Balladeer’s Blog resumes its exam-ination of the neglected Pulp Hero G-8. This is 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 spy/ nurse whose real name, like G-8’s was never revealed.
49. THE HAND OF STEEL (October 1937) – This story introduces another of G-8’s Rogue’s Gallery of recurring foes – the madman called Goulon. Once a skilled flying ace for Germany in the Red Baron’s Flying Circus Goulon was eventually shot down, his crash landing resulting in his left leg and left foot being permanently bent and twisted.
Now called “the cripple of Hartsburg” – and by his OWN side (now that’s cold) Goulon’s face was also badly burned in the crash (shades of G-8’s foe Steel Mask) and the burned skin was removed, leaving his face resembling a skull with a perpetually opened mouth. To top it all off the crash also caused his left hand to be replaced by a steel claw. Talk about a bad day! Goulon blames the Allies for his condition and spends the rest of the war coming up with super-scientific inventions to help the Central Powers win.
Herr Goulon’s first plan involves his specially- devised radio device. This device is capable of emitting high-pitched waves that human beings cannot hear but which drive anyone exposed to it insane. When Goulon uses the weapon in the field he reduces Allied ground troops to ineffective mobs of madmen who are easily defeated by the Central Powers forces. It’s up to G-8, Bull Martin and Nippy Weston to find a way of thwarting Goulon and his super-weapon. At one point G-8 must go mano-a- mano with Bull after he’s driven insane by Goulon’s machine.
Our hero’s lady love R-1 gets captured by Goulon who plans to use her in a trap to kill G-8 and then rip her to shreds with his steel-clawed hand. All this plus another guest appearance by A-1, Hogan’s fictional head of American Intelligence operations.
50. THE FLIGHT OF THE HELL HAWKS (November 1937) – In their 50th issue G-8 and his Battle Aces go up against a mad scientist named Dr Schmidt. Schmidt is invading the scientific territory of G-8’s Austrian foe Dr Mollfuss by creating a monstrous man/ animal hybrid. That’s why I wish that Hogan would have just gone ahead and used Mollfuss instead of coming up with another villain with the same schtick.
At any rate Schmidt has used human and animal guinea pigs to create enormous black hawks with the heads of human beings. These creatures combine the natural predatory flying skill of hawks with the intelligence and cunning of human beings. Schmidt’s Hell Hawks are making mincemeat of Allied fighter pilots, besting them at every turn.
Our heroes are once again the Allied Powers’ last hope to stem the tide of a super-scientific menace before it can change the course of the entire war. Do they succeed in defeating the Hell Hawks? You know the answer to that! Among the locales in this tale is Zanszig, a Belgian port in the hands of the Central Powers.
51. THE DROME OF THE DAMNED (December 1937) – Steel Mask is back! Yes, the one supervillain to rival Doktor Krueger as G-8’s deadliest foe has returned! Steel Mask was a disfigured supervillain who hid his grotesquely scarred face behind a mask of steel decades before Dr Doom and Darth Vader did it.
As regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog will remember Steel Mask’s specialty is weapons and armor development. In this exciting story Steel Mask has engineered tiny pellets that explode with so much force that any one of them can destroy an entire plane and burn anything near it!
The Drome of the Damned features fist-fights, dog-fights, death-traps, gun-fights and last-minute escapes. G-8’s portable wireless radio in the water-proof case appears again, too. This clash between our heroes and Steel Mask climaxes at the masked German’s custom-designed and booby trap-laden aerodrome (Drome Alone?). For yet another epic grudge match between two determined and exceptional men this is the story for you! Plus Battle of all people sings a risque song about a Scottish lass.
I WILL BE EXAMINING MORE G-8 STORIES NEXT TIME!
For more on G8 and other neglected pulp heroes click here: https://glitternight.com/pulp-heroes/
FOR SIMILAR ARTICLES AND MORE OF THE TOP LISTS FROM BALLADEER’S BLOG CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/top-lists/
© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.