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Monday, March 7, 2016

War Comics Key Issues Part 10

We are still in the Silver Age of war comics, and this part will basically boil down to two characters and two comic titles. However, if you're a Sgt. Rock fan, there will be a few good ones here for ya.

The later half of Part 10 will bring Marvel back into the fold, and I'm pretty sure you know which character does that. So, click this Part 9 link if you missed it, and if you're ready to roll, just scroll.

1st appearance of Canary
Grey-tone cover

Canary was a prominent member of Sgt. Rock's Easy Co. and was known for whistling when silence was not needed. This 1st appearance is one of the more valuable key issues related to Sgt. Rock.

Both Overstreet notes this first appearance but CGC only notes the issue as a grey-tone cover. A bit strange, and Our Army at War #126 has the cover date of January, 1963.

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2nd all-Sgt. Rock issue
1st appearance of Little Sure Shot

Doubly whammy key war comic issue. War comic issues that contained all-Sgt. Rock issues are pretty sought out and desirable.

This issue also has the 1st appearance of Little Sure Shot, another prominent member of Easy Co. He appears quite frequently in the tales of Sgt. Rock and Easy Co. His real name is Louis Kiyahani, and the character is of Native American descent.

Little Sure Shot is Easy Company's sniper. Our Army at War #127 has the cover date of February, 1963.

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Training origin of Sgt. Rock
1st Sgt. Krupp

Big one here for Sgt. Rock fans as this issue tells the training origin of Sgt. Rock and has the 1st appearance of Sgt. Krupp on the Nazi side. The story tells the back grounds of both Sergeants and how they came up through the ranks.

Their battle is obviously an epic one and the story that details their struggle in the North African desert in told in "The Battle of the Sergeants". Ice Cream Soldier is a supporting member of Easy Company in this tale. 

March, 1963 is the cover date of Our Army at War #128, and it is one of the more valuable Sgt. Rock key issues in high grade.

1st appearance of Nick Fury
1st appearance of Howling Commandos

This one has become somewhat of a biggie during recent times, and it holds the 1st appearance of Nick Fury back when he was Sgt. Fury fighting in World War II. This comic did start out as a war comic, but during this time, super-heroes were raging and they did connect this title to the genre with a Reed Richards cross-over in issue #3 and a story that involved Captain America.

Unlike Sgt. Rock whose supporting cast seemed to gradually emerge after the character was solidified, the Howling Commandos were immediately introduced in the 1st issue. Many of the Howling Commandos would be brought full force into the Marvel super-hero genre later and a few became agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. like the titular hero, Dum Dum Dugan, and Robert Ralston.

Like Sgt. Rock, the Howling Commandos did have a black soldier as part of the group and he is Gabriel Jones. Once again and according to actual history, this would not have been possible in the United States Army during World War II since the Armed Forces still practiced segregation.

Gabriel Jones would also join S.H.I.E.L.D. later and was once romantically involved with Peggy Carter. The villain in this issue is none other than Adolf Hitler himself.

Comparing the growth from 2014 to 2016, this comic at 9.2 NM minus jumped up from 10,000 to $11,000 in the Overstreet Guide. Go Collect also shows this comic is doing well in some grades also.

Sgt. Fury & His Howling Commandos #1 has the cover date of May, 1963. This is probably Marvel's most popular of war comics, and it is still considered such though I question it.

2nd appearance of Nick Fury
2nd appearance of Howling Commandos 

2nd appearance of both Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos, and the big bad are the Nazis of course. No 1st appearances of any character worth mentioning in this issue.

It's pretty straight-forward when it comes to appearances of Nick Fury and his team from here on out. 3rd appearance is in issue #3 and 4th in issue #4.

Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos #2 has the cover date of July, 1963.

Reed Richards cross-over
Issue establishes Nick Fury in Marvel Universe
3rd appearance Nick Fury & Howling Commandos

I originally wasn't going to put this one on here despite having the 3rd appearance of Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos, but this issue has an interesting character that crosses over. Yep, it's Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four.

