Writer Robert Kanigher and artist Dan Spiegle continue the 3-part 'Balloon Buster' serial in issue #263 of The Unknown Soldier, picking up right where they left off . . . but first . . .
At the time this story was published, Spiegle had been drawing comics for over 30 years. He specialized in adventure strips, but worked in just about every comics genre. His work was versatile and could oscillate between realism and a looser, more cartoony drawing style. If Alex Toth's and Joe Staton's style had a love child, I think it would be the work of Dan Spiegle. Spiegle sandwiched this 'Balloon Buster' serial in between a long-running 'Nemesis' back-up feature in The Brave and the Bold, and a re-defining run, with writer Mark Evanier, on Blackhawk (at which I'd like to take a close look soon on this blog).
|The Enemy Ace's I.O.U.|
On his very next mission, Savage comes close to meeting his end: caught in the explosion of a German bomber, Savage just manages to pull his plane up before crashing, but not before contemplating suicide with a bullet as alternative to burning to death.
|Gruesome thought before pulling up|
Dropping a note for Von Hammer over the German airfield, Savage and Rene wait in a field miles away from the front. Von Hammer rolls up in a Mercedes (strange seeing The Enemy Ace operating any vehicle besides his distinctive red triplane) and honorably, characteristically, agrees to take the boy to Berlin for the sight-saving medical procedure.