Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Our Army at War #209

Our Army at War #209 (On Sale: June 3, 1969) has another cool cover by Joe Kubert. The "we think we are OK but the Nazis are about to attack us" cover might be a cliche of DC war books, but nobody does this cliche better than Kubert.

We begin with Sgt. Rock in "I'm Still Alive" by Robert Kanigher and Russ Heath. While on patrol in Nazi country, the new replacement in Easy Co., Tiny Tim, wants to buddy up with Rock, telling Rock, "M-my old buddy g-got killed!" Before Rock can answer Easy is awash with Nazis in close hand-to-had and gun-butt to face combat. When the Nazis take off, Tiny Tim seems dazed and amazed that he is still alive.

He relates to Easy the fate of his last four-man squad, guys he had been through basic with, as they hit the beach at Normandy and how they came face-to-face with a Panzer. Tim loaded their bazooka, but before his buddy Charlie could fire, the Panzer ripped into them. Charlie was the only survivor and used the bazooka to take out the Panzer, but his friends were still dead. Just then Easy is attacked by two Focke-Wulf 190's and as they come in for a strafing run Tim screams that he is a jinx and so he runs off into the strafing, pulling the F.W.'s attention and making them easy pickings for Easy.

They find Tim lying face down in the dirt, but he's OK. A bullet had punctured his helmet, but missed his head. They leave his helmet as a signpost reading, "I walked away from this one! Tiny Tim" Rock remarks how none of them know when he is going to meet the bullet with his name on it and it is best just not to worry about it.

Next is a two-page Battle Album spread by Ken Barr on the Dive-Bombers of Midway.

Our back-up story is "Fill a Dead Man's Boots" by Howard Liss and Fred Ray. Fred Ray is not one of my favorite artists, but he has some fairly nice figures and composition in this story of the Civil War. The Confederates are getting blasted in battle and Sgt. Mal Walker carries his wounded Captain to safety only to realize that the Captain has died. Walker's boot are a mess, so he takes the boots off of his dead Captain, before crawling back behind his own lines.. There he is ordered to take charge of the company and head off whit his men, taking Cedar Mountain from the Union. All the while Walker is just trying to "fill a dead man's boots."

Walker gets order from Stonewall Jackson to destroy the supply depot at Manassas. Using his men as back-up and cover Walker sneaks into the depot and sets fire to the power dump, blowing the depot sky high. When Jackson congratulates Walker he just offers that he is trying to "fill the boots of a good man." Walker's boots are now as tattered and worn as his old pair and Stonewall remarks that "Boots don't lead do."

Edited by Joe Kubert.

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