THE PEACEMAKER #5

“The Fire World”

Writer: Joe Gill

Artist: Pat Boyette

The Peacemaker has come up with a new fire resistant material. He sends the formula and a sample to a company in the states. Then releases a statement to the press that this is being released for the good of all. Mr. Blaze is a fire-eater working at a circus. Unfortunately his act isn’t very good and he burns his hands. He hears about the formula on the news and decides to steal it. So he breaks into the mail room at the company after blinding the guards. He sets the place on fire to cover his theft.

Mr. Blaze then goes to a deserted island with a volcano and finds it inhabited by lava men. He puts on the formula and convinces the lava men that the outside world is out to get them. He builds them jet packs and they go to steal a navy ship that is being used as a test for an atomic blast. This test is being monitored by the Peacemaker who discovers Mr. Blaze and his lava men stealing the ship. They capture Peacemaker and force him to build them an advanced indestructible atomic jet. When he finishes they toss Peacemaker into the volcano and plan to pour lava in to trap him.

Peacemaker though has an AZG(absolute zero generator) device. The cool causes an explosion and propels him out of the volcano. Peacemaker soon finds out that Mr. Blaze is attacking the U.S. and is invincible. So he goes to Washington D.C. Fortunately the compound Mr. Blaze uses to shield himself only has a limited half-life. He is forced to eject from the jet and Peacemaker destroys it with the AZG. He then uses the AZG to seal off the volcano but Mr. Blaze has escaped.

“The Conclusion of the Card Carrier”

Writer: Joe Gill

Artist: Montes Bache

Frenchy is captured by Soviet agents but manages to escape. He gets off a radio message before being recaptured. Hank Hennessy the leader finds out the member of the Marchers whose card was found at the first scene was killed before the firebombing. Sonya makes her report that the Marchers couldn’t be under the Commies because she knows the Commie mind. So the rest of the team meets up and takes on the Soviet agents. They finds out the leader was the publisher of the conservative newspaper. This guy wanted to drum up anger against the Commies so he could take over the government and launch an attack on the Soviets. He hired ex-Soviet agents and tried to frame the Marchers.

The final issue of the Peacemaker at least from Charlton. This was a real doozy. Once again we get an evil goatee genius only this time with a turban and in white face because of the chemical. There are these kooky lava men which Mr. Blaze has no trouble in getting them to follow him. Peacemaker is losing it by letting himself get captured so easily and building the evil guy an indestructible jet.

Also the conclusion of the Fightin’ 5. This was an interesting turn to have the conservative guy the enemy and not the pinko Commies. Sadly this is the last of the Fightin’ 5. The world will just have to find some other way to stop those crazy Commies. As for the Peacemaker he would return later for DC which we will look at next week. I sure do love these hokey old stories from the sixties.

THE PEACEMAKER #4

“The Peacemaker”

Writer: Joe Gill

Artist: Pat Boyette

Christopher Smith is hiring a new secretary and only one candidate shows. Nora O’Rourke is a naturalized American from Ireland. She comes with a black eye she got by fighting a man planting a bomb in her dressing case. Seems someone was threatening the candidates and Nora is the only one that wasn’t scared off. Before the interview continues it is interrupted by a sniper trying to kill Smith. Smith uses his long range pellet gun to knock out the sniper. It is apparently a common occurrence for people to try and kill him.

So Smith decides to let Nora in on his secret. He is the Peacemaker. How he grew up with a fighter pilot father and scientist mother to become interested in rockets. He designed and flew an advanced jet and I guess made tons of money. While as a diplomat he found himself powerless to stop Bork an international arms dealer who was starting wars to help sell his arms. So as the Peacemaker he stopped Bork.

The chateau of the Peacemaker is then attacked. Colonel Uz another Cossack with a goatee is attacking to get the Peacemaker’s weapons. The Peacemaker manages to destroy his weapons before succumbing to the gas. He wakes up a captive and is forced to repair all the weapons that Uz stole from various countries. Only the Peacemaker sabotages the weapons. When Nora is threatened the Peacemaker acts. Uz finds out his weapons are useless and tries to escape in his jet but the Peacemaker sabotaged it. Once again the world is save.

