Friday, June 12, 2015

Dino Horrors - G.I. War Tales #1 (Comic Book)

DC's G.I. War Tales was a short lived reprint of their 1960s Star-Spangled War Stories. Only four issues were published in 1973. I guess 70s kids were more interested in star children and robot shenanigans than hard nosed G.I.s bazooka blasting man-eating Theropods. Their loss. I only own the first issue, but it seems not all of these stories were dinosaur related, and therefore not worth my time.

I discovered this comic in my wife's insanely random, but beautifully bizarre comic book collection about 5 or 6 years ago. It sat alongside The Maxx comics and a Pope John Paul II comic Marvel released back in the early 90s. Yes, I did check if the Pope comic was worth money, it is not.

G.I. War Tales #1: The Guinea Pig Patrol

G.I. War Tales #1 tells the story of US paratroopers fighting in the Pacific during World War 2. This troop of tough guys name themselves "The Guinea Pig Patrol" when they're told to explore an uncharted area where another squad of paratroopers went missing. Only one survivor was found, and that soldier was a catatonic mess. Our heroes' mission is to fly into that general area and just see what guinea pigs. I've always assumed this is how our military works.

The G.I.s fly over this mysterious part of the ocean and are immediately attacked by a Pterodactyl. The flying lizard is TWICE the size of their transport plane. It looks bigger than the Millennium Falcon! 

After the attack we see how great these soldiers really are. Three of them simultaniously hurl grenades at the Pterosaur while free falling, dodging plane shrapnel and aiming at a flying target. They of course, make a direct hit.

These three soldiers land in the water and battle a giant worm. Then they find the broken wing of the plane and start drifting. A few hours later a duck billed dinosaur swims toward them. They immediately blow the shit out of it with a bazooka. 

The three wind up on a tiny island. Finally a US fighter plane buzzes by them and goes to get help. While waiting to be rescued they are attacked by ANOTHER aquatic dinosaur. This one looks like the creature from The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and almost eats the entire island before a rescue boat arrives and kills it.

G.I War Tales #1 also contains non-dinosaur related stories. These were really fun, but lacked the monster genocide that the main story had.

Below are some full pages, individual panels and even some great 70s print advertisements:

The first page shows exactly how big the Pterodactyl is. I also love the advertisement on the right. Dude, I want an Aurora!

A few questions about these next two pages: How does this island stay afloat? Why are they constantly throwing bombs at these creatures' necks? AND is that ad suggesting kids can get addicted to comics like some kind of dopefiend?

This is my favorite panel in the entire comic. Because...Symmetry.

Hank didn't say shit!

Writer: Robert Kanigher
Artist: Ross Andru
Inks: Mike Esposito

The End

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