May 31, 2011

Goofy moments featuring Johnny Cloud

I think I mentioned Johnny Cloud, Navajo Ace, before. Here's a brief summary of this DC comic-book character:

Johnny CloudJohnny Cloud was named "Flying Cloud" by his father, a Navajo Indian Chief. Johnny was the victim of predudice growing up and as a lieutenant and fighter pilot in the U.S. Army Air Force. He singlehandedly killed a large number of Nazi planes. He was saved by his patrol leader, who was fatally wounded. His patrol leader's last wish was for Johnny to be his successor. He had a brillant career as leader of "the Happy Braves" and as "C-for-Cloud Flight."

Cloud appears three times in the following posting:

Twenty Goofy Moments from DC and Marvel's Silver Age War Comics

In OUR FIGHTING FORCES #128, Cloud fights a grudge match with Sharp Claw, an Indian ace for the Nazis (!).

In OUR FIGHTING FORCES #125, the Nazis use an "Indian trick"--a tree snare--from an unspecified tribe.

In OUR ARMY AT WAR #177, Cloud's father fought a German ace he called the "black hawk of death" in World War I. Incredibly, Cloud meets the same German in World War II.

So three of the 20 goofy moments involve Johnny Cloud. Which probably shouldn't be too surprising. Natives served in WW II in great numbers, but I'm not sure any of them were flying aces. The whole concept seems a goofy contrivance.

And I doubt any comic-book writers in the 1960s had more than a superficial knowledge of Indians. We should be grateful that Cloud was a relatively unstereotypical and three-dimensional character. He could've been a lot goofier.

For more on the subject, see Comic Books Featuring Indians.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I wonder if what was actually going on in World War II with Indians could be used as a comic book series. It takes on epic proportions, starting with Ross (a German anthropologist) trying to raise les collaborateurs and failing miserably. Then it goes on to the rest of it.