“Card Carrier”

Writer: Joe Gill

Artist: Montes Bache

Some vandals in Rochester, NY firebomb the offices of a conservative magazine. The police can’t capture them but they find a card belonging to a member of the Marchers. The magazine criticized the Marches as Pinkos so it is assumed they are Commies. That is why the Fightin’ 5 are called in. They have Sonya go undercover to the Marchers since she is a former Commie and can recognize if they are under control of the Soviets. They set a trap at the magazine’s print shop and the vandals are stopped. The vandals think they got away but Frenchy is following. He follows them to the sewers and discovers a secret room. Only the Commies have caught him.

So an origin story for the Peacemaker. To be honest it was a little sparse and underwhelming. Yet it continues to have the kooky over the top villain. We do find out the Peacemaker is just a walking bomb with all sorts of chemicals and explosives hidden on his body. He has such stuff as a gun that ejects an odorless gas as supersonic speed. Oh and he manages to substitute paper-mache for real bullets in Colonel Uz’s weapons which is a real feat.

The Fightin’ 5 is another gem. Sad this title was cancelled but we do get some real fun stories as a backup. I love how anti-communist they were back in the sixties. What a golden age that was. We find out that Granite Gallo still doesn’t trust Sonya and Hank also has his doubts. Apparently once a Commie, always a Commie.

THE PEACEMAKER #3

“Our Future World”

Writer: Joe Gill

Artist: Pat Boyette

Christopher Smith after a hard day of negotiating peace heads off to the beach. His guest is the beautiful Gerda Hain a world renowned atomic expert. She gets kidnapped by some fish-men. So Christopher Smith must don his Peacemaker suit and go to the rescue. The trail leads to an underwater city and he is attacked by fish-men. The Peacemaker decides to let himself get captured. He finds out the city was built by Enrico Lucetti. Lucetti is this mad genius who has decided to build under the sea and convert people into fish-men so they can survive the coming nuclear holocaust. Not content to wait he has plans to launch some missiles from his sub to start the war.

The Peacemaker after easily escaping finds this out but decides to let himself get captured again. Only now he is in a plastic bubble that resists his laser from his helmet. Fortunately the floor is vulnerable and he lasers his way out. He manages to destroy the controls which blows up the sub. Enrico is eaten by sharks as he tries to escape.

“Special Prisoner”

Writer: Joe Gill

Artists: Montes Bache

Granite Gallo goes undercover as Lowell Simms the assistant President. Didn’t know we had one. Anyhoo the plan is for him to be captured by the KGB so they can lead the Fightin’ 5 to the location another scientist is held. This scientist has developed a new advanced atomic jet. Seems everything back in the sixties that was modern was also atomic. Gallo has the plans. Only the Fightin’ 5 manage to break them out.

Joe is getting a bit lazy with the writing. This is a recycled story from the Fightin’ 5. A mad genius turning people into fish-men and planning to destroy the world. Not really complaining since it is such an enjoyable bit of cheeze. The Peacemaker is so cool. He lets himself get captured because he is just so damn good they couldn’t do it for real. This was a full length story instead of two separate small ones. It doesn’t have an East European Commie dictator out to destroy the world but a well meaning nut job. It has the trademark of the series with goofy technology that blows up real easy and hokey dialogue.

The Fightin’ 5 was also a fun little story. Once again they save the world from those damn Commies. We get some fun little interaction with Granite and Sonya. Granite clearly has a thing for Sonya but also still doesn’t trust her. Nice to see that Gill got to continue the Fightin’ 5’s adventures in this series.

THE FIGHTIN’ 5 #49

“The Plans of S.A.T.A.N.”
Writer: Joe Gill
Artist: Montes Bache

The Fightingest men in the world are taking down some Oriental Communists smuggling weapons to saboteur groups. Only it is a trap sprung by Nico the head of S.A.T.A.N. Nico dresses in a spandex red suit with a giant S on his chest, a high collar and antennae. He also has a goatee and pointy ears. Not to mention a pitchfork. Basically he dresses like Satan. He uses his pitchfork to shoot a paralyzing beam on the leader Hennessey. Then sleep gas on the others. This was a warning for the 5 not to get involved with his plans.

