Writer – Roger McKenzie, Robert Kanigher, Cary Burkett
Artist – Dick Ayers, Howard Chaykin, Jerry Grandenetti
Inker – Romeo Tanghal, Howard Chaykin, Jerry Grandenetti
Colours – Jerry Serpe
Letters – Shelly Leferman, Milt Snapinn, Ben Oda
The ninth issue of Men of War packs the issue with three stories, one from each of the features that have been peppered the book over its run and each one of them a cracking good time. It begins with Codename: Gravedigger and after the previous issue’s cliff-hanger, this story begins with Ulysses Hazard in front of a firing squad, about to be executed. As it turns out, it is all a ruse to flush out the German saboteur and that comes to light after Hazard is stopped in his tracks aboard the barge he boarded earlier in order to kill Winston Churchill. As it turns out, Churchill is not who he seems, but the one and only Unknown Soldier in disguise and he disables Hazard after a little back and forth after which Hazard lands in an asylum so that the mind control drugs he was dosed with might wear off. Eventually, everything turns out for the best and the Nazi agent lies dead, his schemes finally at an end and Hazard back to normal. Robert Kanigher and Howard Chaykin continue with the second part of their Enemy Ace epic which finds the German pilot trying to make his way home in order to see his father before he dies. At first, he has a little run-in with another German pilot whom he vows to battle the following day and soon, he is finally home. All seems well aside from the fact that his father’s life is coming to its end, but it is not long before it is shattered and his father is killed by enemy fire, a French pilot who must have recognized the Baron’s crimson Fokker and his father paying for that recognition. Of course, the Enemy Ace vows revenge. In the final tale of the book, Cary Burkett takes reporter Wayne Clifford back to the frontlines once again, this time to North Africa where it all seems a bit dull and Clifford thinking he might have made a mistake. He realizes that just like back in England if he greases the wheels a little and reports on something that is not the actual truth, he might see some more action, but in refusing to do so, he ends up on the sidelines. Like every part of the war though, one can never predict just exactly what will happen and those sidelines that Clifford is sitting on ends up being the very centre of a battle and those wheels that needed greasing end up hiding under a tub in the middle of a desert. Three fantastic tales by three great creative teams with all of them a very different, yet exciting read with each writer and artist at the top of their game.
4 out of 5