George Wundar has taken a lot of flak over the years, mainly (as far as I can tell) for not being Milton Caniff. Here is what Caniff had to say about his successor according to Ron Goulart:
“Milton Caniff said in several interviews that he and George Wunder eventually became good friends. He also said he continued to follow Terry after he was doing Steve Canyon. ‘For a very good reason—apart from the fact that I’m just interested—because the two strips, naturally, are commercial rivals. If George starts to do something about a dictator being kidnapped in South America, I mustn’t come up with something like this two or three months later. It would look as though I’d copied from him. He does the same thing.’
“When asked by an interviewer in 1972, ‘Are you p[leased with what the character has become inWunder’s hands?’ he replied, ‘George has done a whale of a job. In the first place, it’s a very difficult thing to do… he knows that the other guy is looking at the thing and saying, hrmpph, if I had done that, I would have done so and so.’
“According to what Caniff told his biographer, R,C, Harvey, before Wundaer’s versin f the strip commenced, he spent several months working under Chi-Trib syndicate Comics Editor Mollie Slott’s ‘close supervision, revising continuity, and redrawing strips until he achieved a style almost indistinguishable from Caniff’s,’ Caniff got a look at Wunder’s maiden efforts and he told Harvey, ‘His Sunday page… looked exactly like it—as if I had done it… at first it was just like the old Terry.’ Actually Wunder’s own style is somewhat evident in the very first Sunday pages. It seems clear that he’s going to do a pretty good job.”
You might appreciate some of the commentary here. The posts have spoilers for continuities you may not have read yet.
Wundar's first years on the strip coincided with the fall of Kuomintang China.
Thanks, Luke. I’ll save it for later. Continuing…
George Wunder introduced his first femme fatale, Ermine Toy, in his very first strip, December 30, 1946. 1947 starts out with a couple of ex-Jap agents wanted for war crimes, Ermine Toy and Trek, contracting Air Cathay to take them on a “hunting trip” to Tibet… during the winter season. Wundar is a great user of slang (too many examples to list here) and literary devices such as alliteration (‘dripping dark deeds”), too. Once they arrive at their destination, Trek “fixes” Terry 7 Hotshot Charlie’s plane while they and their mercenaries set out on their quest, whatever it really is, leaving terry and Charlie no choice but to follow. A local bandit named Lhasa has taken winter refuge in a local Buddhist lamasery where she is sheltering none other than (wait for it)… Tony Sandhurst. Meanwhile, Chopstick Joe is left holding the bag.
NOTABLE QUOTATION: “It was like this in the late war. Just as one makes ready to terrorize an inferior people, they become most formidable!”