VENGEANCE SQUAD #6

“Case# 0006 The Diamond Queen!”

Writer: Joe Gill

Artist: Pete Morisi

The Vengeance Squad is driving to their next assignment along the Aegean coast. They are attacked by a jet fighter and abandon their car. Luckily, they are such excellent shots they manage to bring down the fighter with their pistols. The pilot parachutes to a waiting boat. The squad continues to an island of The Diamond Queen. A woman that has over $30 million in diamonds. Mrs. Otokopoulos has hired the squad to protect her guests for an evening dinner. Redd finds a bug in their rooms and immediately knows something is up.

When the dinner comes the squad pretend to eat which is good thing. For the criminals have drugged the food. The squad pretends to be asleep so as not to have any innocent guests killed. The criminals steal millions and take Candy Orr as a hostage. Redd and Tulsa find a helicopter and take off after the stolen yacht named The Diamond Queen. Redd figures out the helicopter was booby trapped and lands just before it explodes. Then getting on a passing fishing boat they continue their pursuit. The criminals scuttle the yacht and take a car to the airport. Redd and Tulsa climb a cliff and with the help of Candy overpower the guards. Redd drives the car into the airplane destroying it. They refuse the reward money because they have no time to spend it.

“The Big Pigeon”

Writer: Unknown

The Vengeance Squad is watching the testimony of Barneby Brighton a mob bookkeeper. He is going to reveal the identity of Mr. Big. The squad has a feeling something will happen to Brighton and go to watch over him. Good thing because they find out Brighton is Mr. Big and was trying to escape.

“Gangwar”

Writer: Nicola Cuti

Artist: Joe Staton

A big mobster gets killed with a bomb in his birthday cake. Another case that Mauser can’t solve due to a gangster’s death. Mauser has also hired a new secretary. A part time exotic dancer whose typing is bad and her coffee is worse. She is also a karate expert who wants to be a policewoman. Mauser goes to visit his police detective friend and after meets a man. They have a drink and he finds out that his daughter was killed by drug use. This man is the vigilante and shoots Mauser with a tranquilizing dart. He takes him back to his office and makes a call to a mobster. Mauser figures out this was a ruse to lead him from the real target. He goes to this other mobster and saves him while shooting the vigilante.

The final issue was a real fun one. We have the Vengeance squad take out a jet fighter with pistols. How did someone get a jet fighter and use it without anyone seeing in a highly monitored airspace? Don’t Know. Yet it was a fun goofy story filled with action. The prose story also was an interesting read.

Finally, the Mauser story was the best one I read so far. In some cases, the backup outshone the main story in this series. Mauser rescues an evil mobster from a vigilante who lost his daughter. A man who does what is right even though he doesn’t feel it. You can feel it in his final words to the mobster when he asks what he can do for him. He replies, Give me a good reason to push you off this roof.” You can tell he is very conflicted by the decisions he made.

This series was a short lived one as most of Joe Gill’s endeavors I read from Charlton. Yet they were a fun if corny read from a much simpler time.

VENGEANCE SQUAD #5

“Case# 0005 Death is Driving!”

Writer: Joe Gill

Artist: Pete Morisi

The Vengeance Squad are parachuting into southern France. They are there to take out a heroin lab located in a chateau. Armed with Thompson submachineguns and grenades they take out a Maxim firing at them. Then Tulsa slugs the leader who is wearing a mask with a cape and cowl. This pussy just runs away and detonates the chateau. The squad has a limo waiting for them after this that takes them to Monte Carlo.

Once checked into a premium hotel they get down to tracking the elusive leader of the heroin operation. They throw around money and buy sports cars with cash while bragging about how they took out the heroin lab. The car salesman is observed by Candy at the beach telling a shady man. This man Marco Poleau is a suspected criminal. Later that day Poleau tries to run Redd off the highway but gets run off instead. So then Poleau kidnaps Candy and takes her to his yacht. Only Candy manages to escape and set off the bomb trap and destroy the yacht. Now Poleau has to race Redd in the Grand Prix. A race that sees Poleau die after crashing over the cliff.

