"Promise To A Dead Soldier": The crew of the Haunted Tank take time to visit the grave of their former member Slim Stryker, killed in action not long ago. They remember the moment that Slim died, cradled in Sgt. Craig's arms. Slim had made them promise with his last words to take him to see sky,
- No matter how many times you visit the graves of comrades fallen in battle, you can never forget it... It seems like "taps" from an unseen bugler floats eternally... over every military cemetery... The world thinks a ghost is beyond tears... but I know I haven't forgotten... When I see my boys-- the crew of the Haunted Tank-- visit Slim's grave for the first time... during a lull in the fierce fighting...
Appearing in "Promise To A Dead Soldier"
- German Infantry soldiers
- Unnamed French priest
- Unnamed baby
- La Ciel Matinal, France
- Mk 2 Grenade
- The Haunted Tank
- German Sonderkraftfahrzeug 251 half-track
- Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B
Synopsis for "Promise To A Dead Soldier"
The crew of the Haunted Tank take time to visit the grave of their former member Slim Stryker, killed in action not long ago. They remember the moment that Slim died, cradled in Sgt. Craig's arms. Slim had made them promise with his last words to take him to see sky, but none of them understood what he was asking. After they have left the cemetery, Jeb spots a sign on the side of the road pointing in the direction of the town Le Ciel Matinal, translated "The Morning Sky". He orders Craig to change course and take the road. Jeb remembers back to three months ago, before Sgt. Craig and his son Eddie joined their team...
The Haunted Tank had stopped in a clearing near the sign post for chow break. Slim had been telling Jeb that he had been to a town in Scotland named Skye, and Jeb translated the sign for him. Slim, tired of eating what he called "cat chow", convinces Jeb to take the tank into the town to look for real food. They find a quiet restaurant near the edge of Le Ciel Matinal. The food is good, but Slim tell them that nothing compares to his mom's cooking, and invites all of them to his parents place after the war. The waitress, a pregnant woman named Colette, tells them that her husband was the regular chef, but he had been killed along with her brother André in action. She rushes off in tears, running into the road. Gunfire erupts all around her, and Jab and the others realize that Germans have entered the town. Colette is caught in the line of fire, and Slim rushes out to protect her. As a German halftrack approaches, Slim tosses a grenade underneath its wheels and it explodes, destroying the halftrack and killing the Germans. The Village priest rushes out to help them, and the two realize that Colette is now in labor. With the village's doctor dead, Slim takes responsibility to care for her, having worked as a hospital orderly before the war. The rest of the crew rush into a nearby building, clearing off a table and creating a clean area for Colette to deliver her baby. Slim carries her in and places her onto the table. Minutes go by, and with Slim's help Colette delivers a healthy baby boy. Later, Slim tells the others that he's made a date with Colette and the baby in four weeks at the church to be the baby's godfather.
Back in the present, Jeb realizes that that's what Slim had meant on his deathbed, to come back to Le Ciel Matinal to be a godfather. Jeb is determined to keep the appointment. They arrive in the town, and find Colette and the baby waiting in the church for their arrival. They tell her the sad news of Slim's death, but then an explosion from outside rocks the church. The Germans have targeted their tank parked outside the church, but before they can move it they are pinned down by enemy fire from a Panzer. Not wanting to waste time, Jeb and the others charge directly at the Panzer, lobbing their grenades when they get close enough. The grenades land within the tank, destroying it and the Germans inside. As they return to the church, Colette asks the priest if her baby could have five godfathers instead. Jeb tells her to make it six, as Slim is always with them in spirit. As the baptism begins, General J.E.B. Stuart appears over them, joined by the ghost of Slim Stryker. The General tells Slim that even in death, he has kept his promise.
Appearing in "Killer Light"
- Baroness Ilse Von Ullrich a.k.a. Falke (Dies)
- S.S. Hauptmann Helmut Von Schutze (Dies)
- Adolf Hitler
- Goring, Goebbels, Von Ribbontrop, Himmler, Streicher (Behind the scenes)
- Strassmann (Behind the scenes)
- Unnamed Nazi soldiers
- Unnamed allied spies
- Hitler's Chancellery
- Baroness Von Ullrich's Mansion
- Explosive cigarettes
- German officers' car
Synopsis for "Killer Light"
Flacon arrives at the London headquarters of the O.S.S, where he receives his latest mission from Control. He is to locate and kill a man known only as "Falke", who has been the mastermind behind the recent attacks of sabotage in England. Falcon is to impersonate a top General in the German army, S.S. Hauptmann Helmut Von Schutze, who is on his way to Berlin to be decorated personally by Hitler himself. Control believes that the mysterious Falke will be present at the ceremony.
