Friday, July 15, 2005

My Collection - OUR FIGHTING FORCES [1954 Series]

Our Fighting Forces [1954 series]
48 issues [1966 - 1978]
104, 109, 114, 118, 124, 126 - 132, 136, 138 - 141, 143, 145 - 162, 164, 167 - 174, 176 - 177, 180

Another long-running DC war comic, this one going through quite a few regular lead features. Gunner and the Sarge for a bit, then Captain Hunter in Viet Nam, then Hunter's Hellcats in WWII before finally settling in for the Losers, a group made of several other features (Gunner and the Sarge, Captain Storm and Johnny Cloud) in a fanciful "special missions" task force in all areas of WWII.

My history on this is pretty much the same as the other war books previously discussed, adding in a slight twist with the dozen issue (#151 - #162) done by Jack Kirby, which were specific issues I looked for among the other back issues. The last of those dozen took me years to find. The Kirby stuff will be discussed in detail on the appropriate weblog, of course.

Of the non-Kirby stuff, Robert Kanigher wrote most of the other lead stories, and his stuff is usually fun. There's a really good run of issues right before the Kirby stuff when John Severin was the artist, which is amazing stuff. I'm not as impressed with the post Kirby stuff, which is George Evans but much weaker than his EC work. Lots of other good back-ups, including a lot of Sam Glanzman stories and the occasional bit by Ric Estrada, Russ Heath, Alex Toth and others.

For back issues, I'll probably pick up the issues in the issues from #133 - #144 that I'm missing, some good Kanigher/Severin leads in all those. And I might get some earlier issues if I ever see them fairly cheap. Not getting rid of any for now, though I might someday decide I don't want the ones after #162.

#132 - Severin's first issue, with the return of Pooch, Gunner and the Sarge's pet dog, plus back-ups by Kanigher/Estrada and Glanzman

#138 - High seas adventure with the Losers, plus Glanzman doing a comic about drawing comics during the war and a Kanigher/Heath reprint

#152 - One of Kirby's best, "A Small Place in Hell", reportedly based closer than most on some of his own experiences in Europe.

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