Saturday, March 18, 2017
The Howlers - The Last Laugh!
By the fourth issue of Sgt. Fury and the the Howling Commandos things are really beginning to pick up. With the team firmly established over the course of three issues, Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby feel free to give a little focus to the head honcho Nick Fury himself. Also joining the team is new inker George Roussos (using the name "George Bell") who to my eye adds a real luster to the Kirby magic which is maturing with each month of the ongoing Marvel revolution.
The story begins with a London air raid which forces Fury to seek shelter and there he meets a beautiful British nurse named Pamela Hawley. Later he is called to the estate of Lord Hawley to find out this lovely lady is his daughter and further that her brother is the notorious Lord Ha-Ha, a British citizen who has been issuing Nazi propaganda on the radio. Fury and the Howlers are sent to capture and return Lord Ha-Ha. They follow through on the mission but find their prisoner is in fact a Nazi sympathizer and his attempts to undermine the Howlers ends up in his own death. The team escape the Nazis and return to London where Nick must tell Pam about her brother's death, though he withholds the full truth of his traitorous nature.
This story was reprinted a few years later in the second Sgt. Fury and the Howling Commandos Annual.
This is a crucial month for Nick Fury in another way too. He is introduced into the then modern day Marvel Universe in the pages of Fantastic Four #21, This follows the appearance of Reed Richards in the previous issue of Fury's comic and points the way forward to the eventual establishment of Fury as a part of SHIELD, putting him at the very center of the Marvel Universe itself.
More Howling Commandos to come next time.