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  1. #1
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Default Nick Fury from the Beginning (reviews by shaxper)

    Here it is, my next big project. I'm not done with Batman, just planning to switch things up by alternating between the two.

    I honestly wasn't sure what to call this thread. Really, my interest is in reading the old Sgt. Fury stories, but I can't ignore the Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. stories that will eventually be published concurrently with them (which, incidentally, I have read and love). So, while my primary interest isn't on Nick Fury himself, he is the common thread that ties all of this together.

    Regarding the Sgt. Fury title (which will be the sole emphasis of this thread for quite some time), I'm fascinated by the idea of creating a war comic that depicts the actions of a war that was already in the distant past. I realize Sgt. Fury isn't the first comic to depict a WWII story after WWII was over (Star Spangled War Stories immediately comes to mind), but I wonder if it was the first comic to depict the ongoing adventures of a fixed cast of characters in a war that was already done.

    At any rate, I could get into a lengthy explanation of the genesis of this comic, but there isn't anything I know in regard to that which Wikipedia can't tell you, so onto the comics themselves...


    highlights of the run thus far

    Sgt. Fury #1 - 1st appearance of Nick Fury, Happy Sam, and The Howling Commandos.

    Sgt. Fury #2 - Kirby's strongest effort on the title. Tremendously fun action.

    Sgt. Fury #3 - An otherwise weak issue featuring a World War II era Reed Richards working for US intelligence.

    Fantastic Four #21 -- 1st appearance of Fury in modern day Marvel continuity

    Sgt. Fury #4 - 1st appearance of Pam Hawley and the first of two major deaths in the title.

    Sgt. Fury #5 - 1st appearance of Baron Von Strucker.

    Sgt. Fury #6 - The Howlers face a biggot in their ranks. Pretty powerful.

    Sgt. Fury #7 - 1st appearance of Bull McGiveney, partial origin of Nick Fury.

    Sgt. Fury #8 - 1st appearance of Percival Pinkerton, 1st full appearance (along with Avengers #6 -- published in the same month) of Baron Zemo, and an all around incredibly strong issue.

    Sgt. Fury #10 - 1st appearance of Captain Savage

    Sgt. Fury #11 - An otherwise average issue that sheds some light on Happy Sam's past and the origins of Able Company.

    Sgt. Fury #12 - Powerful issue in which the Howlers believe Dino has deserted under fire and are about to witness his execution while Fury, presumed dead, rots in a Nazi POW camp.

    Sgt. Fury #13 -- Nick and Reb work alongside Captain America and Bucky. Good story.

    Sgt. Fury #18 -- The second and more memorable of the two major deaths in this series. Exceptional artwork as well.

    Strange Tales #135-141 -- Beginning of the Agent of SHIELD franchise. 1st appearance of SHIELD, HYDRA, and the SHIELD Heli-carrier. The first HYDRA arc. Incredibly imaginative and fun throughout.

    Sgt. Fury #27 -- Not a good issue, but it explains how Fury ultimately gets his eye patch.
    Last edited by shaxper; 12-30-2013 at 07:08 AM.

  2. #2
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    I wonder if it was the first comic to depict the ongoing adventures of a fixed cast of characters in a war that was already done.
    Didn't the Sgt. Rock/Easy Company stories predate Sgt. Fury by a couple of years, albeit with not nearly as fixed a cast?
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
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  3. #3
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan bailey View Post
    Didn't the Sgt. Rock/Easy Company stories predate Sgt. Fury by a couple of years, albeit with not nearly as fixed a cast?
    Yep. It took some evolution, but Rock was pretty much in his final form by June '59. So he was four years ahead of Fury.

    That said, Easy was a somewhat rotating cast and it was quite some time before there was anything resembling real characterization among them.

  4. #4
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Sgt. Fury And His Howling Commandos #1

    "Sgt. Fury And His Howling Commandos"
    writer: Stan Lee
    pencils: Jack Kirby
    inks: Dick Ayers
    letters: Art Simek
    colors: ?

    Grade: A-

    Before addressing anything else about this first outing with Nick and the gang, I have to ask -- a story set right before D-Day?? How in the world does a WWII series set in the European Theater keep going if you set the very first story right before the end of that conflict? Will the series jump backward in time, or are most of the adventures consolidated into an extremely brief window of time?

