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"Death March": General J.E.B. Stuart and Attila the Hun wage a ghostly war against one another using their mortal wards on Earth, the Haunted Tank and a German Panzer, to fight for them. The Haunted Tank tries to move around to get a better shot, but the Panzer blocks their every move. A shot fr
- Sire... I appeal to you as one soldier to another... You have the power to grant my wish! Allow me to aid my wards in combat!
Appearing in "Death March"
- Attila the Hun
- German Infantry commander
- German Infantry soldiers
- German pilot
- The Monitor
- Alexander the Great
- American Infantry soldiers
- German PAC 38 Anti-tank gun
- Mk. 2 Hand grenade
- The Haunted Tank
- Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B
- German Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter aircraft
Synopsis for "Death March"
General J.E.B. Stuart and Attila the Hun wage a ghostly war against one another using their mortal wards on Earth, the Haunted Tank and a German Panzer, to fight for them. The Haunted Tank tries to move around to get a better shot, but the Panzer blocks their every move. A shot from the Germans sets the Haunted Tank ablaze. Lt. Jeb Stuart orders his driver Sgt. Craig to take them into the woods to gain cover. On the other side Jeb spots a small stream and tells him to steer the tank into the water to put out the blaze. With the fire out, the tank continues down stream to shake off the pursuing Panzer. Rick is angry at Jeb for risking their lives like that, as the fire could have easily caught the fuel alight and killed them all. As Jeb confers with the General about the battle, General Stuart is suddenly surprised and shocked by the appearance of a man on the astral plane. The mysterious man identifies himself as the Monitor, and tells the General that he is new to the realm of blood and death, and that he would return to reveal more of their future. He then disappears just as sudden as he appeared.
The next day on another patrol, the Haunted Tank is attacked by a German fighter plane. They are unable to elevate the turret enough to get a good shot at the plane, so Jeb orders Craig to take the tank into a nearby cave to wait in safety until either the plane gives up or runs out of fuel. They wait for a while in the cave until the coast is clear, then high-tail it out of there before the ground support can arrive. Attila laughs at the Haunted Tank's apparent cowardice in hiding, but General Stuart tells him that their turn will come. Later that day, as they enter a small town in southern Italy, the Haunted Tank is attacked by an anti-tank gun hidden within the rubble of a building. Jeb is wounded by a nearby explosion and is knocked unconscious, so Eddie takes the hatch and they are able to destroy the gun. The General is worried by that close call, and returns to the astral plane to meet with the ghostly Council of Great Warriors. The General asks the head of the council, Alexander the Great, to grant him one wish - the ability to physically aid his wards in combat. His wish is granted, but Attila the Hun requests the same to be granted for him, and he is not denied.
Meanwhile, hundreds of American POWs are being marched down a road to the nearest death camp, prodded along by highly-trained SS soldiers. One American is unable to walk any farther and falls to the ground. Others try to help him, but an SS officer walks up and shoots the American in the head. The bodies of the worn and tired lie along the trail like bleeding road markers. Nearby, the Haunted Tank approaches the edge of the forest only to find an old and gray man lying within the grass. Jeb quickly jumps out to help the man, and is shocked to recognize the old man as General J.E.B. Stuart! The old man wakes up and tells him that his name is Tasso, a farmer by day and a Partisan Leader of the Umbrian District at night. The old man tells Jeb about the American POWs and orders them to follow him on his horse. The Haunted Tank follows the old man across the countryside, until they are within sight of the prisoners on the road. Jeb orders Rick to take out the Panzers alongside without hitting any of the prisoners. He fires, and the first Panzer in the lead is destroyed. The explosion spread chaos over the Germans, surprised by the attack. A second Panzer begins to wildly fire into the line of prisoners, killing many in front of it before Rick is able to take his aim and destroy it. Only one Panzer left, but it is able to move in and fire on the Haunted Tank before they're ready. The last Panzer moves in for the kill, commanded by a man who looks just like Attila the Hun. Jeb orders his crew to bail out before their tank is destroyed, but just then he spots the old man riding his horse to block the Panzer's path. The tank fires on the old man, hitting him several times in the chest. Just before the old man falls to his death, he throws a grenade at the man in the Panzer. It explodes, killing the man and destroying the Panzer. Jeb rushes up to help the old man on the ground, but the man is already dead. Jeb knows the truth...
As the ghosts of General J.E.B. Stuart and Attila the Hun return to the astral plane, Alexander the Great reveals to them what he could not tell them before... that to engage in mortal combat again they would die a second time!
