Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Creature Commandos! Part 10 (WWT #112)

You know, ever since Bob Kanigher became the regular writer for this feature, things have been a little weird. I mean, he did a few stories before the CCs were regular fixtures that were fairly down to earth, but remember the robots from Atlantis last issue? This one's going to be weirder than that.

And, knowing Kanigher from his Metal Men work, I imagine things will only get more and more bizarre.

Let me guess, nothing even a little like that happens in the comic? Anyway, the CCs are in Northern Africa. Man, they get around, huh? I bet we'll see them in Greenland soon enough. They're there to keep the Afrika Korps off-balance until Patton's forces show up, and right now are mopping up local scavengers targeting dead GIs in what was recently a battlefield.

Yeah, that's exactly the sensitivity I've come to expect of Shrieve. You know, I don't think I've ever seen any of these guys but Shrieve even hold a gun before. Not that I'm complaining, obviously Velcro is scarier with a gun than without, and he and Lucky are both trained soldiers anyway, but I thought their MO was unarmed close range guerrilla strikes. 

Shrieve keeps piling on the abuse because he's a horrible person, but as the mission drags on, water rations dry up. Velcro's suffering the most, though, since all he drinks is blood. Still, he manages to bring down an attacking Luftwaffe plane near the Sphinx. I guess "North Africa" specifically meant "Egypt", then. They take cover inside a pyramid and find a mummy with a snake hairdo like Rhodes'.

And then everyone but Rhodes drinks cursed mummy wine. Yeah, even Velcro, though he does complain. I guess it was established that they were all thirsty, but get real. And they shrink to six inches tall or so as soon as they leave the pyramid.

Rhodes is forced to carry the others... in her snake hair. The snakes seems fairly hostile towards the doll-sized CCs, and everybody gets bitten a time or two. Soon they come across an Afrika Korps unit maintaining its tanks, and Rhodes flips out, attacking them by herself. Luckily her horrifying appearance causes the enemies to hesitate before firing on her. Still, the tiny CCs leap to her aid in the most adorable way possible.

This is the first time Lucky uses a gun (no, he wasn't firing at the start of the story), and it's also the best time anyone has ever used a gun. Shrieve, Velcro, and Griffith man a machine gun as well, but that's more comical looking than this majestic spectacle. Although they use the machine gun to puncture cans of tank fuel, blowing the tanks sky high and clearing out the camp once and for all.

Miles away, Patton looks out at a battlefield and remarks that Rommel was sunk by the loss of a Panzer unit, thanking whatever brave soldiers are responsible. Anyway, cut back to the CCs, who return to normal dude size (or Lucky size, as the case may be).

I'm gonna come out and say it: Bob Kanigher is often a lazy writer. That thing about Platinum's faulty responsometer attracting lightning in the last Metal Men post I did, for instance, only came up like two pages before it proved an important plot point, and maybe four pages before the end of the story. It's pretty convenient that Rhodes had the cure to Dollman Syndrome growing out of her head, and that the story is resolved in literally the last panel.

Now, don't get me wrong; "lazy" doesn't mean "not amazing", it just means he didn't give a damn. And, to be honest, he's kind of got me beat there, since I'm sitting here complaining about how believable a story about monster soldiers is.

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