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Special MEMORIAL DAY issue!

Superheroes supporting the troops: Thrilling Comics #50 starring Doc Strange by Schomberg; Superman #12 by Schuster; and Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #13 guest-starring Captain America and Bucky by Kirby/Ayers.

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Sgt. Rock
by Joe Kubert

If you're talking war comics, sooner or later you're talking Sgt. Rock. Why? Sorry Sgt. Fury, sorry Sgt. Bilko, but Sgt. Rock IS war comics! And Joe Kubert "IS" Sgt. Rock! So, here's a nice little black and white drawing of the one and only Sgt. Frank Rock, by the one and only Joe Kubert! (What about Russ Heath, you ask? Don't worry, we'll get to him soon.)



US Armed Forces:
ARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE, MARINES


SALUTING ALL THREE BRANCHES: Fightin' Army #70, Navy Action #1, American Air Forces #5, followed by Marines in Battle #3, US Marines in Action #3, and Fightin' Marines #114. No, that's NOT four branches. In case you didn't know, civilian, the Marines are a part of the Navy. What part? THE BEST PART. Oo-rah!

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"
Enemy Ace" by ... John Severin?!?

Here's a page from an Enemy Ace story that isn't by the Hammer of Hell's creator, Joe Kubert! Imagine that. But this story, which appeared in Star Spangled War Stories #266, was illustrated by another longtime war artist, John Severin. Click the pic or here for a bigger version.



Kurtzman, Frazetta, Heath:
Top talents in combat

Three of the best and most respected illustrators in comics and any medium saw "COMBAT": Frontline Combat #7 by Harvey Kurtzman; Blazing Combat #3 by Frank Frazetta; and GI Combat #96 by Russ Heath.

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Russ Heath: "Can you find me?"

Don't you love it when artists hide little in-jokes in comics? I do. Pictured right is the splash page of Our Army At War #258 by Russ Heath. Heath used to take great delight in showing this page to fans at comic book conventions and asking them, "Can you find me?" Very few did. Can YOU? Click the pic or here for a bigger version, and start looking!

If you give up, then click here for the ANSWER to Russ Heath's question: "Can you find me?"


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Russ Heath: The greatest double-page
spread in war comic history?

Sgt. Rock is not easily shaken! So what's got him so upset? Just the most titanic two-page spread ever seen in war comics -- or maybe ANY kind of comics, for that matter. If you're a war-comic fan of age, you remember well reading Our Army At War #244.
The first page of the story was an amazing set-up, then you turned the page and beheld what is perhaps the single greatest double-splash page in the history of war comics -- a masterpiece of draftsmanship that captures more in a single drawing than most comics do in entire issues. To see it, click the pic or here for the spread, both with and without coloring. (Warning: The scan does not really do the spread full justice, but you'll get the idea.)



Comic books glorify war!

Comic books. That's where they glorify war by selling fairy tales to kids. One-sided fantasies starring blindly patriotic characters, created by "chicken hawks" -- warmongers who have no idea what a real war is like ... right? Why yes, absolutely!

• "Fairy tales" like the Mai Li Massacre in Vietnam, a controversial incident dealt with in Our Army At War #233. This "fantasy" is the only comic book in history to have its entire cover appear on the cover of The New York Times Magazine. It's true! The cover of this story, titled "Head-Count," made the cover of The New York Times Magazine in 1971, illustrating an article on realism in comics. Some fantasy.

• "One-sided" fantasies like the tales of Enemy Ace, the "human killing machine." As the Vietnam War raged in real life, DC dared to do a series -- and a totally brilliant series at that -- about a GERMAN pilot in World War I propelled by his sense of duty to fight for his country, but tormented by the deadly battles he wages in the "killer skies." (SSWS #138). His only "friend" was a wild wolf he sometimes encountered in the forest. Hans von Hammer, the Enemy Ace, was about as one-sided as an octagon.

• "Blindly patriotic" characters such as the Unknown Soldier, a mysterious spy who once tore the bandages off his battle-scarred face to reveal the horrifying true face of war to a glory-hound (Star Spangled War Stories #168). The Unknown Soldier is certainly patriotic, but never blindy so.

• The art on these covers, and most DC war books, is by "chicken hawk" Joe Kubert, and the stories were mostly written by "warmonger" Robert Kanigher, both actual veterans of the real WW II. Both have plenty of non-fiction "battle-scars" all their own, and neither is a chicken-hawk or a warmonger. Far from it.

The truth is that glorifying war has long been the inclination of Hollywood, and the true face of war has been shown better in comic books, particularly Silver Age DC comic books, than anywhere else (except the novel)! As DC used to end its old war books ... "MAKE WAR NO MORE!"

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