In seven stories–from the Revolutionary War to the burgeoning Vietnam conflict–there isn’t a single moment of humor. Goodwin doesn’t give the reader a single moment to forget he or she is reading a war comic. There’s so little humor, it’s got to be intentional. If Goodwin had just been writing loose, someone would make a joke at some point. There’s no joking here.
Goodwin’s soldiers–regardless of what war they’re fighting in–are devastatingly human. Whether it’s the vengeful GI killing a Nazi POW, a disfigured Revolutionary War soldier or an observer in Vietnam–when they were still mostly observing. Blazing Combat needs to be read to be believed. It’s amazing anything like this comic was ever published, especially in the sixties.
There’s some amazing art–George Evans is my favorite, doing a story about fliers, but John Severin’s does a nice job too.
It’s a significant work.
Viet-Cong; artist, Joe Orlando. Aftermath; artist, Angelo Torres. Flying Tigers; artist, George Evans. Long View; artist, Gray Morrow. Cantigny; artist, Reed Crandall. Combat Quiz; artist, Alex Toth. Mad Anthony; pencillers, Tex Blaisdell and Jeff Jones; inker, Maurice Whitman. Enemy; artist, John Severin. Writer and editor, Archie Goodwin; letterer, Ben Oda; publisher, Warren.