Friday, November 7, 2008

Weekly Dose Of Weird!

Well, for one thing, Velcro's boots are clearly not Army issue.  WEIRD WAR TALES #112
Weird War Tales #112 -- There are seven things wrong with this cover. Can you name them?

I. "The Medusa Sting!" -- In Egypt, the Creature Commandos are on a mission to harass Rommel's Panzer lines in order to buy General Patton enough time to set up his counterattack. After downing a Luftwaffe fighter, the Commandos take refuge inside a pyramid, where they find a gorgon-headed mummified queen, the spitting image of Dr. Medusa. All of the Commandos save the doctor then drink of a potent wine, which shrinks them down to the size of dolls! Carrying them in her hair, but now seemingly useless at their size, Dr. Medusa makes the charge on a Panzer encampment on her own, but is helped by her pint-sized comrades who team up to fire a machine gun and help wipe out the camp, giving Patton the time he needs. The Commandos return to normal thanks to the venom of the snakes in Dr. Medusa's hair, who had bitten the team while the doctor carried them.

II. "The Head Of The Battalion" -- During the French revolution, an ambitious lieutenant has all of his superior officers added to the list of traitors who shall meet Madame Le Guillotine. Now the commander of the battalion, the lieutenant leads his men into battle, only to find himself along against an army of headless corpses -- along with the ghosts of the officers he murdered! Startling his horse, the ghosts lead the lieutenant into a trap, complete with a wire, which decapitates the lieutenant and reunites his spirit with his unhappy former comrades.

III. "Nine Lives Are Not Enough!" -- A GI liberating France in the later stages of WWII saves a black cat from the Nazis, and is rewarded by the cat's mysterious owner with nine lives. Now a reckless hero, the GI throws himself into every situation, dying each time but returning thanks to his gift. Rising to the rank of sergeant, the GI now has other men's lives in his hands. Saving one of his Privates by diving on a grenade, the GI uses his last life... only to be reborn as a black cat, given another chance for his sacrifice.

Overall Weird Rating: 4 (out of 5).

A good introduction to the Creature Commandos, who really are pretty similar to the Losers except that they are all monsters. Kanigher seems to enjoy writing them and that shows through. The other two segments are also well done, making this a strong issue all told, even if I was a little skeptical up front because of the Commandos, whom I had never read before. Adding to the Weird Factor is an ad for the Swamp Thing film, as well as a clasified ad in the block used to hawk comic book catalogs which appears to be hand written -- and very badly at that!

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