Search This Site

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

War Comics Key Issues Part 11

Getting back to this war comic key issues series for a brief moment here, this is Part 11 and here we are. Yep, this part will definitely deal more with Marvel and DC Comics war comics from the Silver Age once again.

Charlton did have the Fightin' Marines comic series that still ran during the Silver Age, but what's there really to talk about in those comics? Not a whole lot of key issues in that series when it boils down to it.

So as usual, you can click this Part 10 link in case you just happened to miss it for whatever reason. Push on forward if you're ready to Rock 'N Roll and see some more key issues from the war comics genre

Yeah, one of these days we'll get to the Bronze Age, but not today.

1st appearance of Pamela Hawley
Death of Jonathan Junior Juniper

Every comic hero needs some sort of a love interest. Okay, no they really don't, but some do.

Nick Fury's 1st love interest is the supporting character of Pamela Hawley. She became Fury's girlfriend, but she did not last very long over-all.

Before Fury could propose to her, she died in a German air raid in issue #18 or #19. Speaking of deaths, this issue has the first of Fury's Howling Commandos, Junior Juniper, that dies in the line of duty. 

Fury would cross-over in Fantastic Four #21 after this issue. It would be his first modern appearance in Marvel continuity and 5th appearance in comics over-all. At least, publishing wise.

In Fantastic Four #21, it would be the modern version of Nick Fury, meaning he is not a Sgt. in World War II, but a CIA agent. November, 1963 is the publishing date for Sgt. Fury & His Howling Commandos #4, and this is Nick Fury's 4th published appearance in comics.

1st appearance of Baron Strucker
6th appearance of Nick Fury

Before becoming a foe for S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers, Baron Strucker was a Nazi officer and foe of Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos. He would eventually become one of the leaders of HYDRA.

He doesn't have many appearances in this titled series, but he would become a recurring foe for Nick Fury as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. in his feature in the Strange Tales and Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. comic series.

Sgt Fury & His Howling Commandos #5 has the cover date of January, 1964.

3 Battle Stars
1st team up of Sgt. Rock, Haunted Tank, Johnny Cloud, & Mlle Marie

If you're really into war comics on the DC side of things, this comic is pretty epic. The Battle 3 are the combined group of Sgt Rock & Easy Co, Johnny Cloud, and the crew of the Haunted Tank. This is the first time ever that the 3 team up together in a World War II based mission.

The comic also has Mlle Marie teaming up with the other popular war comic heroes as well, so it's a pretty epic key issue for fans of DC's war comic characters. A bit weird that they put this team up in the Brave and the Bold comic series.

Brave and the Bold isn't considered a war comic, but this issue only has this story in it. So, it's a Brave and the Bold war issue, and issue #52 of the comic series has the cover date of March, 1964.

1st appearance & origin of Capt. Storm
1st issue to comic series

William Storm, known in World War II as Captain Storm, was a United States PT Boat Commander of the PT-47 in DC Comics. He is one of the few Navy themed characters to have a self-titled comic series that was on-going.

This series only lasted 18 issues, but Capt. Storm would become a member of the original Losers team. This comic here isn't a very sought-out issue. Overtstreet has 9.2s guided at only $210 bucks.

For a Silver Age key issue in high-grade, that's pretty cheap. 1st issue to comic series and 1st appearance of Capt. Storm, Capt. Storm #1 has the cover date of June, 1964.

eBay | mycomicshop | NewKadia | ComicConnect

1st appearance of Heinrich Zemo
1st appearance of Percival Pinkerton

This is actually a double whammy key issue. However, the debate still rages about which is the 1st appearance of Baron Zemo.

Zemo does show up in flashback in Avengers #4. It's a brief appearance, but still an appearance.

However, everyone notes Avengers #6 as his first appearance, but that issue ties with Sgt. Fury #8 in both cover date and copyright date. So, definitely a brain twister here.

What card do we pull next to determine this? Do we go with continuity? If so, this story definitely precedes the events of Avengers #6.

Do we go with name? Obviously, Zemo in this issue is called Dr. Zemo and not Baron Zemo. He also doesn't wear his trademark mask in this issue. However, are they the same character, as in Heinrich Zemo? Well, they are the same character.

So what should be the notations? Should Avengers #6 be noted as 1st appearance of Heinrich Zemo as Baron Zemo, and this issue here the 1st appearance of  Heinrich Zemo as Doctor Zemo?

