Tuesday, August 2, 2016

SGT FURY AND HIS HOWLING COMMANDOS "Commission in Korea" Conclusion

...the re-commissioned Howling Commandos under Colonel "Happy Sam" Sawyer, are sent into North Korea to blow up a secret air base!
With a slightly shaken-up "Happy Sam" stationed outside the base as backup, Sgt Fury and the Howlers attack in their own inimitable style...
Why all the set-up for Nick Fury?
He had recently-appeared in Fantastic Four as an eyepatch-wearing CIA colonel to help them stop the Hate Monger and reminisce with Reed Richards, whom he'd met during WWII when Reed was an OSS agent.
So we knew he had survived to the (then) present day.
But bigger plans were in store for Fury...
Nick had just replaced The Human Torch and The Thing as Dr Strange's co-feature in Strange Tales., making him the first comic character to have two simultaneous strips set in two different time periods!
(Howling Commandos in the 1940s, S.H.I.E.L.D. in the 1960s!)
Several of the Howlers joined Nick at S.H.I.E.L.D., including Dum-Dum, Gabe, and Eric Koenig, who had not yet joined the group.
(That created a "Chekov/Khan Paradox".
In Star Trek II, the Wrath of Khan, Chekov is captured and recognized by Khan.
But Chekov didn't appear in the first-season episode, "Space Seed", Khan appeared in, since the character wasn't created or cast until the next season!
How did Khan recognize somone he never met?)
And we finally got to see the only exclusive Sgt Fury-themed Marvel merchandise of the 1960s...a Sgt Fury and His Howling Commandos t-shirt (which, unlike most of the other Marvel shirts of the period, has never been reissued!)
Until next time...

Monday, August 1, 2016


In 1965, we learned Marvel's WWII combat heroes saw action in the Korean War!
This tale from Sgt Fury and His Howling Commandos Annual #1 (1965), gives the details...
We'll observe, Commie...TOMORROW!
In the 1960s, Marvel's Annuals were a mixed bag.
Unlike DC's 80-Page Giants which were all-reprint, they combined a new lead story with reprints and, sometimes, behind-the-scenes featurettes and pin-ups into a 72-page package (which reduced over several years down to 68 pages) for the same 25₵ price as the aforementioned Giants.
This Stan Lee-scripted, Dick Ayers-penciled, Frank Giacoia-inked tale ("Frankie Ray" was a pseudonym) covered a major, but untold, event in the group's history...their only battle during the Korean War!
And you'll discover why...tomorrow!
Until then...

Thursday, July 21, 2016

MARVEL SUPER-HEROES "Phantom Eagle" Part 1

As part of our annual RetroBlogs Summer Mini-Marathon...
...we're presenting the never-repinted origin of Marvel's World War I flying ace from the anthology comic Marvel Super-Heroes #16 (1968)!
Yeah, we know it's a heck of a time to break away, but fear not, True Believer!
You'll find the pulse-pounding conclusion to this tale, along with some background about the strip at our "brother" RetroBlog Hero Histories...on Friday!
For the record, it's written by Gary Friedrich and illustrated by Herb Trimpe with some retouching by Marie Severin.
Here's a bonus to make up for not presenting the entire tale at one shot: the original art (complete with editorial notes) for several of the pages.
Note: these are almost 50 years old and were not meant to be seen in this form by the public, just photographed by the color separation company for their coloring techs to work on, so they're not "clean".
There was no "original art market" as there is today, and often these pages were lost, destroyed, or given away to family, friends, or clients after being photographed!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

THIS IS WAR "Show Them How to Die"

With Kim Jong Un and North Korea threatening us once again...
...let's show him how we Americans handle such matters...even Americans with a potentially life-threatening disability!
Illustrated by Alex Toth and John Celardo, this tale from Standard's This is War #5 (1952) was typical of the tales of the Korean War era with less bombast and anti-enemy vitriol than the comics of World War II, and more emphasis of the "we're just regular joes doing our duty" concept.
The writer is unknown.
Until we meet again...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

TRUE COMICS "Battle of Waterloo"

Two hundred years ago, one of the greatest battles in history took place...
...as you'll see in this graphic retelling from Parents Magazine Press' True Comics #2 (1941)
Illustrated by Jim McArdle, this historically-accurate retelling conveys the less-than-glorious aspect of war, detailing some of the mistakes and problems of a large-scale battle.
BTW, here's a b/w litho of the art the two-page spread is based on...

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

WORLD WAR STORIES "Glory at Gallipoli: Endless Fight"

...Allied forces, spearheaded by ANZACs, landed at the tip of the Gallipoli peninsula to open the Dardanelles Straits for British and French warships.
However, the Turkish defenders stood fast against the invaders...
The story of Gallipoli was dramatized in the 1981 movie Gallipoli (with Mel Gibson) based on Ernest Raymond's novel "Tell England" which had been previously-filmed in 1931as Battle of Gallipoli
2012's Canakkale 1915, told the story from the Turkish point of view.
There have also been TV mini-series including 1985's ANZACs (starring Paul Hogan), and 1982's 1915, which featured the Gallipoli campaign as major plotlines, and the new mini-series Gallipoli, which just aired in Australia and New Zealand.
Dell Comics launched this series around the 50th Anniversary of the Great War in 1964, probably hoping to cover the major events of the entire conflict, but the series ended after only three issues.
Their primary military artist, Sam Glanzman illustrated all the stories in the first issue and most of the remaining issues,with Frank Springer filling in when Glanzman was unavailable.
The writers for all three issues are unknown.
Bookmark this blog since we'll soon be re-presenting the final issue of this HTF World War Stories series as well as other WWI tales from other books.