The 5 recover and head back to HQ. There they find out Nico was a double agent during WWII. He was decorated by the Allies as well as the Nazis. Apparently the guy thrives on chaos and destruction. Nico causes bombs to go off in the French Riviera. Only this is a distraction as the 5 go there he hits the New York Stock Exchange. He forces them to sign over control of all the major companies, cartels and gold mines. Then using an armored subway car as a distraction he escapes.

So the 5 figure out his future plans and they involve the city of Venice. Nico sets the canals on fire and plants mines. He also unleashes hordes of killer whales and sharks. While this is going on he loots the palaces. Only the 5 manage to confront him but he uses his pitchfork and gas. He seems to have won but the 5 were immune to the gas thanks to an antidote and Hennessey survives because of extra armor. They attack his sub and capture it but Nico jumps into the canal amid a shark feeding frenzy. Did he perish or will he be back?

“The Enemy”
Writer & Artist: Unknown

PFC. Billy Trent is in the jungles of Guadalcanal and scared to death. Every little sound and animal causes him to panic and run. He bumps into a seasoned sergeant who straightens him out to overcome his fear. The two then attack a Japanese machine gun.

I thought this couldn’t get any goofier but I was wrong. This is just plan nuts. Some super villain in a Satan suit causes all this over the top mayhem. He forces the NY Stock Exchange to give him title the all the world’s wealth. Yet he continues to cause chaos for his own pleasure. We never do find out what S.A.T.A.N. stands for. So the series ends. We got all sorts of evil in the world the team fought. Of course there were Communists galore. Soviet saboteurs and Viet Cong with Chinese Communists. There were also Nazis and Aztecs. Evil scientists and mafioso taking over corporations. Not to mention a kooky evil genius in a Satan suit. Yet the Fightin’ 5 went on to be a backup feature in another series which we will in the future explore. Commies and evildoers beware.

THE FIGHTIN’ 5 #48

“Hidden Empire”
Writer: Joe Gill
Artist: Montes Blanche

Dr. Hubert Nijus is a world renowned scientist who has developed a pill that can enable people to live underwater. He recruits his students and builds an underwater city. A government agent comes to him because the families of his students are concerned about their disappearance. This agent discovers what Nijus is doing and is kidnapped. So the Fightin’ 5 are called in. Their leader is aware of what’s going on and is already training with scuba gear to fight sharks. They track one of Nijus’s students to the city. They fight off sharks set on them by wounding some so they fight among themselves. Yet they are still captured by Nijus’s finmen. Nijus plans to turn the 5 into his finmen. Already he has kidnapped a Soviet sub crew and plans to kidnap more submarine crews. He has built a sub of his own and plans to nuke the major ports as part of his plan for world conquest. It all backfires because the 5 already have a cure for the finman serum. They give it to his men who free themselves. Only Nijus refuses to be captured and blows himself up.

“The Treasure Pirates”
Writer & Artist: Unknown

Some treasure hunters are driven off their find by pirates. Only the legitimate hunters later get the drop on the pirates and they are arrested. The hunters get their find but have to give a portion to the government in taxes. Always pay your taxes kids.

“Expendable Except”
Writer: Unknown

A prose story about some O.S.S. agents in Italy during WWII. They are rescuing a scientist and his daughter from the Nazis. Only the Nazis have them trapped in a farmhouse with a tank. The scientist insists that the agents pay the owner $10,000 for the farm which they do. Apparently they carry around a lot of money. Then the scientist invites the Nazis officer in under a flag of truce. He shows how in the wine cellar he has rigged it to blow and this would collapse the tank into the cellar. Then he would set the wine on fire. So the Nazis surrenders and they get away.

This has definitely got to be the goofiest of the series so far. A crazy scientist who creates finmen with shark fins that grow out of the top of their heads. He builds a city underwater and mines uranium for bombs. Yet the macho Fightin’5 have no trouble getting into their scuba gear and fighting hordes of sharks. They also somehow have an antidote to the finman pills. Not really explained but you just have to go with stuff in series like this.