    As one might expect, this first issue is a simple introduction to the team as they take on a simple but extremely critical mission to prevent the tides of war from turning against the Allies. Nick and the gang must rescue the captured leader of the French resistance (LeBrave -- not the most creative name; I'm assuming the character and scenario were invented and not based on any historical fact) before he is tortured into giving away the date and location of the D-Day invasion.

    Our cast of characters includes:

    "Happy Sam," exec officer of Able Company (are the Howling Commandos and Able Company the same, or are they an outfit within the company?)

    The Howling Commandos (thus named because they give a "thunderous war cry" before entering combat)
    -- Sgt. Nick Fury: a self-sacrificing hothead. 6'2".
    -- Robert "Rebel" Ralston: Ex-Jockey, from Kentucky, small in stature.
    -- Corporal "Dum Dum" Dugan: Equally hotheaded and possibly a bit sadistic. A former circus strongman.
    -- Jonathan "Junior" Juniper: Just out of an Ivy-League college. An explosives expert?
    -- Gabriel Jones: A jazz playing African American (definitely a bold move to incorporate him into the company in 1963). Formerly played in Carnegie Hall (perhaps he played Classical professionally and jazz as his off-the-clock passion).
    -- Izzy Cohen: Master mechanic who can repair anything. Both the last name and the fact that he "remembers the fate of his relatives in Europe at the hands of the mad little man with the moustache" suggest that he is Jewish.
    -- Dino Manelli: An established actor, apparently fluent in German, and apparently the good looking guy of the outfit. His description on page two strongly implies that it's Dean Martin using a "real" name different from the one you see on the silver screen.

    How come Gabriel has no nickname, and Izzy and Dino have no real names?

    The clear descriptions we're given in the "Meet the Howling Commandos" spread aside, the story doesn't give us a strong feel for any of the individual characters at this point, though the company definitely has its own distinct personality here, with each member cracking wry quips as they face potential death throughout the issue. Even when the plan falls to heck, and one character after another appears doomed, there are no grim self-reflections, and Jack doesn't attempt to pour on the empathy with close-ups. They push on bravely, seven against an entire nation, and therein lies the magic of this entire series.

    Obviously, there are problems with the plot of this issue. Couldn't the allies just change the date and location of the D-Day attack, and isn't it a little weird when the Nazis demand "All you have to do is tell us the time and place of D-Day," as if they were acknowledging that D-Day was an inevitability. And really, the success of D-Day was because the Allied Nations finally unified and coordinated their attack, not because of any brilliant surprise. Would knowing when and where it would happen really change things for the Nazis all that much?

    Still, despite a weak plot and some truly over the top antics by Nick and Dum Dum early on (maybe Stan is just trying to show how tough and ready for war they are?), this ends up being an incredibly strong story, full of self-sacrifice as Nick believes he has left Gabe and Junior to die in order to fulfill the mission and then appears to die himself, and also full of tremendous excitement and fun as Nick emerges from the rubble to save the day at the last moment. Stan and Jack really pace this right and make us go through the emotional rollercoaster, even when our brains know full well that it's all going to work out in the end.

    And, speaking of Jack, I'm still not sure what to make of his work in this issue. On the one hand, Nick looks like more of a man ape than most of Kirby's characters, which is very distracting, some faces in the background are often too loose and simplistic (check out Nick's "smiley face" on page 15, panel 1), and our one glimpse of Hitler is entirely uninteresting whereas it should have been something special. But, on the other hand, you've got that gorgeous sequence on page 6 in which we slowly watch Dum Dum release the grenade, watch it fly apart in slow motion, watch the pilot bail out, and then have time seem to catch up with the reader once again as the explosion occurs. True artistic genius there.

    Oh, and check out page 8, panel 3: visual prototype for Baron Von Strucker?

    One line Stan probably should have considered rewording n a WWII era story: "Using the Holocaust as a diversion, the commandos gain entrance into the fortress." Sensitivity fail.

    The plot synopsis in one sentence: Nick and the gang partner with the French Resistance to rescue their leader from the Germans before he is tortured into revealing the date and location of the allied D-Day attack.
    Last edited by shaxper; 12-21-2011 at 10:13 PM.

  5. #5
    CotM Member Rob Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    One line Stan probably should have considered rewording n a WWII era story: "Using the Holocaust as a diversion, the commandos gain entrance into the fortress." Sensitivity fail.
    At that time, the word "holocaust" could be used for any huge destructive event. It was sometime later in the 1960s that it became synonymous with the slaughter of the Jews in WWII. That caption is probably referring to a big explosion.

