Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wartime Romances

Romance comics aren't the only place to look for love stories. From time to time a romance story appears in a war comic, often with a nurse as the female lead character. There were actual wartime romance comics, such as this one, Wartime Romances 1, with cover drawn by the great Matt Baker, and published in July 1951 by St. John. I don't have this issue, and I'd really like to see "Lovelife of an Army Nurse" for my current project, if anyone has a scan or can point me in the direction of a reprint.

But in regular war comics the romance theme occasionally appeared. Here's an example from Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos 4, "Lord Ha-Ha's Last Laugh" (Marvel, November 1963). Fury is in London during the Blitz, and meets Red Cross nurse Lady Pamela Hawley, who just happens to be the sister of the infamous British traitor, Lord Ha-Ha (in reality Lord Haw-Haw was the broadcast name given by the British to several traitors used by the Nazis in WWII to spread propaganda by radio).
Fury doesn't rate his chances with Pamela, but later in the story he ends up at her father's house where they meet again. The Howlers are sent on a mission to abduct and return with Lord Ha Ha, but the latter ends up mown down by the Nazis while trying to escape from Fury. Fury takes on the task of sensitively informing Pam of her brother's death, obscuring the painful truth and picturing him as having been a hero when he met his demise.

By issue 5 we find Fury and Pam have developed something of a relationship. Indeed, Pam seems to be one of the few people who can actually tame the sergeant:

A good old piece of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby humor, from Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos 5, "At the Mercy of Baron Strucker" (Marvel, January 1964).


  1. KB: Great Post! I love the Jack Kirby pencils from this era, and I always thought Roussos was a very sympathetic inker for Kirby.

    You gotta love Fury with this pinky extended on the last page - Man, it must have been love!

    Great blog. Keep it up!

    Oh, PS. At this point in the series, It was simply called Sgt. Fury, dispite the subtitle on the covers. It didn't become Sgt. Fury and his Hollowing Commandos until issue #121 in the 1970s. (Sorry for this geek point). -- Mykal

  2. Mykal: I didn't know that about the Sgt. Fury title. Always glad to add another snippet of comic book trivia to my knowledge base, aiding me on my way to the next level in geekdom!

  3. Geekster update ! It is an honest mistake to make, KB... Since all the covers proclaim: 'SGT. FURY & HIS HOWLING COMMANDOS'

    It is only in the fine-print indicia where, technically, the title underwent a change in the 70's.

    I will be following this blog regularly~ big fan of Romance Comics~! Keep up the great posts~!