Blazing Combat – Introduction by Michael Catron



Stories that show the human cost of war, that battle is frequently futile, that good men do die for no good reason.

Who said you shouldn’t read these stories? The U.S. military. The American Legion. Any number of magazine wholesalers who control what goes on sale.

In 1965, when Blazing Combat burst onto the scene, the U.S. involvement in Vietnam was just beginning to escalate.

Blazing Combat’s realistic depiction of soldiers under fire — in the chaos of battle, in the no-holds-barred, no-man’s-land of instant imminent death — was viewed by the U.S. military, The American Legion, and those wholesalers as anti-American.

So, they killed it.

The military outright banned it from sale on military bases — government censorship with no apologies.

Wholesalers, at the behest of the American Legion, strangled it to death, slowly, by locking it in their warehouses, denying it a chance to go on sale.

The struggling young publisher was obligated to pay for the creation, printing, and shipping of thousands of copies that never had a prayer of getting in front of a reader or a buyer.

Blazing Combat died in a crossfire of political and economic attack.

But not before getting off four great shots of its own.

Those four shots — issues #1 through #4 of Warren Publishing’s Blazing Combat — featured the writing of Archie Goodwin and a stellar line-up of some of the best comics artists of the 20th Century.

This volume collects, for the first time ever, all four issues of the original, hard-to-find Blazing Combat. Each story is reproduced from the original printer’s films for the finest quality possible.

At long, long last, you can now experience the stories — these excellent stories — that were censored and suppressed for daring to speak a truth that many refused to hear. Because with the publication of this volume, finally, they lose — and you win.

— Michael Catron