Monday, February 22, 2016

Number 1857: Yea, though he walks through the Valley of Death...

The Sniper finds himself in the Valley of Death, and despite its biblical connotations, this Valley of Death is full of Japanese soldiers and poison gas.

Dressed in his stylin' Robin Hood attire, armed with his sniper rifle, the Sniper is able to fix what the U.S. Army and Air Force can’t. The story is from Military Comics #28 (1944), and is drawn by Vernon Henkel.


Daniel [] said...

I realize that there had been and would be a great many absurd costumes for superheroes, but the Sniper's costume seems particularly inappropriate in the context of Pacific-Theater warfare. It reminds me of British pantomime. (“Eu neu you won't!” “Eu yes I will!” “Eu neu you won't!” “Eu yes I will!”)

I was appalled at 5:2, where the Sniper renders Suratai unconscious and then just leaves him like that.

It's my understanding that the Nazis had developed nerve gas, but held it in check, fearing that the Allies might themselves have and then deploy a similar chemical weapon.

I'm not sure what the Japanese Empire would have done with a comparable weapon. On the one hand, their strategy through-out the war was based on overcoming the material superiority of the Allies by horrifying them. (The Allies proved willing to do horrifying things themselves.) On the other hand, such chemical weapons seem better suited to stopping ground troops than ocean vessels and aircraft. The Allies made a practice of bypassing the more fortified islands; it wouldn't have done the Empire much good to use gas during an invasion of Japan itself.

I notice that Comic Vine quite missed the death of Vernon Henkel.

Pappy said...

Daniel, I understood from my Army CBR (Chemical, Biological and Radiological) Training in the 1960s, any outdoor gas attack is unpredictable because of weather. It can just as easily blow back over friendlies as it can over enemies. About 6000 sheep were killed in Utah by nerve gas in 1968. I'm not surprised it isn't used more by terrorists because of unpredictability during dispersal, not to mention just procuring the gas. There was an attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995, which was called the worst attack on Japan since World War II, but it seems a fairly isolated event. Terrorists know that conventional weapons used in a surprise attack are just as effective, can cause a lot of damage, including psychological, and are better controlled by the users.

Alicia American said...

OMG Pappy callin' peeps "JAPS" probly hurt tha sales in tha far Eastern cntrys, huh?

darkmark said...

He won't get fooled again!

Pappy said...

Alicia, if the readers could read English, perhaps.

I wonder if anyone has ever done any research on whether American comic books (which surely got to Japan, purchased by GI's during the occupation years after World War II) had any influence on artists who later did manga?