The Battle YOU Demanded! Gorilla Versus Nazi!
You know how you can tell you're about to read the single greatest war comic ever produced? When it has a title like this:
Yes, you read that correctly: Crashing into the pages of GI Combat #189 comes the Haunted Tank's most ridiculously aweosme adventure, courtesy of--who else?--ISB favorite Robert Kanigher and penciller Sam Glanzman, and despite the fact that it clocks in at a mere twelve pages, it might just be the best comic ever printed.
I won't lie, this particular post is going to be heavy on the pictures and light on commentary, but honestly? We're talking about a comic bok where a gorilla fights nazis alongside a haunted tank, and there's not a whole hell of a lot I can add to that. But I will make two promises here:
- At no time during tonight's update will I make a pun on "guerilla warfare."
- By the time I'm done, you will all be FREAKING OUT.
On with it!
Our story begins as Lt. Jeb Stuart and his crew roll into a small town in France, with the ghost of General Stuart taking a break from sipping phantasmal mint juleps long enough to let his namesake know they'll be picking up a passenger before the night's through. Said passenger?
Francois Le Grande, leader of our allies in Le Résistance De Gorille, a covert all-monkey strike force dedicated to battling Hitler's dreaded Affewaffe!
Actually, that's not true at all. Really, Francois is the star attraction of a local circus that the Haunted Tank stumbles across who has been specially triained to mock Der Führer in a sequence that probably wasn't such a good idea to perform in a tent where a gang of Nazis are secretly holding the crowd at gunpoint, a shocking revelation that provides us with another one of my favorite dialogue baloons:
Needless to say, they don't take too kindly to Francois' antics, and open fire on the crowd, leading to the inevitable circus-themed battle with Jeb Stuart's crew, during which our erstwhile tank commander comes up with the most sensible plan possible to defeat the Nazis...
...and turns the Ferris Wheel into a rotating iron engine of destruction.
Yeah, I'm gonna need to see that one more time.
Not since Bruce Lee battled Mr. Han in the hall of mirrors has there been so badass a use of a carnival ride.
Sadly, the Ringmaster of the circus is mortally wounded in the fray, and before he shuffles loose this mortal coil, makes Lt. Stuart promise that he'll get Francois safely to his brother in the next town over. And Jeb being the man of honor that he is, this means that the Haunted Tank now has its own gorilla.
Of course, hijinks of the Every Which Way But Loose variety quickly ensue, including a scene where Jeb stuffs Francois inside, crowding the crew until they shove him back up to the turret to hang out with Jeb, and a scene where Francois rips Jeb's machine-gun apart while he's keeping watch overnight.
Alas, the good times can't last forever, because it's page ten of a Bob Kanigher war comic, and that means it's time for the usual Ratzi Ambush! Thanks to a well-placed landminne, the Tank's crippled, Jeb's KOed, and there's only one soldier who can man the machinegun against an entire platoon of German soldiers advancing from a nearby river.
Prepare yourself. This is where it gets radical.
Francois the Gorilla grabs the machinegun, mows down the Nazis...
...and pulls the trigger until it goes "click."
But that's not all. Not by a long shot. Because once he's out of ammo, Francois Le Grande leaps out of the tank...
And TAKES ON THE NAZIS HAND TO HAND.
MONKEY VERSUS NAZIS--OMAC STYLE!
Never before and never since has there been a comic book panel so pure and beautiful as a mad gorilla beating the living hell out of a group of Nazis until he's the last one left standing.
Because Bob Kanigher. That's why.