BLITZ BUSTER

 
Full Name: John Chalmers
Nationality: American
Organization: Secret Service
Occupation Agent

Time Span: 1941 - 1942
ABOUT THE SERIES

       John Chalmers, aka Blitz Buster, is an agent with the U.S. Secret Service.
       I do not think that the Secret Service to which he belongs is the same one we know formerly part of the Treasury Department, though. That bureau has civilian agents trained in law enforcement and protection. The Secret Service in this two-issue comic, is military and working to uncover potential enemy secrets.
       "Potential" is the operative word here for the first mission depicted takes place in September of 1941, four months before the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the Americans into WWII. Though the U.S. was not yet actively involved in conflict with the Germans, the mission for Chalmers is to infiltrate the German command operating in southern Europe to learn its secrets and methods. This was to be better prepared for when that blitzkrieg ability might be turned on American forces.
       Chalmers is a major in this Secret Service and by the friendly, joking way that he is addressed by his commander, he has been around for some time and achieved a fairly good success record. The Major is in his mid-30s by his appearance and is a native German speaker. He is also, according to his boss, a master of disguise which makes him able to impersonate a dead German spy.
       His ability at subterfuge are not needed for his second, and last, escapade. For that he needs fortitude and tenacity to weather a couple of pretty shaky mishaps and still take on an entire German U-Boat. He has the require spunk, of course, and is able to show those pesky Nazis a thing or two about American grit. And to show the lovely stewardess he keeps saving.

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Issues:2
First Appearance:1941
Last Appearance:1942

       Appearing as one of the added stories in Ace Magazines' Four Favorites comic strip, though not one of the Four, the Blitz Buster had two appearances before going away.
       The Four Favorites obviously showed the changing attitudes of the readers (or writers) because the makeup of the Four changed. Initially they were Magno (and Davey), Vulcan, Lass Lightning, and The Raven but after a few issues, Vulcan went away and then so did the Raven, being replaced with the Unknown Soldier and others.
       Blitz Buster was obviously not one of the Favorites for he never got cover billing and only was in the 1st and 5th issue.

Note: the titles for the two adventures are mine.

1 'General Disguise' 'General Disguise'
Published by Ace Magazines

Copyright: 09/01/1941

Four Favorites #1 - The Germans were about to start a major offensive against the British. Major Chalmers is ordered to assume the disguise of a German spy recently killed to infiltrate their regional headquarters and learn the secret of their upcoming blitzkrieg.

2 'Fifth Columnists' 'Fifth Columnists'
Published by Ace Magazines

Copyright: 05/01/1942

Four Favorites #5 - Flying back to the US from Europe, the plane Major Chalmers is on crashes into the ocean. He and a stewardess survive, picked up by a British cargo ship then sunk by a U-Boat and picked up the by the U-Boat heading to blow up an American battleship. Rough day for Chalmers and rougher for the Germans. [Note: only the first 5 pages are available.]

MY COMMENTS

       I have no problems with John Chalmers, aka the Blitz Buster. He is solid and durable and capable and gosh-darn American. Just like me! Well, I never took on a German panzer division. And I did not survive a plane crash in the Atlantic and a torpedoed ship in the same rough waters and then stop the destruction of a battleship by a U-boat. Chalmers does.
       Imagine what wonders the man could have done if there had been more issues of him. Two was all we had.
       There was a third comic dubbed the Blitz Buster but this was a few years later, just after the war, in True Comics #57 (1946) and detailed the life of a Russian army officer who actually did take on the Germans and scored a major victory, earning the nickname. He was not Major John Chalmers but General Ivan Chernyankhovsky. Same moniker, though.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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