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  1. #61
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cei-U! View Post
    Incidentally, shax, those two missing pages also reveal the full names of all the Howlers (except for Dum Dum's given name). Junior is Jonathan, Reb is Robert and the caption notes that Reb is a former jockey from Kentucky.
    Any chance you scan scan these pages for me or at least provide a full synopsis of them so that I can incorporate them into my review of #1?

    What's the page total for #1? I'd like to compare it with #167 (21 pages) and see if anything else was omitted.
    Last edited by shaxper; 12-21-2011 at 12:27 PM.

  2. #62
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cei-U! View Post
    That reference to the Normandy scene at "the beginning" of #1 actually occurs on the last page. D'oh!
    Ah, now I see what you're talking about. Of course, with Kirby's vague penciling in that panel, there's no clear indication that the 7th Howler is Junior.

  3. #63
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Any chance you scan scan these pages for me or at least provide a full synopsis of them so that I can incorporate them into my review of #1?

    What's the page total for #1? I'd like to compare it with #167 (21 pages) and see if anything else was omitted.
    Does anyone else besides me own not only #167 but also the actual #1 (&/or the Masterworks or Essential reprints)? At the very least, I can provide the comparison when I get home in about 3 hours, though at best I likely won't have access to a scanner till this weekend.
    I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
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  4. #64
    NOT Bucky O'Hare! The Confessor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan bailey View Post
    Does anyone else besides me own not only #167 but also the actual #1 (&/or the Masterworks or Essential reprints)? At the very least, I can provide the comparison when I get home in about 3 hours, though at best I likely won't have access to a scanner till this weekend.

    I have a scanned original copy of issue #1, if that helps any.
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  5. #65
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Confessor View Post
    I have a scanned original copy of issue #1, if that helps any.
    It's exactly what I need, so long as all parties reading this understand that we're not condoning the distribution of copyrighted material -- rather this is for scholarly purposes.

    I'll PM you with my e-mail address, Confessor. Thanks!

  6. #66
    *choke* Dan B. in the Underworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Confessor View Post
    I have a scanned original copy of issue #1, if that helps any.
    By this time I really should've had each & every page, along with the cover, tattooed on my person. (Albeit in reduced scale -- I don't have quite as much surface as the Blob to offer. Yet.)

    If only Severin had been inking it back then ... (Not that Ayers wasn't brilliant. He just wasn't Severin.)
    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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  7. #67
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #6

    "The Fangs of the Desert Fox"
    writer: Stan Lee
    pencils: Jack Kirby
    inks: Geo Bell
    letters: Art Simek
    colors: ?

    Grade: A


    There's so much to love about this issue, but I think the two main aspects I loved are as follows:

    1. The Howlers do not complete their mission. It's about time that this team faces an impossible situation that it can't surmount. Granted, upon close examination, the failure of the mission can easily be chalked up to the actions of their new unpredictable comrade, but it's still nice to see that even the Howlers have limits.

    2. FINALLY, this team of ideal diversity faces a true bigot, and it allows the characters to shine more brightly in contrast.

    Gabe, in particular, finally get to play an important role. Whereas he's generally been kept safely to the side and maintained an inoffensive temperment in the past, Stonewall's racism gives him all the license necessary to show tough stoicism at first ("He won't bother me none, Sarge. I'm used to his kind"), go off on the guy with full savagery later, and finally be a critical hero who saves his life at the end (though someone needs to explain to Lee that blood type AB is the universal receiver; Stan was clearly thinking of type O when he wrote that portion).

    It is interesting, though, that just as Gabe is about to rightfully tear into Stonewall for his absurd level of racism that has just jeopardized the entire mission, Gabe's skin turns white again. I'm getting really tired of this level of censorship (unless it really is just a repeated error, but it seems too convenient here).


    Once again, Lee is the master of saying something without really saying something. I guess it comes with pushing boundaries the way he repeatedly has in this title, but just as he never outright said Junior had died back in issue #4, yet did everything he could to imply it, he outright avoids referring to Izzy as a Jew, yet does everything possible to let us know that's exactly what Izzy is, first having Stonewall only have issues with Gabe (African American) and Izzy, then telling Izzy to go back to the "ghettos," objecting to Izzy's last name (Cohen), and finally having Izzy say "I notice you ain't complainin' about my religion all of a sudden."

    Of course, watching Izzy risk his life to single-handedly get Stonewall out of an impossible trap and then have Gabe be the one to save him with a blood transfusion at the end was damn satisfying, if a bit hokey.


    This issue also provides some more useful background information about two of the Howlers:

    -Reb is an expert with the Burp Gun (a sub-machine gun, I believe).

