All American Men of War 112 – Steve Savage – Balloon Buster debuts

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Lt. Steve Savage, the Balloon Buster, abruptly ousts Johnny Cloud from All American Men of War 112 (Nov/Dec 65).  The Navajo Ace would return, and I do not think his series was meant to be dropped completely.

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Set during World War I, the debut tale, by Kanigher and Russ Heath, opens earlier that that, as we meet the young Steve Savage. He is a crack shot, but a tad psychotic, repeatedly chanting “I am the gun!”

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After his father’s death Steve joins the army.  Although he is an excellent shot, he is not much of a flyer, not is he very good at taking orders.  His poor background is mocked by the other soldiers, as are his rough hewn ways.

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His first time out sees him disobey orders to go after the deadly German balloons, and he brings a few down, as well as a number of German planes.  But two of his fellow pilots die, and Steve disobeys direct orders on the mission.

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While his direct superior wants to court-martial him, a watching general insists he be rewarded.

There is something that feels off about this man. As in, mentally unbalanced.  But that actually makes the series stand out, rather than being a drawback.

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