Friday, August 22, 2008

Weekly Dose Of Weird!

Oh no!  They say he's got to go!  WEIRD WAR TALES #32

Weird War Tales #32 -- You know, I don't recall there being any giant monsters in World War II.  That's something I would have remembered.

I. "My Enemy, The Stars" -- A private blows off his buddy's horoscope reading, but twice in a row it proves prophetic.  After spotting a huge column of Nazi hardware rolling towards him, the private is hit, and soon starts to imagine that the constellations themselves are coming to his aid, smashing the German armor.  He awakes in the morning to find a field of destroyed tanks, but neither his unit nor any other takes credit for it.  The stars saved him... and he was rewarded with the Silver Star.

II. "The Day After Doomsday" -- In rural Britain, nothing much seems to change... except when radiation from wars of men seep into the groundwater, causing the humble farming couple who drink from their well to shrink and become chicken feed.  Don't worry; the chicken's will get their's soon enough, what with no one to feed them.

III. "A Glutton for Punishment!" -- During the Crusades, a harsh, greedy and portly Christian Commander is approached by a ghostly Saracen, who makes a devil's deal with him: for his soul, the Commander will never go hungry, and will never die unless he asks to.  Continually wounded and maimed as he drives his men harder and harder towards Jerusalem, the Commander is finally abandoned and then left for dead after the Saracens attack with Greek fire.  Reappearing to collect the man's soul, the Commander spits that the Saracen is breaking the deal by letting him die, so the Saracen bows... reattaching the Commander's hands to his thighs and leaving him, so if he wants to eat, he'll have to rely on the pity of others.

IV. "Mission Into Madness!" -- 3 OSS men land on a tiny Japanese island.  Two distract the soldiers encamped there, while the third sabotages some computer equipemnt -- namely the controllers for the robotic soldiers the other two were distracting!  There's no computer that can match the human brain... for now.

Overall Weird Factor: 4 (out of 5).

A superior issue this time out.  All four of the features have an aspect which stands out, and they are all very different, making this a fun read.  The first feature, with the stars themselves descending from the Heavens to fight the Nazis, is quite striking in spots, and the third feature looks almost like something Graham Ingels would have done for The Haunt of Fear.  The two shorts are both well done, especially the last one which really does throw a twist in there (the use of "tiny Japanese island" in the opening narration is a major misdirection).

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