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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #39!

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This is the thirty-ninth in a series of examinations of comic book urban legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous thirty-eight.Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: An artist who wrote and drew a comic book adventure of fighter pilots became an actual flying ace himself during World War II.


Like many of the creators of the Golden Age, Bert Christman’s name has become almost unknown, which is a shame, for not only his creative contributions to comics, but also for the work he did in real life.

Christman is probably best known today as being the co-creator, with Gardner Fox, of the original Sandman in 1939.

His other claim to fame were the stories he did backing up Superman in Action Comics starring “The Three Aces,” Whistler Will” Saunders, “Gunner” Bill and the British “Fog” Fortune.

The three men were initially soldiers of fortune, and Christman actually drew the serial WHILE flying for the Navy! He would presumably send them in while on leave.

With the advent of World War II, the Three Aces went to China to fight against Japan, and so did Christman as well. In 1941, Christman ceased his work on the Three Aces strip, as he was now in China, fighting on behalf of the “American Volunteer Group” of pilots made famous in the films of the time.

Christman was shot down in early 1942, and was wounded in his escape from the plane. However, he recovered and was back in the cockpit by the end of the month.

Tragically, on January 23rd, 1942, Christman was part of a squadron sent to cut off an attack on Rangoon in Burma. Christman was shot down and killed in the battle.

Let us do our best to keep Christman in our minds.

Thanks to Andrew Glaess for the info.

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…because the crucifixions were INTEGRAL to the story and ABSOLUTELY had to be there for it to make sense, right?

But that was the point – they said they were willing to take it OUT, but the Code people just said that O’Neill’s entire STYLE was just too creepy for the Code.

Those Tales Of GL Corp annuals were some of the best GL stuff done in decades. I must have read those a gazillion times and the Moore/O’Neill story was the cream of the crop.

I’ve been reading all these comics urban legend articles for about two hours straight now….great stuff!!!!

Thanks, Gavin – glad you dig them.

Two hours, nothin’! I’ve been at this site for about the past three days, going through these old archives. On and off, obviously, but still….this site is awesome! I’m glad I’ve got so many to catch up on. I just hope you don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!

I had to take out my copy of “Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual” # 2 and look at the story in question . I didn’t see anything offensive about the art style or the crucifixion . I don’t have anything against crucifixions, as long as Jesus Christ Himself isn’t being disrespected .

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