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135
Aircraft in Comics - Part 2

The story so far...
In 1951, SPIROU, a comic magazine for young readers, published the Buck Danny episode "Attaque en Birmanie" (see "Aircraft in Comics part 1"). In this last WW2 adventure, the hero flew with the "Flying Tigers" in his P-51 Mustang...!?

Now that war had been over for 6 years (in real life), the editors feared the public could lose interest in combat stories... So Hubinon and Charlier decided to get their pilots back to civil life. What followed were three episodes where Buck Danny had to fight against criminal organisations dealing with illegal weapons in the Middle East area...

But the Fans were disappointed, maybe because only a few airplanes appeared in those episodes. This led the creators of the series to make Buck Danny return to his military status and become a jet pilot fighting again... His career in the various Air Forces of the U.S.A. still continues today!

Aircraft in "Buck Danny" episode 2 (the post WW2 years)
Picture 1 The first plane that appears in the civil episodes of "Buck Danny is a commercial aircraft, namely a Douglas DC4. After their military carreer during WW2, our heros are having difficulties to find a new job and are hired by an unknown company: "Arabian Airways". They will soon find out the company has illegal activities... but they have no money!

Picture 2 The real "hero plane" of these civil episodes is the Douglas DC2. In it, Buck Danny will soon find out he is flying for gangsters and will get in dangerous situations! Here he is chased by what appears to be a Griffon powered Spitfire. The plane, though operating in dusty conditions has no tropical filter...

Picture 3 Another "old" plane appears in the "civil years" albums: a North American Mustang. This seems to be the early A-36 "Apache" or P-51A version. I would say the latter, as the plane represented isn't fitted with dive brakes on the wings.

Picture 4 After the Middle East adventures, Buck Danny returns to the Air Force. The first planes he flew were therefore training jets such as this Lockheed T-33, the two seater training version of the "Shooting star".

Picture 5 Another plane was developed from the P-80 "Shooting Star" and appeared in the series. It is the Lockheed F-94C "Starfire". Note the big red nose on the picture!

Picture 6 What would an early jets story have been without the attempt to break the Mach 1 barrier?! Chuck Yeager wasn't the first to fly this historical mission - it was Buck Danny! Here is the proof: a B-29 "Superfortress" (note the engines are wrong) with our hero's X-1 under the fuselage while taking off...

Picture 7 Here is more evidence! The Bell X-1 (XS-1 in the text) in an all aluminium finish and with NAVY markings...

Picture 8 Unfortunately, the X-1 crashed during the test flights and Buck Danny had to continue with a Douglas Skyrocket. This one, flying over the North Pole, was fitted with additional fuel tanks.

Picture 9 Returning to combat, the first plane used on operational missions is the P-80 "Shooting Star". Here, they are destroying a North-Korean spy-boat just before running out of fuel!

Picture 10 A interesting aircraft that appears in the comic is this Fairchild C-82 "Packet"... I'm not quite sure of the design of the landing gear... a prototype?

Picture 11 Buck Danny's first dogfight since WW2 is performed with a North American F-86 "Sabre"...

Picture 12 ... against North Korean Mig 15s.

Picture 13 Another interesting aircraft: a Bell XP-77 light fighter prototype. Good to see Buck Danny found some use for it as only two were produced!

Picture 14 A strange "secret weapon" aircraft is this radio-controlled bomb plane called "Ivan" in the comic. Obviously a plane based on a Yokosuka MXY-7 "Ohka" the Japanese must have forgotten somewhere in the jungle during WW2. Note the additional rockets of the North Korean version...

Picture 15 A more "classical" subject is this Yakovlev Yak-25 called La-16 in the comic. I'm not quite sure if it's the right one though... remember this comic was made in the 50' and finding references about soviet planes was certainly not easy!

Picture 16 Fortunately this one is easier to identify: it's a Republic F-84 "Thunderjet".

Picture 17 The last one for this episode is a big one: the North american B-45 "Tornado". Buck Danny managed to steal one of those "Ivans" with that plane - hardly a "piece of cake", if you look at the bullet holes on the wings and fuselage area!

Conclusion
Before getting to the next episode, I justed wanted to add that the two "Korea War" episodes were censored in France and, worse, were only released several years later in 1969!? Too "political" was the reason... how times change!

Next one will be the return of Buck Danny in the Navy! So expect to see the first carrier based jets in the next episode!

All images reproduced in this article are Copyright © S.A. Éditions Dupuis
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About the Author

About Jean-Luc Formery (TedMamere)
FROM: MOSELLE, FRANCE

I'm mainly interested in WW2 aircraft and I build them in 1/48 scale.


Comments

Once again, a fun, interesting tidbit..... Thanks Jean-Luc.
OCT 15, 2005 - 10:39 PM
Excellent! aaah Buck Danny, les mémoires de ma jeunesse. Déjà 4 ans passée :-) J'attends le troisième parti Q
OCT 16, 2005 - 01:47 AM
Thanks Dave and Quinten! Jean-Luc
OCT 16, 2005 - 11:33 PM