Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Creature Commandos! Part 12 (WWT #116)

You know, last issue was fairly down-to-earth compared to the crap writer Bob Kanigher usually comes up with. This one is more fantastical than a Metal Men story and a Haunted Tank one put together, though. How is it that Haunted Tank didn't run in Weird War Tales, by the way?

Yeah, really. Giant fire lady. I don't know if that's sillier than Aztec Atlantis robots, but it's close. Not to insult the material, but I'm reminded of Blackhawks as it neared cancellation, with its ever-increasingly ridiculous stories about mummy ants and the like. Though at least the Creature Commandos are fairly fantastic as it is.

No, seriously, they fight a giant fire goddess sort of. She's the daughter of Pluto and Persephone, cursed to have no heart and to burn forever. But she's lonely and she wants a man, though men are repulsed by her fiery body.

Tin Man syndrome; informed that she has no heart (and we're talking about the figurative 'capacity for emotion' here), she thinks herself unfeeling. 

Meanwhile (I guess), the CCs mop up a battlefield in Italy, and this freaking bizarre thing happens. Not Shrieve insulting his men, that's obviously quite normal, I mean the panel layout, the fact that it's in a bunch of panels at all, and the hilarious, wordless final panel.

I almost think there was some mix-up, it just looks so unnatural, though the smug expression in the last panel is totally worth it. Anyway, they head out on a new mission: scouting ahead to check on enemy numbers and such They take a cool glider plane to slip in under radar, hide in an ancient Roman temple, and... send Rhodes to check out a nearby town. Couldn't a regular spy have done this? Because an enemy soldier blows her cover by pulling off her headwrap.

She runs into Lucky on the way back; when they return to the temple, the A-plot returns as they see Inferna (who is giant compared to them) about to take Shrieve back to the underworld to be her husband. No accounting for taste, I bet. I think they should have let her go, she'd have thrown him back out after a few minutes. Rhodes isn't willing to abandon him, though, and the CCs give chase. Also, I'm not sure what would happen to them if Shrieve were gone; this whole operation was his baby, after all.

One of the things I most look forward to in these Kanigher CC stories is a visually impressive and unique feat of strength by Lucky. This is a guy who fired a gun twice his size and slammed a swooping airplane to the ground, and he doesn't exactly disappoint here, launching artillery shells (from a weapons storage in the temple) by hand to blast away a wall.

Rhodes seems to know all about Inferna, so I'm guessing she's part of the Greek myth canon in this universe (and that Rhodes has some interest in that area). In a classic Kanigher "oh crap I have zero pages left" resolution, she talks Inferna out of taking Shrieve with one sentence.

Remember, Rhodes is mostly called "Dr. Medusa", in keeping with Bob Kanigher's tradition of illogically nicknaming only the female member of the team (sup Platinum/Tina). She shares a moment with Inferna, as she knows what it's like to be alone. Inferna heads to the underworld, dejected, and Shrieve is already over the whole thing. He actually congratulates the "freaks" for once, but Rhodes isn't in the mood to hear it. 

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