Newly discovered top-secret documents detail exactly how America defeated Japan in World War Two; not with planes or tanks or battleships or astonishing new developments in the practical application of physics, but with... well, just take a look.
Yes, it's Merlin the Magician, once a frivolous young playboy, but after being bequeathed the cloak of his famous ancestor, the mythical Merlin from all the stories, he becomes embued with all the magical power of the ancients. He also gets to use lots of greasy kid stuff on his hair, grow a little moustache, and have unlimited rentals at Gingiss Formalwear, your one stop shop for all your wedding, prom, and Pacific War fighting magician needs.
This strip is signed "Lance Blackwood", a house name that would emcompass the work of guys like Dan Zolnerowich, but it's pretty clear we're dealing with Fred Guardineer here, which explains why this guy looks so much like rival comic book magican Zatara (also a Guardineer thing).
But enough comic book history, let's get to the world war two history!
Sgt. Mulligan juts his chin out, cocks his .45, and regrets telling them to "send us more Japs!" Probably a mistake on his part, he reflects. Luckily, Zatara -I mean Merlin- happens to be out for a jog in the air and with one backwards-uttered sentence whips his magic powers into action. Really? Talking backwards? Is that the only gimmick Golden Age writers could think up for their comic book super magicians? Come on, guys.
And with the powerful backwards masking that would later be used to insert demonic subliminal messages into heavy metal music, Merlin not only rolls the tide out to an alarming degree, but exposes a pirate ship that somehow happened to find itself thousands of miles away from its resting place in the Caribbean, and also brings the crew of pirates back from the dead as zombie pirates ready to do his bidding. Let's see Criss Angel top this!
Good old Blackbeard; always ready to help the US Marines battle the Japanese.
This is way before the Japanese perfected the concept of having teenage girls do all their fighting, so obviously they're at a disadvantage here.
What's more surprising - that rough-tough US Marines are familiar with second-string Quality Comics characters, or that they blithely acknowledge the brain-twisting fact of reading "National Comics" inside an issue of "National Comics"? I guess Marines really are ready for anything that comes their way, either Japanese invasions or existential crises that change the very nature of their reality itself.
It's true that the code of Bushido as interpreted by Japan's ruling junta required the Japanese soldier to fight without surrendering, but the code of Bushido never said anything about undead pirates brought back to life by super magicians, now did it? I don't think it did.
Now wave bye-bye, pirates, and return to your watery graves.
I forgot what it was that happened at Pearl Harbor but jeez are those Americans obsessed with it! They will NOT let it go! That can't be healthy.
By the way those waters we just dumped you into are teeming with hungry man eating sharks, just to remind you that this is a Golden Age comic published before anybody dreamed of anything resembling a "Comics Code", in which death and dismemberment were mere facts of life for America's comic book reading children.
Hacked to bits by zombie pirates, shot by Marines, dumped into the shark-infested Pacific, and insulted in the captions. The Japanese just can't beat Merlin! Or decades of Hearst-fed 'yellow peril' racism, whichever.
And America smiles, knowing her Pacific approaches are protected by a stage magician and legions of undead pirates. Who knows what reality-shattering wonder comes next from Merlin and/or the USMC? Stay tuned, America!
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