    -Dum-Dum is a former prize fighter. This would seem to conflict with what we were told in the "Meet the Howling Commandos" spread in issue #1 about him being a former circus strongman. I suppose he could be both, but then why wasn't the prize fighter bit mentioned in the first issue? Seems like the more memorable former career.


    Kirby's art is still frustrating me in this issue. For one thing, Rommel looks NOTHING like the real Rommel -- there isn't even a resemblance. The facial structures are completely different. Granted, Kirby didn't have Wikipedia and Google Images at his disposal, but still.

    Also, consistency continues to be a problem for him. Check out Izzy's face on page 20, panels 7 and 8. It's like comparing Bruce Banner and the Incredible Hulk. Now go back and look at Izzy on page 7. Not only is his face completely different, but he's roughly a foot shorter.

    And Happy Sam looks thirty years older and completely different in this issue. Part of this is a coloring glitch that gives him white hair, but that certainly isn't the whole problem.

    At the same time, Kirby does get some redeeming panels in with this issue. His far shot of Rommel's forces on page 18 absolutely blew my mind.


    The minor details:

    - Love that the issue begins with Fury on a bicycle because his vehicle broke down and he doesn't want to miss a date with Pam. While this is definitely a more serious issue than the previous one, little moments like this one keep the laughs going.

    - Is England the Howlers' permanent home base? They've been based there for at least three issues now.

    - So Fury is in England, on his way to a date with Pam (presumably in a relatively civilized area of England) and he stumbles upon a German encampment. Were these guys really just strolling around in England during the war?? They don't come across as an invasion force. Maybe they were spies or advance troops?

    - The Howlers rarely get a week off between missions. Wow. No wonder Fury was concerned about them not getting leave a few issues back.

    - Dino's chute doesn't open and he's plummeting toward the earth, and Fury dives after him. Someone explain to me how Fury sped up his fall to catch up with Dino, especially with his arms and legs as far apart as possible.

    - Why does Happy Sam have a tattered Nazi flag in his office? War souvenir??

    - Kirby's image of Stonewall firing on a Nazi radio man on page 11 comes off as particularly violent. The guy was presumably unarmed aside from the grenade he's already thrown, and Stonewall fires an automatic at the guy at point-blank range.

    - Stonewall has an issue with Italians, but not the Irish? Maybe Dum-Dum just seemed like a worthy comrade in comparison to Izzy (a Jew).

    - Fury catches on to Stonewall's racism a lot faster than he caught on to Strucker poisoning him last issue. Either he's being depicted as smarter in this issue, or Lee is implying that Fury has dealt with racists before. I suppose the latter is likely considering that Fury's team is so diverse. I like the idea that Fury may have had to fight to put Gabe and Izzy on the team against the judgment of higher-ups. Then again, I'm probably inferring a lot more than Lee intended to imply.

    - What's the point of Stonewall's page-long conversation with the German prisoner? I suppose it adds a bit of a twist, fooling us into believing Stonewall might be about to change his racist tune, or maybe he really was beginning to change his mind?

    - If only the prisoner had learned what we already know: Anytime a German prisoner runs out to greet the attacking Germans in this title, he gets mistaken for the enemy and mowed down.

    - Page 15, panel 4, looks really cool, but it's damn hard to tell what's happening. Couldn't tell if the planes were diving or falling.

    - Ah, an age in which we could still hope that a random Arabian family would be supportive of American forces. How the times have changed though, as a well-meaning Howler calls them "Ay-Rabs."

    - If Rommel is already involved in a plot to kill Hitler, than we're already into 1944 and once again approaching D-Day. Cei-U has warned me to ignore references to the war's timeline in this title, but I just can't help myself.

    - Kirby's final frame is a little over the top. Fury's final thoughts on racists might have carried a little more weight if not delivered directly to the reader with the floating heads of the other Howlers behind him.


    The plot synopsis in one sentence: The Howlers are sent in to take out Rommel (who is commanding forces in Africa), but before they can do so, Dino is injured during training, forcing Fury to temporarily replace him with George Stonewall, who quickly proves to be an outright bigot, Stonewall screws up the mission twice by failing to trust Gabe and Izzy, Izzy and Gabe save Stonewall's life, it turns out that it's better Rommel survived since he's involved in a conspiracy to kill Hitler, and as Stonewall is transferred out of Able Company at the end, he leaves his PO address for Izzy and Gabe, suggesting that he's learned his lesson.


    A fantastic issue, full of all the action, comedy, and boundary-pushing that make this title legendary!
    Last edited by shaxper; 12-21-2011 at 10:30 PM.