Well, what isn't debatable is that Sgt. Fury #8 has the 1st appearance of Percival Pinkerton, and he would replace Junior Juniper. Pinkerton is the British Army commando within the Howling Commandos, and like many of his brother in arms, he would also join the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Sgt. Fury & His Howling Commandos #8 has the cover date of July, 1964.

1st meeting of Nick Fury & Captain America
1st team up of Nick Fury & Captain America
2nd solo Captain America cross-over outside of Avengers

Once again, tying the super-hero genre with the war comic genre pretty early on is this issue here. It's not a surprising move since Captain America was a World War II comic hero, and it would make sense that Nick Fury & His Howling Commandos would cross paths.

Issue #13 has the 1st meeting of Captain America and Nick Fury, as well as their 1st team up or 1st published team up. CGC notes the 1st meeting, but Overstreet does not.

Overstreet does note this issue as the 2nd solo Cap cross-over outside of the Avengers, and CGC doesn't note that though. No one is noting it as the 1st Nick Fury & Cap team up though, and as we all know, Fury and Cap would team up quite a bit in later comic adventures.

Pretty in-demand book as the last CGC 9.6 NM+ copy sold on eBay for a whopping $4,500 in January of this year. Sgt Fury & His Howling Commandos #13 has the cover date of December, 1964.

1st appearance of Enemy Ace

This here is an interesting war comic hero on the DC side of the genre. This flying ace during World War I is actually a German pilot fighting for Germany during the war.

Created by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert, the tales of Enemy Ace obviously told the side of the war from the German point of view. The tales of Enemy Ace often depicted the honor, tactics and combat strategies employed by not just German fighter pilots but of combat pilots during World War I.

One of these supposed codes of honor was not to attack a helpless pilot. Enemy Ace's fighter plane was a Crimson Red Fokker DR1.

A character like Enemy Ace is a pretty bold move in American comics, and the character surprisingly became popular during the time. Unlike most war comic characters, Vans Von Hammer, ironically known as the Hammer of Hell, was haunted by his duties and the constant death around him.

He was a darker war comic book hero, especially for the Silver Age, and did not have a specific arch enemy. Definitely one of the more valuable Our Army at War comics, and the 1st appearance of Enemy Ace in Our Army at War #151 has the cover date of February, 1965.

2nd appearance of Enemy Ace

If you're a fan of the character and want Enemy Ace's early appearances, this here is his 2nd appearance. I should also note that this issue also has the 2nd appearance of Black Wolf.

Black Wolf was literally a black wolf that was Enemy Ace's companion and traveling with him. The first appearance of Black Wolf is in Our Army at War #151 a long with the 1st appearance of Enemy Ace.

2nd appearance of both Enemy Ace and Black Wolf, and Our Army at War #153 has the cover date of April, 1965.

3rd appearance of Enemy Ace

Our Army at War #155 has the 3rd appearance of both Enemy Ace and his loyal companion Black Wolf. Is there anything else worth saying about this key issue here? 

Hmmm...not really, but if you like this character and are all about early appearances, you may want to snag it. It's not an overly expensive key. Overstreet has it pegged at $325 for a low NM minus.

Actually, not that cheap either. Guess Enemy Ace early keys are pretty sought out. Our Army at War #155 has the cover date of  June, 1965.

eBay | mycomicshop | ComicLink | ComicConnect

1st Enemy Ace cover
1st starring feature story 
4th appearance of Enemy Ace

Alright, Overstreet only notes this bad boy as the 4th appearance of Enemy Ace, but I think there's more than meets the eye to this key issue here. This issue here also happens to be Enemy Ace's 1st cover appearance as well.

Definitely shouldn't miss that since 1st covers for characters seem to be noticed by comic fans a lot more nowadays. However, it doesn't end with the key issue goodness there either.

Showcase #57 also has the 1st starring feature story for Enemy Ace. He's not a backup feature in this comic like he was in Our Army at War, in which everyone knows that Sgt. Rock is the star of that titled comic series. I think this entire issue was an Enemy Ace story.

So, pretty significant for the character in terms of key issue goodness. Cover date for Showcase #57 is July, 1965.

2nd Enemy Ace cover
2nd Enemy Ace starring feature
5th appearance of Enemy Ace

Once again, Enemy Ace nabs the top billing spot in this comic issue, and this is the 2nd time he graces a comic book cover. Actually, a very cool action cover by legendary Joe Kubert.