However, this is before he becomes a member of the Fantastic Four and in this comic he is Major Richards. There's even an editorial note that claims that Major Richards will become Mister Fantastic of the Fantastic Four.

So, I thought that was interesting. This issue establishes that Nick Fury is indeed part of the Marvel super-hero universe.

Of course, that would be further established when he meets Captain America and when he becomes Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Sgt. Nick Fury & His Howling Commandos #3 has the cover date of September, 1963.

Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. are all over the place in comics currently, but the character did start off in a war comic title. However, I do question whether Sgt. Fury is a true war comic title since it does establish him as part of the Marvel super-hero world quite early.

I guess I'll consider it as well since The 'Nam did throw in the Punisher, and that's considered a war comic. Anyways, quite a few good Silver Age war comic key issues in Part 10 if you're a fan of the genre.

Part 11 is ready so click the link to push on.


  1. Hi M.,

    I' m happy to own that first Baron Zemo appearance in the pages of Sgt. Fury (Nummero 8). However the talk continues if it is his true first appearance - you know, the other one being in Avengers 6.


    1. What up, Ace? How goes it? Man, that is a tough call. I think people regard Avengers #6 as the 1st because he's actually named "Baron Zemo" and is in the iconic costume that identifies the character.

      But if we're talking about continuity, it's obvious that the story in Sgt. Fury #8 takes place before the events of Avengers #6, and the character is obviously Zemo in Fury #8. Both have the same copyright and cover date.

      I really think it should be a tie, as hokey as that sounds.

  2. Howdy Mayhem,

    we all know you are not really a fan of modern comics, but look at this: Black Panther 23 with Deadpool appearance - price increase on gocollect for some grades 125%! This baby must be very scarce, since there are only a handfull comics graded. Do you have any numbers concerning the print run? If you compare it with Deadpool 54, which is hot as well, there really is a difference in terms of availability.

    Hope to hear soon from ya

    Max Rebo

    1. Hey Max,

      I don't think that there are so few Black Panther #23 comics graded because of scarcity, I think It's because nobody deems this book worthy enough to get graded.

      Let's take a look at some numbers here. Of the 10 copies on the CGC census, there are a total of 3 sales on GoCollect for Black Panther #23. One sale at a 9.8 and two for 9.6. The two sales at 9.6 are for the same copy that got resold. You are correct that the price did jump up 125% but as any good scientist will tell you, only 2 points of data don't make a solid hypothesis.

      Next we will take a look at some print run numbers. According to, the estimated print run of Black Panther #23 is around 21,000 copies. Now, that isn't a very high print run, but I would hardly call it scarce. So that's 10 copies on the CGC census out of a 21,000 print run and 3 sales on GoCollect.

      Let's compare that to Deadpool #54. This comic has a print run of about 26,000. It has a total of 220 copies on the CGC census with 34 sales on GoCollect. Yes, there are a few more Deadpool #54 floating around out there by about 5000, but what this tells me is that Deadpool #54 is a more sought out comic than Black Panther #23.

      Let's try something else here. According to the comic with the highest estimated print run in Feb, 2000 was The Uncanny X-Men #379 with a little more than 108,000 copies. That is a much larger print run than both Black Panther #23 and Deadpool #54 combined. So with 108,000 copies there are presently only 19 copies in the CGC census and has zero sales on GoCollect. Let me repeat that Zero Sales. Now obviously X-Men #379 isn't scarce but by looking at the data on GoCollect and in the CGC census, one might believe that it is.

      So don't be fooled by the data. Just because there aren't a lot of sales or graded copies in a census doesn't mean a book is rare. And the 2 sales on GoCollect just isn't enough to judge anything in way of demand.

      ~Gerry D

  3. Wow. Thanks for the first class information, Gerry! 21.000 copies is not much for a mainstream comic. I might have paid to much with 40 bucks but I' m happy to have that baby. You can possibly still find a copy in the bargain bins...

    Max Rebo