“The Frame”

Writer: Nicola Cuti

Artist: Joe Staton

Mauser has just hired a secretary at his sister insistence. He hires Bambi a blonde bimbo with a heavy New York accent. She also can’t type or take dictation which is fine with Mauser. He hates a know it all. Mauser gets an assignment from Stu Canfield who runs a collection agency. A painting for $50 needs to be collected on a deadbeat. Mauser has an easy time collecting the painting which is stolen by a thug while walking through the streets. Mauser gives chase and hears the sound of three silenced pistol shots. He finds the thug shot dead. Mauser takes the picture and throws away the frame.

At the office he calls Stu and finds out that the frame is also worth a lot of money and has to go get it. Only he finds it missing and thinks that Bambi is the one who took it. She was the only one he told where the frame was and she immediately had to go take care of a sick mother. He goes to her apartment and finds Stu there. Bambi tried to steal the gems in the frame and Mauser is forced to shoot Stu. Bambi insists she was of course framed.

“Rule of Fear”

Writer: Unknown

Candy Orr goes to a shopping mall and rescues a woman being mugged. She offers to teach her and her friends some self defense moves. Later she finds out that they successfully fought off muggers.

Another fun issue. This was a Modern reprint which first introduced me to the series. It has this creepy guy who wears a goofy mask and cape. I love how Redd manages to shoot a grenade out of the air and explode it with his Thompson. These guys just have tons of money. They have a limo waiting to pick them up after a mission. They pay cash for two sports cars. Vengeance is good business. Of course Redd is so committed to getting the bad guys he has no time to rest in Monte Carlo. They have a new mission at the end.

The Mauser story was exceptional this issue. He gets a bimbo secretary who is working against him. Mauser will take anything even a job to collect a $50 painting. I suppose $50 was a lot back in the seventies. Ends with a great pun.

Finally the prose story was an enjoyable one. Candy Orr beats up some punks and teaches the local ladies to defend themselves. All around a fun and enjoyable issue.

THE PEACEMAKER #2

“The Survivors!”

Writer: Joe Gill

Artist: Pat Boyette

Christopher Smith is on assignment to a uranium mine in the eastern block. He is inspecting it to see if the Commies are honoring a disarmament treaty. The mine seems inactive but he is suspicious that they have all these weapons pointed at the mine entrance. So he goes in to look around. He gets captured by a race that look like shapeless white blobs. These are former slave laborers that the radiation mutated. These slaves can now change their appearance to look like anyone. They also found a city from an ancient civilization intact. Using the recovered technology they have drilled to all the world’s cities with an underground mole. They plan to assume the identities of world leaders and start a war to destroy civilization. Christopher escapes and changes into the Peacemaker. He is captured again but uses hidden explosives to escape his cage. His laser helmet destroys the mole and sets off a chain reaction that destroys the mine.

“The Ultimatum”

Writer: Joe Gill

Artist: Pat Boyette

Premier Gekk of some Soviet type country is out to conquer the world. He has build up an army and most importantly has a squadron of advanced bombers. These bombers can fly at 3,000 mph, have a recoilless 80mm cannon that fires nuclear shells and rockets that also are nuclear. Gekk gives Christopher an ultimatum to deliver to the President. Surrender or be totally destroyed. Christopher goes to deliver the message but instead changes into the Peacemaker. Using his advanced jet he manages to destroy the squadron and they crash into the army detonating their nuclear shells. Then he unleashed a knockout gas on the rest of the army. Gekk is forced to surrender to U.N. disarmament inspectors.

“The Fightin’ 5”

Writer: Joe Gill

Artist: Montes Bache

The Fightin’ 5 need a new member since the death of Irv the Nerve. Their leader Hank Hennessey is also now without his left arm and eye. The computer choses the Soviet defector Sonya from their last mission. Hank now has to stay behind and supervise because of losing body parts as the four member go off. Their mission is in the artic where the Soviets have captured technicians from a radar site. The Five go looking for them flying around on their jet packs. They find the secret Soviet base hidden behind an artificial fog bank. The group is captured by Soviets on their jet packs firing knockout missiles. Sonya convinces the commander she is with the NKVD and isn’t locked away. She then frees her teammates and the captive technicians. They destroy the base and head on home.

