Issue by Issue – Men of War #8

Writer – Roger McKenzie, Bob Kanigher
Artist – Dick Ayers, Larry Hama
Inker – Romeo Tanghal, Bob Smith
Colours – Jerry Serpe
Letters – Shelly Leferman, Milt Snapinn

Ulysses Hazard, the man with the code name Gravedigger, is on a mission, but it is unlike any mission that he has had so far for this time it is against an ally, specifically the British. What is it though that could warrant such an assignment? What could be of such importance that Hazard would undertake such a duty against those who should be a friend? With multiple flashbacks by writer Roger McKenzie and artist Dick Ayers, the reader is treated to scenes where the German posing as the murdered British officer Major Birch, is ready to put his plan into action and it just so happens to involve Hazard and a bit of brainwashing. By the end of the story, one that is filled with suspense and action from beginning to end, Hazard is not the man that readers have come to know and admire, but a Nazi agent though he is unaware of it. The cliff-hanger alone makes reading the next issue a must as it is both unexpected and incredibly intriguing. The second story featured in this issue is claimed by The Bloody Red Baron, Germany’s own Enemy Ace. Having just received some news that strikes a chord within him, that being his father now on his deathbed, Hans Von Hammer is ready to rush home so that he might say goodbye to the man who taught him about honour and life, to not only the man he admires himself but to the man who raised him. Like all things in life, the doing of something in principle is always easier than in reality and as he makes his way through the skies, he encounters the enemy as they are about to take down a zeppelin. Though he is worried he may not make it home in time, duty calls and Von Hammer can do nothing but. The battle is fast and he makes short work of those who oppose him, all but one whose guns have jammed or run out of ammo. Not willing to shoot down a defenceless man, enemy or not, Von Hammer is willing to let him go until one of his countrymen take it upon themselves to do that which the Baron would not. Robert Kanigher who writes this tale gives his hero a dilemma – does he continue on his way to his destination or does he now go against his ally who has been shown to have no honour, thus postponing his trip even further. It leaves off at that moment and the reader can see how it tears at the flier, to be continued in the next issue. Altogether, this was a strong book, one filled with unexpected twists and turns that made for a very good read.

4 out of 5

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