Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
In honor of Memorial Day, I figured we’d do a special edition of Goofiest Moments. Instead of ranking the top goofiest moments in a series of issues, I’m just going to spotlight twenty goofy moments, chosen almost at random, from DC and Marvel’s Silver Age war comics (for the sake of this exercise I used 1972 as my cut-off point for the “Silver Age”). I intentionally avoided the supernatural war comics like Haunted Tank and War That Time Forgot, as those are too easy to find goofy moments (pretty much every issue was goofy).
The comics in question were mostly written by Robert Kanigher and Stan Lee (DC and Marvel, respectively), with Bob Haney, Roy Thomas and Gary Friedrich also being represented. The artwork is by Joe Kubert, Ross Andru/Mike Esposito, Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers, John Severin, Russ Heath and, I believe Jerry Grandenetti (but don’t hold me to Grandenetti). I’ll provide all the issue numbers, so if you’re curious you can look up the creative teams later on your own.
As always, this is all in good fun. I don’t mean any of this as a serious criticism of the comics in question. Not only were these writers certainly never imagining people still reading these comics decades after they were written, great comics often have goofy moments (Kirby/Lee’s Fantastic Four is one of the best comic book runs of all-time and there were TONS of goofy stuff in those 100 plus issues!).
In this story from Our Fighting Forces #128, there is a lot of goofy stuff.
First off, that a Native-American would go fight for the Nazis as a pilot. Second, that he can get close enough to drop off a personalized request to a duel. Third…well, that’s already pretty darn goofy, right?
From the Unknown Soldier’s first appearance in Star Spangled War Stories #151, imagine if the Chinese WEREN’T U.S. allies in World War II, how would they have been depicted?
In Sgt. Fury and the Howling Commandos #5, Nick Fury is also duped into having a personal duel with a Nazi. Here, though, the Nazis defeat him just…to take picturs of him for propoganda purposes?
Not exactly one of Baron Von Strucker’s better plans.
Speaking of “just shoot him already!” check out this scene from #54…
In exactly what prison camp would Izzy Cohen not be shot right on the spot? Stretching credulity a bit far there, Friedrich…
Really, Rock, any sergeant would hide his deafness on a mission?
Is Easy Company mothering Rock in this bit from Our Army At War #212, really a bigger concern than everyone not knowing that Rock can’t hear?
I think this Enemy Ace bit from Star Spangled War Stories #142 really captures Kanigher’s over-the-top prose.
In it, Von Hammer kills a man known as the Hangman who had saved his life a few months earlier. Then, of course, the guy’s sister (who is, of course, a master pilot) takes up the cause to get her revenge.
They actually go to the ground to talk it out, where she shows her disapproval.
She then forces Von Hammer to fight an aerial battle, but he (against her wishes) saves her life, leading to an awesome farewell panel…
You have to love the tear drop by Kubert. Awesome stuff. Hilariously over the top, but still awesome.
In Fury #6, Stan Lee sure was anything but subtle when he added a bigoted member to the Howling Commandos…
His treatment of Izzy during a mission is particularly odd…
So, of course, Gabe saves his life with a blood transfusion, but the bigot’s reaction is priceless…
Now, naturally, this rings a bit weird seeing as how the Army was segregated during World War II, but hey, at least Stan got a good story about why prejudice is wrong. The ending of the tale, though, is the oddest part of it…
Is that really the best way to get people to write to you?
Go to the next page for the next six!
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