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Military Comics Issue No. 13

November 1942

Writer: Bill Woolfolk, Artist: Reed Crandall (Cover art by Crandall)

The Butcher - A Nazi officer is known as "The Butcher" by the people of the occupied village he commands. He has designs on the beautiful Countess but she throws herself from a cliff rather than suffer the touch of the Nazi beast. But she is not quite dead, and she is flown by Blackhawk back to Blackhawk Island. There she does die, but not before telling the Blackhawks about the Butcher. Meanwhile, back in the village, the Butcher orders the entire village killed, and Stukas and tanks destroy the town. The Blackhawks arrive, but too late to save the villagers. The Butcher sees the Blackhawks and takes off in his own plane to strafe them. All the team are hit except Blackhawk and he takes off to get the Butcher who has killed his men. It is a ferocious dogfight, during which the Butcher reveals that he is Baron Von Tepp, the brother of the man who killed Blackhawk's family. He is looking for revenge against Blackhawk, who killed his brother. Amazingly, Blackhawk loses the dogfight and his plane crashes. It is obvious to the Baron that no one could survive such a crash and he immediately flies to Berling to personally tell Hitler that Blackhawk is dead. Von Tepp is declared a hero and tours the capitals of the occupied countries, bragging of his deed. But one night he sees a face in the window and it is Blackhawk. Blackhawk is not dead. He was pulled from the crashed plane by Chop Chop and nursed back to health. Now he is seeking vengence. Von Tepp flees but is pursued by Blackhawk and Chop Chop. But while flying over Von Tepp's train, they hear a radio report that the other Blackhawks were only wounded and are now to be executed in Berlin. Blackhawk is torn between his desire for revenge against Von Tepp and his loyalty to his men, but of course loyalty wins out. He flies to Berlin and makes an incredible rescue, touching down in the middle of the execution field without stopping. The other four Blackhawks grab hold of the wings and tail of the plane and he takes off. He decides not to tell them about the sacrifice he had to make in letting Von Tepp go. Meanwhile, von Tepp is tortured by visions of Blackhawk everywhere he turns. He runs into the desert in Egypt to escape the phantom Blackhawk chasing him and dies of thirst.

This story is certainly a big improvement over the previous issue and Reed Crandall's art seemed improved also. There are a few striking scenes in this story, especially one of the piled bodies of the dead villagers.

Other stories in this issue:
      The Sniper
      Blue Tracer
      Shot and Shell
      The Phantom Clipper
      X of the Underground
      Inferior Man
      Text story: Follow the Moon
      Loops and Banks
      Secret War News: US Fliers Crush Jap Fleet
      The Atlantic Patrol (one pager)

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