The The Suicide Strategem wiki last edited by Manhunter2070 on 08/29/14 03:36AM View full history

  1. Code Name: Gravedigger: The Suicide Strategem

Gravedigger, AKA Ulysses Hazard, is on his first commando assignment. His backstory as a polio-stricken youth who overcomes his obstacles and trains to peak physical condition, joins the army only to encounter race prejudice that keeps him in Graves Detail, infiltrates the Pentagon to prove his worth as a combat soldier, is complete. Hazard's first mission places him in France, in the summer of 1942. The jeep bringing to the front is hit by a shell and he finds a platoon of soldiers crouching for cover.

The platoon is stuck, so Hazard circles around and infiltrates the German rear areas. Hanging from a bell tower with the Germans inside aware of him, he kills them by ricocheting his machine gun bullets off the bell. He climbs into the tower and kills the last by slashing the German's throat. Hazard returns to his troops to discover the platoon's lieutenant is a racist who tries to have him arrested for impersonating an officer. After showing his credentials, he takes charge of the platoon, to the embarrassment of the lieutenant.

Moving through the town, Hazard sees that a tank emplaced in a cave is menacing his men. Air attacks can't touch it, frontal assaults don't work. Hazard decides to go in himself.

In a one-page interlude, a British glider is attacked by a Japanese plane. A Major Birch fires his waist turret machine gun until the Zero is destroyed. When his men congratulate him, they discover he has been grievously wounded.

The story returns to France, where Hazard is again infiltrating the German positions. He fights his way into the cave behind the menacing tank, in the process discovering the cave is also a large German fuel dump. Pinned down, Hazard is saved by his American platoon, led by the Lieutenant, who has apparently used Hazard to distract the Germans so he can attack into the cave. His men fire indiscriminately, and Hazard fears a bullet will ignite the fuel. The story continues in Issue #4.

2. Enemy Ace; "The Three Faces of Death (conclusion)"

In this third of a three story arc, Hans von Hammer, riding in the sidecar of a motorcycle, is attacked by a plane he believes he has already shot down. Twice. Von Hammer survives, but his driver, Schultze, dies after the strafing. From the forest, von Hammer's "friend," the black wolf, arrives, and von Hammer muses about their solitary fates.

That night, von Hammer dreams about the seemingly unkillable pilot who pursues him. He wonders, upon waking, if he is cracking up. In the morning, under the watchful eyes of his awestruck fellow pilots, he takes off to face his phantom nemesis again. He sees the pilot attacking a German zeppelin and pursues, only to be attacked from behind by what seems to be the same plane. Wondering if he remains sane, he does a loop and then seems to face three pilots, all in the same plane. He dives into the flaming zeppelin for cover, then climbs to his triplane's ceiling, looping down into the kill position. He shoots down all three planes, and seeing the last plane on the ground in flames, gallantly attempts to save the pilot, who shoots at him for his trouble. Out of ammo and trapped, the pilot gives up the scheme: the Allies painted many identical planes and dressed pilots alike to drive von Hammer insane. After the plane explodes, von Hammer flies away, condemning their plan, saying war itself is madness.

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