Issue by Issue – Combat Kelly and His Deadly Dozen #7

Writer – Gary Friedrich
Artist – Dick Ayers
Inker – John Tartaglione
Colours – Don Warfield
Letters – Denise Vladimir

In a story entitled Blast the Beasts and Children, Gary Friedrich and Dick Ayers present a different kind of tale, a story unlike those from the past six issues and it is, to say the least, quite good. It begins with a bunch of German soldiers tired and weary and starving, dead on their feet and looking for something to eat wherever they can find it. Coming upon a house full of children, they mean to take what they want by force but are confronted by a nun who shames them into behaving themselves. What with the war winding down, Germany being defeated and the soldiers just tired of it all including the endless fighting, they lay down their arms and decide, as one man puts it, to act like humans again. In the meantime, Combat Kelly and his men are in roughly the same boat and come upon the domicile the Germans had previously discovered. Seeing the Germans, Ace Hamilton wants nothing more than their blood and it takes the combined might of Kelly’s orders and the Nun’s pleading to stop the man. What follows is a very tension-filled number of pages where the two opposing forces will spend the night together under one roof, trying not to kill each other. Aside from Ace Hamilton, it seems as if both groups of men have had enough and while they want to trust each other, it is definitely hard to do so as the war has been long and hard with trust being something of a rarity. As one might expect, the night does not go smoothly with one of the German soldiers looking to get a little friendly with one of the younger girls to which Ace finds his opening to satiate the bloodlust within him. While Kelly and the rest of the household oppose the man, the Nazi leader agrees that his errant soldier must pay with his life and when it is all said and done, at least one man lies dead. Ayers brings the story by Friedrich to life and does a great job in doing so and while there is little action within, it nevertheless remains a compelling read.

4 out of 5

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