Saturday, April 2, 2011

Marvel History Post 53: Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandoes # 1!

Issue: Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandoes # 1 Writer: Stan Lee Artist: Jack Kirby Publication Date: May 1963 We have here the first appearance of Nick Fury and his howling commandoes. Although these stories are not a part of the action taking place in the rest of Stan's stories from these, Nick Fury lives on and eventually becomes a major part of the Marvel Universe. Brief Summary: This story is set during the second World War. The US army is tasked with rescuing the leader of the French Underground from deep within Nazi territory. The reason he needs to be rescued is because he knows the timing of D-Day, and the US can't afford to have him spill the beans. The rescue job goes to the Howling Commandoes, a group trained by Nick Fury and his partner Dum Dum Dugan. The HC's are attacked in the air and forced down. They then fight a bunch of Nazis while trying to hold a french town. After defending the town they meet up with a bunch of French underground fighters. The group sets off to make their rescue of the French underground leader, whose name is Labrave. Sgt. Fury and his squad reach the fortress and blow up the arsenal, creating a diversion so they can get inside and make their rescue. Fury is trapped under some rocks after an explosion, but the rest of the gang is captured. They are about to be killed when Fury makes his escape and saves them. They are then able to make out with Labrave, and the plans for D-day are safe from the Nazis. Commentary: Alright, where the hell is Nick Fury's eye patch? I better not have to wait for the whole second World War to finish up before I see it. On a more serious note, even though these stories have the usual Stan Lee flair in terms of their style, they are a more violent affair. For example, Nick Fury takes out a manned tank with a grenade. Obviously you expect more violence given that this is war, but most of the messy parts still occur off panel. It seems that Stan is making sure that the violence is toned down in his super hero stories, but in these tales he preserves it, which I would assume is for a greater sense of realism (always a big concern for Stan the Man..heh). Quick Thoughts:
  • Hitler makes a brief appearance, lookin' cute as ever.
  • Fury is a pretty serious drill master, and not a nice guy.
Favorite Panel: A History of Violence! Next: Strange Tales # 108