Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Big Box o' Nasty Comics: Battlefield Action #65 and Attack #36

A friend gave me a box of about 75 comics from the seventies and eighties he got from an eccentric friend of his who was more a pack rat than a collector. Most of the comics are in poor condition, ragged, water damaged, and musty. I keep them separate from the rest of my collection, as if they'd be contagious somehow. But it's an interesting assortment of genres, from war to fantasy to superhero--published mostly by Marvel, DC, and Charlton. It's mostly stuff I'd never read, some I'd never heard of. Oddly enough, there's a Frank Miller era thirteen-issue Daredevil run in there. All that to say, it's an interesting assortment of issues, interesting enough for me to want to do a blog series on it. I doubt I'll finish it; I never get very far with these ideas. But it's entertaining me tonight.

Battlefield Action #65 (Charlton, Nov. 1980)

I couldn't find much info on the series. It started in the mid-1950's and ran into the mid-eighties. Fairly standard war comics.
"The Hero Type"
The best story of the bunch. A lieutenant rushes into battle despite crippling fear because he wants to be a good example to his men.
"How Bad Can it Be?"
Way too short to have any real impact, this story is about a dad telling his son why he wears his war medal all the time.
"Strong Point"
Three soldiers on a reconnaissance mission remain of an original group of nine  and take out Nazis in a small French village almost singlehandedly by sneaking onto town through a drainpipe. Fun to read, but forgettable.
"White Death"
Americans soldiers have to make an emergency plane landing in Greenland and discover a secret Russian base when they have to rescue the pilot, who had been kidnapped by the Russians. Fun to read (especially because of the remote snowy setting) but forgettable.

Attack #36 (Charlton, Sept. 1982)

"Iron Corporal"
A soldier gets attached to a mule that wanders into an Australian regimental HQ and causes division in the ranks before saving a soldier's life and later getting blown up by a bomb. Some humor and the unusual subject matter make it more enjoyable.
"One Night in Normandy"
A soldier dead set on surrendering to the Germans when he misses his parachute drop point and lands in an occupied French town surprises himself by helping some young French resistance fighters take out some Germans before victorious allied troops arrive in Normandy on D-Day. Nice story angle--even cowards can be heroes sometimes.
"The Softhearted Conqueror"
Capt. Thomas is sent into the Italian town Addercci to take it back from the Germans. But the Germans stocked the town with captured women and children so the Americans wouldn't bomb it, so the Americans go through the sewers. The story is remarkably similar to the one I just read in Battlefield Action.