  8. #68
    Frugal fanboy Cei-U!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Any chance you scan scan these pages for me or at least provide a full synopsis of them so that I can incorporate them into my review of #1?
    Sorry, no have scanner. Plus my copy of #1 (and all my other Sgt. Furys) is buried in my office closet.

    What's the page total for #1? I'd like to compare it with #167 (21 pages) and see if anything else was omitted.
    My notes say 21 pages, divided into a 6-page prologue and the 15-page "Seven Against The Nazis." Given my numeric dyslexia, however, you may want to have Dan confirm that with his copy.

    By the way, pages 2 and 3 of #1 are reprinted in the 1965 Annual, right after the lead story, if that helps.

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  9. #69
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cei-U! View Post
    By the way, pages 2 and 3 of #1 are reprinted in the 1965 Annual, right after
    That DOES help. I have it upstairs!

    EDIT: Wow. This is EXACTLY the introduction I was looking for when I read my reprint of #1. Thanks much for the tip!
    Last edited by shaxper; 12-21-2011 at 10:05 PM.

  10. #70
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Okay. I went back and edited my review of #1 to reflect the two page spread that didn't appear in the reprint I had consulted. Thanks again, Kurt!

  11. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post


    Once again, Lee is the master of saying something without really saying something. I guess it comes with pushing boundaries the way he repeatedly has in this title, but just as he never outright said Junior had died back in issue #4, yet did everything he could to imply it, he outright avoids referring to Izzy as a Jew, yet does everything possible to let us know that's exactly what Izzy is, first having Stonewall only have issues with Gabe (African American) and Izzy, then telling Izzy to go back to the "ghettos," objecting to Izzy's last name (Cohen), and finally having Izzy say "I notice you ain't complainin' about my religion all of a sudden."
    As it happens, this issue is discussed in the most recent issue of Alter Ego. Basically, Stan couldn't mention that Izzy was Jewish because the Comics Code wouldn't let him. Even though the point of the story was to show that racism = bad, having Stonewall act racist towards a Jewish character in the first place was against the code and not allowed. So Stan had to imply everything without being allowed to actually have the characters talk about Izzy being Jewish or Gabe being African-American or Dino being Italian-American.
    At last, Boy Comics finally gets its own website!

  12. #72
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Harris View Post
    having Stonewall act racist towards a Jewish character in the first place was against the code and not allowed. So Stan had to imply everything without being allowed to actually have the characters talk about Izzy being Jewish or Gabe being African-American or Dino being Italian-American.
    Which was forbidden by the Comics Code -- being racist or being Jewish?

    And Dino's being a first gen Italian-American was first specifically mentioned back in issue #3. Stonewall expresses his distaste for Dino's Italian ancestry in this issue.
    Last edited by shaxper; 12-21-2011 at 10:37 PM.

  13. #73

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    Trying to explain or understand the code is an exercise in insanity, but my understanding is it's okay to have a Jewish character; and it's okay to have a racist character; but you can't have the racist character identify why he's being racist or the code disallowed it.

    Here's what Alter Ego has to say:

    "...Lee had a problem. The Code still forbade negative or stereotypical images of minorities, even if the purpose of a story was to demonstrate that the negative, stereotypical impressions were wrong. So Lee wrote a script about bigotry that couldn't explicitly mention that Stonewall hated Gabe Jones' black skin, Dino's Italian/Catholic heritage, or Izzy's Jewishness. The story circles all around the subject... without violating the Code's restrictive rules."
    At last, Boy Comics finally gets its own website!

  14. #74
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Harris View Post

    Here's what Alter Ego has to say:

    "...Lee had a problem. The Code still forbade negative or stereotypical images of minorities, even if the purpose of a story was to demonstrate that the negative, stereotypical impressions were wrong. So Lee wrote a script about bigotry that couldn't explicitly mention that Stonewall hated Gabe Jones' black skin, Dino's Italian/Catholic heritage, or Izzy's Jewishness. The story circles all around the subject... without violating the Code's restrictive rules."
    This is wonderful. Thanks so much for posting this.

  15. #75
    Bieber My Balls Tiamatican's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper View Post
    Which was forbidden by the Comics Code -- being racist or being Jewish?

    And Dino's being a first gen Italian-American was first specifically mentioned back in issue #3. Stonewall expresses his distaste for Dino's Italian ancestry in this issue.
    Anti-Semitism, I would assume, was what was forbidden. Obviously, being Jewish was fine, considering how open the series was about Izzy being Jewish. And racism could be shown - Stan touched on it quite a bit in the '60s and '70s. Often with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer, but that's The Man for you.

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