Two days later as dawn hits the German countryside, a care carrying Von Schutze heads towards their destination in Berlin. The driver, an undercover member of the Czech Underground, murders Von Schutze and buries him along side the road out of sight. Falcon, now in disguise as Von Schutze, takes his place in the car and they continue on. That evening at Hitler's Chancellery in Berlin, the disguised Falcon is greeted by the Nazi Party's most infamous, including Hitler himself. Falcon scans the room, spotting men like Göring, Goebbels, Von Ribbontrop, Himmler, and Streicher... but Falke is no where to be found. He is interrupted by Hitler, who introduces him to the Baroness Ilse Von Ullrich. She tells Falcon that he is hosting a party in his honor at her mansion, and that she insists he attend. Falcon accepts and is escorted to the Baroness' car.
At the Baroness' mansion, the disguised Falcon dances with the Baroness Von Ullrich, all the while scoping out the room. Everyone from the ceremony is in attendance, but Falcon is unable to recognize which one could be the mysterious "Falke". The party eventually begins to die down, and the Baroness' guest begin to depart leaving only Her and Falcon alone in the mansion. Falcon tries to leave as well to follow the others, but the Baroness insist he stay and share wine. Then, the telephone rings and the Baroness excuses herself to take it in the other room. Falcon listens in on the extension, and discovers that Baroness Von Ullrich herself is the mysterious "Falke"! Falcon is surprised when he turns around to find the Baroness behind him with a gun. He had given himself away by rejecting her advances, as Von Schutze was known as a lady's man. Falcon makes one final request for a cigarette before she shoots him, but the Baroness is wary of tricks and takes the cigarette case from him. She opens it up and gives him a cigarette of her choosing, in case he is planning a trick. Falcon lights the cigarette and takes a deep puff, then places it into the ashtray. He turns around so that he will not be able to see her shoot him. The Baroness asks him his name first, and he tells her that he is known as the Falcon. Realizing that she has been tricked by an O.S.S. agent, she leaps to put out the smoldering cigarette but is too late. It explodes, killing the Baroness and setting the mansion in fire. Falcon escapes in the confusion, having completed his mission.
Appearing in "Deserters Never Look Back"
- Foreign Legion Police
- Zimbabwe police officers
- Unnamed Zimbabwe contact (Dies)
- Zimbabwe rebels
- Smoke grenade
- GMC Hauler truck
- Kaiser-Jeep M715 Utility Truck
Synopsis for "Deserters Never Look Back"
Gordon is awoken from a nightmare where he and the other Mercenaries have been captured and executed by the French Foreign Legion. He is unable to sleep for the rest of the night, and at dawn they pack up and head out for their current mission - to deliver a cache of weapons to the Zimbabwe rebels out in the desert. They spot their contact, but as they pull up they are ambushed by the Zimbabwe police who were waiting for their arrival. The contact is murdered, and the Mercenaries are given shovels to dig their own graves. After digging a pit big enough for the three of them, the Mercenaries try to jump the police using only the shovels but they are not fast enough. But just as the police are about to execute them, a smoke grenade lands between them. The Mercenaries jump into the grave to take cover, believing that the Zimbabwe rebels have arrived to recover their arms. A concussion grenade explodes, killing the remaining police in the area. As the Mercenaries climb out of the grave to see who their rescuers are, they discover that it is not the rebels but in fact the French Foreign Legion sent to arrest and return the Mercenaries to justice!
