Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos (Vol. 1) #7

Credits:

Cover Date: May 1964

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, George Roussos

“The Court Marshall of Sergeant Fury”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Jack Kirby

Inker: George Roussos (credited as George Bell)

What’s Going On?

On a mission, Nick Fury defied orders, even going so far as to assault a superior officer; because of this, and a Nazi bomb that went off near Fury, the mission failed. Nick now has to defend his actions in a court marshall — but he is suffering amnesia from the explosion!

Details:

  • In France, behind enemy lines, the Howling Commandos have a mission to team up with the French Resistance. When they get to the meeting place, Nick Fury recognizes the American leading the French —- it’s a not-too-friendly face from high school, Lt. Spencer Parker.

  • Just as the Howlers and the French were about to attack a German ammo dump, Fury tries to stop the team. Lt. Parker doesn’t listen, so Fury knocks him out; before he can take charge of the mission, though, Fury is knocked out by an enemy bomb.

  • When he awakes, Fury finds himself safe, in an Allied base. However, he is under arrest for striking a superior officer and disobeying orders. Too bad Fury’s memory was scrambled by the explosion, and now he can’t remember why he did what he did.

  • At Fury’s court marshall, the judge is hostile, but allegedly fair. He doesn’t believe that Fury has amnesia, though.

  • Fury’s lawyer calls a string of character witnesses, but he cannot change the known facts that Fury hit Parker and refused an order. It looks like he will be found guilty!

  • The trial was interrupted by a German bombing mission. During the ruckus, Fury’s memory returned! When things settled down, he called for a previously captured German soldier to testify on his behalf.

  • It turns out that the German was captured by Fury a while back, and had given him a bunch of intelligence information. One of those tidbits was a description of a ammo dump that was rigged to explode —- a trap set for the French Resistance! Fury remembered just in time to stop the mission, and he saved everyone’s life. Fury was found “not guilty” and everything went back to normal.

Is It Good?

It was okay. The courthouse setting made this a change of pace, so that was welcome. The story didn’t really have much to it, though.

I would like to see the Howling Commandos develop some personality eventually; giving them a single identifying trait is wearing thin.

Continuity:

  • Nick Fury apparently became a Commando when his best friend was killed in Pearl Harbor.

  • That best friend is unnamed here, but he is Red Hargrove. This is both his first appearance and death, but he will show up from time to time in flashback stories for Nick Fury.
  • This is also the first appearance of “Bull” McGiveney, an American soldier that doesn’t like Nick Fury.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • Rebel’s phonetic dialogue pains me.

  • After describing Nick Fury’s pre-WWII time as a low-life hothead, Lt. Parker then lays down some serious macho bullshit:

  • The Howling Commandos hear through the grapevine that Bull McGiveney is talking trash about Fury, so they decide to beat him up. In a comic like this, that’s to be expected. But how the Howlers enter McGiveney’s barrack —- keep in mind that this is on an American base —- is ridiculous. Does everything they touch explode?

Well, That Aged Poorly:

  • It’s been a few issues since we’ve seen some truly bad German accents in this comic. I suppose it was just a matter of time before they came back.

  • It looks like Dum-Dum has moved in from jokes about his wife to jokes about his mother-in-law. That’s not progress.

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