Friday, July 19, 2013

The Sterankophile: Sky Pilot

Written by Robert J. Hogan, G-8 the Master Spy, flew 110 missions from 1933 through 1943.

G-8 and his Battle Aces rode the nostalgia boom ten years after World War I ended. These high-flying exploits were tall tales of a World War that might have been, featuring monster bats, German zombies, wolf-men, harpies, Martians, and even tentacled floating monsters.

Most of these monstrosities were the work of Germany’s seemingly endless supply of mad scientists, chief of whom was G-8’s recurring Nemesis, Herr Doktor Krueger. G-8 battled Germany’s Halloween shock troops for over a decade, not ceasing until the magazine folded in the middle of World War II.

Starting before the turn of the century, Argosy Magazine and Adventure Magazine led the way in popular fiction. Novels and short stories of all kinds filled pages of innumerable magazines on the racks. Then, in April, 1931 'The Shadow' hit. Followed by 'Doc Savage' in March of 1933.

The era of the "Character Pulps" was underway and 'G-8 and his Battle Aces' joined the fray in October of 1933. There were many pulps, but 'G-8' remains one of the most popular after lasting 110 monthly issues.

G-8 was created in the years following the success of The Shadow and Doc Savage by writer Robert J. Hogan. There were 110 issues of "G-8 and his Battle Aces" published beginning in Oct. 1933.

Hogan, a former pilot wrote all the G-8 novels and most if not all of the back-up stories. In addition, all of the covers were painted by Frederick Blakeslee. That is an unprecedented run.

G-8 is an American spy and flying ace during the Great War. His adventures mainly see him fighting the Germans under Kaiser Wilhelm II. He is a master spy; America's greatest and hated by the Germans for successful mission after mission.

 However -- they have never seen his real face. He is fluent in German and with the help of his man-servant named Battle, a master of disguise. He is also a flying ace --  one of the world's greatest pilots. As far as we know, G-8 is his real name, we learn no other.

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