The Mercenaries are handcuffed and loaded into the back of a truck. It begins to look like there's no escape, but then the truck runs over a land mine. It explodes, sending the truck tumbling over onto its top in a blaze of fire. Most of the occupants are knocked unconscious, and Prince quickly searches them for the keys to the handcuffs. Now free, they realize that someone will be coming to check out the explosion, so they decide to carry the unconscious Legionnaires to safety. The three carry the men to a nearby oasis, but as soon as they arrive they are ambushed by a group of hijackers planning on stealing the guns they thought the Mercenaries were carrying. Using the weapons they picked up from the Legionnaires, they destroy the truck and kill the hijackers. Leaving the still-unconscious Legionnaires at the oasis, the Mercenaries return to the desert to find their original truck, recover the guns, and complete the mission they had been sent for. As the Legionnaires regain consciousness, they are surprised to find themselves alive and safe. No Legionnaire ever deserts another... not even deserters!
Appearing in "Samurais of Death"
- Prince Sochi
- Samurai Assassins
- Lord Daibu
- Lady Murisaki
- Unnamed Japanese criminals
- Unnamed Geishas
- Unnamed Sumo wrestler
- Sochi Palace
- wooden staff
- poisoned saki
Synopsis for "Samurais of Death"
While Kana sits in deep meditation on a Pacific island in World War 2, his spirit has taken flight back through time to 6th Century Medieval Japan. Spirit and body merge again, and in a forest clearing Kana saves young Prince Sochi from samurai assassins, only to be beaten down by the two remaining. Kana is unarmed and held down while the other brings his sword up to sever his head. Kana twists around, grabbing the end of the pike the first assassin is carrying and ramming it back into the man's throat. He then rolls out of the way just in time as the second assassin's sword comes down to bear. Kana leaps through the Prince's horse's legs and into the safety of the trees. Believing that Kana has fled, the last assassin turns his attention to the Prince. Kana removes a spiked glove from one of the dead and hurls it at the assassin. The glove hits the man, impaling the spikes into his face. With the Prince now safe, Kana is invited to his castle.
By sunset, they reach the Prince's castle atop a cliff overlooking the sea. Kana notices three men hanging over the cliff in rope cages, and the Prince explains that the men are criminals imprisoned by his uncle, Lord Daibu. As they arrive, Lord Daibu is waiting for them, and the Prince explains the events of the day to him. Daibu invites Kana to relax and enjoy their hospitality while the province prepares to celebrate his heroism. But first, Kana must surrender his arms before entering. Kana turns over his sword and weapons to Lord Daibu. As Kana leaves, Daibu worries that a ninja with such power could be a threat to him and his rule. Inside, Kana is bathed, massaged, and groomed by the estates many Geishas. Finally, Kana is lead to the great banquet hall, where he sits in the place of honor next to the Lord and Prince. They feast and drink, then Lord Daibu invites Kana to participate in the Joust of the Three Bamboo Staves. Kana catapults from his seat, and three other samurai move towards him with whipping bamboo staves. Kana makes quick service with them, toppled by the lightning-like blows of the Ninja Master. Lord Daibu is impressed, and asks Kana to try and defeat their greatest sumo champion. Kana agrees, and is immediately found within the crushing grip of the wrestler. Kana manages to wrench his arms free and begins to pound at the sumo until the huge wrestler crumples to the ground. Lord Daibu announces Kana as the champion and then dismissed the court for the night.
Kana is led back to his chamber by the Lady Murisaki, the sister of Prince Sochi. He is given a glass of wine. Kana drinks it, but discovers that it had been drugged. He falls to the floor unconscious. As dawn rises over the sea, Kana awakes to find himself trapped in one of the rope cages hanging over the cliff above the sea. Kana realizes that the Lord Daibu must have meant for him to be killed at the feast, but now instead of being rewarded for saving Prince Sochi's life, he has been condemned to death!
- In "Promise To A Dead Soldier" Jeb Stuart says they were in the village "3 months ago." During a flashback to that time, Slim states he needs to come back 4 weeks from then for a ceremony. When the crew actually arrives, the other participants are dressed for the ceremony. Hopefully they haven't been delaying the ceremony for 2 full months and that one of the date references is incorrect.
- The final story "Samurais of Death" is the second part of the origin of Kana, continuing on from last issue in G.I. Combat #264. The story concludes next issue.
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Links and References
- G.I. Combat series index at the Grand Comics Database
- Haunted Tank article at Wikipedia
- Haunted Tank article at Don Markstein's Toonopedia
- Haunted Tank article at the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe