Balladeer’s Blog resumes its examination of the neglected Pulp Hero G-8. This continues a story-by- story look at the adventures of this World War One American fighter pilot who – along with his two wingmen the Battle Aces – took on various supernatural and super- scientific menaces thrown at the Allied Powers by the Central Powers of Germany, Austria- Hungary and the Ottoman Muslim Turks.
G-8 was created by Robert J Hogan in 1933 when World War One was still being called simply the World War or the Great War. Over the next eleven years Hogan wrote 110 stories featuring the adventures of G-8, the street-smart pug Nippy Weston and the brawny giant Bull Martin. The regular cast was rounded out by our hero’s archenemy Doktor Krueger, by Battle, G-8’s British manservant and by our hero’s girlfriend R-1: an American nurse/ spy whose real name, like G-8’s was never revealed.
19. THE CAVEMAN PATROL (April 1935) – Previously in G-8’s adventures the Central Powers formed an alliance with Martians to try to win the war. This time around those same powers form an alliance with a subterranean race of pointy- eared cavemen still living the same way they did in the distant past. Well, except for the fact that they’ve evolved enough to use crossbows.
This squadron of cavemen are victorious on the ground and even in the air as the ancient troglodytes calmly adapt to flying in airplanes … although they still just shoot their crossbows at their foes. G-8, Nippy and Bull try to rally their comrades-in- arms against this bizarre menace before the Central Powers gain the upper hand once and for all.
In this tale our hero’s 1917 Cadillac Roadster makes its first appearance and the reader learns that Battle’s cure for a cold is to stand on his head. All this plus G-8 in disguise as a grey-bearded old caveman!
20. THE GORILLA STAFFEL (May 1935) – Those maniacs! The Central Powers did it, they finally went and did it! Damn them! Damn them all to HELLLLL! Had to be said. Decades before Pierre Boulle (of Boulle Boulle fame) wrote his Planet of the Apes novel he was beaten to the punch by Robert J Hogan. In this epic adventure the German scientist Dr Schlemmer unleashes his prized creations – super-intelligent gorillas who can not only talk but are bullet-proof as well!
Once again it’s up to G-8 and his Battle Aces to save the Allied Powers from a seemingly unstoppable military force. Naturally our heroes don’t disappoint those who are counting on them. An added distinction for this story is the fact that it features the first appearance of A-1, Hogan’s fictional head of American espionage activities.
Nippy Weston displays some more of his sleight-of- hand skills, Bull Martin’s eyesight proves equal to his incredible brawn and G-8 chides Battle about his letting G-8’s portable disguise kit grow low on analgerolic acid. For all of us World War One geeks General Haig and Marshall Foch show up for a meeting with General Black Jack Pershing.
21. THE SWORD STAFFEL (June 1935) – G-8’s archenemy Doktor Krueger strikes again! This time the little fiend is orchestrating a plan to make the Allied Powers believe that Germany and the rest of the Central Powers are receiving divine help from God himself!
No doubt inspired by the fictitious tale of the Angels of Mons, where heralds of God supposedly came to the aid of the British Expeditionary Force in August of 1914, the mad doctor figures both sides can play at that game. Krueger creates a gigantic airborne device to make it appear that the massive arm of an archangel is emerging from the sky, wielding a sword to strike down the Allied planes from the skies as part of God’s judgement. (Sort of a remote-controlled WALDO with Krueger’s sword-arm providing the direction)
With pilots being slashed out of the sky in increasing numbers and with Allied morale bottoming out at this apparent “evidence” that God has judged them to be the “evil” side in the war, G-8, Bull and Nippy race to expose and destroy Doktor Krueger’s latest creation. They’re helped by a family of disgruntled Germans named the Frankers and speaking of families Battle reveals that he has a sister in this story.
I WILL BE EXAMINING MORE G-8 STORIES NEXT TIME!
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