Friday, October 14, 2011

WINGS COMICS Ghost Patrol "Revenge of the Shadow Squadron"

From deep space in the not-too-far future to the haunted skies of World War II... we present the first of a long-running series that combined the aerial with the ethereal!
Starting with this tale in Wings Comics #66 (1946) published by Fiction House, Ghost Patrol* (retitled Ghost Squadron in #71) ran new stories for 35 issues, plus heavily-edited reprints in it's last two appearances in Wings as well as three issues of Ghost Comics.
Each story in this anthology series featured a different aviator encountering specters who aided him in accomplishing his mission against otherwise impossible odds.
All were scripted by "Capt. Derek West", a pen name used by numerous writers for a series of one-shot tales in Wings as well as this series.
This premiere tale was illustrated by Rodlow Willard, who did only a half-dozen comic book stories before going on to handle the art on Scorchy Smith, a popular aviation newspaper comic strip.

*DC Comics had an ongoing feature
in Flash Comics about three deceased French Foreign Legion pilots who fought the Nazis called Ghost Patrol when the similarly-named Wings Comics feature debuted.
No doubt a letter from DC's lawyers to Fiction House was the cause for the change to Ghost Squadron.
When this story was reprinted in Wings Comics #112, the title page was altered... several panels detailing Elaine's killing a German guard with a garrote wwere deleted, and two pages (6-7) were combined into one (making her look much less competent than in the original tale)...
Thus is history rewritten!

Until next time...
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