Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A wing and a Dinosaur

I didn't consciously mean to give my last few weeks of comic book reviews a theme,  but I guess I have. Two themes actually. The Conan story from two weeks ago involved a large, dinosaur-like creature, while last week and today directly involves dinosaurs. Also, as with those previous stories, this one MIGHT have been my introduction to the "War That Time Forgot" series. But it might not have been. I don't remember for sure.

I think I'm simply too completely geeky. Stuff like this is so completely a part of my DNA that it's as if I've always know about them--there was never a moment when I had to actually learn about Conan, Turok or dinosaurs in World War II. That information was simply always there.

Anyway, "The Guinea Pig Patrol" first appeared in Star Spangled War #95 (March 1961), but I ran across it in the first issue of a reprint book titled G.I. War Tales (April 1973).

Like most War That Time Forgot tales, it's low on characterization (you don't even remember the names of any of the characters when you've finished reading it), but it's high on incredibly entertaining images. Ross Andru does a wonderful job making everything look cool as a small group of paratroopers desperately try to survive an onslaught of prehistoric monsters.

The action starts when a plane full of paratroopers is torn from the sky by a pterodactyl. A few
survivors use the plane's wing as a raft, armed with ineffective small arms and a bazooka with just a few rockets. They use the bazooka to fight off one dinosaur and save a low-flying damaged fighter plane from another. But they are out of rockets when they take refuge on a tiny floating island. That's really bad news when a sea serpent pops up and starts eating the island.

As I've written before, I recognize the faults inherent in the War That Time Forgot stories, but I simply don't care. Writer Bob Kanigher was blessed with great artists for this series and it was thus filled with awesome. It's World War II soldiers fighting dinosaurs. You simply can't go wrong with that.


    I wrote my review of the Showcase Presents volume of this, it's a lot of fun. I still feel sorry for the dinosaurs, even if they were complete monsters.

  2. Hey, if you have a bazooka and there's a dinosaur nearby, you don't have a lot of peaceful options at hand.

  3. Thanks goodness for those super powerful grenades! I use dto love that series, and now have them to enjoy over and over in digital format.


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