Thursday, April 30, 2015

Damn, "Canvas Battlefield" wouldn't be a bad blog name...

Sleestak of Lady, That's My Skull brought up this issue on Twitter in January, and it only took me the better part of three months to randomly stumble across it again: from 1982, Unknown Soldier #262, "Canvas Battlefield!" (Or, from the cover, "Death Paints a 'Canvas Battlefield!'" Written by Bob Haney, pencils by Dick Ayers, inks by Gerry Talaoc.

The basic plot is simple enough: A famous French painter, studiously neutral during World War II, agrees to paint Hitler's portrait; a ruse to get information on Germany's planned defenses against the upcoming D-Day invasion. Being a Bob Haney Unknown Soldier story, there's also the painter's collaborator brother, fake rubber-mask Nazi disguises, and an elaborate switch. And the whole scheme nearly tanks when the painter, disgusted over Hitler and "the sickening business of terrorizing a continent," gets carried away with his painting:

It's shorter than usual for a headline story, a mere eleven pages. Which is kind of a shame, since a lot of space on the cover goes to the other features this issue: a Balloon Buster story, that appears to be his side of the story from his appearance in Enemy Ace, and the return of Revolutionary War hero Tomahawk. Oddly, a deserter faces a firing squad in that story, just as a collaborator is nearly executed by the same in the first. I wouldn't have really thought anything of Tomahawk at the time, but he was a star back in the day, with 140 issues!

My "filing system" is generally neither: usually, I put random, non-sequential loose comics in a box, as many as the box can hold. The box is placed with others like it. Later, when I'm looking for something to read, I'll poke through any given box and pull out whatever grabs me at the moment. When needed, the books go back in another box. I don't file everything that way, and it is a bit of a pain when I've got a specific issue in mind (to the point that I usually have to restrain myself from going to a comic shop and buying another copy!) but it's how I enjoy reading them.

Oddly, I think when I picked up this issue, I got Unknown Soldier #217, where he tries to blow up Hitler with an undiscovered Rembrandt...

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Ah The Unknown Soldier. How badass was he, am I right? Seriously, I can see him and Nick Fury and or Sgt.Rock having some beers and swapping war stories.
Shit, the unknown soldier being who he was though, I imagine he'd be too intense for even Fury to deal with after awhile.

Dude, you seriously need to organize your collection better. Might take awhile but if you by the alphabetical system rather than the truely time-consuming dewey decimal system, you'll be alright.