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Marvel Masterworks: Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos, Vol. 1 Hardcover – February 3, 2006

5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel (February 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785120394
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785120391
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #800,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I owned the thirteen issues collected in this Masterwork volume, and
indeed, they are masterworks. Death was a reality in Sgt. Fury, as the youngest Howler, Junior Juniper, was killed in issue #3. Reed Richards
made an appearance in the same issue as an OSS agent working with the
Italian partisans, which gave Fury an a priori link to the later Marvel
Universe. The Howlers were short-handed until issue #7, when Percival Pinkerton, member of a prominent British military family was introduced
as an enlisted man assigned to Fury's Ranger squad. In issue #7, the
commandos were assigned to recover or a destroy a suspected "death ray"
created by the evil Dr. Zemo, who was suspected to be Dr. Doom in the
present day, AND Kang the Conqueror, in the distant future, tying the
past again to current storylines. Issue #7 was also the debut of Dick Ayers as Fury's chief penciller and my personal favorite. Jack Kirby did
his last work on the title in issue #13, as it was the "guest" appearance of Captain America and Bucky, filled with the Silver Age bombast that
was Kirby. Stan Lee was at his creative peak, and his collaborations with
Kirby and Ayers kept this title creatively vital throughout the '60s, in spite of Vietnam, assassinations, and ethical betrayals of the public
trust. Some say it was a simpler time. Maybe. I say it was simply that we had things to believe in. Either way, within these pages you may find it
easy to believe again.
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Format: Hardcover
Sgt. Fury was one of my childhood favorites: Jack Kirby doing a war comic was as good as it got, and Stan Lee's gag-riddled storylines mixed humor and violence to create an extremely palatable stew for an eleven-year-old to feast upon. This was the comic equivalent of TV's excellent "COMBAT" series, and the action and the plots and the art were really superior.

That said, these Masterworks editions are a little pricey-- if they could be republished in a uniform paper edition at about $20, they'd fly off the shelves.
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Format: Hardcover
Compared to the other Marvel titles at the time, Sgt Fury is an interesting anomaly. Obviously Lee enjoyed writing this series, for he crames in far more text per panel than the superheroes and he highlights each Howler in a panel or two in each mission. Lee is true to form with his quick-witted heroes who are able to laugh in the face of danger.

At the same time, though various characters occasionally die in the series, there is a curious absence of reality in this series. Fury's heroes are carrying guns, yet they usually knock their Nazi soldiers out and tie them up. Perhaps the Comics Code censored the idea that bullets can actually hit people. Also, the heroes are constantly pulling off wildly impossible feats--taking out planes with grenades or rifles, seven soldiers outfighting whole regiments, and, in general, proving time after time that the German soldiers must be shooting blanks. This is in contrast to D.C.'s Sgt Rock which tended to see war as a real place.

That aside, this is fun reading once you accept a "willing suspension of disbelief" and it represents a time before Vietnam came to America's consciousness--when wars could always be won by sheer courage and good guys (for the most part) always came home.
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