SGT Fury and His Howling Commandos 166, 1981 “Play it Alone, Sam!”

Every once in a while, I feel the urge to spotlight a war/military comic. One of my favorites is Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos! I’ve always loved the concept of a rough and tumble team that could handle anything. The mixture of personalities, and different ethnic backgrounds was pretty cool. There were down times with humor and fun, but when it was time for action, they were ready! This issue in particular was good because not only was the regular cast there but also their CO (Commanding Officer), Happy Sawyer! In this story (a bit of a Casablanca rip off), we see Sawyer remembering a mission that saw him fighting everyone from Arabs, French, and Nazis!

Although sometimes war/military books can get redundant, this one (along with War is Hell) were always pretty good. This issue had Gary Friedrich (with changes by Allyn Brodsky) scripting, and we all know that Gary wrote some fantastic stuff back in the Bronze Age (Ghost Rider, Frankenstein). The interior pencils are by Dick Ayers, and inks by John Severin. Both of these gentlemen don’t get mentioned anywhere near as much as they should, so definitely check out there work and give them their due! Colors by Bob Sharen, and letters by Jean Izzo. The cover was by John Severin (originally Sgt Fury 72, 1969)!

 

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SGT. Fury #98, 1972 “Dugan’s Deadly Dozen!”

With Memorial Day in the rear-view mirror just slightly, I thought it would be cool to spotlight one of Marvel’s military comics from back in the day. None was better than the always entertaining, Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos!  This rag-tag group was always either kicking butt or making with the wise comments. Never a dull moment! In this tale, Fury is laid up, so Dugan must take charge, and whip these new guys into shape! A new class of recruits that are less than desirable need to be trained and it’s up to Dum Dum Dugan to do it! Also look for a special appearance by Nick Fury and Happy Sawyer!

This title always had great creators on it. From Roy Thomas, to Jack Kirby, and more. This issue however, is presented by the incredible team of Gary Friedrich (writer), Dick Ayers (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Artie Simek (letters), and John Severin (cover)! These fine creators did a copious amount of work on this title, and they really made it their own for a time. Well, sit back and relax, because this one is a real treat! Just look at the fantastic work by Ayers and Esposito!

 

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Marvel’s Unsung Heroes! -Marie Severin!

It’s nice to see that in this day and age, women are making great strides in the comic book industry (Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Rios, Laura Allred, Fiona Staples, Rachel Dodson, Marjorie Liu, Jill Thompson, Jo Chen, Sara Pichelli, Siya Oum, etc.), and it’s about time. These ladies add a unique perspective to the industry that is a breath of fresh air. Back in the day though, comics were even more dominated by men, so the women of that earlier era need to be given praise for their groundbreaking work. One of those ladies was Marie Severin. Her vast body of work (Dr. Strange, Submariner, Hulk) that includes a ton of pencils, inks, and colors, cannot be overlooked, and in today’s post, you’ll get to see some of her work that I own and cherish. So, here’s to you Marie, thanks for all of your hard work not only creating art, but also paving the way for the ladies of tomorrow!

 

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Monsters On The Prowl #16, 1972. “The Forbidden Swamp”

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It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Robert E. Howard. And my favorite creations of his is Kull! Not only does Kull predate Conan, but he’s more of a thinker, a better leader, and he has a cool dude named Brule, that has his back in a scrap! In this issue, Kull must face the serpent cult, and their leader, Thulsa Doom! You see, this wizard is a man now, but later on, he would become more of a demon of sorts, defying death for centuries! He would live long enough to plague Conan a few times as well.

In this, his first appearance (Thulsa Doom), we see him befriend Kull, and even after Brule’s warning, Kull says that they will allow Doom to go with them to their destination. Of course, we the reader can see the devil in Doom’s eyes, but Kull seemingly cannot. A bout with a giant Plesiosaur, the serpent cult gone wild, and a betrayal on the horizon! An action packed issue from the awesome mind of the best fantasy writer of his time or any other! All hail Robert E. Howard!

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The artwork by Marie & John Severin shows off what a great team they were indeed. The pencils, inks, and colors are all perfect for this genre. You really get a sense that they enjoyed working on a book like this, and I’m glad they did it! See you in three days for more comic book goodness, and don’t forget to check out my movie review (Cinema Sunday), too!