Sunday, December 8, 2013

So Long, Creature Commandos! (WWT #121)

This is seriously the last full-length Creature Commandos story; they didn't appear in WWT #120 or the last issues I have, #122, where in both cases GI Robot was the headliner and was backed up by one-off stories more typical of the pre-CC days. They're also not in #123, and in the last issue, #124, they're relegated to a one-page epilogue with GI Robot

For the first time in a while, Death introduces the story to us -- and he is clearly just a guy in a skeleton costume. Is that the joke? I don't even get you sometimes, Bob Kanigher.

Because we've yet to be beaten over the head with the idea behind the CCs enough, the story opens with them visiting a carnival freakshow and upstaging the freaks. You know, I sort of have to wonder why they would go to that sort of thing -- that's, like, their people, you know? Hell, I don't know why they even go out so much, they obviously know how much they unnerve people by this point.

The freaks go so far as to gawk at the CCs and call them hideous and disgusting. No offense, but these guys have access to mirrors, right? Eventually, and I swear this is really what I'm seeing, the circus freak union seeks a court order to prevent the CCs from appearing in public.

There's a scene here I find way too great -- Velcro, Griffith, and Shrieve are all buddies when some cute ladies from the WAC walk by. But not Lucky, because he's a gentleman (as Rhodes is always saying). He could also be gay, you know. There's been a Rhodes-Lucky-potential-romance subplot going on for a while now, I think I know where this is going.

Anyway, the CCs are headed for a secret mission via sub, and there's a meaningless scene where Shrieve and Lucky clear out sea mines.

Anyway, the Reich's secret weapon against the CCs is, duh -- women. Three hot blondes claiming to be Dutch freedom fighters run into the CCs once they get to shore, and freaking duh they're actually assassins so I'm not going to pretend otherwise. I'm surprised they didn't try "use women to kill them" before, it seems like an obvious tactic. This plot is loosely recycled from an earlier GI Robot story, by the way, which is copped to in a scene where Hitler's inner circle brainstorms ways to take care of the CCs.

There's some engineered heroics with mechanical German soldiers, so the male CCs feel more connected and protective towards the ladies.

Velcro takes care of them with an airborne grenade delivery, and the team discovers their assailants were robots. Of course, you'd think the charade would fall shortly after this scene, because the girls start showing interest in our heroes. Shrieve I could understand, and maybe even Velcro if that's your thing, but come on, Griffith? Hell, I think it's out of character for Shrieve to not think something's up when a hot girl gets cozy with Griffith.

Anyway, the CCs mission is taking out a secret rocket facility, and since this is the Netherlands obviously it's disguised as a windmill.

As the CCs are distracted by the rocket fire, the assassins strike, incapacitating everyone but Lucky and Rhodes. Naturally, any danger is quickly averted when Rhodes disposes of them with a grenade. She and lucky plant charges on the rocket windmill and take it out without incident. Apparently nobody was keeping guard; I guess that's one way to keep a low profile. Later, upon examining their remains, it's clear that the would-be killers were robots all along. Rhodes is asked how she knew, since she used a grenade like Velcro did on the earlier robots

Yes, the implication is that either the male CCs never even looked into their would-be robo-assassins' eyes, or that they just didn't notice a detail like that. Why use robots in the first place, anyway? Because a real woman would be too disgusted by the CCs or something? I always have so many questions at the end of every Bob Kanigher story. You know, now that I think about it, Rhodes' snake hair hasn't come in super handy in a while -- her real contribution to the team is simply being a woman, and all that that entails.

So that's it for Weird War Tales and the Creature Commandos, at least right now. For all intents and purposes it's the final CC story, since, again, they're only on the last page of #124. They (and GI Robot) face a firing squad for... something when a last-minute reprieve is granted in the form of a special mission to pilot an ICBM to Hitler's front door. It might not necessariyl be a suicide mission, maybe they've got chutes in there. GI Robot's pet robot dog and cat (I assure you they exist) also hop aboard. The rocket goes into space, and the ending is a total "OR IS IT?!" deal. It sort of reads like Weird War Tales/Mystery Science Theater fanfiction. Oh, and Shrieve isn't there -- no, instead of Shrieve there's writer Bob Kanigher, who also boards the rocket and goes into space. How appropriate.

All in all -- some pretty good comics and also some really crazy comics. Figure when I'm finished with Big Bang I'll start doing more 'regular' blog stuff like talking about new releases and whatnot.

1 comment:

  1. Sadly, I think CC stories are overall pretty bland. I think they just counted on the coolness of the concept to carry it. Shame.