Appearing in "Angel of the Archangel Run"
- Major Krikov
- Admiral Karl Donitz
- German Naval seamen
- Lieutenant Bullock
8 American Naval captain
- Americal Naval seamen
- depth charges
- American Naval battlecruisers
- British Naval battlecruisers
- German Heinkel-115 torpedo bombers
- German U-Boat submarines
Synopsis for "Angel of the Archangel Run"
The American merchantship "Rose", laden with precious oil bound for Arkhangelsk (also known as "Archangel"), pick up a new passenger, Major Krikov of the Soviet Army assigned to sail back to the Soviet Union after a war bond sales tour of the United States. The captain of the ship introduces the Major to his daughter Rose, for which the ship is named after. The major is not impressed with American women, and tells Rose that should they engage in battle, her place would better be off in the kitchen. The captain explains that Rose has sailed with him for nearly ten years, ever since his wife had passed away, and that she's just as good a sailor as any of the men. The Major balks at him, saying that she will never serve under the command of a little girl. The Captain then gives the order for the convoy to cast off.
The convoy, consisting of eight columns 1,000 yards between, is escorted by four British and American battlecruisers. The launch of the convoy is known byt he German Navy, and Admiral Donitz orders his U-Boat "wolf-packs" from Norway to intercept, as well as launching a fleet of Heinkel-115 bomber planes towards the unsuspecting convoy. On July 5th, as the convoy enters the polar seas, the two forces engage in a terrible sea and air battle. Three of the American ships are torpedoed and destroyed. While the battlecruisers move in position to drop depth-charges, the U-Boats continue to slash at the convoy. During two nights of incessant attacks, twenty-eight ships are destroyed. Ships that halt to pick up survivors are themselves torpedoed by the U-Boats trailing them. Aboard the "Rose", the Captain hears the command to disperse and scatter, while the remaining battlecruisers will stay behind to give covering fire. The Captain gives the order to head due north into the icebergs, but a roving Heinkel plane spots them and fires. The Captain is hit, and with his dying breath he gives his command over to his daughter Rose. Despite opposition from the First Officer and the crew, Rose takes command and begins giving orders, taking the wheel. She orders for the men to put out the fires on deck, while the ship remain on course for Archangel. The fires are put out, but the plume of smoke attracts the attention of a U-Boat waiting in the open sea. They move in for the kill, mercilessly shelling the "Rose" as she appears from the icebergs. Rose orders her men to hold their position, while quickly she mans the ships 4-incher cannon. Major Krikov objects, saying that a weak American woman can not fire a gun. Rose holds her fire, waiting... until she gets a perfect shot at the attacking U-Boat. The U-Boat is torn apart by the thundering flame from the cannon, but Rose is wounded from the strafing of the explosion. Major Krikov carries Rose below decks, telling her that all the time she was wrong about American women. She's a real hero, and the Major rewards her by pinning one of her own bravery medals onto Rose's chest.
Appearing in "Kill By the Clock"
- Japanese Infantry soldiers
- Unnamed Island, Pacific Ocean
- Thompson sub-machine gun
- German-made Model 24 Stielhandgranate hand grenade
- American Mk. 2 hand grenade
- Japanese Type 97 Chi-Ha medium tank
Synopsis for "Kill By the Clock"
On an unnamed Japanese-held island in the South Pacific, Gunner and Sarge along with Pooch are on patrol between lines. Gunner has been drilling pooch for weeks to understand position calls, and is currently running through the orders with the dog before the three bed down for the night. He tirelessly runs through the positions - 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock, 9 o'clock... over and over as Pooch watches. Early next morning as they ready for the days patrol, Gunner tells Sarge that Pooch will be ready to spot any enemy soldiers trying to approach them. Sarge is skeptical that the dog has learned anything. As they move their way through the jungle, Pooch starts barking - nine times. Gunner raises his rifle and shoots towards 9 o'clock. His shots are right on target, taking out a Japanese soldier hidden in the trees. As the man falls out of the tree, one of his grenades goes off. The blast surprises Sarge, who is blinded by the brilliant flash.
Unable to see, Sarge believes that Gunner was killed by the blast, but finds Pooch nearby. Pooch begins to bark again, this time three times. Sarge fires his rifle towards 3 o'clock, and kills two Japanese soldiers who were moving in for the kill! Pooch once again begins to bark, this time five times. Sarge shoots at 5 o'clock, and kills another enemy soldier. Pooch then goes quiet, and Sarge is unable to see if any enemy soldiers approach them. Just then, Pooch leaps behind him, attacking what appears to be an approaching Japanese tank. Gunner, having finally regained consciousness, yells at Sarge that the tank is behind him at 6 o'clock. Both of them yell for Pooch to run, then toss two grenades in the direction of the tank. They explode, destroying the tank and killing the last of the Japanese in the area. Gunner helps Sarge up, who is finally beginning to regain his sight back. Sarge asks Gunner why Pooch didn't tell him about the tank coming up from behind, and Gunner says that the clock doesn't work when something's coming from the rear. Pooch didn't know what to do, so he attacked the tank himself!
