Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Fightin' 5 Reports #13


Fighitn' Five Volume 2 #40 is dated November 1966. The Executive Editor is Pat Masulli and the Managing Editor is Dick Giordano. The story was written by Joe Gill with the regular team of Bill Montes and Ernie Bache doing the art. Montes and Rocke Mastroserio did the rather striking cover this issue.

The "5" are Frenchy the Fox, Irv "The Nerve" Haganah, Granite Gallero, Hank Hennessy, and Tom-Tom. Designated according to the first letter of their name, they formed "America's Super Squad" and the word "F.I.G.H.T.", hence Fightin' 5.

If you'd like to read the actual issue go to this link at The Charlton Comics Reading Library.

"The Agents of D.E.A.T.H." (Dedicated Enemies of And Traitors to Humanity) are five rich international criminals who have banded together to take vengeance on the world for a multitude of reasons. The story opens with the Fightin' 5 taking a day off at Cape Cod with their girlfriends. But a relaxing day at the beach changes suddenly when a mysterious but beautiful woman appears and touches Hank who immediately follows her without explanation. She is Lady Dawn, a member of the Agents of D.E.A.T.H. The other members are Enrico Cuomo - an Italian treasure hunter, Anton Vidrian - appliance manufacturer, Thomas Lash - disgraced U.S. military man and financier, and Hans Muller - former boy genius for the Nazis. Aboard their high-tech and high speed boat they plot the theft of secret submarines from the New London boatyards. Hank appears to be under Lady Dawn's control.

"Candiate for D.E.A.T.H..." begins with the raid which succeeds with the theft of one nuclear sub. While that one is leaving Lady Death and Hank stay to steal another. The other members of the Fightin' 5 though have figured out what must've happened and get their won submarine and use a steel-twine warhead to trap the escaping sub.

"Murder, My Friends" has the Fightin' 5 infiltrate the New London base and Hank appears to gun them down with gas when they emerge from the water. But it's a ruse as he is actually protecting them from the murderous gang. Hank, Lady Dawn and Enrico Cuomo head off in the other stolen sub to their villainous launch. Once there, they try to escape but Hank looking for an opportunity uses his knife to short-circuit the boat's electronics and quickly defeats Cuomo. As Lady Dawn prepares to shoot him he unleashes a smoke grenade and leaps off the boat. Enrico and Lady Dawn escape but the Five imagine they will return.



Debuting in this issue is The Peacemaker. Created by Joe Gill and Pat Boyette, this is a new hero in Dick Giordano's "Action Hero" regime.

In "Introducing: The Peacemaker" we meet Christopher Smith, international envoy to the Geneva Arms Conference and dedicated man of peace. On his way to the conference he is waylaid by arms dealer Emil Bork and his henchmen and his top secret papers are stolen. Later Smith attends a dinner party with Bork where Smith weighs his options. Seeing no way to stop Bork by negotiation he puts on his Peacemaker gear and using jet takes to the air. Peacemaker then stops Bork's me from kidnapping three of the conference attendees. A twin-jet bomber takes to the air and Peacemaker takes chase but seems to shot down as the first half of the story closes.

This comic has not been reprinted to my knowledge.

More to come.

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4 comments:

  1. This might be unanswerable but I wonder if at the time Giordano did this first Peacemaker back-up if he had figured on this being a regular Fightin’ 5 back-up feature – or if there were already plans in the works for a Peacemaker series? Possibly the speed and vision of Pat Boyette just made it a logical decision (particularly if the sales figures on Fightin’ 5 were not that robust?)

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    1. It's entirely possible this was part of a plan of sorts. The reason being that the debut of Peacemaker was right on the old F5 bi-monthly schedule.

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  2. Peacemaker is the reason that I (and many others, I'd guess) bothered to pick up a Fightin' 5 comic. But I found the Montes/Bache art strangely compelling here and in the Gorgo comic. Compared to a lot of what Charlton published, Peacemaker seemed virtually sui generis.

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    1. What makes the Action Heroes so distinctive I feel after all these years is the highly individual nature of the various comics. DC and Marvel and Tower all tried to adopt a house style. But with these comics by Boyette, Morisi, Ditko, McLaughlin, Grainger, and Giordano were very different from one another.

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