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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 101

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today, let’s finish out the look at the strong lead features from Star-Spangled War Stories, ending with where they began – the short-lived (but impressive) Mademoiselle Marie…
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Enjoy!

Marie debuted in Star-Spangled War Stories #84, by Robert Kanigher and Jerry Grandenetti…

A little later on, we get to see how badass Marie can get…

Although the soldier returns the favor when she pauses to explode the bridge they are tasked to take out while he is too close. It is here that Kanigher establishes what later became Marie’s catchphrase, only here the soldier says it first…

If you can get past the silly phonetic approach to a French accent, that was a well-told action story.

After the next issue, Mort Drucker would take over as the artist for the rest of the short Mlle. Marie run, and he REALLY excelled!

Here’s the beginning of one story of his from #88…

Later in the story, a German soldier pretending to be an American is going on a “rescue” mission (really a trap) with Marie and her men…

Ross Andru and Mike Esposito drew her last featured appearance in Star-Spangled War Stories #91 (Andru and Esposito were then taking over the book as the main artists for its NEW feature, The War That Time Forgot).

Mlle. Marie was a strong female character in a time when comics really didn’t have that many (these stories are all late 1959/early 1960), and she appeared in some good stories by Kanigher, with great art by Drucker.

Greg Rucka, who sure knows a thing or two about strong female characters, brought Mlle. Marie back into comics in a cool storyline in Checkmate (was Eric Trautmann co-writing the book by that point? I forget) where he establishes that Mademoiselle Marie is a CODE NAME for whichever French woman was tasked to the role of protecting the freedom of France at any given point in history. So in Checkmate he had the current Mademoiselle Marie show up. It was well done, and he really nailed the TONE of Marie, which you can see above is one of pretend detachment.

She’s a cool character – I hope to see more of her. Heck, I hope we can see more of the World War II Marie, as well!

16 Comments

I’ve really enjoyed this whole spotlight. Clearly, I have to read more Star-Spangled War Stories.

I’ve always wanted someone to do a WWII timeline of Mlle. Marie’s combat action, because after her series ended she seemed be be a guest star in just about every title, every month. How did she find the time to go on that many missions?

Didn’t she eventually have a romantic relationship with Sgt. Rock as well?

I love this current streak of Kanigher stories you’ve done Brian. Kanigher was great.

I’m used to Mort Drucker as the excellent Mad magazine parody guy, so it’s interesting to see him doing “straightforward” comics. He’s great in that role too, unsurprisingly.

Didn’t she eventually have a romantic relationship with Sgt. Rock as well?

Yep, she did, indeed.

Did Kanigher write the romantic relationship? For some reason that doesn’t seem like something he’d do.

She also had a kid with Alfred Pennyworth, but that was swept under the rug.

Did Kanigher write the romantic relationship?

Yep.

And that’s why, as much as I enjoy Millar’s Ultimates and find the “Does this letter on my head stand for France!” line absolutely hilarious, I understand that it is actually inaccurate. Cap would have been fighting alongside the French resistance months ago by his reckoning of time.

For some reason I actually like the phonetically written French accent. And I usually hate it, at least when Chris Claremont does it.

Greg Rucka did something with the character in Checkmate when Sasha had to look for a new knight. He turns the character into a title and how it started in the 1800s. Not entirely sure as I don’t have the book in front of me but it was something like that.

[…] Comics should be good: A year of cool comics – day 101 […]

Greg Rucka’s idea doesn’t sound that great to me (doesn’t sound bad either, just not great) but it may work better in actual execution so I’ll reserve judgment until I actually read it.

Are there enough Marie stories for a Showcase? I’d totally buy that.

And Morrison really needs to bring back Alfred and Marie’s daughter.

Matthew Johnson

April 13, 2010 at 8:14 am

I don’t mind the phonetic spelling in the word balloons, but why would she _think_ with a French accent?

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