Balladeer’s Blog resumes its examination 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.
40. SCOURGE OF THE STEEL MASK (January 1937) – AT LAST! THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF STEEL MASK, DOKTOR KRUEGER’S ONE TRUE RIVAL AS THE FANS’ FAVORITE ADVERSARY OF G-8! Decades before Dr Doom and Darth Vader Steel Mask was a supervillain who hid his horribly scarred face behind a metallic mask.
Steel Mask suffered his facial disfigurement in the explosive inferno that was unleashed when G-8 shot down a German Zeppelin he was traveling in as one of the passengers. The now-amnesiac German has lost his entire past and his only reality is his intense hatred of the American pilot who wiped out his memories and destroyed his face. Steel Mask will return again and again, designing military hardware intended to win the war and kill G-8, not necessarily in that order. Continue reading