Tag Archives: Nick Fury

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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Strange Tales #142, Mar. 1966

st142Strange Tales #142, Mar. 1966

Stan Lee, writer! (our answer to Bond)
Jack Kirby, penciller! (our answer to UNCLE)

Mike  Demeo, inker! (our answer to Brand Echh)
Artie Simek, letterer! (our answer to Rosen)

Extravagantly edited and written by… Stan Lee!
Painstakingly plotted and drawn by… Steve Ditko!
Lovingly lettered and bordered by… Artie Simek!

three-stars

It’s a little tough trying to remember where I was in these comics a year ago, but luckily it’s easy enough to pick up again. Basically, Nick Fury and Dr. Strange are awesome, and everything else will makes sense eventually. Also, there are just a million things going on in every given panel of this issue, and it’s a crazy difference between the 60’s and modern comics. They just have to tell you every single thing that’s going on, and if they can throw some extra shit that doesn’t matter in the background too, well the more the better.

Mentallo, a guy who can read minds and somehow NOT appear on Johnny Carson, seeks out the underwater lair of the Fixer, a guy who can make all sorts of fancy gadgets. They team up to take out SHIELD, going straight after their headquarters from beneath the Earth. Still, SHIELD is so prepared, there are traps for those who try this subterranean method, but with the combined powers of knowing everything and having an invention for every purpose, they break through them easily. Even worse, they knock out Nick Fury and his squad, then put a fancy mask on Fury himself, making him their brainwashed slave!

Meanwhile, Dr. Strange returns home from all his magic mucking about to find that some dick planted a bomb in his house, just a normal everyday non-magical bomb. As he goes to dispose it, he’s captured by some of Baron Mordo’s minions, and not only put into magical stasis, but put into an iron mask with big iron gloves, so he can’t cast any spells or say anything or see or move whatsoever, and also his cape and amulet are taken away from him. This mildly inconveniences Dr. Strange for a few minutes, but he’s pretty easily able to escape the building they were holding him in, albeit he still didn’t get his shit back, and he has iron crap all over him.

For most superheroes, tying him up in such an all-encompassing way would keep them from doing just about anything, but for Dr. Strange this is going to be a two issue problem, max. Being stuck in an awesome metal helmet and some big dumb iron gloves? Well, all the better to PUNCH you with, my dear! His solution is that he can still turn into his ethereal form, so he basically just uses that to guide himself around. But really, how are you supposed to be expected to keep Dr. Strange tied up? That’s a better effort than what I would’ve come up with.

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Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #27, Feb. 1966

Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #27, Feb. 1966

Script: Stan Lee
Art: Dick Ayers
Delineation: John Tartaglione
Lettering: S. Rosen

Ever wondered how Nick Fury got his eyepatch that he wears in Agent of SHIELD which he doesn’t wear in Howling Commandos? Well, here’s the exciting story! He doesn’t wear the eyepatch after this in this series, unfortunately (he looks way cooler with an eyepatch), but at least now we know.

The Commandos are sent to Germany to take out their newest weapon: a beam of light which automatically renders planes inoperative. Obviously this is a powerful weapon, but the Howlers are really good at blowing things up, so that’s what they do. Just after, they’re attacked by Nazi forces, and Fury catches a grenade explosion with his eye. He stalls the enemy while his squad evacuates, and finds himself stuck in Germany.

Fury, disguised as an ordinary German citizen, walks toward the German coast until he comes across a little beerhall in Brandenberg where he stumbles across Hermann Göring having a drink with the only person who knows how to recreate the anti-plane light thing. With the aid of a disgruntled Nazi, Fury knocks the baddies out and escapes on a plane with the scientist. When he gets back, the doctor tells him that he could do an operation to fully restore Fury’s sight, but it would put him out of commission for a year. Instead, Fury opts for the quicker treatment that makes it okay for him to fight now, but in 20 years or so his vision would go out in that eye and he’d need an eyepatch.

