Sunday, April 24, 2011

Air Ace Picture Library 298 Superfort Strike

The retrospectoscope of political correctness is not kind to Superfort Strike. This is the type of pocket war comic that detractors love to cite and nostalgia romantics choose to ignore.
I know the Japanese are the bad guys in these things but when the 'narrator' of the story portrays the enemy in an outwardly racist manner it's time to take a time out. There's also a strange cultural cringe happening in this story as well. Even though this is clearly a story about Americans in American planes over the Pacific - the Fleetway editors no doubt felt the need to reassure their readers that Americans are really like the British and that the British also had a role to play in the Pacific.
Superfort Strike reads like a story that didn't have these elements to start off with and it feels like an over enthusiastic and clumsy editor got to the story and had to insert these facts just in case a story only about Americans would confuse a young reader.
There's some great detail in the drawings, however I can't help but feeling that the artist preferred drawing objects instead of people.
The story is quite good - even though our modern sensibilities are distracted by the talk of 'yellow hoards' and 'yeoman stock from Kentucky'. Lieutenant Slim Allister is pilot who doesn't understand the full gravity of the war and he is given a harsh reality check when he is forced to lie, on orders, to his crew about the true intent of their missions. He suffers unspeakable anguish as he watches the trust of his men melt away. Needles to say that of course everything works out in the end.
There's much good in Superfort Strike - it's just sad that the distractions have not stood the test of time. 

It's not good when the narration is hopelessly racist.

A floppy fringe means you're a good guy.

Americans are just really British with funny accents.

Better than the cover art.

Nice frame.

Oh dear - what a mess.

Kuh! Kuh? Almost sounds like an unfinished word.

Those Asian minds! What will they think of next?

What has he got to be upset over? He's getting what he wants, isn't he?

That's gotta hurt.

It's not good when the narration is racist.

The British did their part! And don't you forget it!

All sounds a bit familiar...

A bit uncalled for...

Love the detail in this frame.

Not the bloodiest - maybe perhaps the 4th or even the 5th bloodiest - but no sir-ree Bob was it the bloodiest.

Ha ha ha...Now we can all get some sleep.

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