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Friday, September 24, 2004

Our Fighting Forces #155 - The Partisans

One of the most unusual books Kirby was assigned to both write and draw during his five year stint at DC in the 1970s was OUR FIGHTING FORCES, a long-running war comic which then featured The Losers, a team of four US soldiers from different branches in a sort of "special missions" group. The members were culled from previous series, Gunner and the Sarge, Johnny Cloud and Captain Storm.

Kirby did 12 issues of the book in the last year, and they're surprisingly good. He did this by pretty much treating the characters as blank slates (I'm not sure if it's ever even mentioned in Kirby's dozen issues that Storm has a wooden leg) and just telling adventure filled WWII stories, coloured by his own personal experiences (although with a lot of fanciful stuff, since the Losers could be in any theatre of operations, from anywhere in Europe to the Pacific to the homefront).



#155 is kind of an interesting story because it focuses almost purely on Sarge, with just short cameos by the other Losers. This has the effect of making it read like it could be a story about Ben Grimm during the war just as easily as anything else (maybe Dan Turpin). Like the other classic Kirby tough guys, Sarge faces injury and impossible obstacles to accomplish his mission, as part of a story about a strange group of Yugoslavian resistance fighters. This is classic Kirby.

D. Bruce Berry inks the story, as well as the cover and two pages of images of various "big gun" artillery of WWII.

Published May 1975

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