    Even today, at dictionary.com, the Nazi atrocities are definition #3:

    1. a great or complete devastation or destruction, especially by fire.
    2. a sacrifice completely consumed by fire; burnt offering.
    3. ( usually initial capital letter ) the systematic mass slaughter of European Jews in Nazi concentration camps during World War II (usually preceded by the ).
    --
    Rob Allen

  6. #6
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Allen View Post
    At that time, the word "holocaust" could be used for any huge destructive event.
    Still can. But when used in the context of WWII, there's only one meaning that comes to mind for most people.

    It was sometime later in the 1960s that it became synonymous with the slaughter of the Jews in WWII.
    Ah, that would make sense then. I was not aware of this.

    That caption is probably referring to a big explosion.
    Yes.

  7. #7
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Nick looks like more of a man ape than most of Kirby's characters, which is very distracting,
    Yes, indeed. As it happens, I have a very, very vague memory from childhood of coming across an early issue of the series in a barber shop, back before I could read, & being rather put off by the renderings of Fury therein. I have no idea if those dimly remembered pencils were Kirby's or Ayers', but I lean strongly toward the former.
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
    Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.

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  8. #8
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan bailey View Post
    Yes, indeed. As it happens, I have a very, very vague memory from childhood of coming across an early issue of the series in a barber shop, back before I could read, & being rather put off by the renderings of Fury therein. I have no idea if those dimly remembered pencils were Kirby's or Ayers', but I lean strongly toward the former.
    Fortunately, it already begins to improve drastically with issue #2 (which I'm about to review). The credits attribute all pencils for the first issue to Kirby.

  9. #9
    Senior Member prince hal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Sgt. Fury And His Howling Commandos #1

    Obviously, there are problems with the plot of this issue. Couldn't the allies just change the date and location of the D-Day attack, and isn't it a little weird when the Nazis demand "All you have to do is tell us the time and place of D-Day," as if they were acknowledging that D-Day was an inevitability. And really, the success of D-Day was because the Allied Nations finally unified and coordinated their attack, not because of any brilliant surprise. Would knowing when and where it would happen really change things for the Nazis all that much?
    First of all, this is going to be fun, Shax. Thanks for doing it.

    As for D-Day, though the Nazis would not have known of the term "D-Day," they saw an impending invasion of Fortress Europa as an inevitability by the time this story would have taken place.

    One of the intriguing ironies surrounding D-Day centers around Hitler's belief in his instinctual hunches about strategy and tactics. He was often in conflict with his generals, who saw his insistence on playing hunches as amateurish meddling and a rampant ego, but early in the war, he had been right a couple of times and they were reluctant to argue. However, the hunches din't always pan out. One example was Hitler's determination to invade the Soviet Union w/o any consideration that it might extend into the winter. He refused to allow winter uniforms, etc. to be part of the discussion, b/c he just knew the campaign would be over before that.

    Sorry. Long prologue. Fast forward to 1944, when evry one of the military high command knew that the attack across the Channel would come at Calais: shortest distance to the Continent; the fake army under Patton's command in SE England, etc. Hitler thought that was all a feint, and believed that the attack would come at Normandy. By this time, the generals were less reluctant to disagree, and did, b/c Normndy was so well fortified.

    Hitler went along, and as a result, the Germans transferred the better troops from Normandy and a great deal of materiel to Calais. Turns out of course, that like the broken clock that's right twice a day, Hitler was correct. Thus Normandy was garrisoned with a motley crew of outfits, very few of them top-notch, that included many conscripts from all over the world. (One memorable instance is the batch of Koreans who manned pillboxes; the poor guys had been conscripted by the Soviets, captured by the Germans and then offered the opportunity to fight rather than be POWs.)

    Imagine if Hitler had prevailed over his generals that time...

  10. #10
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Sgt. Fury And His Howling Commandos #2

    "7 Doomed Men!"
    writer: Stan Lee
    pencils: Jack Kirby
    inks: Dick Ayers
    letters: Art Simek
    colors: ?

    Grade: A+

    This issue truly strikes gold. Intense, feel-good action, laugh-out-loud humor, strong characterization, and enhanced art all converge to create a story that positively surpasses the first one and takes the series into a whole new realm of excellence.

