Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos (Vol. 1) #19

Credits:

Cover Date: June 1965

Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Carl Hubbell

“An Eye For an Eye”

Plotters: Stan Lee, Dick Ayers

Scripter: Stan Lee

Penciller: Dick Ayers

Inker: Frank Giacoia (credited as Frank Ray)

What’s Going On?

Nick Fury has vengeance on his mind. He and the Howling Commandos go looking for the Nazi responsible for Pamela Hawley’s death.

Details:

  • Nick Fury is taking the death of Pamela Hawley hard. He is obsessed with avenging her, and he is running the Howling Commandos ragged training to go back to battle.

  • Captain Sawyer orders the Howling Commandos to go on furlough and relax. Fury decides to sneak behind enemy lines during his furlough to kill some Nazis.

  • Naturally, the rest of the Commandos aren’t going to let Fury go alone. First, Dino flirts with an intelligence woman to figure out who was responsible for the bombing raid that killed Pam.

  • Next, Fury asks nicely for an Air Force colonel to let the Howlers hitch a ride on their next bombing mission.

  • After parachuting Into Holland, the Howlers visit Mayor Rooten, who provides them with a car for their mission.

  • The Howlers then find a bar near the Nazi air base and pick a fight with every German in the building. They take their pick of Luftwaffe uniforms and continue to the base.

  • Inside the base, the team splits up. Fury goes after the Luftwaffe officer that ordered the air raid, while the rest of the team sets demolitions to destroy the planes.
  • Fury finds the officer, and the Nazi is happy to confirm his responsibility for the deadly air raid.

  • Instead of executing the Nazi, Fury decides to attack with his bare hands. It’s not a smart move, as the Nazi has a gun and wings Nick.

  • Fury fights on, though, and eventually the villain runs out of bullets (not before shooting Fury in the leg first, though).

  • Their fight eventually moves to an airplane, as the Nazi tries to escape and Fury won’t give up. In the fight, the Nazi loses control of the plane, slips out of the cockpit, and plummets to his death.

  • The Howling Commandos then make their way back to England and their home base. Captain Sawyer knows what they did, but doesn’t punish them for going on an unauthorized mission.

Is It Good?

It’s okay. The Howling Commandos going on a vengeance mission is a plot we haven’t seen before —- even after Junior Juniper’s death —- so that was kind of interesting, in theory. In practice, though, the story wasn’t as dark as the premise would suggest. The reason for this is that Comics Code Authority wouldn’t allow that sort of content. So, instead of seeing Nick Fury make (or at least struggle with) a murderous choice, we wind up with a convoluted sequence involving a fistfight on a World War I biplane.

Continuity:

  • Pamela Hawley was killed in a Nazi air raid in Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #18.
  • Mayor Rooten confirms what was hinted at in Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #15: he is the Allied secret agent known as Agent X.

  • The bullet in Nick Fury’s arm was not removed when he returned to base. It apparently will stay in his arm forevermore. Let’s see if it gets referenced at all going forward.

Comics Are Goofy:

  • I get that this guy is a villain and a Nazi, but Stan Lee sure doesn’t want there to be any moral ambiguity about killing this guy, huh?

  • Just a reminder: Nazis are cowards.

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