Thursday, December 21, 2017

365 Days of Defiance, Day 355: They're making history, working for victory

As Wonder Woman would gladly thump you over the head to remind you, fighting against the hordes of Hitler during the Second World War was scarcely the sole work of men. Sure, women were responsible for keeping industry running back at the home front (even for the Golden Age Stark International, since Howard Stark was too busy being neck deep in international espionage and fabulous starlets). But then there was Liberty Belle and Miss America and Spitfire and Fantomah and Invisible Scarlet O’Neil, but do you recall the most famous women of all — The Girl Commandos? It's okay if you don't, they weren't thatT famous. But they're pretty freakin' awesome. In fact, they're hot, hot, hot!

Panels from "Girl Commandoes Outwit Ratzis!" in Speed Comics #25 (Harvey, February 1943), pencils and inks by Jill Elgin (?)

Well, that mission came to a fiery and successful end, and all is well as these clever saboteurs fly back to England and OH NO WE FORGOT ONE

They immediately return to sneak into occupied France again, because one of the Girl Commando credos is no Girl Commando left behind. There, they meet and recruit Yvonne, a Frenchwoman with determination in her eye an a good left hook in her fist. This fulfills the requirements of all successful groups to have a French member at any one time: Swordsman, Crimson Fox, André Blanc-Dumont, Mlle. Marie, Frenchy, and the Frenchman. No, Gambit doesn't count. (Nor does he read or write.)

Locating where Ellen is being held, the Commandos design a subtle scheme to infiltrate and destroy a Nazi stronghold from within! Well, it involves grenades and guns, so it's not that subtle, but neither is running across the battlefield in a red-white-and-blue skintight outfit with rubber wings on your heads, 'kay?

Sure, y'all think you could take down a Nazi war factory from inside, but could you do it in skirts and stilettos? I think not. And chgeck out that amazing last panel, where Ellen and Pat escape a massive Die Hard-style explosion by running away from it. Sure, we may be trained to think that turning your back and walking away from an explosion show a lot more cool, but I'm gonna argue that running is a heck of a lot more sensible than walking, and is useful for preventing getting your hinder fried.

Go ahead, put on your well-loved LP of the Raiders soundtrack and cue it up to Indy's Theme and play it as the totally righteous Girl Commandos escape with Ellen safe, wire the factory to blow up like an especially jubilant Bastille Day gone overboard, and bring new recruit Yvonne into the fight. They had to do everything men commandos did, except backwards and in heels! Except not backwards.

"Make way for a commando, pigs!" is my new battle cry at the next Women's March.

Meanwhile, what's the effect of these deeds of derring-do done by determined dames upon the average Journalism Joe?

"Gawrsh, they shure is good-lookin', hyuk, hyuk." OH GO DUNK YOUR HEAD IN CONCRETE, SLUGGER.

1 comment:

Blam said...

"Yvonne! Quiet... the Gestapo!" is no "Quick, Henry — the Flit!" but I guess in World War II France you make do with what you have.