    I think at least part of this can be attributed to Kirby. The intensely fun 5 page action sequence that opens this story seems like something Kirby drew first and Lee added words to later. In the first issue, it seemed like Kirby was scrambling to work around Lee's story, but the story gets the heck out of the way in this issue in order to allow for some sincere fun. I notice that, whereas Lee attributed the "story" to himself on the first page of the previous issue, he only credits himself with the "script" this time. That would seem to back up my theory.

    That five page action sequence is absolute gold. It's amazing how much fun Jack has with justified violence. Normally, I think any sane reader would cringe at having the good guys toss live grenades in the faces of their adversaries, but these guys were Nazis, America's greatest enemy who almost took over the world. There's absolutely no guilt in watching Able Company's exceptionally brutal retribution as a result.

    Of course, the strongest aspect of this issue is the characterizations it begins to lend to the Commandos. Whereas it was hard to get a fix on them last issue, Stan gives us a lot to work with this time around:

    Nick Fury doesn't seem quite so over-the-top alpha male this time around. He's still unnecessarily pushy and domineering, but it comes off as more of a calculated act than a personality flaw, especially when we see him show true strategic leadership at various points in this issue (not just leading by being the craziest, most fearless member of the outfit) and in showing genuine concern to his commanding officer about his troop not getting rest, even while concealing this concern from the troop and going so far as to fire an automatic weapon at them to get them up and going.

    Incidentally, this is the first time anyone ever uses Nick's first name in the comic, as Happy Sam addresses him by it.

    Happy Sam Walks a careful line between reminding Fury that he's his commanding officer when necessary, but talking with him as a true friend who respects Fury otherwise. Maybe it's because I'm just coming off of reviewing the Batman run, but Happy Sam seems like Nick Fury's Commissioner Gordon, pulling rank when necessary, but generally needing and respecting the phenomenal warrior working under him.

    Dum-Dum seems far more comfortable as the second ranking soldier in this issue than he did in the previous one. At no point do we see him seriously disagree with and attempt to undermine Fury; And while he's every bit the loose cannon he was in the last issue, he unleashes it solely on the enemy, remaining amusing and non-threatening, even when Junior steps out of line by attempting to command the outfit in Fury's absence. I also really enjoyed the terrible jokes Dum-Dum kept making at his wife's expense.

    Junior: Has a brain on his shoulders and the ambition to eventually lead.

    Dino: once again uses his acting skills to take on the role of a German officer. Signs of his vanity also re-emerge as he twice expresses a desire to have cameras present so that he can be in the news reels.

    Reb's Kentucky accent comes through clearly for the first time in this issue, as does his quick sense of humor.

    However, Izzy and Gabriel are still relegated to the background in this issue. Virtually all we know about either of them came from the "Meet the Howling Commandos" spread in issue #1.


    While I find it laugh-out-loud hilarious when the unit pretends to surrender to a half-senile old Nazi officer, resulting in the line:

    "YOU captured those seven? Maybe Der Feuhrer iss RIGHT! Maybe ve ARE the Master Race!",

    this portion of the story also got me thinking. The true point here is that the Howling Commandos are the master race -- their courage and attitude appear to make them invulnerable in this story, able to take on anything. And, battling the greatest villain in real American history, we enjoy seeing them be so invulnerable against an impotent Nazi threat, casually getting themselves thrown into a concentration camp without any fear of something happening to them. It's all clearly fantasy, but it's fun fantasy. Don't bother wondering how the commandos snuck into that German town in the beginning of the issue, or how they pull out nuclear cooling rods with their bare hands and swing them around without repercussion, because their seeming invulnerability is so much of their charm. Of course, that invulnerability will get revoked on occasion in the title, but let's be realistic: a crack team of commandos like that, repeatedly going on the kind of absurdly impossible suicide missions they go on, would not live long. Eventually, there'd be that one fatal mission where the whole team would fail to return home. But reality has no place in this title unless served in small, poignant doses.

    I found it interesting how the final panel attempted to address the question I raised in my previous review about whether any of these adventures had any basis in historical fact. Apparently the answer is generally no, though Lee made a desperate attempt to connect the destruction of the nuclear facility in this issue to Hitler's abandoning of the Nazi nuclear program.

    Side notes:

    Last issue, I was impressed by Fury's willingness to sacrifice his own men for the sake of fulfilling a critical mission. This issue, I'm impressed by Fury's willingness to put the success of the critical mission on the back burner in order to save Dum Dum. These two events completely contradict each other, but I'm somehow not bothered by that.

