Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Hosts of the Flaming Death - Operator #5 17

Hosts of the Flaming Death
by Curtis Steele (Frederick C. Davis)
Operator #5 17 8/35

America faces a shortage of wartime materials and a gold-masked enemy threatens America's gold supply.  Operator #5, Jimmy Christopher, is taken off the case to deal with the Hidden Hundred, a vigilante army of men in skull mask and skeleton gloves.

It's revealed early on that Jimmy Christopher is, of course, the leader of the Hidden Hundred, who are all secret service operators fired by meddling bureaucrats.  I'm surprised this development hasn't been used more often in action fiction, as the whole "super man who plays by his own rules" thing has a tendency to dip it's toes into outright fascism.

We don't quite go that far, and I'll be surprised if Christopher's private army will be remembered in later issues.

There's a decent sequence at the end where the Hidden Hundred attack the Man in the Golden Mask aboard a convoy of ships that threatens to drop the US gold supply to the bottom of the ocean.  But mostly there's a lot of "This is the most dire threat the US has ever blah blah blah".

Available on Audible.

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