Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos (Vol. 1) #14

Credits:

Cover Date: January 1965

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers

“The Blitzkreig Squad of Baron Strucker”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Dick Ayers

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Dick Ayers

Inker: George Roussos

What’s Going On?

Baron Strucker creates his own crack squad of commandos to take down Nick Fury and his men. Will the Howling Commandos be able to handle a squad designed specifically to defeat them?

Details:

  • On the orders of none other than Adolf Hitler, Baron Strucker is tasked with defeating the Howling Commandos. Making his job harder is Hitler’s demand that the Howlers be captured alive.

  • To defeat the Howling Commandos, Baron Strucker decides to create an equivalent team of German commandos: the Blitzkreig Squad!

  • After some intense training, the Blitzkreig Squad is ready to face the Commandos.

  • Baron Strucker sets a trap for his enemies. He builds some fake missiles near the Western Front, but builds them in a spot where an air attack would not work. Sure enough, the Allies assign the Howlers to destroy the fake missile base.

  • When the Howling Commandos make their attack, they find the missile base curiously unguarded. Before they can voice and suspicions, though, they are captured and/or pinned down by their German counterparts.

  • But capturing the Howlers is one thing —- keeping them captured is another thing entirely! They all fight their way free from their traps.

  • The Howling Commandos managed to overpower their enemies and contain them inside the fake missiles on the base!

  • The Commandos may not have accomplished much on this mission —- aside from avoiding capture —- but they returned back to base safely.

Is It Good?

It’s okay. The idea of a German version of the Howling Commandos is kind of silly, but it has potential. I wish more of this issue focused on the Howlers fighting their Nazi counterparts, though.

Dick Ayers’ artwork is serviceable, but he doesn’t do much in the action scenes. Knowing that he stays in this title for a long time, that concerns me as a reader.

Continuity:

  • This is the first appearance of the Blitzkrieg Squad.  The members are not given names in this issue, but they are Ernst, Fritz, Ludwig, Manfred, Otto, and Siegfried (I have no idea which is which).
  • Baron Strucker last appeared in Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #9.
  • Captain Simon Savage (referred to as just “Captain” in this issue) last appeared in Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #10.
  • We have a pin-up of a B-26 bomber in this issue.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • It feels very weird for this comic to point out when it does something realistically.

  • Yes, if there’s one thing I associate with Hitler and Nazi propaganda, it is their intense desire to keep their enemies alive.

  • I love the selection process for the Blitzkreig Squad. While some of these selections make strategic sense (the bar fighter, mechanic, and the decorated soldier), others seem to be selected on the dumbest superficial stuff. “Gabriel Jones plays the horn, so we need a musician on our team, too!”

  • I don’t know why the idea of Nazis being allowed to choose their hats amuses me so much, but it does.

Well, That Aged Poorly:

  • Spelling phonetically: never the right choice.

  • Racial epithets: not the sort of thing you want your heroes to use, especially not when they’re smiling.

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