Issue by Issue – War is Hell #7

Writer – Stan Lee
Artist – Dick Ayers
Inker – Vince Colletta
Letters – Artie Simek

War is Hell goes a different route with this issue, instead reprinting one story in lieu of four and starring none other than Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos. Originally appearing in Sgt. Fury #17, this tale called While the Jungle Sleeps finds Sgt. Fury and the boys on an island, sent on a mission to find a missing unit of American soldiers. All of this comes after battling the Nazis in the skies over a desert on another part of the island and thankfully, coming out of it with a win. Also lucky for the Commandos, they have a German prisoner who is able to lead them to the hidden landing strip in the jungle where the Americans are being held prisoner. It might not have been too bad had it just been the Nazis they would have had to contend with, but the villains have roped in the local Natives, making the task almost impossible. Such as it is, they come up with a plan that gets the Natives back on their sides and after a bit of subterfuge and a whole lot of action, the Allies come out victorious yet again. While this would have been a natural spot for the story to end, author Stan Lee takes it a bit further as the men return home, sort of, back to England where they are awarded medals for their service and Fury has a little chat with his girl and a bit of ribbing from his men. Lee writes a fun story, one that is not short on the action which is what everyone wants to see in a tale such as this. Still, he also delivers a bit of suspense and just a touch of humour here and there to keep it lively. Fury is a great character that works on many levels but he would not be the same if it were not for his Howling Commandos who not only support him in this book but round him out more, showing different sides to the man which is a good thing. Overwhelming odds are always a good thing to showcase in a tale such as this as well, for it would not be as thrilling if the deck was not stacked against the heroes. Illustrating all of this is Dick Ayers with an assist from Vince Colletta and the pair do a great job at making this story a reality upon the page, though to be fair when using the Marvel Method, Ayers does most of the storytelling in the first place. As it is, the creative team hits a home run which is all that really matters.

4 out of 5

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