This is the last issue that stars Enemy Ace, and it is his 5th appearance in comics. The character would next be dropped into the pages of Star Spangled War Stories as the starring character for the series.

That issue would also see the introduction of the Hangman, one of the few recurring adversaries of Enemy Ace. Showcase #58 has the cover date of September, 1965.

G.I. COMBAT #114
Origin of Haunted Tank

Now this is the comic that details the origin of the Haunted Tank. In a prior post to this war comic keys issues series, I mentioned that it was the spirit of Alexander the Great who sent General J.E.B. Stuart to watch over the M3 Stuart that his descendant Jeb Stuart commanded.

Well, this is the issue that details that. For those who don't know, J.E.B. Stuart was a General in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War. Before that, he was an United States Army officer from the U.S. state of Virginia, same state where John Carter of Mars is from, and fought in frontier conflicts against Native Americans prior.

His full name is James Ewell Brown Stuart, and during the Civil War he was a cavalry commander and known for his mastery of reconnaissance. He first served under Stonewall Jackson and ended up being close friends with the famous Confederate General until his death.

General J.E.B. Stuart gained fame in the Peninsula Campaign where the Union Army launched a large scale offensive intended to capture the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. Ordered by General Robert E. Lee to perform recon and determine whether the right flank of the Union army was vulnerable, Stuart and 1,200 of his men set out 150 miles to do so and indeed found that the Union Army's right flank was vulnerable.

When Stuart and his men came back, they had captured 165 Union soldiers, 260 horses and mules, and quartermaster and ordnance supplies. It was a huge sensation for the Confederate media, and ironically enough, the Union Cavalry of the very incident was commanded by his father-in-law Col. Cooke.

Stuart was promoted to Major General soon after. General J.E.B Stuart fought in many major battles during the Civil War, including Gettysburg. That famous battle would be controversial for J.E.B. Stuart, however,

He would be used as a scapegoat in General Robert E. Lee's loss of that battle. General Robert E. Lee wrote, "The absence of the cavalry rendered it impossible to obtain accurate information. ... By the route [Stuart] pursued, the Federal Army was interposed between his command and our main body, preventing any communication with him until his arrival at Carlisle. The march toward Gettysburg was conducted more slowly than it would have been had the movements of the Federal Army been known."

Other writers have also attributed Stuart's blunder as the cause of defeat in Gettysburg. Apparently during the Gettysburg Campaign, Stuart and his men insisted on taking a different route to link up with Richard S. Ewell's 2nd corps.

Instead of taking a direct route north near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Stuart took his men through Rockville to Westminster into Pennsylvania. This route was between the Union Army and Washington and the hope was to capture supplies along the way and to cause a bit of mayhem near the enemy's capital of Washington D.C.

Due to the Union Army's unexpected movements already underway, Stuart's route had been blocked and he was forced to go further east. In short, he did not link up with Ewell in time and Lee was deprived of his primary cavalry, forcing Lee to advance in unfamiliar enemy territory.

Stuart was killed and mortally wounded at the Battle of Yellow Tavern by Union private John A. Huff in 1864. Just a little freeze-dried history about J.E.B. Stuart. I'm definitely no historian on the Civil War or the Lost Cause beliefs in the south that came after the Civil War. 

Back to the comic at hand now: Origin of the Haunted Tank! Check! One of the more valuable comics in the G.I. Combat titled series. Check! G.I. Combat #114 has the cover date of  November, 1965.

Ok, that G.I. Combat #114 cover is definitely badass. Actually, it made me pop in Life Sex & Death and play their song, "Tank". Now I got the lines, "This is the time, this is the place. Get inside your tank!" stuck in my head.

Definitely no sleepers here, and most are already up there in price. The origin of Haunted Tank in G.I. Combat #114 is definitely up there in price. 

Enemy Ace and Nick Fury early appearances? Definitely valuable as well, but a lot of these keys here are popular war comic heroes from Marvel and DC Comics.

Once again, we'll come back to this series after a while, so stay tuned. Happy and best of luck on your hunt!


  1. I agree that GI Combat 114 cover is great. It really pops out at you. I was able to snag a VF copy on Ebay about 5 years ago for around $30. I hopped on that deal like a Texas jackrabbit.

  2. Heya Mayhem,

    long time no hear. Just got Thief of thieves 1 for 30! Well, it was the big deal a few month ago and I wondered if you did hear anything about a movie or tv franchise. I mean, Kirkman is hot, no matter what he touches.