So that’s the explanation. He took a grenade to the face and slowly lost his vision over the course of twenty years. That’s as good an explanation as any, I suppose. I wonder if anybody got a No-Prize for that explanation…


Strange Tales #141, Feb. 1966

Strange Tales #141, Feb. 1966

Rapturously written by: Stan Lee
Resplendently drawn by: Jack Kirby
Rollickingly inked by: Frank Ray
Reluctantly lettered by: Sam Rosen

Dialogue and captions: Stan Lee
Plot and artwork: Steve Ditko
Lettering and more lettering: Artie Simek

You know, Strange Tales makes up for every mediocre Hulk or Sub-Mariner story I have to read as part of this. Both the Nick Fury and Dr. Strange series’ are so good, they’re really the only ones that make me really excited to read the next issue of every time. In this one, Fury does a really interesting thing where he lets the HYDRA girl who helped him break out of prison go, while making it seem like it was an escape attempt of hers that he failed to notice. The way he does it says so much about his character, and it’s actually kind of a poignant sequence. I never used the word “poignant” to describe an Ant Man story, now did I?

It looks like HYDRA is finally defeated! All that’s left is the Supreme HYDRA, but he gets shot by two of his henchmen because he took off his costume and they didn’t know it was him. Oh, bitter irony. The Supreme HYDRA’s daughter “escapes” with the aid of some super-suction shoes that allow her to walk down walls, and Nick Fury goes back to SHIELD headquarters… where he’s psychically attacked! Turns out SHIELD is developing some psychic warfare stuff to counter this other guy that used to work for them but doesn’t anymore. He’s trying to figure out a way to get back at SHIELD, and mentally discovers a guy named the Fixer who can apparently build anything out of anything else.

Dr. Strange got shot in the back by one of Baron Mordo’s spells during his duel with Dormammu, and the Dread Dormammu is fucking pissed. So pissed, he sends Mordo to the “Demon Dimension” as punishment. Strange is okay and he wants to keep the duel going, but it seems like he’s too weak to fight well. Of course, this was all part of his plan, and the egotistic Dormammu falls for it, letting his guard down and getting beaten at his own game. This time Dr. Strange tells him to promise not to use his powers against Earth, hoping that’ll make the jerk leave him alone. Dormammu has one final message, and it’s that the girl who helped Dr. Strange is being sent to some random dimension where she’ll probably die, and it’s all Strange’s fault. After a long day of dimension travelling and magic-doing, Strange returns to his Greenwich Village home where, unknowing to him, some of Mordo’s goons have hidden a totally normal, non-magical bomb.

Damn, a lot of stuff happened in that half-issue of Dr. Strange. So, the first time he beat Dormammu, he said he couldn’t GO to Earth, and this time he can’t use his powers against it. I guess next time Dormammu finds a loophole in these restrictions (which he kinda already did by threatening Strange’s lady), Strange’ll have to make him promise not to do whatever THAT is. Just make him promise to leave everybody alone, or make him stay in a prison cell or something, come on.


Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #26, Jan. 1966

Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #26, Jan. 1966

Written with block-buster force by Stan Lee!
Drawn with machine-gun power by Dick Ayers!
Inked with dive-bomber impact by Carl Hubbell!
Lettered with bloodshot eyes by Artie Simek!

Two good issues of Sgt. Fury in a row? HAS THE WORLD GONE MAD?! This one’s kinda weird, because except at the very beginning and end, Fury and the rest of his Howlers aren’t even in the thing… it’s a Dum-Dum Dugan only story! I guess to make up for him not being in the last issue, or maybe just because Dum-Dum is awesome and entertaining and really the only one other than Nick Fury who would be able to carry a whole issue by himself.

On his way back to the ETO from his recuperation in America, the bomber plane Dum-Dum Dugan was aboard is shot down by Nazis. He and the three airmen who were also in the plane get rescued by a Nazi battleship called the Sea Shark, notorious for destroying ships without anyone finding out where it is. The Howlers are sent out to rescue Dum-Dum, but he doesn’t plan on waiting around. He and the airmen make enough of an escape to be able to set a bomb in the bottom of the ship that blows it up before it can sink another ship. Just in time, the sub carrying the commandos surfaces and the squad is all back together.

There is really no good reason for Dum-Dum to not have been brutally murdered by the Nazis during this adventure. He’s constantly mouthing off to the Nazi officers (as is the custom of the Howlers), and he and his buddies steal some guns and mow down a few dozen enemy soldiers themselves. Of course, every time they catch him it’s, “well, I really SHOULD kill you, but I’m going to be nice and give you another chance to escape/fuck with our operations.” Stupid Nazis.