(continued from review of Sgt. Fury #4 on previous page...)
Wow. The Howlers just fly a lone bomber directly into Berlin, deploy 20 miles outside of the city limits, and fight their way in. Good thing Junior dies at the end, because this all seems so unbelievable otherwise.
Little moments like the one in which a German circus performer is all set as their contact in Berlin make me more intrigued with the spies who lay all the resources out for the commandos than with the commandos themselves. How in the world do you establish and conduct communications with a sympathetic German residing WITHIN Berlin? Has there ever been a comic series that focused on the spy networks that did this kind of work during WWII?
We get all too many panels of the escaped lion (uninteresting) yet never see those German trucks fall into Junior's trap by rolling into the mud while pursuing the Howlers in a high speed chase. This was kind of a big moment not to depict.
Page 14, panel 1:
Reb: Some way for a Howler to die...fallin' onto a li'l ol' circus floor, eh, Junior?
Junior: It looks like fun, Reb. I'd like to try it, myself!
Nick's decision to preserve the memory/dignity of Pam's brother is especially impressive/shocking considering that his disgraceful actions indirectly caused Junior's death.
A quick review of the talents the Howlers bring to the fight: Izzy is a mechanic wiz, Dino has acting/impersonating abilities, and Dum-Dum has expertise with explosives, adding up to one crack team of specialists. So what are Gabe and Reb's specialties? Surely, playing a trumpet and cracking one-liners aren't on the same level of usefulness to the outfit.
The plot synopsis in one sentence: Nick meets Pamela Hawley during an air raid on London, The Howlers are ordered to sneak into Berlin and capture Lord Ha-Ha, a British citizen (and Pamela's brother) being used as a propaganda mouthpiece by the Nazis, they do so, it turns out that Ha-Ha is a traitor, he attempts to alert the Nazis to the Howlers' whereabouts, they mistakenly kill him, Junior dies in the final showdown, and Nick returns to Pamela, telling her that her brother died as a hero instead of hurting her with the truth.
Good issue overall, but this modern-age reader expected a major character's death to be treated as a bigger spectacle than it was. I understand why it was appropriate to do the opposite, but I still feel a bit cheated.
Beyond that, I can't say the characterization or action were particularly impressive this issue, but I certainly didn't find them disappointing either.