Balladeer’s Blog continues 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. G-8’s war-time pulp adventures were a clear influence on the Timely Comics (later Marvel Comics) character Captain America.
10. THE DRAGON PATROL (July 1934) – This story eerily foreshadows elements of the Hindenburg disaster of 1937 and of the horrific London Blitz of 1940. The actual dragon on the Pulp magazine cover is mere poetic license. The real menaces in this G-8 tale are two Zeppelins customized for super-silent raids over Paris itself. The Zeppelins are ravaging the City of Lights with special incendiary bombs that leave so much of the metropolis in charred ruins that the French are contemplating surrendering. (This was before the French had made a National Pasttime out of surrendering.)
The main villain this time out is Kapitan Geist (“Captain Ghost” in German), the salty senior commander of the twin Zeppelin unit who approaches his airborne missions like a seasoned sea captain of the skies. Geist’s Zeppelin is called “Fafnir” to emphasize the dragon motif but we never learn the name of the other one. Continue reading