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.
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!”
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.
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.
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.