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Column: The Art of War – G.I. Combat Anthology Stories Introduced One of the Most Unique Heroes – The Haunted Tank!

G.I. Combat was still another comic anthology, specializing in war stories. It was published by Quality Comics from 1952-1956. DC Comics continued G.I. Combat until 1987.

The older version from the 1950’s started out as Cold War adventure stories with a strong anti- Communist theme. They later shifted to pure combat storylines. When DC took over, the comic was used to examine themes pertinent to more contemporary conflicts, like Vietnam. G.I. Combat featured short stories, not full length book issues.

I always liked that feature. Many new characters and book titles were created over the years by G.I. Combat. One of my all time favorites was the Haunted Tank.       

This comic book was absolutely fabulous. It centers on the ghost of Confederate General Jeb Stuart, who was sent by the spirit of Alexander the Great, to act as a guardian over his namesake, Lt. Jeb Stuart, who is fighting in an American tank, the M 3 Stuart, in WWII. This comic became so popular, that it was second only to Sgt. Rock as DC Comics longest -running war series. Lt. Stuart flies a Confederate flag on his tank. Jeb is the only member of the tank crew to see, and hear the ghost of General Stuart.

During the many years of the comic, the crew goes through many tanks. General Stuart always follows them. Toward the end run of the comic, the tank crew is forced to build a “Jigsaw Tank”. It is built from the wreckage of several tanks. In another amazing story, the ghost of Union General Sherman, takes over the tank for one issue. He also helps the tank crew in combat. The Haunted Tank became so popular, that it appeared in different forms in many future DC Comics. Can you image a confederate ghost in a comic in today’s society? In my opinion, The Haunted Tank would make for a fantastic movie today.

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