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Sunday, January 02, 2005

Greatest Golden-Age Stories - The Siege of Krovka

THE GREATEST GOLDEN-AGE STORIES EVER TOLD was a 1990 DC hardcover collection various stories from the 1930s and 1950s DC comics (plus those of other publishers they acquired). Simon&Kirby are represented by a reprint of the 12-page Boy Commandos story from DETECTIVE COMICS #69 (1942), "The Siege of Krovka".

After a great opening splash of the Commandos on a fanciful ice sled (and I have to say, the splash-page logo use for BC stories is excellent), we get the mood of the times with a scene of Hitler ordering his troops to take Russia, never mind the cold. This speech is nicely delivered as Hitler exits "Der Fuehrer's Steam Bath". We're then told that "the fear of their Fuehrer's wrath drives the brutal, moronic Nazi legions forward". Moving from the Nazis, we see the brave Russian defenders, as epitomized by one particular group, the Vanin family. FDR also makes a cameo, with a radio speech. When the town is under siege, young Tanya sneaks out to send a message, getting shot in the process. Struggling on, she gets found by Rip Carter and the Boy Commandos with their sled. After getting her message, Rip and three of the boys go off with a plane and glider to help hold Krovka until reinforcements can arrive, while Brooklyn and Tanya get left behind and take the sled, blowing up some German munitions convoy.



Tanya earns Brooklyn's respect thanks to her skill with a tommy-gun on the way over, and she seems taken with him as well, although she does give him language instruction book so she can understand him. A book on learning English, that is.

Very fun story, although focussing a little bit less on the boys than usual. The art is excellent, very well rendered and fast-moving.

Author bios in the back also have a short blurb about S&K as well.

As far as I know, there was only a hardcover edition of this book, unlike most of the books in DC's GREATEST... STORIES EVER TOLD series.

Published 1990

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