Issue by Issue – War is Hell #2

Artists – Jay Scott Pike, Bill Benulis, Gene Colan, Syd Shores
Inker – Jack Abel

The second issue of War is Hell is yet another book packed with reprints which matters little as it features tales from all sorts of wars and each one of them could not be more different. The first entitled Spit and Polish is about a group of soldiers who seem fairly lacklustre and lazy and yet, when it comes time to fight, they could not be more different than how they appear to the naked eye. Because of their reputation, a young Lieutenant is sent to get them into fighting shape, to do things by the book and yet, after seeing them in action and going through a battle with them, the Lieutenant is more than impressed and relates that back to his superiors. A second story called Mud takes place during the First World War and finds a ragtag bunch of soldiers stuck in that very thing while trying to hold back the Bosche (the Germans). They do what they can and with a bit of luck and a plan from one young Texan, they and a bunch of horses manage to do what was before an impossibility. Action on Hill 202 is the third feature in this book and it finds a group of men stuck in their foxholes in Korea as the snow sets in while the enemy waits for them to make a mistake. They are cold and tired and are seemingly unable to catch a break but there is a moment when the enemy has stopped shelling them and they believe it is their chance to make a move. Fate has other things in mind though as their weapons are all frozen, as are the enemies and then luck steps in as one lone man has a gun that works, a man they have nicknamed Cuddles for sleeping with his gun. Thanks to that very action, his gun remained in working order and the enemy soon felt the wrath of that one lone weapon. In the final tale to close out this book, one called String Bean, refers to a man taller than most, one who is unable to duck down low enough to avoid the enemy which gives them the advantage. The enemy faced today are the Native Americans led by the man named Black Hawk and he does not have a chance in the world despite the slight advantage that String Bean’s height gives them. What follows is what one might expect but there is a moment where things might have gone bad except the army would turn to String Bean and his tall figure in their time of need. Altogether, this made for a fine bevy of tales by a plethora of solid artists who would make it as exciting as possible. A solid book from cover to cover.

3.5 out of 5

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