Category Archives: 2 Stars

Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #28, Mar. 1966

sgt028Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #28, Mar. 1966

Story by: Stan Lee
Art by: Dick Ayers
Inking by: John Tartaglione
Lettering by: Sam Rosen

two-stars

I think I’m going to stop caring so much about how much I write about each issue, or at the very least these stupid WWII comics. They really aren’t superhero comics, they just happen to have Nick Fury in them. There is some crossover between these characters and the rest of the superhero stuff, and that’s the only reason I’m doing it in the first place.

The Howling Commandos are off to a city in France recently occupied by the Nazis to help the local resistance make trouble for ze Germans. Their old nemesis, Baron Strucker, is running the city now, and he’s just as useless as he is every time they go up against him. The Howlers blow up a million trains and four million bridges, which ticks Hitler off to no end. He orders Strucker to blow up the entire town instead of just shipping off the citizens to concentration camps as he had been doing. In retaliation, Fury sets Strucker’s base to explode, and the issue ends with a stalemate: who will blow up whom?!

Hitler gets a lot of facetime in this issue, which is funny because he’s shown as a raving psychopath, constantly yelling insanity at everyone. The weird thing about this is not that Adolph Hitler is shown in a negative light in a WWII comic written by a former army propaganda man, but that Baron Strucker is constantly disagreeing with Hitler’s orders, thinking of him as a madman. So wait, are we supposed to sympathize with the monocle-wearing Nazi officer now? What’s that all about?

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Tales of Suspense #75, Mar. 1966

tos075Tales of Suspense #75, Mar. 1966

Titanically written by: Stan Lee
Tremendously drawn by: Adam Austin
Tumultuously inked by: Gary Michaels
Timorously lettered by: Sam Rosen

Stan Lee, script
Jack Kirby, layout
Dick Ayers, pencil
J. Tartaglione, inks
Artie Simek, lettering
Irving Forbush, cheer leader

two-stars

Last time, on Tales of Suspense! Tony Stark’s chauffeur/bodyguard Happy Hogan saved Iron Man from being killed by Titanium Man, and was almost killed himself in the process. To cure him, some quack of a doctor used some random ray he had no idea what function it had and accidentally brought Happy back as a giant bald monster with no brain! Comic books.

Now, Iron Man has to stop the monster Happy’s become without accidentally killing him, and, as always, the charge in his armor is almost down to nothing. His armor has worse battery life than an iPhone!! Thank you, thank you. It turns out that the new monster Hogan is stronger than ol’ shellhead, so he leads him back to his lab so he can shoot him with another ray to turn him back to normal. This ray might kill Stark in the meanwhile, but gosh darnit, he owes Happy his life!

Captain America, on the other hand, just got home from defeating the ridiculous Sleeper robots the Red Skull set up, and finds himself in a scuttle on the street between a lady agent of SHIELD and Batroc the Leaper, French mercenary skilled in the art of “la savatte”. Cap beats the shit out of him, but in the scuffle a package of highly dangerous “Inferno 42” starts to leak, which will destroy the city in 30 minutes unless Cap and the Frenchman team up to find the agent!

Savate, the actual name of the French martial arts style Batroc is supposed to be a master of, is something like kickboxing, only… Frenchier. Look, I didn’t actually read the Wikipedia article about it, except for the part where it mentions Batroc twice. Clearly, Batroc the Leaper is the most famous savateur ever, and he’s this awful stereotype in a ridiculous purple spandex outfit who says “honh honh honh” as he kicks people in the face. France should be so proud.

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Thor #126, Mar. 1966

thor126Thor #126, Mar. 1966

Stan Lee, the literary lion!
Jack Kirby, the pencilling pussycat!
V. Colletta, the delineating dragon!
Artie Simek, the lettering looks it!

Script: Stan Lee
Art: Jack Kirby
Inking: V. Colletta
Lettering: Artie Simek

two-stars

Wow, it’s been a long-ass time since I wrote on this site, over a year in fact! Let’s see if I remember just what it was I was supposed to be doing… Well, this is the first issue of Thor, since they renamed Journey Into Mystery with this issue. Why? Because when was the last time you ever saw Thor solving a mystery? The dude isn’t exactly Sherlock Holmes. Also, they’d been calling it Thor for a while, and it’s been almost three years since there was any non-Thor stuff in the mag.

The feature story is almost entirely the fight between Hercules and Thor, supposedly over the affections of Jane Foster, but really it’s just because Hercules really likes fighting and Thor doesn’t like that Hercules really likes fighting, but refuses to give up. As punishment for escaping Asgard last issue (after Odin ordered that everybody kill Thor), Odin zaps Thor so he’s at half strength again. Of course this happens at the end of the fight, and Herc finally gets an edge over the thunder god. Defeated, Thor gets all depressed and whiny, and despite the fact that Jane doesn’t care if he lost or not, he declares that he’s no longer worthy of her love because he’s a prideful guy and wanders off into the sunset. Meanwhile, Hercules gets a deal as a Hollywood actor with all the babes and legs of mutton he can eat! Gotta love Hercules.