    The fact that the commandos unleash a hideous howl when entering battle, combined with the fact that they were even introduced on the first page of the first issue as resisting tyranny with said howl, gives them an uncomfortable resemblance to Confederate soldiers in the Civil War. Did Lee mean to draw parallels between the North and Nazi Germany?

    Are we still in the days leading up to D-Day, or will that timeline get conveniently ignored as time progresses?

    Lots of coloring errors in this issue, most notably in the fact that Gabriel is Caucasian for much of this issue, and a weird blend of colors for the remainder (as if someone attempted to re-color his face after making his skin white). Izzy's hair is also blonde on page 18.

    Is there some connection between the biblical character of Gabriel and African Americans that I don't understand? We've got Gabriel in this comic and (soon) Mal in the pages of Teen Titans, another early black hero who models himself after Gabriel and also carries a horn. What's the connection?

    I wonder what thoughts went through Stan and Jack's heads as they worked on the concentration camp sequence, and if their Jewish heritage played a significant role in such thoughts.

    Nick is drawn much better in this issue. Kirby tones down the apish qualities a bit and gives him a shirt to wear this time.

    A great quote from page 4:

    "Look! It iss THEM! The Commandos!!...The vay they yell -- it iss as though THEY haff US out-numbered!!"

    Okay, Commandos have to be trained to deal with any number of things, but I find it hard to believe they're all trained horseback riders.

    So what's the story with Able Company? Was it assembled as a sort of all-star commando troop to take on the most impossible of missions, or did the group earn a name for itself as time progressed, resulting on their being sent on an endless chain of suicide missions?

    The true facts about Nazi Infantrymen and WWII era rifles inserted into this issue were a nice touch. I had to read a reprint of #1, so I have no idea if there was similar content in the first issue.


    The plot synopsis in one sentence: The Commandos are sent to stop a shipment of heavy water to a Nazi nuclear research facility and make a detour to liberate a concentration camp.
    Last edited by shaxper; 12-22-2011 at 08:32 AM.

  11. #11
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prince hal View Post
    First of all, this is going to be fun, Shax. Thanks for doing it.

    As for D-Day, though the Nazis would not have known of the term "D-Day," they saw an impending invasion of Fortress Europa as an inevitability by the time this story would have taken place.

    One of the intriguing ironies surrounding D-Day centers around Hitler's belief in his instinctual hunches about strategy and tactics. He was often in conflict with his generals, who saw his insistence on playing hunches as amateurish meddling and a rampant ego, but early in the war, he had been right a couple of times and they were reluctant to argue. However, the hunches din't always pan out. One example was Hitler's determination to invade the Soviet Union w/o any consideration that it might extend into the winter. He refused to allow winter uniforms, etc. to be part of the discussion, b/c he just knew the campaign would be over before that.

    Sorry. Long prologue. Fast forward to 1944, when evry one of the military high command knew that the attack across the Channel would come at Calais: shortest distance to the Continent; the fake army under Patton's command in SE England, etc. Hitler thought that was all a feint, and believed that the attack would come at Normandy. By this time, the generals were less reluctant to disagree, and did, b/c Normndy was so well fortified.

    Hitler went along, and as a result, the Germans transferred the better troops from Normandy and a great deal of materiel to Calais. Turns out of course, that like the broken clock that's right twice a day, Hitler was correct. Thus Normandy was garrisoned with a motley crew of outfits, very few of them top-notch, that included many conscripts from all over the world. (One memorable instance is the batch of Koreans who manned pillboxes; the poor guys had been conscripted by the Soviets, captured by the Germans and then offered the opportunity to fight rather than be POWs.)

    Imagine if Hitler had prevailed over his generals that time...

    Fascinating stuff. Thanks for it.

    I have a feeling this comic and the discussions it triggers are going to turn me into a WWII buff.

  12. #12
    Think happy thoughts Parch's Avatar
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    This should be interesting.

    After reading these two issues the first thing I had to do is lighten up. This is some action filled craziness mixed in with some Hogan's Heroes silliness. It really is great and can't be taken too seriously. I mean they're in a concentration camp, but the horrors of war need to be put aside to accept this for what it was meant to be...some action packed fun with corny dialogue and wild heroics. I don't expect this to be heavy on historical reality, but the Weapons of War page does add a reality check.

    As a comic, this is classic Lee/Kirby in the 60's. We're talking about the legendary groundwork of comics as we know it and I really love checking out the work from this era. The other really noticeable thing is the length. I easily spend 45 min+ enjoying one comic, while these DC new-52 take about 10 minutes. Oh how times have changed. These Howlin Commandos are hopping from one action scene to the next and there's a lot going on in each comic. You had to love the value you got for 12 cents back then.

