Archive for Sgt. Rock

Memorial Day

Well, it’s Memorial Day.

I’m not a huge fan of the modern incarnation of Memorial Day. It’s gotten to where it’s less about honoring those who died in wars and more about glorifying war, and that’s not a trend to emulate.

I never wanted to be in the military, and I’m glad I never served. My father served stateside and never tried to fill our heads with nonsense about treating veterans like pagan gods to be worshiped by a war-loving nation.

And I was never a big fan of war comics — at least until I got old enough to read them in the massive phone-book editions. Comics about the Losers or Sgt. Rock might have plenty of explosions and ricochets whining past the heroes and desperate battles against grinning Nazi ghouls — but “Nothing’s ever easy in Easy Company,” and war was depicted as a desolate, depressing chore.

There’s no glory in the best war comics — particularly the ones written by Bob Kanigher and illustrated by the great Joe Kubert. There’s just people suffering through hell, sometimes winning, sometimes losing — and losing good soldiers much, much too often — and always wishing they didn’t have to fight anymore.

So remember what Memorial Day is about — remembering those who’ve died, sometimes for our country, sometimes for some damn oil company’s profits — and working to make sure no one else has to die in any future wars.

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Friday Night Fights: Nothing’s Ever Easy in Easy!

It’s been less than a week since the death of Joe Kubert, and I feel like spotlighting some of his work for this week’s Friday Night Fights. You guys up for it? Then let’s get rolling.

From May 1964’s Our Army at War #142 by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert, here’s Sgt. Rock and those Combat-Happy Joes of Easy Company vs. a Tiger tank!

Hats off and sound the bugle.

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Dogs of War

Our Army at War #1

DC is going to be running a series of one-shots based on their classic war comics, and this is the first one. It’s got a great cover by Joe Kubert, though it’s Mike Marts and Victor Ibanez who put this story together. We get two different stories that parallel each other — first, set in World War II with a kid from the Midwest meeting up with Sgt. Rock and those combat-happy joes of Easy Company, and the second, set in Iraq, where a kid from Manhattan meets up with a modern-day mercenary squad with Easy Company’s level of fame.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’m trying not to give away any spoilers, but the story gets all its oomph when we find out why our modern-day master sergeant signed up to fight. Besides that, we get some really strong, inspiring artwork. The story comes across as a bit manipulative at times, but there’s no way to deny that it packs a punch.

Jonah Hex #59

Jonah heads into a tiny, lawless village looking to collect a bounty, but he gets caught in the middle of a dispute between two brothers. And there’s also a masked pro-Confederacy vigilante called the Gray Ghost who’s on Hex’s trail because he thinks he’s a traitor to the Southern cause. With all those factions gunning for and around him, how is Jonah Hex going to come out on top?

Verdict: Thumbs down. Just didn’t get the right joy outta this one. The Gray Ghost had the look of an interesting recurring villain, but he doesn’t last very long here, and he even gets offed like a chump. Anyway, this story needed something more to it, and it just didn’t have the right stuff.

Today’s Cool Links:

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Friday Night Fights: Beating up Nazis!

Hey, it’s the Friday before the Fourth of July! You know what that means? Yeah, it’s time for WILDLY PATRIOTIC FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Now we could go with a superhero wearing red, white, and blue, but we’re gonna go with someone else instead — and it’s gonna be someone participating in the Great American Pastime — kicking Nazi butt! From July 1962’s Our Army at War #120 by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert, here’s Easy Company’s Bulldozer singlehandedly blasting through a Nazi machine gun nest:

Yeeeeaaaah! USA! USA! USA! Whooooo!

Merry pre-Fourth to youse guys, and careful with them firecrackers!

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Friday Night Fights: Rock and Roll!

Is it Friday? Yes! Is it night? Ehhh, close enough! Is it fightin’ time? Yeaaah! Time for Friday Night Fights!

From 1959’s Our Army at War #81 by Bob Haney and Ross Andru: Sgt. Rock makes his first appearance in comics by doing something that all good Americans should do as often as possible: beating the snot out Nazi punks!

It’s not just violentastic — it’s All-American Violentastic!

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