Category Archives: War

Foxhole #4 [1955] – Cover


FOXHOLE #4. The war title in S&K’s Mainline universe had a lot of intense covers like this one. I feel like I should make an Apokolips Now joke every time I see it, though. That’s some really nice colouring, too.


Published 1955

Sgt. Fury #25 [1965] – Cover


SGT. FURY #25. Last cover Kirby did for the book, though by this time he was drawing an older Nick over in STRANGE TALES. Nicely ominous layout with the shadows. The inker for this is uncertain, regular commenter Nick suggests John Tartaglione as a possibility in the GCD entry.


Published 1965

Our Fighting Forces #153 [1975] – Devastator vs. Big Max


This is probably the silliest of Kirby’s dozen Losers stories. In this European based story we begin with Hitler, Himmler and Rommel examining the new German super-weapon, a hundred-foot long gun with a 38-mile range called “Unser Max” (Our Max). An allied agent is detected among the German soldiers and killed, but mentions the allied weapon “The Devastator” before he dies.

Our Fighting Forces #153 [1975]

The Devastator turns out to be the idea of Private Rodney Rumpkin, aka Rocketship Rumpkin, a fan of sci-fi pulps and comics and the fanciful weapons in those stories. The allies build a hollow model of such a super-weapon in order to make the Germans use Big Max in daylight, revealing its location for a waiting airstrike.

As I said, a bit silly, but with a lot of charm, and some great art, from the scenes of the Max-induced destruction to the fanciful pulp covers.

Mike Royer inks the 18-page story, as well as the 2-page feature on WWII uniforms and insignias. D. Bruce Berry inks the cover, and Kirby also writes a text page, “Before the letters begin…” talking about how the stories will reflect his own experiences and welcoming feedback.

Published 1975

Boy Commandos #1 [1973]


A pair of 12-page S&K reprint BC stories from 1942 in this issue.

“The Sphinx Speaks” is the third BC story, from DETECTIVE #66 (1942), and opens with a framing sequence set in the future (just as the second BC story has a framing sequence in the past). A thousand years in the future, a reporter is sent to do a story on a recently unearthed mummy. The mummy comes to life, talking like a New Yorker from the 1940s, which means he must have met Brooklyn, and indeed he did. The Commandos were in Egypt, disguised as part of a trading caravan and invading a Nazi-held town.

Boy Commandos #1 [1973]a

During the attack, Brooklyn hides in the case of a mummy as part of an ambush, which is how the mummy of our framing sequence picked up the story and his accent. Not quite sure what the point of the framing bit was, other than to give S&K something else fanciful to draw, but it was worth it for that

“Heroes Never Die” is from a few months later, one of the stories from BOY COMMANDOS #1 (1942). Rip Carter and the boys find themselves in China, helping in the fight against the Japanese invaders. An old man recognizes Rip as the return of the legendary “White Dragon” from 100 years before, and tells Rip and the boys the story of an American marine who put together a rag-tag bunch of foreigners, including four young boys who resemble the Boy Commandos, and battled against bandits and warlords, finally dying and promising to return in a time of need.

Boy Commandos #1 [1973]b

The old man, who was the original Captain Carter’s lieutenant, dies after recounting his story, content that the “White Dragon” has returned, and Rip remembers that there was an ancestor of his who sailed across the Pacific and was never heard from again. Like his ancestor, Rip vows to free China, one city at a time.

One of the reasons Boy Commandos is my favourite of the S&K features from DC in the 1940s is the wide variety of stories and locales, and this is a good example.

The splash page claims this is fictionalized but based on a true historical figure, an American marine who was “the Chiang Kai-Shek of his time… who to this day is revered in China as a saint”. Anyone know if there really is such a story, or if this was all made up?

The cover is a modified version of the original BC #1 cover, with the original V-formation planes in the background removed and replaced with various Nazi guns pointing at the Commandos in the foreground.

Published 1973

Champ Comics #21 [1942] – Cover


Another of the almost two dozen Harvey covers from the early 1940s attributed to Kirby, this one featuring the Liberty Lads on the attack. I’m not sure about the extent of the Kirby involvement in some of those (after I’ve posted them all I’ll do a post about those whole set of them), but this one definitely seems to have a heavy Kirby hand, especially on the foreground Lad. I also really like both the inking and colouring effects on the water.


Published 1942

Sgt. Fury #19 [1965] – Cover


Boy, how does Fury get himself in these situations. Grabbing onto a WWI bi-plane in a fight against nazis? No wonder SHIELD recruited him. Love that Dum Dum figure in the corner.


Inking credit on this one is unknown. The Kirby Checklist has Chic Stone, which definitely seems wrong. The GCD has Carl Hubbell (who inked a few interior FURY stories around this time as well) listed with a question mark, replacing their earlier Stone credit.

Published 1965

Our Fighting Forces #159 [1975] – Mile-a-Minute Jones


This issue features the Losers on a mission in Italy, sent to capture a Nazi general. They encounter Henry Jones, a black American soldier who was in the 1936 Olympics, and his competitor in that race, the German soldier Bruno Borman. The story ends with a great foot race through a mine-field. A lot of fun stuff in here, especially the art which is full of great Kirby action poses, especially anything with Jones in action.

Our Fighting Forces #159 [1975]

Mike Royer inks the 18-page story and D. Bruce Berry inks the cover.

Published 1975

Sgt. Fury #17 [1965] – Cover


A very detailed cover of the Howlers in a tight jam. Lots of really nice texture work on various parts of the composition and small details, and I’m going to have to give props to Colletta for doing it justice.

These SGT. FURY covers that Kirby did while not drawing the book are really quite a treat, he was clearly having some fun with them.


Published 1965

Sgt. Fury #12 [1964] – Cover


Another early FURY cover, this one inked by Chic Stone. I’m not a huge fan of generic floating head covers, but that’s a really nice action pose of Fury, and the headshots here capture each of the Howlers nicely.


Published 1964

Sgt. Fury #14 [1965] – Cover


Here’s a nice image of the Howler’s circled by what I guess are their German counterparts. For some reason I’m tempted to reverse the logos and present it as the rare Earth-X comic BARON STRUCKER AND HIS BLITZKREIG SQUAD. Although I thought the character was better when they brought him into the modern age as Oberst Strucker, Agent of S.C.H.I.L.D.


The Kirby checklist lists this as Colletta inks, but I’m not seeing it at all. GCD seems to be down, so I can’t cross-check there, but I’m thinking Ayers.

Published 1965