    I really liked these first two issues, and in a lot of ways I think they're better than the superhero comics from this era. In fact I actually liked these a lot more than I thought I would. This should be a fun run.

  13. #13
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    OK, I'm on board...I've been wanting to check out the Sgt. Fury & His Howling Commandos series for a while now and this thread will provide the perfect excuse.

    I've just read issue #1 and my overwhelming feeling is one of semi-ambivalence -- it wasn't bad but it wasn't great either. However, I will say that the first issue certainly provides a sturdy enough start to the series and the characters all seem fairly likeable, although Fury himself seems to be laying the hard-assed sergeant routine on a bit thick. But like shaxper, I suspect that this is just Stan Lee's way of showing us how mean and battle ready Fury and his gang are.

    The story itself was a bit simplistic but still managed to hold my attention. Kirby's artwork varied from excellent to passable and like others, I was a bit put off by Fury's ape-like appearance. Also, how come Nick Fury is ginger? He has dark hair in the Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.E.I.L.D. stories.

    So, yeah, a solid start but things will need to improve if I'm going to stay with it. So, I'll keep reading as long as the series continues to hold my interest.

    Here's a few replies to some points made by shaxper...


    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Before addressing anything else about this first outing with Nick and the gang, I have to ask -- a story set right before D-Day?? How in the world does a WWII series set in the European Theater keep going if you set the very first story right before the end of that conflict? Will the series jump backward in time, or are most of the adventures consolidated into an extremely brief window of time?

    I've only read issue #1, so what I'm about to say might be disproved by issue #2, but I get the impression that this series will be jumping around and covering different points in the war. I say that because the story ends with Fury and the boys storming Omaha beach on D-Day, but it says that the details of that day are "a tale for another time." So, I get the impression that issue #2 isn't going to carry on where issue #1 left off, in the linear manner that comic book series normally do, otherwise it would've said something like "next month, find out what happens when Fury and his Howling Commandos take part in D-Day!"

    As I say, I might be wrong about this, but that's the impression I get.


    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    -- Gabriel: A jazz playing African American (definitely a bold move to incorporate him into the company in 1963)

    Doubly so when you consider that African Americans rarely saw action during WW2. I believe I'm right in saying that by the end of the war, less than 3% of the conscripted blacks in the U.S. army had seen regular combat duty...most of them were assigned to transportation, engineering and other support sector duties. Also, I'm pretty sure that the U.S. army didn't have racially intergrated units like the one shown here until after WW2. Based on these things, it is a real stretch to believe that an African American could be a part of an elite unit like the Howling Commandos.

    Of all the unrealistic things a reader has to overlook in order to enjoy this comic, the addition of an African American in the unit bugged me the most. I think that's because it's a flaw in the basic set up of the series. Like, I can believe that these individuals can overcome insurmountable odds, perform unlikely feats of bravery and cheat death on a daily basis as long as the basic premise of the unit and why they're fighting is sound. The addition of Gabe is a flaw in that basic premise for me.

    Also, why doesn't Gabe look even remotely African American the first time we see him (the double splash on pages 2 and 3) but suddenly he does on page 4, panel 7? Then he reverts back to looking Caucasian at the end of the book. Someone wasn't paying attention, methinks.


    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    on the other hand, you've got that gorgeous sequence on page 6 in which we slowly watch Dum Dum release the grenade, watch it fly apart in slow motion, watch the pilot bail out, and then have time seem to catch up with the reader once again as the explosion occurs. True artistic genius there.

    Agreed. That is the standout sequence in the whole comic as far as I'm concerned.
    Last edited by The Confessor; 09-28-2011 at 04:07 AM.
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    Senior Member MDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Confessor View Post
    Of all the unrealistic things a reader has to overlook in order to enjoy this comic, the addition of an African American in the unit bugged me the most. I think that's because it's a flaw in the basic set up of the series.
    This bugged me in the Capt America movie as well--it was the background anachronisms (a World's Fair--with the Unisphere--in '42?) that I found less "realistic" than things like a super-soldier formula (or that Hitler wasn't the real bad guy).
    "It's just lines on paper, folks!"

  15. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Texas
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    Great work... Two of my favorite series, one of my favorite characters... Thanks for doing this.

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