As for the backups. Well one has an underwater theme. Have to put in for the kids the joys of paying your taxes. While the prose story during WWII is just plain nuts. That has to be some strong wine to be highly flammable. Oh and they just carry around $10,000. As I said this was one goofy issue.

THE FIGHTIN’ 5 #47

“Green Death in Vietnam”
Writer: Joe Gill
Artist: Montes Bache

The Fightin’ 5 get there next assignment while waiting around their HQ. Chu a Chinese specialist from Peking is in Vietnam with 2,000 of his men. He has a reputation of being invincible and has the peasants terrified. So the 5 go to Nam’ and immediately get a lift to the interior by helicopter. As they land they make short work of the VC ambush. The survivor goes to Chu who is furious that the Americans have defeated some of his men. So he goes to a nearby village and using reeds to breath underwater, his men ambush the militia and the Special Forces advisor. He takes the young men as recruits and heads back to his base.

The 5 follow with Hennessey using his jetpack to ambush Chu as the others catch up from behind. Hennessey confronts Chu who in terror flees. They free the captives and tell them to spread the word on Chu’s cowardice. They then come on his base which he is using to train and arm recruits. Hennessey distracts Chu as the others plant explosives and destroy his weapons. At the end Hennessey give Chu a serious ass kicking and exposes him for the coward he really is. Chu is paraded around to show the whole country what a loser he really is.

“The Green Badge of Courage”
Writer & Artist: Unknown

A story that tells how great the Special Forces are. They not only have trained in every fighting skill and can operate in any climate. They have language skills and can teach how to farm and prepare defenses. This seems to be another Special Forces recruitment ad.

“American Ingenuity”
By Juan Fernandez

A prose article by a South American journalist covering the war in Vietnam. He tells how American forces are experts in improvisation. That spikes planed by the Cong were causing casualties so the Americans made metal soles for their boots. They also armed themselves with hatchets for the close quarter fighting.

So this was their all Vietnam war issue. I find it interesting because this was written back in 1965 or 66 when the war was in it’s early phase. When advisors were actually small groups of Green Berets and not whole divisions. I find it so optimistic about the war. Just reading it I wonder how we ever lost. I mean the enemy were cowardly agents from China. Here you have these guys in bright blue uniforms with bright red berets being able to melt into the jungle unseen by the VC. Plus they had jet packs to fly around with. I think veterans would get a good laugh out of this. Ah such an innocent time back then.

THE FIGHTIN’ 5 #46

“Death Rode the Red Wind”
Writer: Joe Gill
Artist: Montes Bache

In an unnamed North African country an evil guy named Kifa-Ray has kidnapped two American Peace Corp workers. A Doctor and his nurse Loomis. The king Fazam-El believes Kifa-Ray is his twin brother that was kidnapped as a baby and brought up no good. He calls his friends the Fightin’ 5 to rescue the kidnapped Americans. So they come and go into the Inferno to rescue them. They first get attacked by a Stuka and manage to shoot it down. Then they come to an old French Foreign Legion fort that is being used by Kifa-Ray. They manage to successfully break in but Kifa-Ray gets them to surrender after threatening the life of Nurse Loomis.

Kifa-Ray is under the influence of his kidnapper a former German Nazi colonel named Wolfgang Kuss. Kifa decides to send the 5 along with the hostages into the Inferno to die. Hennessey the leader manages to convince him to give them back their weapons and supplies which he does. So they go out and manage to survive thanks to some super duper plastic sheets that protect them from the 117 degree heat and sandstorms. They shoot down another Stuka sent to find them and the pilot survives. He decides to join them and shows a secret underground tunnel entrance to the fort. They come in and set off the fuel to explode but not before they rescue Kifa-Ray who has decided that Kuss is a no good Nazi.

“The Sport of Judo”
Writer and Artist: Frank McLaughlin

An illustration on how to throw down on an opponent. Also talks about the sport and how popular it is in Japan. Also remember how to fall properly. Has warning at the beginning and end that kids shouldn’t try this without proper supervision.

