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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 97

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we take a look at Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert’s Enemy Ace run in Star Spangled War Stories…
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Enjoy!

Enemy Ace, the German fighter pilot war hero from World War I, was the lead feature in Star Spangled War Stories from #138-145, #147-150.

That’s a relatively short run, but in that time – boy, Joe Kubert and Robert Kanigher sure produced some fine, fine comic books.

The series began in 1968, so they were able to be a bit more graphic/depressing than they would be in the past, and when you’re dealing with, well, the enemy, you know the stories are not going to be pleasant ones. However, when you see that you’re dealing with two masters of the form like Kanigher and Kubert, you also knwo that the stories will be high in quality.

The quality came through in two different ways.

One way was the sheer detail and gripping nature of the battles, where Kubert’s art shone so brilliantly…

Secondly, there was the over the top dramatic nature of the situation.

This sequence from a later issue shows this beautifully…

And speaking of depressing, if you see Hans von Hammer befriend a cute little puppy…

and your first thoughts are, “Boy, I bet that that puppy doesn’t live through the comic!”

Well…then you would be right.

Hey, Kanigher and Kubert don’t mess around, people!!

Luckily, them not messing around got us some awesome comic books.

15 Comments

Tom Fitzpatrick

April 8, 2010 at 3:58 am

They KILLED the puppy?!?!!!!

They should be taken around the barn and shot!!!

Tom Fitzpatrick

April 8, 2010 at 5:08 am

@The Mutt:

HOW COULD THEY?!?!?

Have you ever noticed that Hollywood movies will make endings where dogs die or get killed, but NO cats!!!

The cold inhuman inglourious basterds!!!!

WTF

To be fair, Enemy Ace was always a dog person. The black wolf shown in the scans is his most notable supporting characters. The puppy issue has a neat scene where all three of Enemy Ace, the wolf, and the puppy go walking together in the forest.

Page four has a pretty sweet panel layout. I really enjoyed that.

Poor puppy :(

So good. I like how over time, others built on Enemy Ace, in almost a timeline of his life: after the war in Guns of the Dragon, in World War II with Garth Ennis, then the George Pratt graphic novel at the end. And I love how DC manages to fit his Fokker tri-plane in like every time travel or Crisis story comes around…

Always kinda wished Ken Steacy would get to do an Enemy Ace comic, though.

The Crazed Spruce

April 8, 2010 at 6:21 am

Wow. Say what you will about Bob Kanigher, but the man knew his war stories. And pairing him with Joe Kubert? Just… wow.

Enemy Ace is one of my all-time favorites. I was ten when these came out, and a huge fan of the DC War line. I had started out on Superman and Batman, of course. The Haunted Tank and The War that Time Forgot made me into a life-long comic book fan, but it was Enemy Ace that opened my eyes to what the medium was capable of. And the covers! Some of the greatest ever!

I’d love to see these reprinted in a Treasury Sized edition.

IIRC, Enemy Ace was my #3 vote for greatest comic book runs, behind Simonson’s Thor and Kubert’s Tarzan.

Captain Flash

April 8, 2010 at 6:45 am

This is the best Showcase or Essential offered by Marvel and DC, just barely beating out the first Dr. Strange Essential. Reading through this amazing run really makes one long for the days when DC wasn’t publishing superhero titles almost exclusively.

Holy Moley! I was looking for some good cover scans and found out that Enemy Ace teamed up with Batman on the Brave and Bold cartoon!!! Season 2 episode 4.

That is like the coolest thing ever!

There is a Showcase volume? I need to check that out. It might be eligible for the Moon Knight Exemption to my rule of not buying black and white reprints of color work. The tone and subject matter might work even better in that format.

Fantastic layouts!

Enemy Ace. The day that comics grew up.

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