Strange Tales 159, 1967 “Spy School”

This book has only been in my collection for a few months, but I knew it would be one that I’d spotlight sooner rather than later. Especially when you consider the talent that went into it’s creation! Just based off of the cover alone, who wouldn’t want to own this one! Two big stories with top notch creative teams means a Silver Age classic from the House of Ideas!

First up, we get Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos! They’ve transitioned from military life to working for the government (SHIELD). After a night on the town, Fury goes home, but the next day is full of training at a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility. He then must face Captain America in a sparring session in front of the newest recruits!

Awesome story, as you can really see the cool story and art by an ambitious Jim Steranko (story, art, and cover). He really knows how to tell a story with Fury and his supporting cast. He also does a fine job with Cap as well. Letters by Jerry Feldmann.

The second story is another chapter in the life of Doctor Strange! The Doc returns home to find that his Sanctum Sanctorum has been leveled, by none other than Umar herself! Once he finds a counter-spell to bring his home back, he then sets out to fight a band of sorcerers that are attempting to bring back Baron Mordo! Written by Roy Thomas, art by Marie Severin and Herb Trimpe, and letters by Al Kurzrok.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captain America 601, 2009 “Red, White, and Blue-Blood”

In 2009, the world was treated to one more story drawn by Gene “The Dean” Colan. This was his swan song in mainstream comics (all of comics unless I’m mistaken), and it was fittingly a war/horror story! Yes, this is #warcomicsmonth and you do get some WWII action, but you also get some bloodthirsty vampires as well! A fantastic send off for one of the industry’s greats (R.I.P. Gene). Written by Ed Brubaker, with colors by Dean White.

The story starts out in Bastogne, France in 1945, with Cap, Bucky, and their unit, as they’ve discovered some other soldiers that were killed, but there’s something different about the way in which they were killed. Cap and Bucky wait and eventually see that the soldiers rise and are now part of a vampire legion! Cap and Bucky must now battle against men that served by their side, and not only that, but townspeople as well, including children!

This book is one that holds a high place in my pantheon of comics. Gene Colan is my all time favorite artist, and there is no finer example of why than this book. You get some very good scenes with dialogue with Cap and Bucky, but the action scenes, especially the ones that involve the undead, are simply incredible. Even on his last pro job, Gene delivered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #121, 1974

As we can still see Veterans Day (Remembrance Day also) in our rear-view mirror, I thought it would be cool to throw out a military comic, in honor of all those who have served. What better way to celebrate, than to spotlight Nick Fury and his band of brothers! If you like military comics, this is the one for you. Fury, by himself is a great character, but when you throw in the other commandos, you get a wild bunch that is very entertaining. Whether it’s Dum Dum Dugan, Pinky Pinkerton, or Gabe Jones, you get a fantastic mix of personalities in this book for sure!

In this reprint of Sgt. Fury #19 (1965), we get a solid story from Stan Lee, wonderful pencils by Dick Ayers (RIP), inks by Frank Ray (Giacoia), and letters by Sam Rosen! The original cover was by Jack ‘King’ Kirby, but this one looks to have been touched up by someone else. Dugan looks like Frank Robbins work to me personally, but take that with a grain of salt, because I’m not very good at recognizing art styles. Well, anyways, take a look at some of the finest war comics the back issue bins has to offer!

 

Image (56)

Image (58)

Image (57)

Image (59)

Image (60)

Image (61)

Image (62)

Image (63)

 

Tales of Suspense #92, 1967. “Before My Eyes…Nick Fury Died”

Image (53)

Alright, so, the tag line of this book might be slightly misleading, but it certainly doesn’t diminish the pure awesomeness of the issue! The first story (Stan Lee & the late, great, Gene Colan) is a Vietnam story with ‘ol Shellhead. The second story features Captain America (by Stan Lee & Jack ‘King’ Kirby), as he and Nick Fury battle it out with A.I.M.! Cover by Jack ‘King’ Kirby & Frank Giacoia! Enjoy!