“Fightin Facts”
Writer & Artist: Unknown

A brief overview of Special Forces. That they must graduate parachute training and have all sorts of tough training to become a member.

I just love this issue. You have Nazis and Stukas and evil Arabs. The Nazi Kuss even has an eyepatch. So he kidnaps a baby and decades later is using him to take over a country. That is some long term planning. A weird thing in this is the two captives tell that they haven’t eaten or drank in two days. Now you could survive two days without food but I don’t think you can without water. Anyway I remember loving this issue with it’s Nazis and Stukas and other goofy stuff in a mysterious desert.

The backup had something different. An instructional on Judo. I wonder how those warnings worked out. I doubt that discouraged any kid from trying these moves out.

THE FIGHTIN’ 5 #45

“The Many Masks of Doom”
Writer: Joe Gill
Artist: Montes Bache

The Fightin’ 5 are training at their Virginia estate when a State Department official brings them their next assignment. An Asian country is about to have a military coup. General Winh is a popular figure in the army. Yet they have heard that Le Duch Du Mort or the Duke of Death is the one really behind the coup. Du Mort has worked for the Gestapo under Hitler, helped Stalin in the purges and worked for the Mafia in the drug trade. Guy gets around. He is also a master of disguise and can speak any known language.

The 5 are ambushed at their hotel by troops of the coup but they easily defeat them and take their half track. They arrive at the Presidential Palace and find the phony General Winh staging a coup. Du Mort manages to use tear gas to disarm the 5 and take them prisoner. Only the 5 have explosives hidden on them and bust out. They go to the embassy but find the Marine guards replaced by Du Mort’s men. Du Mort has now impersonated the ambassador and announced that the US government now supports the coup. They free the ambassador and take back the embassy. Only Du Mort now is disguised as the leader Captain Hennessey. Luckily the real Hennessey shows up and captures him. Only at the end the insidious Du Mort escapes disguised as the commander of the Marine guards and with millions of gold and art from the country.

“O.S.S.”
Writer & Artist: Unknown

The O.S.S. or Office of Special Services operated in all countries during WWII. They counterfeited money to destabilize currency. They bribed corrupt officers for information and other acts of sabotage. The members never received any medals and couldn’t tell any war stories because they were sworn to secrecy.

“The Meuse-Argonne Battle”
Writer & Artist: Unknown

On September 26,1918 250,000 troops with 2,700 guns attacked the Germans. This was the last major offense of the war and cost America 117,000 dead and wounded.

Coincidentally as I write this a military coup is going on in Myanmar. Strange coincidence. Anyway this is one wild story. This Duke of Death could easily disguise himself and apparently worked for every evil organization in the world. It is interesting that this opponent is the only one so far that the Fightin’ 5 didn’t fully defeat. This guy managed to escape and take millions with him. He sounded like a villain that was planned for future issues if this series had a longer run.

The backup historical shorts were good little fillers as usual.

THE FIGHTIN’ 5 #44

“The Ransome of Big-D”
Writer: Joe Gill
Artist: Montes Bache

General Dynamotors or “Big-D” as its known is the world’s largest corporation. It makes everything from cars to tanks. Missiles, ocean liners, fabrics and steel. Only there is a problem with the quality of products from the corporation lately. Hennessy buys a Big-D sports car and the steering fails. Irv the Nerve is parachuting and the ripcord on the Big-D made parachute fails. Luckily he manages to cut the cord and the chute opens in time. While Granite Gallero is testing a new tank for the army when the fuel line bursts and the tank bursts into flames. It was also a Big-D product.

The Fightin’ 5 decide this is something they must look into. Luckily Hennessy is very rich and is a majority shareholder in the corporation. So the gang head out to the mid-west to visit the corporate office in their trusty jet. First they are attacked by a corporate jet fighter that they manage to shoot down. They get to the HQ and find that a criminal kingpin named Luckens is in control. Apparently he threatened shareholders to give him their proxy vote to give him control of the board. Now his criminal gang is looting the company. They try to escape in a bomber and destroy the HQ with a cobalt bomb but the Fightin’ 5 stop them. So they avert a major depression by saving this massive global corporation.