In Tales of Asgard, Thor goes to rescue Loki from the queen of the flying trolls, and she agrees to let him go if Thor agrees to be her king… FOREVER!! Could be worse, I guess, but Odin intervenes and the two brothers fly back to the Odinship in time to watch Volstagg fall down and claim to be amazing. Also, Odin appears and tells everybody to come back home because the feature just isn’t doing that good and maybe they should all just wrap it up.

I actually don’t know if this is getting to the end of Tales of Asgard, but I sure hope it is. By god has that thing overstayed its welcome. Basically it just feels like an extra ten pages that are being robbed from the feature story, which is 100% of the time much, much better. And on another note, will this be the only comic book I read and review in 2014? COULD BE!! I HOPE NOT THOUGH!!!

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Tales to Astonish #77, Mar. 1966

tta077Tales to Astonish #77, Mar. 1966

Stan Lee, writer
Gene Colan, penciller
Vince Colletta, inker
Sam Rosen, letterer

Script by: Stan Lee!
Layouts by: Jack Kirby!
Pencilling & Inking by: Johnny Romita!
Lettering by: Sam Rosen!

two-stars

Namor gets a special guest star in this issue, Hank Pym, the asshole scientist also known as Ant Man! Or… Giant Man. Whatever you call him, he’s still the single thing I hate more than anything else in the world and my bile just rises knowing that he’s still around. After his “retirement” almost a year ago, there’s been a wonderful reprieve from the inept adventures of Hank Pym, but he just had to come back, didn’t he? DIDN’T HE?!

Now that the Sub-Mariner’s got Atlantis all situated and back in his capable hands, he decides to leave immediately and go back to fighting the surface worlders over random things that he decides are offensive to him. He starts with a giant underwater drill that caused an earthquake in Atlantis which is being driven by Hank Pym. He breaks the thing and easily gets past the platoon of guards around it and threatens to beat up Pym unless he tells him what’s going on.

Meanwhile, in the distant future, the Hulk is fighting the Executioner over… well, I don’t think there’s really a reason for it except that the Hulk is just really into fighting. He saves a town from being blown up by the evil Asgardian, then disappears before the ungrateful villagers can attack the Hulk for saving them. In ordinary times, the pressure is getting to Rick Jones and he finally spills the beans about the Hulk and Bruce Banner being the same guy. After all, they’re both dead, aren’t they?

And with that the Hulk’s pointless adventure into the future comes to an equally pointless end. Still, at least one interesting thing happened: Major Talbot now knows of the Hulk’s true identity, and he used to be one of his biggest enemies as far as calling Banner a dirty commie spy goes.

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The Fantastic Four #48, Mar. 1966

ff048The Fantastic Four #48, Mar. 1966

Stan Lee, writer without peer!
Jack Kirby, penciller of the year!
Joe Sinnott, inker most sincere!
Artie Simek, how’d HE get in here!

two-stars

It’s been almost four months since I last read a comic book? Yeah, that sounds about right. At least I have a classic issue to come back to, The Coming of Galactus! It finally wraps up the deal with the Inhumans for now and moves on to one of the best known stories of the Fantastic Four ever. They even mangled this thing horribly for that terrible movie they made… or are we still pretending those never happened?

Maximus’ Atmo Gun creates world-wide earthquakes, which he believes will destroy the pitiful and less powerful humans, allowing the Inhumans to take over the world (under his control, of course). Turns out the earthquakes don’t do shit and that everyone still hates him, so Maximus sets the gun to reverse which constructs a Negative Zone around the secret Inhumans base and the Fantastic Four barely escape before it solidifies. Johnny’s sad because his girlfriend Crystal is stuck in the city and he’s stuck outside, but he doesn’t have very much time to pout.

On the way back home, the sky is suddenly covered in flames, and then by a thick layer of rocks. Nobody knows what’s going on until that “impartial” asshole Uatu the Watcher shows up and says that he’s responsible for the shields, which he’s trying to use to keep the Silver Surfer from noticing Earth. It does the opposite, and the Herald of Galactus lands on Earth, finds that it’s quite nice, and sends for his boss, a giant in a hilarious hat who eats planets.

So… Uatu’s original plan is to cover the planet in a WREATH OF FIRE to keep the Silver Surfer from noticing it. Not even mentioning how completely he’s thrown away his veneer of neutrality by this point, that’s maybe the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. If I was a crazy space guy and I saw a ton of fire IN SPACE, I’d probably go to check it out. That shit doesn’t normally hang out in a vacuum. Also, I love Galactus’ big “G” pendant he has in this first drawing. It’s a shame he loses it.

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