Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #27
Issue(s): Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #27
The issue begins with the story already in progress, with the Howlers parachuting into Germany to destroy a new beam weapon that the Nazis are working on.
Along the way they capture a Nazi soldier and force him to lead them to the weapon. The Howlers destroy the beam weapon, but the prisoner gets away, leaving a grenade behind, and it explodes in Nick Fury's face.
He's fine except for his eye.
Despite, or maybe because of, the injury, Fury insists that the rest of the Howlers withdraw while he covers their escape.
And then has to work his way through Germany alone.
With his injury causing his head to hurt, Fury is forced to go into a town to see if he can find members of the anti-Nazi resistance. Instead he winds up in a tavern with Hermann Goering, the real life Commander of the Luftwaffe.
With him is a Dr. Draus, the scientist that created the beam weapon. Draus has an assistant that doesn't like being bossed around. This is Eric Koenig (although he's only referred to as Eric in this issue).
Fury sticks around to see if he can get Draus. But he's recognized when the Germans make a toast to Hitler and Fury doesn't raise his glass. In the subsequent fight, Fury knocks out the other Nazis (including Goering), but Eric returns with a gun as Fury is about to capture Draus. But Eric decides to throw in with Fury.
Fury and Eric escape in a plane with Draus (who is actually doing the piloting).
General Sawyer was about to send the Commandos back to Germany under the command of Fury's rival, Sgt. Bull McGiveney, when Fury returns.
This is the last we see of Eric in this issue.
He next appears in issue #35 where Fury decides to use him for a mission.
As for Fury's eye, it's said that an operation to save it would take him out of the fight for a year. So Fury declines the procedure, and returns to combat. It's said that the eye will continue to function for the time being, but it will eventually fail. That was probably intended to account for the fact that Fury still seemingly had both eyes in his first modern day appearance in Fantastic Four #21, although it was later said (as we saw in Marvel: The Lost Generation) that Fury used a bionic eye for a while before going to the eyepatch.
This story benefits from Marvel continuity (in the broad sense), giving us a significant and impactful story thanks to the fact that it's providing an explanation for something that's already been established. At this point the Sgt. Fury stories were formulaic, so the topic for this story is a break from the usual stuff. As for Eric Koening, i suspect that Stan Lee probably didn't intend to do anything further with the character, so it's good that Roy Thomas decided to bring the character back. Not that Koening will ever turn out to be a super-significant character (unless you count the weird clone thing they did with him in the SHIELD TV show) but just because, again, the continuity between this issue and Koening's future appearances helps these issues feel more like we're watching an ongoing story instead of the Commandos going into Germany yet again to rescue/destroy/capture the latest prisoner/weapon/enemy.
If you're looking to buy Sgt. Fury comics, one nice thing about the series is that many issues were reprinted later in the run. At the time i was looking to buy this, the original issue was selling for about $7, which isn't bank-breaking but considering the number of comics i buy, i would go broke if i bought too many at that price. But this issue was reprinted in both issue #89 and again in issue #129, the latter of which is what i bought for a little more than a dollar. Now that i know that this isn't the full story of how Eric Koening joined the Howlers, i'll be looking for his next few appearances the same way. The downside to this is that the reprints were sporadic. So while #89 was a reprint of this issue, issues #86, #88, and #90 were all original stories. So if i ever decide to try to get a full run of Sgt. Fury issues, it will be a bit of a chore to figure out which issues are new and which are reprints (luckily sites like the UHBMCC have already done the hard work and it's just a matter of keeping track of that while i'm shopping).
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #129
Inbound References (1): showBull McGiveney, Dino Manelli, Dum Dum Dugan, Eric Koenig, Gabriel Jones, Izzy Cohen, Nick Fury, Percy Pinkerton, Reb Ralston, Sam 'Happy Sam' Sawyer
A lot of this art looks like Herb Trimpe drew it.
Posted by: a.lloyd | December 11, 2015 6:11 AM
The three issues that you skipped had the Howlers home on leave which may tie in with the cameo of them in the Invaders, or not, the Red Skull appears in disguise and Dum Dum going on a solo mission involving the Skipper AKA Capt. Savage.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 17, 2016 6:59 PM
The implication of this story is modern-day Fury still has the eye, it just doesn't work. But if that's the case, I don't know why he wears an eyepatch.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | January 7, 2017 3:32 AM
As I recall, the OHBOTMU Nick Fury entry from the '80's stated that after the explosion that wounded Fury, over time the vision in his left eye deteriorated to the point he lost 95% use of the eye. With that significant a loss, the white film tends to cover the iris, plus there likely would have been some scarring from the schrapnel hitting him around the eye. Therefore, an eyepatch would serve a practical cosmetic purpose.
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 13, 2017 5:42 PM
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | October 13, 2017 11:39 PM
Comments are now closed.
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