“The Phantom of the Sahara”
Writer & Artist: Unknown.

Ervin Rommel is sent to North Africa to stop the British 8th Army under Wavell. He manages to use phony tanks to fool the British that his forces are in place to delay them. He was known for riding around in his staff car all over the battlefield. He also used a captured British tank to travel around behind enemy lines. His tactics defeated a force larger than his but the lack of fuel and parts eventually doomed his Afrika Corp.

“The Instant Army”
Writer & Artist: Unknown

The modern American Army division can be airlifted anywhere in the world in a matter of hours. Large jets transport the troops to their destination. Once there helicopters take them to the area. Heavy equipment like artillery and tanks are parachuted to them.

Wow I did not know that it was so easy to take over a major corporation. You just need to threaten the major stockholders and they just roll over. So this was an unexpected story. I never though about the criminals threatening the free world by taking over the a major corporation. Luckily the head of the group is filthy rich and they seem to just do anything they want. It does confuse me how they managed to take over the company if Hennessy is the majority shareholder.

I also love how this corporation has access to such high tech stuff as jets, bombers and a cobalt bomb. Good to know that there is such tight oversight of these things by the government. The cover is a bit misleading. They never fight a giant so not really sure what that was about. I guess it was to symbolize the giant corporation.

As for the backup there are another treat. The Rommel story seems very far fetched but just nuts if true. I might have to look into Rommel. He probably has a very interesting story. The second seems to make the transfer of heavy divisions look a little too easy. Still troops can be moved about much faster then in the WWII/Korea era.

THE FIGHTIN’ 5 #43

“The Aztec Destroyers”
Writer: Joe Gill
Artist: Montes Bache

Lev is a Soviet agent sent to the Sierra Madres to train the local Aztecs in sabotage. One of these Aztecs manage to sneak aboard an aircraft carrier and denotate a bomb. The guy survives and realizes that Lev lied about America. So he tells the Fightin’ 5 about his secret base. The 5 then infiltrate to Mexico. There Hennessy and Frenchy capture the Aztec queen. Only she manages to escape through a trap door and because the guys don’t want to shoot the innocent Aztecs, Hennessy is captured. Later Tom-Tom is also captured and the two are going to be sacrificed to their sun god. Only Tom-Tom is so strong that he breaks the chains. An old legends tells that someone would do this and lead the Aztecs against evil.

Lev decides to flee and shoots the Aztec princess seriously wounding her. So the 5 then attack Lev’s base which is inside a giant stone statue on the mountainside. Lev decides to launch his nuclear missiles to save himself. As he says, “Almost all the world will die but I will live.” OK well luckily the Aztecs show up and turn against the Commies. They manage to destroy the nuclear missiles and capture Lev. The princess survives and wants Hennessy to say with her but Hennessy has a greater mission, to continue with his team to fight the threats to freedom.

“The Space Warriors”
Writer & Artist: Unknown

In the future soldiers will be equipped with laser rifles, rocket packs and little jet powered capsules. They take less then a day to accomplish what took 2,000,000 to accomplish a hundred years ago.

“They Made a Man”
Writer & Artist: Unknown

PFC Billy Cleeve is scrawny kid just out of high school. The army turns him into a lean, mean fighting machine. He joins the special forces and helps the Vietnamese train to fight the VC.

Oh those evil Commie bastards. They use these poor naive Aztecs that just want to worship their sun god and offer him human sacrifices. Instead they are turned into ruthless saboteurs for world Communism. I love these old stories. They are just so off the wall goofy. Didn’t know the Commies would just casually send off a bunch of nuclear missiles to a training camp in Mexico…and give control of them to a very unstable guy. I really fail to see the logic of launching the missiles. Sure they would destroy the world but they wouldn’t stop the Fightin’ 5. They’d still be close enough to kill him.

The small little backup stories were a hoot. The first was very upbeat about how easy the war of the future will be. The second seems like a recruitment to get young boys to sign up for special forces to fight the VC. God do I love these old stories.