Balladeer’s Blog resumes its look at 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 super- natural 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.
82. THE DAMNED WILL FLY AGAIN (July 1940) – Grun (“Groon”) the Primeval strikes again! To nobody’s surprise Grun survived his apparent death at the end of his previous appearance.
The green-skinned mutant is still pretending to work with the Central Powers while secretly furthering his plans to eliminate all “normal” people on Earth, allowing him and his fellow mutants to take over the world.
As always Grun’s ape-like strength, massive intellect, telepathic abilities and sheer savagery make him one of G-8’s deadliest foes ever! Grun steals the invention of Germany’s Dr Geinor – a Gatling gun-sized machine that shoots electric bolts which kill dozens of men with each shot. The green-skinned villain also made off with the accompanying handguns Geinor created – handguns that shoot the same deadly bolts.
At last realizing Grun the Primeval is not really their ally the Central Powers maneuver him and G-8 and his Battle Aces into another collision, hoping they’ll eliminate each other in the bargain! Sadly this was Grun’s final appearance, as he and Dr Geinor fell to their deaths while fighting over the mad doctor’s weapon.
Bull Martin got some spotlight moments in this tale as he pitted his massive brawn against that of Bakko, one of Grun’s fellow freaks of nature and against Grun himself. G-8’s lady-love R-1 made another appearance and helped rescue Dorothy Duncan, the daughter of an American commander hypnotized into helping Grun.
For trivia lovers Battle’s nurse girlfriend Arabella Hawkins appears again in this story as does General Black Jack Pershing.
83. DEATH RIDES THE MIDNIGHT PATROL (August 1940) – G-8’s archenemy Doktor Krueger returns for another go-round in this story. Krueger has discovered a subterranean plant whose leaves secrete a deadly gas when exposed to daylight. That gas will enable the Central Powers to kill Allied soldiers wholesale and possibly change the course of the war.
A-1, Hogan’s fictional head of American Intelligence, calls on G-8, Bull, Nippy and R-1 to save the day against a lethal menace unleashed by the opposition as well as a French spy ring working for the enemy. Can our heroes pull it off? Of course they can but it’s still a riveting story.
In this story G-8 once again got to show his fencing prowess against a master swordsman among the French traitors. Meanwhile Battle had another moment as a sort of “proto-Q from James Bond stories” as he constructed a compact, two-foot long machine gun/ machine pistol which he himself fired at Doktor Krueger!
84. BLOODY WINGS FOR A SKY HAWK (September 1940) – Thankfully Robert J Hogan decided against using the original title Doesn’t Sweat Much for a Fat Girl. Anyway we get three CLASSIC G-8 villains this week as this third story presents another encounter between our hero and the Raven, the man with blackened skin from the fiery plane crash he survived.
The Raven is still pursuing two main goals – get revenge on G-8 for shooting down his pilot brother and help the Central Powers win the war. Unfortunately his plan this time involves a tired retread of various other flame-based weapons used by G-8’s foes like Herr Feuer (“Mr Fire”) and Steel Mask. And used in better stories, at that.
Von Ravenfeld plots to use a massive incendiary bomb with smaller fire-bombs built in that will fly like flaming shrapnel when the bomb explodes. It’s an excellent villain but a sub-par plan in this story which suffers from the well-known weakness of Pulp repetition.
Nippy Weston’s ineptitude at speaking German comes back to haunt our heroes again in this actioner.
I WILL BE EXAMINING MORE G-8 STORIES NEXT TIME!
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11 responses to “PULP HERO G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES: STORIES EIGHTY-TWO TO EIGHTY-FOUR”
These G-8 stories are actually pretty awesome!
I agree! Feel free to spread the word!
Too bad there’s no more Grun!
I agree! He should have gotten as many stories as Doktor Krueger, Steel Mask and Chu Lung.
Grun the Primeval was my favorite villain.
You’re not alone!
Herr Grun is the best G8 villain!
You could certainly make an argument for that!
G-8 was such an awesome hero!
Maybe the Raven was recycling them in memory of Herr Feuer and Steel Mask. For “unsere Kameraden” as he might have said.