Saturday, November 24, 2007

Our Army At War #92

A buddy of mine scanned in this issue and I thought I'd do a solo issue review. Here's the cover:

(Cover art by Jerry Grandinetti)

This was the March, 1960 issue. The cover story features Sgt. Rock. Rock is a no-nonsense soldier presiding over a group of men known (ironically) as Easy Company. In this story, he's not only battling the Germans, but his own men who have become superstitious that a rabbit's foot owned by the squad's flame-thrower operator is responsible for their good fortune:

(Art by Joe Kubert, who created Sgt. Rock)

In the end, of course, the soldiers learn their lesson, that their trinkets and charms were not responsible for the luck of Easy Company. Unfortunately, they transfer their superstition:

Comments: Excellent Bob Kanigher story with terrific art as usual by Kubert. More than anything else, it's Kubert's inks that give his characters faces so much emotion.

There is a short feature on the Fighting 41st infantry division, known as the Jungleers for their fighting in the South Pacific, followed by "Bait for a Desert Hawk". A German pilot and an American pilot find their fates tied to a battle between a falcon and a sparrow hawk. The German and the falcon win the first battle, but the American copies a trick used by the sparrow hawk in a rematch and is successful as well.

Comments: Nice compact (6 pages) story with art by Russ Heath.

"D-Day Commandos" is the tale of a pre-invasion commando who is supposed to be guided to his target by three men of the Maquis. However, when he arrives at his first waypoint, he is startled to discover his guide is a boy. The lad turns out to be both brave and intelligent, saving the commando for the next waypoint. This time the person awaiting him is an old man, who again proves resourceful and courageous. Now it is up to the last guide, who is young and manly. And a Nazi intent on sabotaging the mission. The commando realizes that the young boy and the old man did their jobs, so he must do his by defeating the Nazi and blowing up the bridge to help the invasion forces.

Comments: Terrific story, in the compact style of the Silver Age; all the action described above (and more) comes in six pages and only 33 panels.

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