balloons guns and blasts the Hawk out of the sky.

The second is "Brother Enemy" from All-American Men of War #101 by Hank Chapman, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.

Edited by Joe Kubert.

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