Monday, May 26, 2014

Men Of War!

It's a miserable thing to note that the Veteran's Administration scandal tops the headlines this Memorial Day. What's most awful about it is not just the avoidable suffering which vets are subjected to, but the utter predictability of this debacle. It is completely the American way to dive headlong into overseas conflicts with gusto but then yearn to forget those conflicts with equal gusto including the men and women who fight them for us. We've done it before, we're doing it now, and regrettably we will do it again in the future I have little doubt. They deserve better; we can do better; we must do better. 

DC Comics published more than a few highly entertaining war comics which romanticized and sensationalized presentations of conflicts, most well in the past. One of the last to be added to that roster of fine titles was Men of War which originally co-featured Enemy Ace, the WWI German pilot with a conscience and introduced Gravedigger, the most unusual of war characters, a man of color. Captain Ulysses Hazard waged a one-man war during WWII, a war which still suffered the stigma officially sanctioned racism and segregated units. The feature was created by David Michelinie and artist Ed Davis who also did the debut cover.  Also featured was "Dateline: Frontline", a feature about war correspondent Wayne Clifford created by Cary Burkett.

The series featured typically evocative covers by Joe Kubert and some exceedingly muscular art by Dick Ayers on Gravedigger. Jerry Grandenetti did the artwork for the "Dateline:Frontline" feature as well as a later feature titled "Rosa Master Spy" written by Paul Kupperberg, some excellent stuff indeed.
Here are the covers.

This series was reprinted in its totality in a recent Showcase volume, a real bargain.

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  1. Interesting. Looks like Kubert redrew Hazard on #25, but otherwise left George Evans' cover untouched. When you think about it, Joe Kubert must've been responsible for something like sixty covers a year. I don't recall any bad ones, and most were just beautiful.

    1. I'd have to agree. That does indeed look like Evans, a fantastic artist who doesn't get many accolades.

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