Sunday, March 30, 2014

Over Easy

So, we'll end the audit of the Spring Break Bargain Box Bonanza on a high note: Sgt. Rock Special #1 from 1992.

That great Walt Simonson cover holds an old 80 pg. Giant's worth of all-new stories (although the Rock story itself was slated for publication years earlier but bumped and never seen until this issue.) All of them exemplify the best of the storytelling I had come to expect from DC war mags when I was reading them regularly.

There's a parallel story of a WW2 fighter pilot and young boy in an internment camp; a heartbreaking tale of WW1 trenches that is only lacking the "make War No More" circle at the end; one of Sam Glanzman's wonderful Tales of the USS Stevens; and even some extras, like pin-ups and unpublished covers. All solid material.

The Rock story is notable for two items. Unsurprisingly, it presents epic depictions of desperate combat:

But it also contains a relative rarity in Rock stories: a glamour girl, beautifully rendered by Joe Kubert:

You can tell the movie star's military escort is gonna be a weasel by his moustache.

Of course, the movie star's presence on the front lines screws things up, and Rock has to take action to save her life and that of his men, all of which leads to Rock infiltrating a German incursion in a scene that's about as gruesome as it gets:

Cold. Just... cold.

There's also a Gunner & Sarge story (with Pooch!) by Tim Truman that really isn't a Gunner & Sarge story. It begins in the "mid-1800's" with this scene of scalphunters and the U.S. Army:

And those appear to be historical avatars of our heroes watching from the sidelines.

The story then switches to WW2. Gunner and Sarge skirmish with a Japanese soldier held out on a small Pacific island six weeks after the allies have taken it. Their battle ends inconclusively and the marines find themselves lost. A couple of friendly natives lead them back to their base, as it seems they have business there as well...

Like I said, great story telling. If you see this comic in bargain bin, snap it up. It's worth it, even at cover price.

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