Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Howlers - Court Martial!

In the seventh issue of Sgt. Fury and the Howling Commandos, the creative team of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and George Roussos knock a comic which gives us a glimpse, a secret origin of sorts for the bombastic top kick of the Howlers.

Sergeant Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos are on a mission deep inside the European theater. They finally get to their rendezvous which it turns out is with an officer named Parker that Nick Fury knew in as a kid. But personal affiliations are put aside as the Howlers fall under his command and they prepare to attack a Nazi installation. At the last moment Fury objects and tries to stop the attack but the Parker is not listening and Fury has to punch him to stop the attack but a bomb drops and the entire team is blow up.

When Fury awakens days later they are back in London and he is accused of failing to follow orders and striking an officer and a court martial is planned. Standing in the way of his defense is that Fury is suffering from amnesia due to the blast. The trial begins and Captain Sam Sawyer gets Fury the best military attorney he can find. Nonetheless the charges seem pretty straightforward and Fury and his team see that he will at best be imprisoned if not shot for his actions. During the trial much is revealed about Fury's background, his boyhood as an orphan and rough and tumble upbringing in a tough part of New York City.  But at the last moment an enemy attack rocks the court room and Fury regains his memory and reveals that the Nazis had set up a trap for the team that night and his actions were to save everyone. He is returned to his post and he and Parker come to a friendly accord.

This story was interesting from a few perspectives, not the least of which was the insight it gave into our titular hero. But it also came across to me as a bit too pat, as it was evident from the get-go that there was some secret which informed Fury's behavior and would ultimately clear him of the charges. Why that information couldn't come forward within the chain of command is unanswered and a warrior of no small consideration is left dangling. The contrivance of the story hurts the effectiveness.

More to come.

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