Issue by Issue – Men of War #14

Writer – Jack C. Harris, Robert Kanigher
Artist – Dick Ayers, Howard Chaykin
Inker – Romeo Tanghal, Howard Chaykin
Colours – Jerry Serpe, Adrienne Roy
Letters – Gaspar, Ben Oda

Ulysses Hazard finds himself in Africa and in the desert after having to parachute out of his plane in the last issue. With the British operation entitled Project Gravedigger, Hazard is here to seek out a Nazi agent tasked with delivering Defense Packet 6, papers that the Allies need if they are to mount a proper defense against the Germans on the coast of France. The problem is, as previously mentioned, Hazard is in the middle of a desert and his water bottle is damaged beyond repair. Thankfully a way out of his predicament arrives in the form of a lone rider, whom Hazard kills and relieves of his horse and knowing that there must be an oasis of some kind nearby, he sets out to save himself from the sun. Before too long, Hazard is ambushed, knocked unconscious, taken back to the camp where the rider was from and forced to fight for his life before any headway on his mission can take place. After a setback in the previous book, Jack C. Harris has seemed to have tightened up the dialogue of his main character so that Hazard sounds like Hazard and everything is now back to the norm. With Dick Ayers and Romeo Tanghal on artwork once again, the book continues to look as good as it has from day one and it is just as exciting as well. In the second half of the issue, Robert Kanigher finishes off the final part of his story starring Enemy Ace as Hans Von Hammer is ready to face his family’s long-time foe, the Duke of Burgundy in the concluding part of their duel. Still somewhat distracted by the Countess, Von Hammer must now battle in the place he calls home – fifteen thousand feet above ground in his German Fokker against the Frenchman’s Spad. It is a fight that he is automatically unprepared for as he immediately underestimated his foe and when his plane springs an oil lead, he knows that he will have to use more than just skill to pull out a win. As for his family’s battle banner, it had to be sacrificed if he was to live the day. Much like Ayers in the first story, Howard Chaykin continues to paint the World War I ace in the best possible light, his pencils truly making the book come alive and the battle between the two planes a thing of beauty. What the future now holds for Von Hammer is definitely unknown, but the man will have to make his own future instead of relying upon old prophecies and family banners.

3.5 out of 5

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