Another fun old hokey issue from the early days of the cold war. The first story was a bit different in having an opponent you can sympathize with. These guys were mutated by the Commies and used as slave labor. Now they just want to get back at the world by destroying it. I can understand that. Still they have to be destroyed to save world peace.

The second is the more typical evil power mad goatee guy dressed as a Cossack leader out to conquer the world. They always look the same. Anyway this guy has some real balls in just demanding the world surrender. Thankfully they have the Peacemaker with his super high tech stuff or otherwise the world would be Commie by now.

Finally is the Fightin’ 5. I don’t remember Hank losing an arm and eye but the story did end kind of abruptly last issue. Anyway we find out old Irv the Nerve had to die so they can replace him with the hot Commie chick. Naturally being a former Commie the other guys don’t trust her. This seems to be confirmed when she goes over to the Soviets. Joe should really pay attention to stuff going on in the world. The NKVD changed over the to the KGB back in the fifties well after this was written. Anyway it all works out in the end.

Another fun issue filled with improbable technology and evil Commies out to take over the world.

THE PEACEMAKER #1

“The Killer on the Reef!”

Writer: Joe Gill

Artist: Pat Boyette

Someone is causing trouble for fishermen in the Pacific. Nets are being destroyed and ships sunk. Christopher Smith is the preeminent peace diplomat for America and is on a trawler to investigate. The trawler is attacked by a frogman who destroys the ships nets and attaches an explosive charge to the hull. Now Smith must change into his other persona of The Peacemaker. He jumps in the water and takes off the explosive to use against the frogman’s sharks. Then he follows him to a nuclear sub and knocks the frogman out. The Peacemaker instead enters the sub and confronts the Commodore. The Commodore is a madman who claims all the waters of the world for himself. The Peacemaker uses his laser in his helmet to set off the nuclear reactor. The sub has to surface and the crew abandon it before it explodes. The Commodore raves that he was going to Antarctica to meet someone who would help him conquer the world.

“The Hidden Power”

Writer: Joe Gill

Artist: Pay Boyette

Christopher Smith is slapped by a diplomat from a small Balkan country. This diplomat threatens America. So Smith investigates as The Peacemaker. He finds some supersonic cargo planes going to Antarctica. Following he finds that this nation has a secret uranium mine and is building powerful nukes. Using his pistol that fires nerve gas(non-lethal) he knocks out the guards and goes into the airshaft. They detect him and use the fans to pull the Peacemaker into the fiery reactor. Only the Peacemaker can uses his jets to go supersonic and punch through the wall. He destroys the place and stops this little country from threatening world peace.

“Ruler of Darkness”

Writer: Joe Gill

Artist: Montes Bache

Leontid Jrozia is a dictator of a small Balkan nation. (One of those again.) He wants to nuke the world and emerge from his bunker to rebuild as he sees fit. Hank Hennessey has been captured by his henchwoman Sonya a beautiful blonde in a tight spandex suit. Sonya kills Hank and takes him to be buried. It is later revealed that she just used a paper wade to knock him out. She joins forces with the Fightin’ 5 and go to stop the mad dictators plan. First they down a MIG with a rocket pistol. Then at the missile base Irv the Nerve manages to cut power wires but is electrocuted. Sonya goes to the hidden self-destruct button and pushes it. This blows up the secret bunker and ends the mad plan to destroy the world.

The Peacemaker is sort of like Batman. A rich guy but a peace diplomat instead of a playboy. A man who loves peace so much he is willing to fight for it. Instead of supervillains he battles Communist dictators from the Balkans. He has all sorts of gadgets like a laser helmet and nerve gas pistols and a fighter jet. The stories are just off the wall nuts. The villains are cardboard cutouts. The science is very questionable and in some instances downright impossible. Yet I love this series. It comes from a very simpler time when comics were just interested in a fun story and not logic.

We also get a backup to the Fightin’ 5. Another Gill creation that has the equally kooky plots and gadgets. Another fun story that continued on after being cancelled in it’s own series. Two great characters making the world save from Communism. Thanks to Modern Comics a company that reprinted old Charlton comics from the sixties I was introduced to this lost gem in my childhood.