Appearing in "Fatal Hit"
- American Infantry soldiers
- Japanese Infantry soldiers
- Unnamed Island, Pacific Ocean
- Mk. 2 grenade
Synopsis for "Fatal Hit"
A group of American soldiers are taking a break in the war to play a game of baseball. As they are playing, a squad of Japanese soldiers appear from out of the jungle to take the group prisoner. The Japanese soldiers laugh at the Americans, mocking them that they can't play baseball. The Japanese take the ball and bat from the Americans, determined to show them the right way to play the game. The batter steps up, the pitch is thrown, and the batter swings and hits! But the ball explodes on impact, killing every one of the Japanese soldiers. The Americans had tricked the Japanese by painting a grenade white to look like a baseball!
Appearing in "Ambush at the Top of the World"
- Princess Sadiya
- Prince Barasat
- Raj Mandvi
- Indian Thugee assassins
- Hindu fortune teller
- Servant Ambala
- Councilor Kevali
- Peasant Jhansi
- The Western Ghats, India
- Elephant caravan
Synopsis for "Ambush at the Top of the World"
During a visit to India, the Mercenaries have noticed wanted posters with their likeness posted around the country. They stop to visit a local priest, worried that they may be recognized. While the priest doesn't recognize them, he does give them a cryptic message - to ride the western Ghats and find their fortune. With nothing else to do, the Mercenaries decide to follow the priest's suggestion. Finding horses to ride, the three head up into the mountains of the Western Ghats, navigating the treacherous roads until they reach the great palace of the Prince Barasat. As they enter, they stumble upon a group of thugee assassins preying on a small group of helpless women. Using only their bare hands and their skills, the Mercenaries quickly take down the thugees and rescue the women. The lead woman announces that she is Princess Sadiya, brother to Prince Barasat and betrothed to the Raj Mandvi. They are led to the palace by the Prince's counselor Kevali, while the Princess is quickly hidden away within her carriage for the rest of the trip. During the short journey, Gordon overhears a conversation between the Princess and her servant Ambala, where the Princess confides that she doesn't want to marry the Raj and that her heart belongs to a lowly peasant named Jhansi, who had rescued her from the water after her horse bolted and threw her from its back. Jhansi had fled the province for the big city, for fear of being beheaded should their affair be discovered.
They caravan finally reaches the palace, and the Mercenaries are introduced to Prince Barasat and rewarded a pearl each for rescuing his sister from the assassins. He offers them a new mission - to escort the Princess Sadiya safely to her husband-to-be, where they will be rewarded riches beyond their wildest dreams. They accept. At dawn, the wedding caravan, along with the three Mercenaries, set out for the palace of the Raj nearly five days journey from there. Gordon doesn't like the idea of delivering the Princess to marry someone she doesn't love, but is told to keep his thoughts to himself and do the job. Later that day further down the trail, Gordon begins to get the feeling that they're being followed but none of them see anything except a few frightened deer in a field. For the next three nights, the Mercenaries stand guard over the sleeping wedding party each night they stop to rest and each night the three can hear the Princess crying in her tent. They feel sorry for her, but are not sure they should do anything to help. On the fourth day, the caravan is surprised when they spot the Raj and his men riding out to meet them before they arrive. The Raj insists on seeing his bride, but it is taboo for the groom to view the bride before they are wed. The Raj demands it, and kills Kevali. When the Raj moves in to see the Princess, he is surprised to find the Princess gone. In her place within the Princess' carriage is Jhansi, who leaps out and attacks the Raj. The Mercenaries move in to take care of the Raj's men, taking them down in a fierce gunfight. Jhansi is forced to kill the Raj, and the Mercenaries allow both Jhansi and the Princess Sadiya to ride off together. Before they leave, Gordon and the others give them the three pearls they were rewarded from the Prince, as a wedding present to the happy couple. The Mercenaries wave goodbye as they ride off, once again coming out of a mission empty-handed.
- This issue features the first full appearance of the Monitor, who before now had only been seen in shadow. He would make one more appearance in the series next issue, before becoming the main catalyst of the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
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Links and References
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