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Hans von Hammer (New Earth)

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Hans von Hammer was an ace of the German Air Force during World War I, serving through most of the war. He survived numerous encounters with Allied Aces, and was responsible for shooting most of them down. He had a high sense of honor and respect for the enemy common during the air war. He was prone to loneliness and hated being called a killer and a killing machine. He would often after flying hunt in the Black Forest where he met "his only friend" a black wolf who would hunt with him. Von Hammer also had an orderly named Schmidt who gloated over Hans' victories. Von Hammer settled into his castle in Bavaria after the Armistice in 1918.

By the time of World War II, Von Hammer had an extreme dislike for the Nazi regime, a fact which his old squadmates tried to hush up. However he was asked to serve by one of his old squadmates Peter Stalschmidt in May, 1942. Von Hammer served on the Russian Front near Leningrad from July 1942 to March, 1943. He quickly regained his flying edge and helped the rest of his new unit. He was shot down over the city in January 1943, where he saw the full horrors of war on the Eastern Front. He escaped back into German lines.[1]

Two years later in March and April, 1945, Von Hammer's unit was providing air defense of Munich against American bombers. Now equipped with the new jet-powered Me 262, Von Hammer scored impressive victories against the Allies. However the war was lost and Von Hammer was shot down and baled out over the Dachau Concentration Camp, seeing the genocide of the Nazis, Von Hammer realized he was fighting for a criminal regime, he convinced his unit of this, and prepared to surrender to the Americans. In a final act of defiance he had the jet fighters destroyed before surrendering.[2]

Years later, Von Hammer's descendants would include the current Swamp Thing, and many more characters today.


Abilities

  • Aviation: Hans von Hammer is considered one of the single best fighter pilots to come out of World War I.
  • Aerial Combat: During his career as a fighter pilot, Enemy Ace acquired seventy-plus kills, more than any other World War I era pilot.
  • Tactical Analysis: Enemy Ace possessed a keen analytical mind, which in combination with his natural instincts, enabled him to calculate battle plans, strategize against enemy assailants and dominate the "Killer Skies".
  • Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): Though most of Von Hammer's combat took place in the air, he was equally skilled with his fists. He was also trained in fencing and is an expect shot with a pistol


Transportation

  • Hans von Hammer piloted several different fighter planes throughout his career including:
    • Fokker Dr.I
    • Messerschmitt Bf 109
    • Messerschmitt Me 262
  • Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985-86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
  • The character of Enemy Ace was largely inspired by real world German pilot Manfred von Richthofen, more popularly known as the "Red Baron".
  • All of Von Hammer's planes were painted red. In World War II he did not allow a Nazi Swastika painted on his aircraft.
  • DC Direct released an Enemy Ace deluxe action figure which included Black Wolf and a smaller scale version of his Fokker DR.I.

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Footnotes


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