Thursday, August 3, 2017
Review: MAJOR DANJER AND HIS PLATOON OF DOOM
CANDLE LIGHT PRESS – @candlelightpres
[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]
WRITERS: John Ira Thomas, Jared Donze, Michael Ayers, Carter Allen
PENCILS: Carter Allen – @attila71 with Michael Ayers
INKS: Carter Allen with Jeremy Smith
MISC. ART: Romeo Tanghal; Phil Hester
92pp, B&W, $15.00 U.S. (2016)
Candle Light Press' Fragmenta series is a line of paperback and hardcover books, picture books, and pamphlets. Each entry in the line collects essays, scripts, art, and/or comics produced by the writers and artists of Candle Light Press (CLP). Some of this material concerns early or uncompleted projects, while other material represents preliminary words and pictures for completed projects.
A hardcover book with black and white interiors, Major Danjer and His Platoon of Doom is the ninth entry in the Fragmenta series. Like Fragmenta 7: Dan Callahan and the Sand Pirates, Major Danjer collects an uncompleted project, entitled (of course), Major Danjer and His Platoon of Doom. A fanciful war comic in the vein of such classic war comics as Sgt. Rock, Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos, Blackhawk, and G.I. Combat, to name a few, Major Danger ran as serial in various 1990s CLP publications, including in the anthology, ED.
Major Danjer and His Platoon of Doom was created by CLP mainstays, writer John Ira Thomas and artist Carter Allen, with contributions from former CLP creators like Jared Donze and Micheal Ayers. This collection contains six Major Danjer stories, with the sixth being unfinished. This book includes an introduction by John Ira Thomas and essays by Thomas and Carter Allen. There also about 20 pages of drawings, illustrations, and miscellania, much of it by the Allen.
Nazis, military strike teams, lost worlds, dinosaurs, and a giant “whark!” Plus, meet those peculiar superheroes, “Glory Guard.” It's all in Major Danjer and His Platoon of Doom.
I am a long time fan and admirer of the books and comics put out by CLP. If pushed, I might say that CLP's award-winning horror graphic novel, Lost in the Wash, is my favorite CLP publication. I have also long lusted and sought to plagiarize the brilliant Zoo Force/Not Zoo Force. I get a kick out of Carter Allen's Nikki Harris Cybermation Witch comic book series. A Tale of Shades and Angels by Thomas and artist Jeremy Smith should be as well known as Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming's Powers.
But I have to keep it real. I love Major Danjer and His Platoon of Doom. Part Doc Savage pulp fury and part Sgt. Fury savagery, Major Danjer is not a parody of war comics, nor does it mock them. Carter and his co-writers and Carter Allen merely takes the weirdness that was the true spirit of those old-timey war comics and makes them comedy the way Mel Brooks made comedy out of Universal Pictures 1930 monster movies in Young Frankenstein.
At $15, Major Danjer and His Platoon of Doom is a steal for fans of war comics. There is a Blackhawk homage in one of the stories that certainly justifies part of the cost. I wish CLP had finished Major Danjer and His Platoon of Doom. It seems like something that was mistakenly abandoned, but buying this book isn't a mistake.
Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"
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