Thursday, August 11, 2016

G-8 and His Battle Aces - Squadron of Corpses

Squadron of Corpses
by Robert J. Hogan
G-8 and His Battle Aces 07
April 1934

Germans are using voodoo to resurrect their dead officers and American soldiers die in their place, ascending to the heavens rapture style.  And they would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for, etc.

I'm going to go ahead and spoil the heck out of this one, in case you care about such things.

You'll have a hard time getting through the pulps without a tolerance for far-fetched Scooby Doo endings.  Most of the time they're tacked on as an afterthought and don't interfere with the story.  Here, unveiling the trickery is the story.  There's a little aerial action and some usual capture/escape stuff, but the bulk of the story is the characters figuring out how the Germans are faking the dead rising from the grave.

Usually the puzzle is solved all at once at the end, but here each piece is resolved one at a time.  How come bullets didn't seem to harm the zombies?  The Germans have replace all of the bases' ammunition with undetectable dummies.  How are the Americans dying?  Every military base's KP is run entirely by German spies who are putting poison in the food.  How are the corpses floating?  They're attached by wires to Zeppelins which are hidden in clouds they create themselves.  And the biggest reveal - how are the Germans raising the dead?  Make up.

Evidently Dick Dastardly was promoted to the head of German intelligence.  You have undetectable airships, you've replaced the enemies ammunition without them knowing, and have spies in every kitchen who can kill the entire enemy army with one meal.  That's the war won right there - tricking soldiers into believing in voodoo isn't going to add much.

The fun of something like Scooby Doo or a weird menace tale is that you run around with monsters and impossible situations for a while before "reality" steps in to bring everything back to Earth.  G-8 has the fun stripped out - it operates on the premise that it's trickery and the "fun" comes solving how the magic trick was done, only the trick makes no damn sense.

Audiobook currently available through Audible.

1 comment:

  1. I've read most of the G-8s, and they are fun. However, you can't take them straight. You have to take breaks between the stories or you will suffer a burn out.