Monday, August 4, 2014

The Fightin' 5 Reports #4

Fightin' Five Volume 2 #31 is dated February, 1965. The cover is by Dick Giordano, and the main story is written by Joe Gill with art by the regular team of Bill Montes and Ernie Bache. The issue was edited by Pat Masulli.

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.

"The Many Masks of Doom" begins begins at the Virginia headquarters of the Fightin' 5 with the members training when a State Department representative arrives and gives the team orders to head to an unnamed Eastern country which they get to by way of Tokyo aboard a B-58. Aboard a connecting plane they meet another State Department official who tells them that a local leader named General Winh is acting out of character and is leading a coup of his country's government. The official suspects the nefarious involvement of Duc Du Mort, a mysterious enemy who has worked with the Nazis, the Soviets, and now seems to be operating in the Eastern bloc. The team meet Winh and things seem normal, but soon they are attacked on the road and later outside their hotel. Using their technology, especially their rocket packs they fight back and some success.

"The Meuse-Argonne Battle" drawn by Sam Glanzman is a one-page story giving the basic facts of that important World War I battle.

"Part II The First Encounter" starts with the Fightin' 5 confronting General Winh and his men, but using gas the team is subdued and locked in cells. They quickly escape using gas bombs embedded in their own uniforms while Irv picks the lock. The battle the enemy and find the real Winh also in a cell. They free him and race to capture Duc Du Mort but come under attack by a jet fighter.

"Two Heroes" is a two-page text story detailing the contributions of Thomas Boyd and and a soldier named Parker to the ultimate victory during the Revolutionary War.

"The Loners" is a one-page story drawn by Bill Molno showing how one-man units contributed to the U.S. victory on Guadalcanal and later in Korea.

"Part III A Friendly Face" picks up the action with the Fightin' 5 fending off the jet attack at the United States embassy. They come under fire and then realize the military units and the ambassador himself are frauds. The ambassador, who is really Duc Du Mort in disguise sends out a radio broadcast announcing the surrender of the U.S. forces much to the surprise of all other officials. The Fighitn' 5 penetrate the embassy and using grenades fend off the enemy, but see Duc Du Mort escape in a helicopter.

"O.S.S." is a three-page story drawn by Bill Molno detailing some of the contributions made to the U.S. war effort in Europe and how the members of the O.S.S. must remain silent about their secret operations.

"Part IV The Last Role" finds the Fighitn' 5 having rescued the real ambassador and planning to capture Duc Du Mort who meanwhile has returned disguised as Hank Hennessy himself. But the other members realize the deception defeat him with a solid uppercut, though the real solider guarding the embassy are not at first convinced. There is some discussion about Du Mort's motives with the suggestion he was most likely looting the treasury of the country. The status quo returned, the Fightin' 5 return in triumph to their Virginia headquarters and await their next mission.

The story was reprinted in Fightin' 5 Volume 3 #45 dated April, 1982.

The action in this adventure was very cohesive in this one, with the members of the team fighting effectively together. All the members contribute.

More to come. 

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  1. Much enjoying these Fightin’ Five Reports Rip. I never had much luck tracking these down so was always curious about this series. Specifically though, I do remember them as the back-up feature in a couple of the other Charlton super hero books (however fleeting that was.)…Too, I have a fond recollection of a Fightin’ Five house ad in one of the books – wherein they are underwater about to take on a giant Gorgo/Godzilla type beast. Isn’t it funny the stuff that sticks with you for decades in the old memory banks – when I’m sure I’ve forgotten a lot more important stuff…

    1. That's so true. The F5 were back ups in the Peacemaker comic after losing their own title, which ironically featured a few Peacemaker back ups. The switch came when Dick Giordano took over the editing. Those stories are coming up.

      That issue of F5 battling "Gorgo" is the last issue of the run and the only one I saw as a tyke. It too gets a close look later.

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