Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Rommell? Gunner Who?

Sgt. Fury #6, March 1964.
(By Lee, Kirby, and Roussos)

And we're back in the golden age of World Wars, as Nick Fury and his Howling Commandos take on the might of the Afrika Corps. But that's not really what this book's about. Oh no, in this issue, the Commandos gain a new member, one George Stonewall. Let's see what he makes of the team, shall we?

"No, I'm not shaking your hand, you damned spaghetti-eating, opera-loving, greaseball!"

"Don't think you can make nice with me, Hymie!"

"Holy hannah, there's a n#%&er in the barracks! The US army isn't due to be integrated for another 10 years! Must be a spy."

"What's this guy's problem? All I did was ask if he wanted to help me lynch the spy..."

"I don't care how hard the colorist works to make him look like a white man, I'm gonna pound him!"

"Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter."

"I'm sure Fury thought it'd be funny teaming me up with the Jew, and I'm sure he won't be upset by my casual reference to the present persecution of his people. Zing!"

"Hmm, I seem to have a belly full of shrapnel, I sure hope that my buddy, the Jew, wasn't offended by that 'ghetto' crack."

"I'm far too shy to say something nice to the guy who just saved my life in front of the German. I'll thank him later. If I remember."

"It's back home for me. Wait till I tell the folks back in Hazzard County what's going on in the army these days!"

And finally, a word from Nick Fury:

Hallelujah, brother! You'd think a comic in which the bad guys are Nazis wouldn't have to look too hard to find some bigots...

Actually, this isn't a bad issue, by any means. It's a bit simplistic, as you might expect, given the target age group, the sensitivity of the subject matter, and the year the comic was published in, but it takes on the subject as boldly as it can, and doesn't go for a cop-out ending of having the new guy decide that, actually, the ethnic minorities in the team aren't so bad after all.

I imagine if this had been published now, Garth Ennis would have been writing it, and Nick Fury would have left Stonewell staked out in the desert somewhere...

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